Note from the Title Administrator

It’s that time of year again when school is back in full swing and the buzz around the school buildings is about the Football game on Friday night or the Homecoming Festivities and what each class is going to be doing to honor the school colors and show their pride. This is truly a time of year when any outsider can encounter teamwork and enthusiasm from the students as they prepare to build their class float, as well as a lot of energy and passion from the teachers that are leading those efforts.

The Title Team at the South Dakota Department of Education is also creating a buzz and showcasing a new vision as we move from a time of Compliance Driven Monitoring to an Outcome Based Process. While this shift doesn’t allow us to create floats or showcase our school colors, it does allow us to think about teamwork, both within the SD DOE and with the schools that we work with. This shift will provide more technical assistance to the schools that we work with as well as professional development opportunities to help strengthen the areas that are of highest concern based upon the data that we will continue to collect and review throughout the year.

We look forward to an exciting 2013-14 school year and working with many of you throughout the coming months.

Go Big Green, Red, Blue, Purple, Gold, Black, Orange, Yellow…whatever your colors may be!

Shannon Malone

Consolidated Title Reviews

The South Dakota Department of Education will not be conducting any on-site Title I Monitoring that were previously scheduled. The SD DOE is working to develop a process for collecting all Title I components that were not waived in the ESEA Flexibility Waiver. The SD DOE will be providing technical assistance throughout the school year in a variety of ways: Title I Director’s Meeting for New Title I Director’s, webinars, emails, Title I/SPED Summer Conference, quarterly newsletters, and on-site visits.

Need Quick Training to Help your Efforts to Work with Students in Need?

Each month, the DOE emails district McKinney-Vento (M-V) liaisons a listing of the webinar training opportunities for the month. This training is provided by the National Center for Homeless Education, the technical assistance center funded by the US Department of Education. The trainings are provided at no cost to all districts nationwide and to anyone wishing more information. The webinars are 60+ minutes in length. Some training sessions are directed toward social workers or counselors and other school personnel. The trainings are meant to help all school personnel, not just the M-V liaison. To look at a listing and to register for a webinar go to http://center.serve.org/nche/web/group.php

Additionally, several trainings have been recorded and posted on the NCHE website along with self-paced trainings and power points. The self-paced trainings range from 8-25 minutes in length. Training topics posted on the NCHE website may be accessed at any time of the day or night. A list of self-paced and recorded webinars can be found at http://center.serve.org/nche/web/s_p.php#rec_web

Topics include:
Knowing the Law 101
Homeless with Homework
Equal Access
Homeless and Title I Collaboration
Information for Parents
Helping Unaccompanied Youth Access College

If you need further information from the DOE, contact Laura.Johnson-Frame@state.sd.us or (605) 773-2491.

You may be the One to Recognize a McKinney-Vento Eligible Student

Each school district is required to designate a person to serve as the McKinney-Vento liaison. Districts are required under the law to identify students who qualify under the McKinney-Vento statute. However, recognizing that students may be in need is the responsibility of everyone. A McKinney-Vento eligible student is a student who is in transition as the student is not living in permanent, stable housing.

The lack of stable housing is both a symptom and cause of many other issues that children, youth, and their families encounter. A family or youth lacking housing has many concerns? Where do I stay? Where do I keep my possessions? How and where do I keep my important papers? Where do I bathe? Where do I eat? What do I eat? What happens this winter? Can my relatives help me? How will my children stay in school? What will the future be for my children? What hope do I have for security?

Identifying students and their younger siblings as living in transition and instability can lead to assistance. This assistance may include staying in the same school, free food at school, transportation to school, tutoring, and referrals and access to other services such as food, clothing, and medical care.

Don’t forget that a teenager may not be living with a custodial parent and may be in a very unstable situation. Often times, locating a teenager living in non-permanent housing is particularly difficult. You may be the one who can help.

Contact your district’s McKinney-Vento liaison if you believe a child or family may be in need.

If you need further information from the DOE, please contact Laura.Johnson-Frame@state.sd.us or 605-773-2491.

Definition found in the McKinney-Vento Law

The McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children and youth” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes:

• children and youth who are:
- sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as doubled-up);
- living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;
- living in emergency or transitional shelters;
- abandoned in hospitals; or
- awaiting foster care placement;

• Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;

• Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

• Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

Ensure that Student Records Quickly Follow Students

School Districts must ensure that student records are transferred quickly when notified of a student’s transfer. In order for students to continue with appropriate courses and lessons, the receiving school must obtain the records as soon as possible. FERPA allows for the flow of records. Please do what you can to help students receive the academic services they need so they will move closer to graduation and a brighter future. “All students will graduate - college, career, and life ready.”


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g and 34 C.F.R. Part 99) is an important federal law for ensuring the privacy of students’ education records. The FERPA statute and regulations and other state and local privacy requirements have significant implications for students who are involved in the juvenile justice system. Youth involved with the juvenile justice system experience many transitions between educational programs—from community school into facilities, between facilities, and when returning to their community schools—so it is critical that the relevant agencies understand the conditions under which FERPA allows for the transfer of student records. In fact, FERPA specifically authorizes the non-consensual disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) from students’ education records to state or local authorities within the juvenile justice system under the following conditions….

(For a copy of the entire mythbuster document, go to: http://csgjusticecenter.org/nrrc/publications/reentry-mythbuster-on-student-records/.)

Title I Focus & Priority Schools

SD DOE has identified Focus and Priority schools and Priority districts for the 2013-2014 school year. Focus schools are defined as schools whose rank is among the lowest 10% of the Title I schools across the state when looking at the Gap group performance in achievement and attendance at the Elementary/Middle school level and in achievement and graduation rates at the High school level. Focus school designations are determined on an annual basis. A Priority school is defined as schools with an overall School Performance Index (SPI) score which ranks at/or below the bottom five percent. The total number of Priority Schools must be at least five percent of the Title I schools in the state. A Priority School designation is for four years- consisting of an initial planning year and then three years of implementation. Priority Districts are districts with at least one Priority school and at least 50% or more of its schools designated as Focus and/or Priority (Title and non-Title). Only districts with three or more public schools maybe identified as Priority Districts. The district will remain a Priority District for a minimum of four years.

Once identified, Focus and Priority schools and districts are required to implement a series of interventions to address the issue of low performance in their schools and districts. Interventions include but are not limited to: a set aside of Title I allocations to support professional development and/or meaningful classroom interventions; form school and/or district leadership teams to drive the continuous improvement process; assess, plan, implement, and monitor indicators of effective practice; participate in a two-day Data Retreat; and work with a state-assigned School Support Team (SST) member who will support schools throughout the designation. In addition to these items, Priority schools are also required to implement South Dakota Multi-Tiered System of Support (SD MTSS), undergo a school performance audit, and review the performance of the Priority School principal to ensure ability to lead turnaround.

Currently, South Dakota has 33 Focus Schools, 25 Priority Schools (two of which are designated due to School Improvement Grants), and six Priority Districts. Ten new Focus schools and three new Priority schools were identified for the 2013-2014 school year. Eleven schools were removed from Focus status after the 2012-2013 school year.

For more information on Focus and Priority schools and district visit http://doe.sd.gov/oess/fwi.aspx

Basic Migrant Child Eligibility Factors

The child is younger than age 22.

The child is eligible for a free public education under State law.

The child moved on his or her own as a migratory agricultural worker/migratory fisher OR the child moved with or to join/precede a parent spouse or guardian who is a migratory agricultural worker/migratory fisher, AND

The move was form one school district to another, AND

The move was a change from one residence to another residence, AND

The move was due to economic necessity, AND

The move occurred within the past 36 months.

One purpose of the workers move was to seek or obtain qualifying work:

The worker moved to obtain qualifying work and obtained it, OR

The worker moved for qualifying work specifically, but did not obtain the work, AND

The worker has a prior history of moves to obtain qualifying work, OR

There is other credible evidence that the worker actively sought qualifying work soon after the move.

The employment is seasonal or temporary, AND

The work is agricultural or fishing.

Parents Play An Important Role in Building Children’s Character

If parents are committed to developing their child’s good character, they’ll get results. It takes dedication and constant watchfulness to raise a child with good morals. But it’s worth it. Your child will grow up with a strong moral compass that will serve him well in school and in life.

To build your child’s character:

• Keep a strong focus on good morals in daily activities. Incorporate the ideals of honesty and respect into dinner and car conversations with your child.

• Explain to your child why you make certain decisions. Talk about the values—such as tolerance and generosity—that guide your decisions.

• Watch TV with your child. When a character does something wrong, ask why it’s wrong. When the character makes a good moral decision—such as returning something lost—discuss why that’s the right thing to do.

• Catch your child showing good character. Tell him you-re proud of him for telling the truth or working hard to finish a task.

• Evaluate how your efforts are working. If you need help, turn to friends, family, and books about character and morals.

Source: M. Berkowitz, “Character Must Matter to Parents First,” Topeka: City of Character, The Topeka Capital-Journal, http://find-articles.com/p/articles/mi_qn417/is_20010812/ai_n11768486/.

Title I School Family Compacts

PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY TO SUCCES--No more Title I School Parent Compacts for the sake of meeting regulations!

It’s time to develop meaningful compacts that develop partnerships between home and school. Partnerships with student’s families are an important part of student success. School family compacts should be a key part of building partnerships with families.

What do successful parent-school compacts look like? When developed properly compacts build partnerships and focus on building student achievement. The components of a compact clarify what schools and families will do to help children reach high academic achievement. In a compact, families and school staff agree how to work together.

Use the resource on the DOE website to assist in developing school compacts that meet the requirements of ESEA section 1118 and build meaningful relationships to boost academic achievement


Each Title I school must develop and disseminate Title I School Family compacts. Once the compact has been developed it is the schools responsibility to distribute the compact to families of children participating in Title I programs.

If you have questions regarding Title I Parent Involvement Compacts contact dawnl.smith@state.sd.us

National Title I Distinguished School

Doland’s Hillside Colony Elementary has been named a National Title I Distinguished school. This designation is to recognize the excellent work being done as a Title I School in the area of exceptional school performance for two or more consecutive years.

Timber Lake High School has been named a National Title I Distinguished school. This designation is to recognize the excellent work being done as a Title I School in the area of closing the achievement gap between student groups for two or more consecutive years.

As a result of these designations, the schools have been invited to send representatives to the National Title I Conference in San Diego, CA, Feb. 2 – 5, 2014.

Regional Data Retreats

State sponsored Regional Data Retreats for Focus and Priority schools are being held during the first three weeks of September in Sioux Falls, Pierre, and Rapid City. These two day retreats are currently being offered to Focus and Priority schools. These retreats offer schools a dedicated time to look at the four lenses of data: Student Achievement, Professional Practices, Programs & Structures, and Family & Community, and to determine a course of action that will lead to increasing student achievement and academic growth.

These regional retreats are currently being offered to schools identified as Focus or Priority. They have also been offered to some schools that are considered to be progressing for identification purposes, but have SPI scores or Gap group scores that place them at risk of becoming a Focus or a Priority school in the future. These schools will also be invited to participate in some of the same activities that are being offered to the Focus and Priority schools, such as participating in SD LEAP and the data retreats in an effort to be pro-active in the turnaround of the trends in their schools.

Academy of Pacesetting Districts

Academy of Pacesetting Districts (APD) is a year-long process in which District teams work to formalize the system of support reflecting district level practices which promote and support positive change at the school and classroom level. The product of the Academy experience is a written operations manual that defines and explains the systems of support. Nine Districts have participated in APD. Our first three Districts, Sioux Falls, McLaughlin, and Todd County, started in 2011-2012 as pilot districts. In 2012-2013, six districts participated as part of the Priority District requirements. Priority Districts are districts with at least one Priority school and at least 50% or more of its schools designated as Focus and/or Priority (Title and non-Title).

All Priority Districts identified for the 2013-2014 have started the APD process; therefore, no new cohorts will begin this year. The Priority Districts will meet at least quarterly to continue to assess, plan, and monitor district indicators within the SD LEAP program. Teams will also review the District Operations Manual policies and update as needed. Teams will be paired with another team to share ideas, problem solve, and to be critical friends and partners during quarterly meetings.

For more information regarding the APD process, please contact Jordan Dueis at 773-4716.

Committee of Practitioners – An ESEA Requirement of Each State

South Dakota, along with every other state, maintains a Committee of Practitioners (COP) as defined in Section 1903(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Committee members serve in an advisory capacity and are appointed by Secretary Schopp to fill three-year positions as defined in the Federal statutes.

The committee is composed of teachers, administrators, parents, school board members, private school representatives, other educators, and pupil services personnel such as counselors. Members are also chosen based on regional representation, plus involvement in Title supported programs such as migrant, homeless and neglected/delinquent.

Each state has a State Plan for implementation of the requirements of Title I defined in Section 1111(c)(11) of ESEA. The COP provides input into the plan including the ESEA Waiver and Waiver Amendments, Focus and Priority School Guidance, Academy of Pace Setting Districts, SD LEAP (Indistar©), Multi-Tiered System of Support, and all Title I related programs.

The committee meets in person twice a year in the fall and in June. Phone call meetings are held as needed. Minutes of past meetings may be found at http://doe.sd.gov/oess/cop.aspx

As an advisory committee, members are not compensated for their time, however, all expenses are paid. If you are interested in serving on the committee or want more information, contact Shannon.Malone@state.sd.us. Along with other areas of representation, the committee is seeking additional parent representation. Self-nominations are appropriate or districts may wish to nominate someone to the position. The Department Secretary has final authority on appointment.

To find an application, a list of current members, and committee guidelines go to http://doe.sd.gov/oess/cop.aspx

SD LEAP- An Online Tool for Planning Improvement

Several schools throughout South Dakota will be utilizing the SD LEAP (Indistar®) program this school year. SD LEAP is a web-based tool that guides a district or school team in charting its improvement efforts and manag­ing the continuous improvement process. SD DOE provides a framework for the process and each district team and school team applies its own ingenu­ity to achieve the results it desires for their students. The teams will meet monthly and assess, plan, and monitor indicators of effective practice. The system is built to allow the teams to submit forms, such as their goals and objectives, directly to the DOE with the click of a button. The system also has a feature called Wise Ways, research based briefs, which assist the teams in determining their current level of implementation towards indicators of effective practice. Agendas and meeting minutes can be recorded directly in the system and it archives all documents to be seen at a later date.

SD LEAP was piloted with three School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools during the 2011-12 school year. Since then we have added our Priority and Focus Schools and a few optional participating schools to engage in the process. Currently we have six districts meeting with a District Leadership Team to assess and plan district indicators of effective practice. We have a total of 66 schools meeting with a School Leadership Team to assess and plan school-level indicators of effective practice- 32 Focus school, 25 Priority, and 9 Optional schools.

For more information, please visit www.indistar.org or contact Shawna Poitra at 605-773-8065 or by email at shawna.poitra@state.sd.us.

September Attendance Awareness Month

Attendance is important from the time students enter school to the time they exit. September is Attendance Awareness Month and Attendance Works has a variety of ideas to provide schools, parents, and communities. Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes better policy and practice around attendance. Their website has a variety of useful information including webinars, banners and poster ideas, toolkits, and policy information. Check out this good resource at www.attendanceworks.org.


Assessment and Accountability Reporting

Just a reminder: schools should have the report/letter out to parents within 30 days of the start of school. If districts/schools sent out letters or email notifications to parents, please be sure to have documentation to show how that information went to parents. If you have any questions, call Betsy Chapman at (605) 773-4712 or for more information go to http://doe.sd.gov/oess/TitleI.aspx.

Schools in Motion

These days, it seems like everything is about the Common Core State Standards. The CCSS Mission Statement articulates that “the standards are designed to be robust and relevant to the real world, reflecting the knowledge and skills that our young people need for success in college and careers.” With that in mind, in the fall of 2012, the Family Math Night planning team at Black Hawk Elementary School thought that a “Math in the Real World” themed family math night would be a perfect way to educate families about the CCSS, while still providing a fun evening.

We organized 10 stations, each one developed around a math concept used in a hobby or occupation. We invited volunteers from various companies or agencies to work with teachers at the stations. With community volunteers from the construction industry, students learned to make scale house drawings. A game warden from the Department of Game, Fish and Parks helped students explore what happens when ponds are overfished, to measure and weigh fish to determine if they are “keepers,” and to figure out the number of deer tags that should be given out in a season. Our school liaison officer helped students to measure skid marks from toy cars as part of accident reconstruction. At the bank, local bankers worked with students to count money and to make bank deposits and withdrawals. At the pizza restaurant, students created and used a pizza fraction model. At the veterinary clinic, they counted out dog treats and measured an appropriate amount of dog food for different sizes of (stuffed) dogs. In the garden, students counted seeds and calculated the area and perimeter of different-sized gardens. Students also had the opportunity to create quilt block designs and to practice their cooking skills as they measured ingredients to make pudding and flavored milk. Families could also visit the computer lab to engage in simulations of how math is used in the real world (e.g., restaurants, stores, etc.).

Feedback from students, their families and community members was positive. It was amazing to see how engaged the families were as they explored the way math is used in the real world. Math=Relevant=Fun

Kim Webber, Math Teacher Leader, Black Hawk, SD


New Title I Directors/Coordinators Training
    Sept. 26, 2013 - Pierre, SD
    8:30–11:30 a.m. (CST) or 1–4 p.m. (CST)
    MacKay Conference Room 5

Training will be for Title directors with 3 years of experience or less.
CE Contact Hours : 3
To register, go to: https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/Public/Course/Browse#{%22ViewListType%22:%22Grid%22,%22Page%22:1,%22PageSize%22:10,%22OrderByField%22:%22CourseStart%22,%22OrderByDirection%22:%22Ascending%22,%22CourseActiveState%22:%22Current%22,%22MainCategory%22:%22%22,%22SubCategory%22:%22%22,%22SubCategoryIsSubSub%22:false,%22Text%22:%22%22,%22DateFrom%22:null,%22DateUntil%22:null,%22CancelState%22:%22NotCancelled%22,%22CoursePopout%22:0}

WIDA Training: Lesson Planning with ELLs in Mind – ELD Standards in Action
    September 24-25, 2013, Sioux Falls (Ramkota Best Western)

Registration: 8:00-8:30 a.m., Training: 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Breakfast/Lunch not provided) This WIDA two-day workshop is designed as an intermediate level training for school teams (1-administrator, 1-ESL teacher and 2-3 classroom teachers). Registration is limited to the first 60 applicants, so please submit your school team’s registration as soon as possible!

All participants are expected to bring:
1) WIDA 2012 ELD Standards books – purchase or download/print
2) ELP levels for a grade level group of students they will be working within 2013-14
3) an assignment/task/assessment they have recently used or will be administering

If you have already registered or would like to register, email Shannon Malone (shannon.malone@state.sd.us) to confirm your spot in this training.

Schoolwide Conference
    Oct. 22, 2013 – Americ Inn Ft. Pierre

The South Dakota Department of Education will be hosting a Schoolwide Conference for eligible Targeted Assistance Title I schools planning to operate a schoolwide program. This conference is mandatory if a targeted assistance school will be planning and operating a new schoolwide program next year.

Three required steps to develop a schoolwide program

The first step is to contact Dawn Smith at SDDOE to inform Title Programs of your interest in schoolwide programing. The building principal, or designee, must email Dawn Smith to register for the schoolwide conference.

The second step is for the school to commit to spending the school year developing a plan. The schoolwide planning team will lead the school in the planning process.

The third step is to bring a team to the schoolwide conference. Title I staff are offering the schoolwide conference at the Americ Inn in Ft. Pierre October 22 from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Each school planning to develop a schoolwide program must bring a team, consisting of an administrator, teachers(s) Title I staff, parent(s), and/ or community or board members.

Certain requirements must be met for a school to be eligible to operate a schoolwide program. A Title I school may operate a schoolwide program only if a minimum of 40 percent of the students in the school, or residing in the attendance area served by the school, are from low-income families. Schoolwide program planning begins with the formation of a planning team, which explores the benefits of establishing a schoolwide program, identifies strategies and goals, and presents a proposal to teachers, administrators, and others in the school community.

The schoolwide conference will be a working day for schoolwide teams to work with school support team and department staff to begin the process of developing their schoolwide plan.

The schoolwide guidance is available at: http://doe.sd.gov/oess/TitleI.asp#sec1114

Any questions contact Dawn Smith at (605) 773-2535.

National Title I Conference
    Feb. 2-5, 2014 - San Diego, CA

The event is a professional development opportunity for those working with Title I programs across the country.

The National Title I Conference brings together curriculum directors, principals, superintendents, classroom teachers, teacher educators, education companies and federal programs coordinators.

2013 Closer Connections Conference: Journey to New Heights
    Oct. 7-8, 2013 - Sioux Falls

The 2013 Closer Connections Conference is a two-day conference organized by Lutheran Social Services-Refugee& Immigration Center and Dakota TESL (Teachers of English as a Second Language). This conference will equip teachers, administrators, social workers, volunteers and others interested in learning more about: Refugees and Immigrants, Non-Native English Speaking Students, Cultural Diversity, and Refugee Mental Health. The conference will be held at the Holiday Inn City Centre in Sioux Falls on October 7-8, 2013. For more information, please contact: Lutheran Social Services of Sioux Falls. 605-731-2000.