2014 Statewide Education Conference

For more information and to register, see Upcoming Events!

Title I Data Retreats

In the past, school level data retreats meant meeting as a whole staff to disaggregate data down to the student level and defining bubble students. Some schools evolved the process in to “data digs” where only student achievement was looked at, forgetting that there are three other lenses of data that should be involved in a data retreat. In today’s world of Focus and Priority schools, SPI scores, increased emphasis of student growth and an overall understanding of the programs available at schools, the evaluation and use of data is even more important than ever. To make the continuous analysis of data to drive instructions more effective, the previous ways of looking at data during a two day data retreat has changed so there is a smooth integration of looking at the four lenses of data (http://doe.sd.gov/oess/newsletter/documents/Align4Len.pdf) aligned with the Seven Turnaround Principles (http://doe.sd.gov/oess/newsletter/documents/7Turnarou.pdf), creating Student Learning Objectives and implementing other initiatives.

The use of data to drive interventions and instructional change is critical to ensure differentiated instruction and relevant interventions are taking place in the schools. School/Building Leadership Teams should now be the decision makers in the school, using relevant and current data to drive what is happening in the school. The South Dakota DOE is offering several ways for schools to engage in continuous data analysis: 1) School level, two-day data retreats; 2) professional development lead by ESAs; and 3) classes on using data to guide school improvement and/or instruction. For more information, please contact the SD DOE.

New Cohort of School Improvement Grants (SIG)

The South Dakota Department of Education is currently in the process of reviewing School Improvement Grant (SIG) Applications for a new Cohort of schools. The new Cohort will begin implementation of the grants starting July 1, 2014 and will receive funds for three years, ending on June 30, 2017.

The School Improvement Grant is a competitive grant available to the currently designated priority and focus schools. The competition opened on February 6 and applications were due on March 24. The districts applied on behalf of the schools, so the application process included both a district-level application and a school-level application. In order to apply, each school chose one of four intervention models to implement, which include the Turnaround Model, Restart Model, Closure Model, and Transformation Model. An outside panel is reviewing applications and providing recommendations based on a rubric.

Awards for this cohort are expected to be announced around May 1. For questions, please contact Shawna Poitra or Jordan Dueis at (605) 773-6400.

Consolidated Application Update

The 2014-15 Consolidated Application (CA) will be open soon. There are minimal changes to the application this year. It will be due, in a substantially approvable format, July 1, 2014. There will be webinars scheduled soon for those new to completing the CA and for veterans of the process, as well as for small districts with fewer than 1000 students and for those with more than 1000 students.

Please contact Betsy Chapman at (605) 773-4712 or Jordan Dueis at (605) 773-4716 if you have had, or will have, changes in personnel such as the Business Manager or Superintendent. There are certain steps to change the users in the system that are slightly different for those two positions.

Title I Annual Parent Meeting

Each year, Title I programs are required to host a meeting for parents to explain what the Title I program is and how parents can become involved in the Title I program. At this meeting, the following items must be addressed:

- Explain their school’s participation in Title I
- Explain the Title I requirements
- Explain what participation in Title I programming means, including:
     - A description and explanation of the school’s curriculum;
     - Information on the forms of academic assessment used to measure student progress; and
     - Information on the proficiency levels students are expected to meet.
- Explain the district parental involvement policy, school parental involvement policy, and school-parent compact.
- Explain the right of parents to become involved in the school’s programs and ways to do so.
- Explain that parents have the right to request opportunities for regular meetings for parents to formulate suggestions and to participate, as appropriate, in decisions about the education of their children. The school must respond to any such suggestions as soon as practicable possible.
-Explain how the school will work to develop partnerships with families and communities and how the school will support two way communications between school and home.

In order to keep parents informed, schools must invite all parents of children participating in Title I Part A programs and encourage them to attend. In a school-wide program, this means ALL parents should be invited. Schools must also offer a flexible number of additional parental involvement meetings, such as in the morning or evening so that as many parents as possible are able to attend.

Did You Know?
Title I & Title III

Title III helps ELs attaint English language proficiency, so they may access the conventional curriculum and obtain the knowledge and skills to meet state academic standards, while Title I supports the teaching and learning of at-risk students, including ELs, in order to meet academic standards developed by the state?

Title III can only provide language services that are above and beyond both the district’s basic program for ELs and those provided with Title I funds? (Schoolwide Title I programs ensure all students, particularly the lowest-achieving students, improve their academic performance without regard to subgroup or demographic membership. In a targeted assistance program, students are identified for services on multiple educational criteria, and only the most at-risk students are served.)

As long as students remain in the LEP subgroup in Title I regardless of whether ELs attain proficiency under Title III, they must continue to be eligible for Title III services and must participate in the state’s annual ELP assessment, as required under Title I? In order for a student to exit LEP status, the student must attain a 4.7 composite, Reading 4.5 and writing 4.1 on the ELP assessment, ACCESS.

For more information regarding Title III, please contact Yutzil Rodriguez at yutzil.rodriguez@state.sd.us.


Schools in Motion

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

Sharing Lessons Learned: Timber Lake High School – National Title I Distinguished School, National Blue Ribbon Nominated High School

We have a variety of avenues in which we can share the resources of our school. One of our top resources is obviously our staff. Teachers Watching Teachers is a new program that has been implemented this past school year. Each teacher was required to choose two of their colleagues, one within their content area and one outside their area, and schedule a time to observe a lesson taught by another teacher. The goal of this assignment was for teachers to see different instructional styles and strategies to use in their own classrooms. We have many top notch teachers, including the South Dakota Teacher of the Year. It is vital to tap the valuable teacher resources that we have at our fingertips.

In-service time has also been used to share within the district this year. Teachers work in Professional Learning Communities (PLC’s) and are broken into groups based upon content area and grade level. Within these groups, teachers can share effective instructional strategies with each other as well as have vertical teaming discussions to alleviate gaps between grade levels.

Other districts have also been able to benefit from the resources within our district. We have hosted teachers from neighboring districts and offered to allow them to come in and shadow our teachers. Our high school science teacher has presented to a variety of groups throughout South Dakota and the entire United States and shared her expertise in a curriculum called NMSI (National Math and Science Initiative). In the special education department, our resource room teacher will present at our state conference on Student Led IEPs and how they can impact the education of students with disabilities. Our superintendent has presented information on several of the programs that our school and district utilizes on both a state-wide and national stage including the Lakota Education Conference and National Indian Impacted Schools Associations National Conference.

Our district is remotely located in north central South Dakota and we have to often think outside the box to discover ways to bring in expert speakers and resources through videoconferencing and internet resources. We are fortunate to have a school board that supports and understands the need to share successes and proven strategies with other educators and districts to improve the education of all children.

- Julie Marshall, Principal

Robbinsdale Elementary School Data Teams In July of 2010, Robbinsdale Elementary sent 9 teachers and 1 administrator to the Douglas Reeves Data Team conference in Littleton, Colorado. Data Teams at all 6 grade levels were enthusiastically established upon the return of this cadre of leaders. Three years later, we are going strong and are continuously improving our process.

The most important work that we have recently completed was thoroughly unpacking all of the CCSS in math and literacy as they related to specific grade levels. (Question 1: What do you want students to learn?) You really cannot start data team cycle work until you have answered this question. Pacing guides were set up and followed according to the RCAS district literacy and math departments. Robbinsdale data teams then designed and implemented roadmaps for each trimester in literacy and math. This GVC (guaranteed and viable curriculum) is now the cornerstone of our data teamwork.

We have been creating effective and efficient CFA’s (Common Formative Assessments) after attending another Doug Reeves conference on writing these important assessments in the summer of 2011. Now every week, we follow the data team process:
1. Collect and chart/display the data (See attached photo of Robbinsdale Dashboard)
2. Analyze data and prioritize needs
3. Set review and revise incremental SMART goals
4. Select common instructional strategies to be employed to address the learning challenges discovered in Step Two
5. Determine results indicators. These serve as a monitoring tool for the team.

The focus of the grade level data teams is extraordinary! An agenda is set forth and followed with fidelity at every collaborative meeting. You can sense the professionalism of our teams and you can sense the camaraderie of staff as they exchange ideas and challenge one another.

This continuous improvement cycle, in which we use data to improve our teaching and student learning, has been instrumental in our continued success of staying out of school improvement and continuously raising our state test scores. (At one time, Robbinsdale was at a level 3 in DSTEP and listed as a school in need of improvement.)

We now know that we are finally working SMARTER not HARDER!

- Patricia Hamm, RCAS District Principal

Summer Reading Program 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

ESEA SD Support and Planning Guide

This is a self-help guide to required documentation and certain program requirements under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

Download at doe.sd.gov/oess/newsletter/2014/spring/documents/ESEASup14.pdf

Seven Turnaround Principles/Four Lenses of Data

Download at doe.sd.gov/oess/newsletter/2014/spring/documents/7Turnarou.pdf


Data Retreat Facilitator Training
    May 21 & 22 – Pierre, SD
–    Library Commons - MacKay Building, 800 Governors Dr.

This two day training course is for ESA staff or educational consultants who are interested in being data retreat facilitators for Title I schools. The certification fee for the course is $150. Please register at tie.net/DOEretreat no later than May 9, 2014. Please contact Betsy Chapman at (605) 773-4712 for more information.

Regional Data Retreats     May 29-30 – Pierre SD – Capitol Lake Visitor’s Center
    June 11-12 – Pierre SD – Capitol Lake Visitor’s Center
    June 18-19 – Sioux Falls, SD – Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel & Convention Center
    July 28-29 – Sioux Falls, SD – Best Western Plus Ramkota Hotel & Convention Center

Two day data retreats for Focus and Priority school leadership teams. Space is limited. Please contact Betsy Chapman at (605) 773-4712 for more information or register at https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com. The data retreats are listed under Regional Data Retreats.

2014 Statewide Education Conference
    - June 2-3, 2014 – Pierre, SD - Ramkota

Featured Speakers:
Dr. Richard Cash – Advancing Differentiation: Thinking and Learning for the 21st Century

Lori Laughlin – The Essential Conversation: What Parents & Teachers can Learn from Each Other

Go to: http://doe.sd.gov/documents/14Statew2.pdf for more information
To register, go to: http://doe.sd.gov/documents/ConfRegis.docx.

Call Dawn Smith for more information – (605) 773-2535