PIR eCentral Links to Information
What Is PIR?
What Isn't PIR?
When does the PIR year start?
General Frequently Asked Questions
Can I just drop in at a workshop?
Do I need to cancel if I can't make the workshop?
How many hours equal one day of PIR?
Who needs to know what workshops I attended?
What are approved PIR activities?
What if I attend a professional conference or convention and the district pays part of my expenses? Does this qualify for PIR?
Will there be other opportunities for PIR available throughout the year other than those listed in the catalog?
What if I am sick or have a conflict on a day that I have registered for a PIR workshop?
What if I don't fulfill my PIR obligations?
If I am taking a college class for credit, can it also count for PIR credit if it is outside the contract day/year?
May I use adult education course work as PIR credit?
How often may I take the same PIR offering?
Am I limited to the types of PIR offerings I attend?
How do I get OPI credit?
What if I have completed more than my required 12 hours of Flexible PIR hours? Do I have to attend District-Directed days or other district PIR days?
I am a part time teacher. What is my PIR obligation?
May I use professional travel for PIR credit?
If I attend MEA or another pre-approved professional conference or convention and want PIR credit, do I need to provide documentation?
What if I am unable or do not want to attend the MEA conference?
How do I do a special request for a workshop or conference not listed in the Catalog?
May I do a special request for the District-Directed requirement?
What if I have signed up for MEA and have to coach a game that day or have to leave early to coach when I have a workshop?
May I use sick or personal leave days for PIR?
If I have questions about PIR, whom do I contact?
Teaching Professional Development PIR Sessions
If I would like to teach a professional development workshop, what do I need to do?
How much will a trainer be paid for a six (6)- hour workshop?
If I teach a workshop, can I count it toward my 18-hour PIR requirement?
If I would like to facilitate a discussion group or book group. What do I need to do?
How much will a facilitator be paid for a six (6)-hour book study or study group?
As an instructor, what are my obligations?
Procedures For Renewal Units
OPI Certificate Renewal Requirements
PIR = required 18 hours (3 of 187 days) 6 hours of the 18 hours must be DD (district directed) CBA Article 6 Section J number 2
OPI Renewal Unit = what you turn in to OPI to recertify (this can be either college or PIR credits, but is dependent on OPI and licensing definitions and regulations)
College Credit = to be used for movement on the pay scale AND/OR OPI recertification
Approved conference or workshop = a conference or workshop that is found in PIR eCentral OR gets preapproval from the Curriculum Office as a Special Request.
PIR stands for Pupil-Instruction-Related. The Administrative Rules of Montana (20-1-304) specify that a school that is in session for at least 180 pupil-instruction days may count for the year a maximum of seven PIR days with a minimum of three of the days for instructional and professional development meetings or other appropriate in-service training. These seven PIR days, in addition to the 180 pupil-instructed days, may be counted, provided that such additional days do not include any time counted for pupil instruction and are used for one or more of the following purposes:
(a) Staff orientation held prior to the beginning of pupil instruction for the purpose of organization of the school year (these are 2 days of your 187 day contract).
(b) Staff professional development programs scheduled during the year for the purpose of improving instruction which shall include annual instructional and professional development meetings (these are 3 days of your 187 day contract).
(c) Parent-teacher conferences for the purpose of acquainting parents with the school and the progress of their children (these are 2 days of your 187 day contract).
(d) Post-school record and report completion at the end of the pupil-instruction year.
Two (2) of seven (7) PIR days (or 12 hours) must be selected from the Flexible options*. One (1) PIR day is to be selected from the District-Directed options in this catalog. The District-Directed professional development will be catalogued on PIR e-Central. It will be delineated as "District-Directed" and the course title will be preceded by "DD". (3 days equals 18 hours)
*Flexible offerings that qualify for PIR credit can be selected from the following:
The PIR year begins on the first day of summer vacation and runs until the last contracted duty day, usually sometime the first week in June. Pay will be docked, including benefits and retirement, if hours are not completed on time.
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Please sign up through PIR eCentral. Many of the workshops have limited enrollment. Registrations are recorded by the date received in PIR eCentral. A workshop may be canceled if not enough teachers are enrolled. PIR eCentral does keep a waiting list; and as cancellations occur, the system will contact the next name on the list.
Yes. Please make the adjustment in PIR eCentral; there may be others on the waiting list who want your spot!
Six (6) hours.
The Curriculum Office will have records for those workshops listed in this catalog for the current year.
Allowable activities include the following:
Per CBA Article 8, Section N, number 7
When attending an approved conference or workshop on contract time (paid for by the district or not), PIR credit may not be earned, but college credit (paid for by the teacher) may be earned as outlined in CBA Article, 8 Section N, number 7.
When attending an approved conference or workshop outside contract time (paid for by the district or not), GFPS PIR AND/OR college credit (paid for by the teacher) may be earned as outlined in CBA Article 8 Section N, number 7.
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Most likely yes. It is difficult to plan activities a year in advance. Additional offerings will be part of the study group or special request process.
Teachers should drop the class through PIR eCentral and then select an alternative workshop to fulfill their requirement. Illness, personal leave or extracurricular responsibilities do not release teachers from their PIR obligation.
Facilitators design their six-hour courses for six hours of content; not to deliver in bits and pieces. If, due to unforeseen circumstances (i.e family emergency), a teacher attends fewer than 6 hours of a PIR, s/he must sign up for either a 2 or 3 hour stand-alone online course or complete a different, full PIR course.
Teachers will not be paid for the PIR days they fail to complete. Their June paycheck will be docked accordingly. We can only dock pay by half- or whole-day increments, not by the hourly basis. Thus it is essential teachers complete their PIR requirements.
Per CBA Article 6, Section J, number 7
Stand-alone college courses are not eligible for GFPS PIR credits. (Stand-alone college courses ARE eligible for OPI Renewal Units.)
Teachers may earn college credit (paid for by the teacher) being offered as an add-on to a conference or workshop while ALSO earning GFPS PIR credit as outlined in CBA Article 8, Section N, number 7.
Yes, if it meets the criteria outlined in the "Special Request Process" and is approved by the teacher's principal/supervisor, the appropriate assistant superintendent and the curriculum director.
This varies by class. For instance, you can take CPR/First Aid every two years or MANDT every year, but for most classes you need to wait three years to take the same class over again. Do know that OPI will not accept duplicate certificates.
Yes. You are limited to the District Directed offerings you are directed to take based on your position AND on your area of expertise. You need to register for PIR offerings that directly relate to your content area.
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Classes taken through PIR eCentral have a certificate presented electronically. Teachers should print it out as soon as the class is complete, fill out the top section, and store it in a safe place. Certificates are not given for conferences or special requests where a certificate is given at the session. No replacement will be given if certificates are lost or not printed by the end of the year. Some special requests give a certificate of attendance, but do not offer OPI renewal units. Be aware of this when planning for your recertification.
Yes. You can sign-up for and attend more than the required 12 hours of Flexible PIR listed in the PIR eCentral catalog. However, these additional hours do not replace the requirement to attend one of the District-Directed (6 hours) events, nor does it replace any of the hours assigned toward the remaining four (4) days of contracted days (two (2) orientation days and two (2) teacher-parent conferences)
Part-time teachers, teachers hired after the start of the school year, and teachers retiring or resigning early must check with HR for their PIR obligation (406-268-6010). Information is available on the HR webpage.
Yes, as long as it meets the criteria in the "Special Request Process" and is pre-approved by the teacher's principal and teacher’s assistant superintendent prior to being submitted to the curriculum office. It must be directly related to professional development for the teacher's teaching assignment, and the teacher’s professional development must be the focus of the trip.
For example, a foreign language summer trip, a trip with students to DC, or taking students to a sports camp would not work because the focus of the trip is on the students’ experience. However, a teacher who travels to a conference outside of the contract year or travels as part of a fellowship opportunity could earn PIR credit for it with prior approval. Teachers may never be on pay status when earning PIR credit.
It depends on the event. The PIR eCentral documentation form is what is required for some, the OPI certificate is required for others. Please remember falsifying any form will lead to disciplinary action. For any special request that involves a conference not listed in the PIR catalog, documentation must be provided as proof of attendance before credits are awarded.
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The district has developed a variety of workshops listed in PIR eCentral that can be used to meet the 12 hours of Flexible PIR requirement.
Fill out this form (http://bit.ly/PIR-Spec-Req). Once received, it will be reviewed to see if it meets the definition of PIR. If approved, the participant will be emailed to let him or her know it has been approved. If approved, register yourself for “Special Request” in PIR eCentral. Once the conference or workshop is complete, the send proof of attendance to the Curriculum Office which will credit the participant in PIR eCentral. If it is not approved, the requestor will receive an email with an explanation. Please note: since GFPS is NOT the provider of special request options, we do NOT issue OPI renewal certificates for them (many, but not all, special request providers DO issue OPI renewal certificates as proof of attendance). Plan ahead for recertification in case your special request options do not offer OPI renewal units. If you are attending an out of state conference or training, and wish to receive OPI renewal units for it, you may fill out this OPI form IN ADVANCE.
Yes, Ask your principal for the paper form, fill it out, have your principal approve it and then send to your assistant superintendent. The curriculum office will do the final approval and let you know if your request was approved by everyone.
Coaches are expected to complete the contracted 18 hours of PIR during each school year. If their coaching duties take them away from professional development opportunities during the October MEA days or any other workshop or conference, then they must attend other flexible PIR workshops offered during the school year to meet their entire obligation
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No, for two reasons.
According to Montana Code*, a teacher cannot use contractual leave to avoid the obligation to attend either MEA or other in-service training during the year as approved by the trustees.
*10.55.714 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT (1)
As part of a continuous program for instructional and administrative improvement, each school district shall provide a minimum of three days of professional development annually for each certified employee. A day of professional development is defined as six hours of actual contact time. Professional development time may be divided into no less than two-hour increments to facilitate delivery of professional development programs.
Secondly, when you are using a personal business day or a sick day, those are paid days off. You may not accrue PIR hours during paid time since you are trading it for days off.
You can always contact the Curriculum office at 268-6020.
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Teachers may submit course proposals through the PIR eCentral program. Their courses will be added to the catalog if approved. In order for a course to be considered, all fields must be complete, including location and time. Courses submitted with fields marked TBD, TBA will not be approved.
PIR facilitators will be allotted 16 hours at the teaching rate per hour, which is $400. If more than one person teaches the class, they must divide the total equally.
Teachers may count six (6) hours toward their 12-hours of Flexible requirements only once in the same PIR year. However, if teachers choose this option, they will be paid for 10 hours at the teaching rate which is $250. If there is more than one facilitator, they need to agree on whether they will be getting full pay or earning PIR credit.
Submit a course proposal starting here: http://bit.ly/flex-PIR-planning. Be sure to set the Category to Study Group. If approved, the course will be added to the catalog offerings.
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Teachers will be allotted six (6) hours at the teaching rate per hour, which is $150. If more than one person facilitates the group, they must divide the total. You may also use the group for your PIR requirement. Some study groups will be for PIR credit only.
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Questions should be directed to: Office of Public Instruction:
Helena, MT 59620-2501
Phone (406) 444-3150
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