Mary Stadick Smith, SD Department of Education's Operations and Information Director, speaks about the department's plan for assessment for the 2013-14 school year.

Districts will have flexibility to use alternate teacher evaluation systems

The South Dakota Board of Education has passed rules that would provide school districts flexibility to use their own teacher evaluation systems, as long as those systems align with the South Dakota standards for teaching, are research based, and include a valid measure of student growth.

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Blue Ribbon Schools announced

The U.S. Department of Education has announced its 2013 Blue Ribbon Schools, a distinguished group of 290 schools across the country that includes four from South Dakota:

• Faulkton Elementary
• Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary, Mitchell
• Harvey Dunn Elementary, Sioux Falls
• St. Joseph School, Pierre

Kudos to these four schools!

Blue Ribbon schools are selected for their overall academic excellence or their progress in improving student achievement. The National Blue Ribbon Schools award honors public and private elementary, middle, and high schools where students perform at very high levels or where significant improvements are being made in students’ levels of achievement.

A total of 420 eligible schools nationwide may be nominated, with allocations determined by the numbers of K-12 students and schools in each jurisdiction. The U.S. Secretary of Education invites nominated schools to submit an application for possible recognition as a National Blue Ribbon School.

U.S. Ed will honor all of this year’s National Blue Ribbon Schools at a recognition ceremony Nov. 18-19 in Washington, D.C.