For the purposes of this chapter, the following terms apply:
(1) "Accreditation" means certification by the Board of Public Education that a school meets the adopted standards of the Board of Public Education for a specified school year.
(2) "Assessment" means the gathering, organizing, and evaluation of information about student learning in order to monitor and measure the effectiveness of the instructional program.
(3) "Assurance standards" means the minimal standards of a quality education program comprised of the following subchapters:
(a) Subchapter 6, General Provisions, ARM 10.55.601 through 10.55.607;
(b) Subchapter 7, School Leadership, ARM 10.55.701 through 10.55.719;
(c) Subchapter 8, Academic Requirements, ARM 10.55.801 through 10.55.805;
(d) Subchapter 9, Educational Opportunity, ARM 10.55.901 through 10.55.910; and
(e) Subchapter 10, Program Area Standards, ARM 10.55.1001 through 10.55.1003.
(4) "Asynchronous" means not occurring at the same time. "Asynchronous" refers to instruction and communication between participants (i.e., students and teachers) that occur at different times.
(5) "At-risk student" means any student who is affected by environmental conditions that negatively impact the student's educational performance or threaten a student's likelihood of promotion or graduation, as defined in 20-1-101(4), MCA.
(6) "Class 8 license" means an educator license as defined in ARM 10.57.102.
(7) "Combined elementary-high school district" means an elementary district and a high school district, which are combined into a single school system for district administration purposes.
(8) "Content standard" means what all students should know, understand, and be able to do in a specific content area.
(9) "Corrective plan" means a systematic procedure and timeline for resolving deviations from regular accreditation status.
(10) "Deviation" means a citation of noncompliance with any given standard.
(11) "Digital content provider" means an entity, organization, or individual registered pursuant to ARM 10.55.907 offering K-12 educational content for distance, online, and technology-delivered programs and courses.
(12) "Distance learning" means instruction in which students and teachers are separated by time and/or location with synchronous or asynchronous content, instruction, and communication between student and teacher. This instruction may consist of learning opportunities provided through online (Internet-based) and other emerging technologies.
(13) "Dual enrollment/dual credit" means opportunities for high school students to be enrolled in high school and postsecondary courses at the same time. There are three categories of such opportunities:
(a) "College credit only" means students receive college credit for courses taken from a postsecondary institution but do not receive high school credit. Students may or may not be taking these courses during the school day.
(b) "Dual credit" means students receive both college credit and high school credit for courses taken from a postsecondary institution. Students may or may not be taking these courses during the school day. The faculty member must have an appropriate K-12 license and endorsement in the subject taught or a Class 8 license.
(c) "Concurrent enrollment" means the district offers these courses during the school day and they are taught by district high school faculty who have been approved by the post-secondary institution to teach these college level courses. Students receive both high school and college credit for the completed course.
(14) "Endorsement" means an official indication on a license of the subject area(s) and/or specialized program area(s) for which the holder of the license is authorized to practice in Montana accredited schools.
(15) "Facilitator" means the individual assigned to monitor distance, online, and technology-delivered learning programs pursuant to ARM 10.55.907. The facilitator may be an instructional paraprofessional as long as there is a licensed teacher providing the instruction.
(16) "Independent elementary school district" means a district organized for the purpose of providing public education for all or any combination of grades kindergarten through 8.
(17) "Indian Education for All" means the constitutionally declared policy of this state to recognize the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians and to be committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural heritage. Implementation of these requirements ensures:
(a) every Montanan, Indian or non-Indian, is encouraged to learn about the distinct heritage and contributions of Montana tribal groups and governments in a culturally responsive manner; and
(b) every educational agency shall work cooperatively with Montana tribes to provide means by which school personnel will gain an understanding of and appreciation for American Indian people.
(18) "Instructional paraprofessional" means school or district personnel whose positions are instructional in nature and who work under the direct supervision of licensed school personnel. The supervising licensed school personnel are responsible for:
(a) the design, implementation, and assessment of learner progress; and
(b) the evaluation of the effectiveness of learning programs and related services for children.
(19) "Intensive assistance" means a required process for schools in continuous or serious deficiency accreditation status. Such schools have failed to develop or implement an approved corrective plan to remedy accreditation deviations within the designated timeline.
(20) "Internship" as provided for in ARM 10.55.607 means an agreement between a fully licensed Class 1, 2, or 3 educator, the school district, and a Montana accredited educator preparation program. Internships are permitted in endorsement areas approved by the Board of Public Education in ARM 10.57.412 and 10.57.413.
(21) "K-12 district" as defined in 20-6-701, MCA means an elementary district, with the same district boundaries as a high school district, which has been attached to that high school district. The high school district remains an organized district and the elementary district is an inactive district pursuant to 20-6-101, MCA.
(22) "Learning progression" means the specific performance expectations in each content area at each grade level from kindergarten through grade 12.
(23) "Licensure" means certification of an educator/specialist as issued by the state of Montana, based on completion of an approved educator preparation program. Licensure indicates grade level(s), endorsement(s), and classification.
(24) "Literacy" means learning to read, write, speak, listen, and use language effectively.
(25) "Middle grades" means grades 4 through 9.
(26) "Minimum aggregate hours" means the minimum hours of pupil instruction that must be conducted during the school fiscal year in accordance with 20-1-301, MCA and includes passing time between classes. Minimum aggregate hours does not include lunch time and periods of unstructured recess, as defined in 20-1-101, MCA.
(27) "Misassignment" means a licensed educator/specialist teaching outside their endorsed teaching area(s) and/or level (elementary K-8 and secondary 5-12).
(28) "Nonaccredited status" means previously accredited school which failed to meet the requirements of intensive assistance and is out of compliance with the Board of Public Education standards of accreditation.
(29) "Nonlicensed" means a person who does not hold a current Montana educator license, except for a person for whom an emergency authorization of employment has been issued under the provisions of 20-4-111, MCA.
(30) "Online learning" means educational activity in which instruction and content are delivered primarily via the Internet and through emerging technologies. Online learning is a form of distance learning.
(31) "Principal" means a person who holds a valid Montana Class 3 educator license with an applicable principal endorsement and who is employed by a district as a principal, or who is enrolled in a Board of Public Education approved principal internship program under ARM 10.55.607.
(32) "Program area standards" means the subject matter Montana school districts are required to offer and the strategies and proven practices used to instruct. The program area standards include: English language arts, arts, health enhancement, mathematics, science, social studies, career and technical education, technology, workplace competencies, library media, world languages, and school counseling.
(33) "Program delivery standards" means the conditions and practices school districts are required to provide ensuring that every student is afforded educational opportunities to learn, develop, and demonstrate achievement in content standards and content-specific grade-level learning progressions.
(34) "Pupil instruction day" means a school day when organized instruction is conducted with students under the supervision of a teacher.
(35) "Pupil instruction-related (PIR) day" means days of teacher activities devoted to improving the quality of instruction. The activities may include, but are not limited to: in-service training, attending state meetings of teacher organizations, and conducting parent conferences.
(36) "School" means, for accreditation purposes, an educational program and grade assignments designated by the local board of trustees in one of the following categories:
(a) an elementary school, which offers any combination of kindergarten through eighth grade;
(b) a seventh and eighth grade school, which comprises the basic education program for grades 7 and 8 that may be funded at the high school rate pursuant to 20-9-396, MCA;
(c) a junior high school, which offers the basic education program for grades 7 through 9;
(d) a middle school, which offers education programs for grades 4 through 8 or any combination thereof; and
(e) a high school, which offers the educational programs for grades 9 through 12 or grades 10 through 12 when operating in conjunction with a junior high school.
(37) "School administrator" means a person who is a part of the school's administrative or supervisory staff and who holds a Class 3 license and is appropriately endorsed, or who is enrolled in a Board of Public Education approved administrator internship program under ARM 10.55.607.
(38) "School district" means the territory, regardless of county boundaries, organized under the provisions of Title 20, MCA to provide public educational services under the jurisdiction of the local board of trustees. A high school district may encompass all or parts of the territory of one or more elementary districts. "School district" shall refer to all state-funded special purpose schools that are accredited under this chapter.
(39) "School system" means the administrative unit of a district or combination of districts. In Montana, types of school systems are as follows:
(a) "combined elementary-high school district" means an elementary district and a high school district which are combined into a single school system for district administration purposes.
(b) "independent high school district" means a district organized for the purpose of providing public education for all or any combination of grades 9 through 12; and
(c) "independent elementary school district" means a district organized for the purpose of providing public education for all or any combination of grades kindergarten through grade 8.
(40) "Specialist" means a person with a Class 6 Specialist license in a nonteaching role of school psychologist or school counselor
(41) "Student performance standards" means minimal standards of a quality education, which measures student performance on annual state level summative assessments and graduation rates used to determine the accreditation status of a school.
(42) "Superintendent" means a person who holds a valid Montana Class 3 educator license, with an applicable Superintendent's endorsement and who is employed by a district as a district superintendent, or who is enrolled in a Board of Public Education approved superintendent internship program under ARM 10.55.607.
(43) "Synchronous" means occurring at the same time. "Synchronous" refers to instruction and communication between participants (i.e., students and teachers) that occurs at the same time even though they may be in different physical locations. For example, instruction in which students and teachers are online at the same time so that a question can be immediately answered (e.g., telephone calls, face-to-face meetings, physical classrooms, chat rooms, and videoconferencing).
(44) "Teacher" means a person, except a district superintendent, who holds a valid Montana educator license issued by the Superintendent of Public Instruction under the policies adopted by the Board of Public Education and who is employed by a district as a member of its instructional, supervisory, or administrative staff. This definition of a teacher includes a person for whom an emergency authorization of employment has been issued under the provisions of 20-4-111, MCA.
(45) "Technology-delivered learning" means instruction and content delivered via digital technologies (e.g., online, CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, or learning experiences that involve primarily the use of computers).
(46) "Variance to standard" means an alternate approach to meeting or exceeding the minimum standards.
History: 20-2-114, MCA; IMP, 20-2-121, 20-3-106, 20-7-101, MCA; NEW, 1989 MAR p. 342, Eff. 7/1/89; AMD, 1998 MAR p. 2707, Eff. 10/9/98; AMD, 2000 MAR p. 3340, Eff. 12/8/00; AMD, 2001 MAR p. 953, Eff. 6/8/01; AMD, 2002 MAR p. 3309, Eff. 11/28/02; AMD, 2003 MAR p. 2080, Eff. 9/26/03; AMD, 2007 MAR p. 692, Eff. 5/25/07; AMD, 2012 MAR p. 2042, Eff. 7/1/13.