Administrators - what you need to know about SD STARS implementation

Common Core info available
The Department of Education has created a fact sheet to help the general public in understanding the Common Core. More materials are being created and will be disseminated to schools in the coming months, however administrators can access this material as a resource when visiting with parents and other community members.

Lake Area Tech again an Aspen finalist
For the second year in a row, Lake Area Technical Institute in Watertown has been recognized as one of the top four two-year colleges in the country by the Aspen Institute.

South Dakota Virtual School registration now open
Registration for the 2013-14 School Year is now open on the South Dakota Virtual School. A number of new courses have been added this past year, including several dual credit options. Many of the courses give students additional advanced CTE options, which can be particularly beneficial to smaller districts.

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Secretary's Column
By Dr. Melody Schopp
Department of Education

Importance of reading in every season

Im very excited to share a little bit of information about a Summer Reading Challenge that is currently in the works.

Reading proficiency in the early grades is critical in ensuring that students leave the K-12 system ready for college and careers. It sets the foundation for all future learning. Summer learning loss, especially among our in gap group students, is one of the primary concerns for educators when it comes to early literacy, and many states are grappling over how to handle struggling readers.

In South Dakota, well be encouraging young people across the state to continue reading, at appropriate and challenging levels, over the summer months. Using their Lexile scores, and with the help of online resources, teachers and librarians will be able to help students identify books and other materials that are at an appropriate level of difficulty and aligned to their unique interests. The goal is that students will have an active list of books they can read over the summer.

Im optimistic that this Summer Reading Challenge will be a step in the right direction toward achieving our first student outcome creating students that are college, career and life ready after high school.