Opportunity Scholarship makes impact
A Board of Regents report says the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship has positively impacted students’ preparation for college.

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Adequate yearly progress:
Deadlines and changes to 2009-10 determination process

With summer upon us, district leaders should be gearing up for the annual determination of adequate yearly progress. Please be aware of the upcoming deadlines, which were e-mailed to superintendents last month.

--The final submission date for 2009-10 student data is June 11. A district’s AYP calculation will be based upon the information that has been entered (or failed to enter) into the Infinite Campus system by this date.

--The district superintendent must complete the AYP sign-off document e-mailed last month and return it to the Department of Education by June 18.

--There are two changes regarding this year's AYP calculation that districts should be aware of:

1) South Dakota’s graduation rate goal is 85 percent (rather than 80 percent), effective immediately. That means a school and district grade span that includes grade 12 will be expected to meet or exceed the state’s graduation rate of 85 percent or improve its graduation rate over the previous year by a minimum of at least two percentage points in order to make AYP for the “other academic indicator.” This decision came directly from the U.S. Department of Education as a result of new Title I regulations.

The South Dakota Department of Education will continue with the same method of calculating graduation rate that we have used for the last several years. The plan is to move to the new Title I four-year cohort graduation calculation beginning with the 2010-11 school year.

2) South Dakota will increase its minimum N size from 10 to 25 for all student groups when making accountability determinations. The change will bring South Dakota more in line with surrounding states such as Nebraska, Iowa, Montana, Minnesota and Wyoming, which have similar N size requirements for accountability. Under this scenario, AYP for schools with an "all student group" of less than 25 students will be determined on an annual basis by the department's small school audit process. The N size for public reporting will remain at 10.

Questions regarding these changes can be directed to the department’s Data Management Office at (605) 773-3248.