Zero-interest loans for energy projects available
A new $2.8 million revolving loan fund for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects is now available to South Dakota schools.

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Preparing for the Dakota STEP

Dakota STEP-A testing is underway, and administration of the Dakota STEP will begin soon. Both testing windows were extended this year, due to the number of snow days many schools experienced.

The 2010 testing windows are: Dakota STEP-A, Feb. 1-March 19, and Dakota STEP, March 29-April 23.

“The testing process will be very similar to last year with the exception of having only four forms of the test instead of eight,” said Gay Pickner, assessment director, South Dakota Department of Education.

As in previous years, students in grades 3-8 and 11 will be tested in reading and math. Science is tested in grades 5, 8 and 11, but only participation (not scores) are counted toward the calculation of adequate yearly progress.

Districts should receive their testing materials from Pearson the first week in March. All testing must be completed within the established test window.

Throughout the testing window, Department of Education staff will visit various districts across the state. Staff will contact the district’s testing coordinator at least 48 hours in advance to discuss this visit.

Questions regarding administration of the Dakota STEP should be directed to Gay Pickner, Department of Education, at (605) 773-3247 or