Title I Administrator:

Greetings! My name is Shannon Malone and on December 9, 2012 I began my new role within the Title office as the Title Programs Administrator. As we begin a new year, I’m very pleased to have a great team surrounding me as we continue our work in the various Federal programs that fall within this office. We all look forward to working with you in 2013! Contact me at (605) 773-6509 or e-mail Shannon.malone@state.sd.us

Office of Educational Services and Support New Division Director

Hello everyone,

For those hard working educators that I haven’t had the opportunity to meet in my last ten plus years of working in the Department of Education, my name is Ann Larsen. On October 9, 2012 I took over as Director for the Division of Educational Services and Supports. I have been with the department since 2002. I have worked in the areas of special education assessment, Title III and most recently as the state director for special education. I am looking forward to this new adventure. We have knowledgeable, passionate and dedicated people working in the department, especially within our federal programs staff and I’m so excited to have this opportunity. Hope you had a great holiday season and have a wonderful new year.



Programs for Priority and Focus Schools

Under South Dakota’s ESEA flexibility waiver, SD DOE identified priority and focus schools for the 2012-2013 school year. The schools identified will be using two specific programs within SD DOE.

Districts with at least one priority school will be participating in the Academy of Pacesetting Districts during the 2012-13 school year. Last school year (2011-12), SD DOE piloted this program with three districts- Sioux Falls, McLaughlin, and Todd County- during Cohort 1. This year we have two more Cohorts of districts - Cohort 2 includes White River, Shannon County, and Oelrichs School District and Cohort 3 includes Smee, Hitchcock-Tulare, and Willow Lake School District.

The two cohorts of districts started the Academy in November with a 2 day kick-off meeting. Both groups have completed their first Distance Learning Session, and will complete two more Distance Learning Sessions before wrapping the program up with a Summative meeting in June. Each district is provided a mentor by the SD DOE that will guide them through the process. The goal is to achieve efficient and effective district policies, programs, and practices to enhance growth in student learning through differentiated supports to schools.

Both Priority and Focus schools will be participating in SD LEAP (Indistar®). 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.

SD LEAP was piloted with three School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools during the 2011-12 school year that are continuing their work during the 2012-13 school year. Currently we have six districts (with at least one priority school) assessing district indicators of effective practice through the Academy of Pacesetting Districts. SD DOE has 31 Focus Schools, 7 Priority Schools, and 1 optional school assessing school level indicators.

If you have any questions on the Academy of Pacesetting Districts or would like more information, please contact Betsy Chapman at (605) 773-4712.

If you have any questions on SD LEAP or would like more information, please contact Shawna Poitra at (605) 773-8065.

McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Liaisons

The 2012-13 South Dakota School District contact list of McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Liaisons is now available at: http://doe.sd.gov/oess/documents/MVcontact.pdf.

Unaccompanied Youth in Homeless Situations

South Dakota school districts are increasingly aware of students who are in unstable living conditions. Many older youth are living in a transient state as they are moving from home to home living “doubled-up” with their friends and families. These youth have no permanent home, no financial resources, and lack a strong support system. The school may be the only stable area of their lives.

McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Liaisons are charged with identifying these students and eliminating barriers to school. Liaisons must insure immediate enrollment/full participation (24 hours). School personnel must contact the school district liaison immediately when a student is identified as potentially in a homeless situation. The district liaison may contact the SD DOE with any questions at (605) 773-2491 or at email Laura.Johnson-Frame@state.sd.us. For information on commonly asked questions about unaccompanied youth, go to: http://www.doe.sd.gov/oess/newsletter/2013/winter/documents/QAunacYouth.pdf.


NCLB, Title I, Part A, Sections 1114 and 1119

Definition: A school with at least 40% low-income is eligible to plan and implement a schoolwide program (SWP). A schoolwide program must upgrade the entire educational program in the school in order to raise academic achievement for all students. A schoolwide program:
• Is based on one year of planning and is built on schoolwide reform strategies, rather than on separate add-on services.
• Provides flexibility in spending Federal, State, and local funds as long as the school engages in strategies that increase the amount and quality of learning time and help provide a high-quality curriculum for all children, according to a comprehensive school improvement plan or a SWP plan to help children meet Kentucky’s standards.
• Focuses on results. The flexibility in the use of funds must result in increased achievement.

Eligible Children: In a schoolwide program the school is not required to identify particular children. All children are to be provided the opportunity to meet the academic expectations. The focus is on the instructional program instead of particular children.

Needs Assessment: As a part of comprehensive school improvement and SWP planning, the school conducts a needs assessment of all children in the school based on their performance toward meeting the academic expectations. The needs assessment should identify priority needs in student performance in core areas of instruction. The priority needs identified must determine how resources are used.

Components of Schoolwide Program: There are 10 components in a schoolwide program, the schoolwide plan must include these components in its program. The schoolwide program must:

1. Be based on a comprehensive needs assessment of the entire school that is based on information on the performance of children in relation to the content standards.

2. Engage in schoolwide reform strategies that:
• Provide opportunities for all children to meet proficient and advanced levels of student performance;
• Are based on effective means of improving children's achievement that strengthen the core academic program;
• Use effective instructional strategies that are based on scientific research that increase the amount and quality of learning time (such as extended school year, before- and after-school and summer programs); help provide an enriched and accelerated curriculum; and meet the educational needs of historically underserved populations;
• Address the needs of all children in the school, but particularly the needs of student populations and determine how these needs are met. 3. Provide instruction by highly qualified professional staff.

4. Provide for high quality and on-going professional development for teachers and paraeducators, parents, principals, and other staff to enable all children in the schoolwide program to meet the state’s challenging academic standards.

5. Include strategies to attract high-quality, highly qualified teachers to high-need schools.

6. Include strategies to increase parent involvement such as family literacy services.

7. Use strategies for assisting children in transition from early childhood programs to public elementary schools.

8. Include teachers in the decisions regarding the use of assessments to provide information on and to improve the achievement of individual students.

9. Ensure that students who experience difficulty mastering any of the standards will be provided with effective, timely additional assistance.

10.May coordinate and integrate Federal, State, and local services.

Teachers in a Schoolwide Program: The focus of a schoolwide program is to raise the performance level of all students by improving the overall instructional program in the school. Each Title I school must provide each parent timely notice that the child has been assigned, or has been taught for four or more consecutive weeks by, a teacher of a core academic subject who does not meet the highly qualified requirements. Each year the principal of a Title I school must certify in writing that the school is complying with NCLB’s mandate for highly qualified teachers. Regardless of funding, all teachers:
• Must meet the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) definition of “highly qualified;” (All teachers including special education teachers hired in a schoolwide program who teach core academic subjects must be highly qualified.
• Must address identified needs through the comprehensive needs assessment; and
• Assist the school in increasing the effectiveness of the staff, parents, community and agencies in improving the school’s performance.

Paraeducators in a Schoolwide Program: In a schoolwide program, paraeducators may be used to assist with instruction to students. NCLB requirements apply to all paraeducators with instructional duties in a schoolwide program. Regardless of funding, all paraeducators with instructional duties must:
• Be highly qualified under NCLB requirements:
• Be included in professional development activities.
• Be under the direct supervision of a teacher who has primary responsibility for providing instructional services. The following is considered to be direct supervision of a teacher:
- The teacher prepares the lessons and plans the instructional support activities the paraeducator carries out and evaluates the achievement of the students with whom the paraeducator is working; and
- The paraeducator works in close and frequent proximity with the teacher.

A program where a paraeducator provides instructional support and a teacher visits a site once or twice a week but otherwise is not in the classroom would be inconsistent with the requirement that paraeducators work in close and frequent proximity to a teacher. A program where a paraeducator works with a group of students in another location while the teacher provides instruction to the rest of the class would also be inconsistent with the requirement that paraeducators work in close and frequent proximity to a teacher.

Because paraeducators provide instructional support, they should not be creating lessons for whole group instruction or introducing new skills, concepts or academic content to the whole class. Paraeducators working in a schoolwide program may:
• Participate in general professional development and school planning activities;
• Provide one-on-one tutoring at a time when a student would not otherwise receive instruction from a teacher;
• Provide assistance in a computer lab;
• Conduct parent involvement activities;
• Act as a translator; or
• Provide instructional services to students under the direct supervision of a teacher.

For further questions regarding Title I Part A Schoolwide Programs contact Dawn Smith at (605) 773-2535.


Schools in Motion

Articles in this section highlight ideas shared by South Dakota Educators. Thank you to the teachers who are willing to share great ideas from their classrooms!

Reading over the summer is beneficial, isn’t it? There’s research out there to prove it. I had the opportunity to attend the IRA conference in Chicago in the spring of 2010 and listened to two ladies who had research on the summer reading loss that happens during June, July and August. Deborah Carlberg and Patty Sullivan presented their research and had a solution titled, Reversing the Summer Reading Loss. They were gracious enough to share all their ideas and handouts with me. I took their idea and implemented it last summer for 26 struggling readers at May Overby Elementary in Aberdeen.

The premise of the program is that before the students left school in May, they choose eight books (at their reading level) which I mailed to them (one at a time) throughout the summer. I was fortunate enough to have the financial backing of my district to be able to order the books to make this happen. Once books were ordered, the process began.

Students were chosen based on observations and reading scores. They were the struggling readers. Once identified, parent permission slips were sent home, signed and returned to me. Students then got to choose the eight books they wished to read. Books were a mixture of fiction and non-fiction and were at the students’ reading levels. The day school let out, I put their first package in the mail.

In each student’s package along with their book, was a postcard with specific family participation guidelines and strategies. Once students completed their book they had to fill out the postcard and drop it in the mail (it was pre-stamped). I was the recipient of that postcard. Once I received it, I knew to send them their next package. The process continued for up to eight books. This accountability process was essential to keeping communication between the students and me.

The students were thrilled to be able to pick out the books before school let out last spring. I gave them time to look them over and put them in the order they wished to receive them. Once received, the books were the student’s to keep. When it was all said and done, I put books into students’ hands that may not have had the chance to get them otherwise.

Kelli Helms, Reading teacher, Aberdeen, SD


Flexibility Waiver and New accountability System

As part of South Dakota’s ESEA flexibility waiver, the SD Department of Education has generated a list of schools identified as reward, priority, and focus schools for the 2012-13 school year. The list is based on the new accountability system which includes a 100-point School Performance Index (SPI) that consists of multiple indicators to measure a school’s performance. For this school year, Elementary and Middle/Junior High schools could earn up to 80 academic achievement points (40 for math and 40 for reading) and 20 points for attendance. High Schools could earn up to 50 academic achievement points (25 for math and 25 for reading), 25 high school completion points, and 25 college and career readiness points (based on scores). Additional indicators and measures will be added in the 2014-2015 school year.

Within the SPI calculation, points are given for two groups: the Gap Group and Non-Gap Group, and points are weighted according to the size of the group. The Gap Group is an aggregate count of student subgroups in the state that have historically experienced achievement gaps. The SD Department of Education analyzed three years of state assessment data to determine the composition of the Gap Group which includes: Economically Disadvantaged Students, Students with Disabilities, Limited English Proficient students and Black or African American, American Indian or Alaska Native, and Hispanic/Latino students. Students who do not fit into any of these categories are counted in the Non-Gap Group.

The new accountability system classified three groups of schools: Reward, Priority, and Focus. Reward Schools are schools within the top 5% of all schools based on the SPI. Priority Schools are schools whose SPI places them within the bottom 5% of all Title I schools. Focus Schools are Title I schools that are contributing to the achievement gap.

Schools whose rank is among the lowest 10 percent of Title I schools across the state when looking at Gap group performance in achievement and attendance at the Elementary/Middle school level and in achievement and graduation rates at the High School level are identified as Focus Schools. In the future, schools who have one or more subgroups performing significantly lower than the Gap group as a whole for two years in a row may become Focus schools, and Title I and Title I eligible High Schools whose graduation rates are below 60% for two years in a row may be assigned Priority school status.

Schools who have been designated as Focus schools participate in a one year improvement process while Priority schools must implement focused interventions for at least three years. The SD Department of Education has provided schools with coaches and School Support Team members to help guide them through this process.

To see a list of schools and their SPI scores and classifications, go to: doe.sd.gov/secretary/spi.aspx. For more information contact Abby Javurek-Humig at (605) 773-4708.