Dakota STEP testing begins
The Dakota STEP testing window has opened. Test administration began April 2 and must conclude by April 20.

April is School Library Month
Spring is a good time to celebrate school libraries – and to recognize the contributions that library staff make in improving educational outcomes for students.

i3 Fund grants announced
The U.S. Department of Education has issued notices inviting applications for “validation grants” (up to $15 million) and “scale-up grants” (up to $25 million) through the Investing in Innovation, or i3, Fund. School districts, groups of schools, and non-profits organizations in partnership with districts and schools are eligible to compete for these grants, with applications due May 29. Grant awards will be made to those with the strongest proposals for expanding promising or effective educational practices to improve learning.

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Q&A answers Common Core training questions
Find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to the Investing in Teachers Common Core training. State-sponsored training is designed for teachers of English language arts and/or math. May 1 is the deadline to register.

High schools must begin offering either Capstone, Service Learning
Beginning in school year 2013-14, South Dakota high schools will be required to offer either a Capstone Experience or Service Learning, as part of the state’s minimum graduation requirements. Is your high school ready?

Check status of any waivers now
Districts should review the status of any current waivers from administrative rule and make any necessary applications soon.

Educator recognition: Shine a spotlight on your “best and brightest”
School administrators: If you have an educator who represents South Dakota’s best and brightest, we want to hear from you.

School library survey will collect data by district
On April 1, the South Dakota State Library opened the annual school library survey to collect data for the 2011-12 school year.

Nominate Driver of the Year, recognize long-time drivers
The South Dakota School Transportation Association is seeking nominations for Bus Driver of the Year.