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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JAG program expanding in South Dakota

Jobs for America’s Graduates aims to prevent dropouts among young people at risk through guided mentoring and targeted training. The program’s success rate is impressive, and now it is expanding in South Dakota.

Dr. Julie Ray of Florida, with the national JAG organization, recently offered a training session in Pierre for school specialists and principals. Rapid City and Bennett County schools are new to the program this year. JAG programs were already in place in Wagner, Todd County and Lake Andes schools. The training provided technical assistance for JAG specialists implementing new programs or continuing existing ones.

JAG is one of the South Dakota Department of Education’s strategies for addressing college and career readiness for all students.

“This program gives our at-risk students the one-on-one attention they need. It changes lives,” said South Dakota Secretary of Education Melody Schopp.

(left to right): Tatiye Jensen, Lake Andes;
Dr. Julie Ray, JAG Trainer