CSPD Region 2 logo, partnering with many, with a sharpened pencil pointed down.


Coordinating personnel development to meet the needs of all children and youth in our unique region.

CSPD is a vital component of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Montana State Plan for Special Education. CSPD provides pre-service, in-service, and technical assistance for parents, general and special educators, administrators, and other service providers with the end result being better programs and services for all children and youth. 


Statewide CSPD Professional Learning

In this live schedule, you will find all updated professional learning sessions provided by the five CSPD regions. These trainings are free of charge and offer OPI Renewal Units.

Montana Autism Education Project

The OPI Montana Autism Education Project offers free autism trainings and consultations to Montana public schools educating students with autism. For trainings, consultations or other needs please contact Doug Doty at ddoty@mt.gov.

You can view a complete description of these services on the OPI Montana Autism Education Project web page

NEW - Language of Emotions (virtual training) - April 15th

NEW - Building Functional and Creative Learning Systems - Kalispell - June 10/11


NEW - iPad Boot Camp - Missoula - June 13/14


NEW - Refresh Your PECS (virtual training) - June 20th


NEW - Teaching Critical Communication Skills - Missoula - June 12th


NEW - The Teachers Guide to Organizing and Maintaining Your Classroom (virtual training) -  June 21st


You can find more information and registration links here

The Magic of Words 

Presented by Tanya Peshovich

Begins January 2nd, 2024 | 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Virtual Presentation

12 OPI Renewal Units Available

Academic vocabulary is one of the best predictors of scholastic achievement, yet educators face the challenge of profound differences in vocabulary knowledge among the students they teach. By focusing on instructional practices for vocabulary with the highest effect sizes for increasing student achievement, educators can boost learning for ALL students. This training will focus on easy-to-plan, high-impact strategies that can be used to strengthen vocabulary instruction and student learning in any content area or academic discipline. Educators will walk away armed with strategies to increase student vocabulary size and learning of course content—a win-win for students and teachers alike!

Building a Modern Math Classroom

Grades 6-12
Presented by:  Hollee Goody
January 25, 2024 |  8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Havre Robins Building, 425 6th Street
6 OPI Renewal Units Available

There are many things I have learned from teaching math at the middle and high school level for the last 24 years, but the most important is kids do not learn from a sit-and-get math classroom. In my sessions I will discuss strategies that are imperative in a modern math, thinking classroom environment no matter what math class you teach. These philosophies may be different from the way we were taught in high school and in college, but our students are not the same. How much did a person who was not considered good at math learn in the classes we took in high school and college? We all did fine because we are math people. Math people can learn any way they are taught. How many adults or students do you know either love or hate math? I want to help you reach all students no matter what their math ability is when they enter your classroom. The main point in all my presentations will be any student can learn math. I will focus on classroom management tools, using non-permanent vertical surfaces during the class period, and how to give the power of learning to your students. I will share how I empower my students, give confidence, and how I cater my teaching to different learning styles. Not all students think the same and very few think the way we do as math teachers. I will show you ways to teach students in different ways to help ALL learn. I am going to show teachers ways to get students thinking and doing in a math classroom. I will share strategies for building a classroom community that students no matter their previous experiences in math can all enjoy. My goal is when you walk out of the presentation you will have at least one strategy you can take back to your room to help build a Math THINKING classroom at your school. 

I look forward to sharing my passion for teaching math with all of you.

Best Practices for Math in Preschool and the Early Grades

Pre-k and early grades
Presented by:  Stephanie Lester
February 13 and March 12, 2024  |   4:30 to 6:30 p.m. 

via Zoom
4 OPI Renewal Units Available

Understanding the developmental progression of number sense will enable teachers to introduce best, reinforce, and build their students’ “mathematics foundation”. This session will focus on developing a strong understanding of the key predictive indicators for school readiness in mathematics and numeracy (subitizing, counting, one-to-one correspondence, cardinality, and hierarchical inclusion) along with instructional strategies to support the development of those concepts.

The focus of this training will be to introduce a variety of instructional strategies that will provide children with opportuni-ties to practice and reinforce key math skills during their daily routines. A wide variety of inclusionary practices will be discussed as well as developmentally appropriate knowledge and skill acquisition strategies that are applicable to increasing the access to the curriculum for all children. Specific strategies and resources focused on developing children’s skills in subitizing, counting, one-to-one correspondence, cardinality, and hierarchical inclusion will be provided.

The Impact of Trauma on Brain Development and Strategies to Support These Students

Cancelled-Check back for reschedule date

Presented by:  Stacy York Nation
February 15, 2024 |   8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Great Falls Hampton Inn
6 OPI Renewal Units Available

Participants will explore the brain science behind development, how trauma and toxic stress can impact that development, and learn strategies for helping students navigate these impacts. Participants will leave with a better understanding of emotional regulation and the classroom strategies that work to assist students in navigating their stress response systems. These strategies support all students.

There will be two additional sessions on April 17th and May 1st from 4-6 p.m. via zoom.  Keep scrolling for details.

Charting the LifeCourse Foundational and Skill Building Workshop

Presented by:  Nexus Staff
February 29, March 14 & 28, and April 11, 2024 |   4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.

8 OPI Renewal Units Available

The CtLC Foundational and Skill Building Workshop is for individuals, families, or professionals (field level staff) to: 

• Understand the Charting the LifeCourse framework and principles, and how they can be used for planning, problem-solving, and decision making

• Build skills for utilizing the framework and related tools in their own life and/or professional role 

Series Overview: 

February 29, 2024 Overview of the Charting the LifeCourse Framework and Principles - Introduction to the Charting the LifeCourse framework, with an overview of all principles and how they fit together to facilitate person centered practices.

March 14, 2024 Identifying a Vision and Planning for Life Experiences - Exploring and identifying a vision for a “good life” that considers all aspects/domains of quality of life and their interconnectedness. Establishing goals and outcomes that prioritize life possibilities and experiences for reaching the vision. 

March 28, 2024 Utilizing an Integrated Array of Supports and Services - Discovering how a variety of supports can work together to meet individual and family needs, and support the achievement of the identified goals that lead to a “good life” 

April 11, 2024 Supporting a Person in the Context of Family and Community - Understanding the importance of and strategies for identifying and supporting the roles a person plays in their family and community, as well as allowing choice and control of who supports a person and how – both now and in the future.

Data Collection - Skill Acquisition

Presented by: Doug Doty
March 12, 2024  |   8:30 to 11:30 a.m.
Havre Robins Building, 425 6th Street
3 OPI Renewal Units Available

How do you take data on student performance when they are doing a physical skill and not taking a written test? 

This training will include: 

How to Write Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Goals for IEPs

Presented by: Doug Doty

March 12, 2024  |  12:30 to 3:30 p.m.

Havre Robins Building, 425 6th Street
3 OPI Renewal Units Available

What are the compliance monitoring requirements for PLAAFPs, MAGs, and STOBs? 


Later in the month of March, those who attend the IEP goal writing training will have the opportunity to attend a follow-up Zoom where you will submit post-training IEP goals such as a sample PLAAFP and/or MAGS, and we will have a small group review each anonymous submission.  The follow-up Zoom link will be sent to interested participants after this training.

The Mandt System 

March 15 & 16, 2024  |  8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Great Falls Crystal Inn
11 OPI Renewal Units available for this free region 2 CSPD training

The Mandt System builds on skill development through a system of gradual and graded alternatives for de-escalating and assisting people using a combination of interpersonal communication skills, conflict resolution strategies and physical interaction techniques. The goal is to assist others in managing themselves and the safety of all involved through skillful and nonphysical means. Physical strategies are also taught to provide additional “least restrictive” options in the event the person poses a clear threat of substantial harm to self or others if physically unassisted. The Mandt System focuses on prevention.

7:45-8:00-Sign in (Both days)
8:00-4:00-Mandt Training (Day One)
8:00-12:00(Day Two)
2:00-4:00 (Day Two as needed)

This is a two-day training and attendance is required on both days. Those recertifying also need to attend both days. Saturday involves learning the physical part of the training. Groups are limited to 10 people by the MANDT Company. If we reach our maximum of 20, our presenter will break participants into two groups on Saturday of the training (a.m. and p.m.)

Our Presenter:

Clarissa Shaffer is in her fourteenth year teaching at Centerville School. She has worked with special needs students through an after-school program and Youth Dynamics for several years which is where she developed her passion for the MANDT system. Her hobbies include going to the cabin, spending time with family, snowmobiling and reading.

How Does Your Past Impact Your Classroom? 

Presented by Stacy York Nation

April 17, 2024  |  4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Virtual Event
2 OPI Renewal Units Available

Educators cross the thresholds of their classrooms every day and bring their own experiences with them. Participants will explore how they are emotional wired and how these blueprints impact their teaching and their students. We will also explore and discuss strategies for educator wellness. 

Positive Behavior Support and Interventions 

Presented by Shawna Heiser

April 22nd, 2024 | 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Great Falls College MSU/Heritage Room

2100 16th Avenue S.

6 OPI Renewal Units Available

A thorough presentation of positive behavioral supports and interventions in a variety of school environments will be presented to conference attendees. Discussion will center around types of behaviors; task avoidance, escape motivated, attention seeking, behaviors that produce sensory consequences, and the role motivation plays in behavioral success in many settings. The audience will be able to apply the information presented through videos, activities, and examples of how to set up positive plans for the students in a variety of environmental settings immediately in their respective situations. The training will also contain discussions about setting limits that work and the application of positive interventions in the regular education setting.  We will examine the common pitfalls that sabotage behavioral intervention plans and what to avoid when wanting to make significant behavioral changes. Discussions of how to implement 504 accommodations in a regular education setting, how to conduct data collection for a variety of specially designed treatment strategies in the classroom.  Using Antecedent/Behavior/Consequence ABC data collection and other simple data collection systems will be presented to the conference attendees.


Throughout the presentation, the attendees will receive a vast amount of information on what seems to work best for the children and adolescents with various disabilities, and how to set up positive behavioral supports and interventions for the individuals and track the progress of the students they are serving.

Content areas included: 

Xo Elementary/Middle School

Xo Secondary School

Xo Collaboration/Team Building

Xo Neurodiversity

Xo Data Collection and Tracking Strategies

Xo Differentiated Education

Xo Behavior Management

Xo Behavioral Assessment Systems

Xo PBIS Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports


Presented by Stacy York Nation

May 1, 2024 | 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Virtual Event
2 OPI Renewal Units Available

Participants will dig into the science behind behaviors and learn brain-informed strategies that assist students in the classroom. Our stress response system is like a rubber band. The more stressed we are, the more stretched we are. Student’s needs strategies to manage their stress and this class will help educators help students. 

Summer 2024 Montana Petroleum Resources Workshop

June 10th - 14th | 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily
MSU - Billings Campus

This Workshop provides an opportunity for Montana teachers to learn more about the Petroleum industry and its impact on the people and economy of Montana and the nation. 

Hess Corporation is sponsoring the expenses of the Workshop.  All lodging, meals, and course materials will be provided for the participants at no charge. Attendance at the Workshop can earn either 31 OPI License Renewal Units or 2 Graduate Professional Development credits from Montana State University-Billings (MSU-Billings).

Lodging, meals, and classroom facilities for the 5-day Workshop will be on the MSU-Billings campus.

Prompt registration is encouraged, as the Workshop will be limited to 20 participants.