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SD Department of Education December 2014  
 
 
Letter from the Secretary

We are gearing up for the 2015 legislative session. In his recent budget address for FY 16, Gov. Daugaard proposed a 2 percent increase in state aid to K-12 education.

In addition to education funding, we expect assessment to be a hot topic again this year. Misunderstanding persists surrounding the new standards in ELA and math, and the Smarter Balanced assessment, and some legislators may again seek to provide an avenue for parents to opt students out of the test. If such legislation is proposed, we will stand firmly against it.

As we all know, student proficiency on the new statewide assessment is likely to look different than in the past. It is of the utmost importance to communicate with parents this is expected and normal. We are testing students on more rigorous standards, and it will take them time to adjust to higher expectations.

The Smarter Balanced assessment will also provide a more meaningful picture of what students know and can do by asking them to do much more than fill in bubbles. ELA portions of the test require students to not only read, but to write, speak, listen and research. Math portions cover concepts and procedures, problem solving, modeling/data analysis, and require students to communicate their reasoning.

Does that sound more difficult than the previous statewide assessment? Yes. But do those tested skills also sound like ones students will need to thrive in the post-secondary world and careers? Absolutely. And that’s what matters most.

Certainly, the conversation about teacher shortages and teacher pay will loom large in the discussions as well. We will try to keep you updated as the session progresses.

Best wishes for a peaceful holiday season!

 

Shawn DeWitt and Roxane Dyk discuss instructional coaching in math. View video at: http://youtu.be/OnNWGTBMx3M
Coaching aims to deepen students’ thinking about math
The South Dakota Department of Education is offering targeted professional development and instructional coaching in foundational math and reading skills for 21 districts this school year. This month, we are focusing on the math program. Math support is offered to teachers of grades 4-8.

Throughout the school year, instructional coaches provide teachers five days of PD in a group setting. Coaches then observe teachers in the classroom and work with them one-on-one to reinforce the PD. Coaches are learning specialists from ESAs. Several math coaches have extensive experience with the South Dakota Counts program. The instructional coaching program utilizes the book 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions by Margaret S. Smith and Mary Kay Stein.

Coaching consists of five components:

1. Designing math lessons in three “acts” (launch, explore, communicate) to develop a classroom with strong student discourse through the incorporation of the five practices defined by Smith and Stein:
Anticipating likely student responses to challenging mathematical tasks.
Monitoring students’ actual responses to the tasks (while students work on the tasks in pairs or small groups).
Selecting particular students to present their mathematical work during the whole-class discussion.
Sequencing the student responses that will be displayed in a specific order.
Connecting different students’ responses and connecting the responses to key mathematical ideas.

2. Strengthening the use and type of deeper level questioning.

3. Implementing formative assessments.

4. Cultivating classroom culture and grouping students effectively.

5. Engaging students in productive struggle and rigorous tasks.

Coaches use the following components from the South Dakota Framework for Teaching to provide teachers feedback throughout the year:
• Setting Instructional Outcomes (1c)
• Establishing a Culture for Learning (2b)
• Using Questioning and Discussion Techniques (3b)
• Engaging Students in Learning (3c)

For those districts not involved in the instructional coaching program, educators can gain understanding of math concepts through the trainings offered on the PD Menu of Options. The menu options are Understanding Number Concepts & Cognitive Guided Instruction, Concepts of Rational Numbers: Fractions, Decimals, and Percents, and Proportional Reasoning.

At the beginning of the instructional coaching process this fall, coaches assisted teachers with data digs of assessment results. Coaches and teachers will perform two more data digs—one in the winter and one in the spring—to gauge student progress.
 
 
 
 
HOT TOPICS
Schools would receive 2 percent increase under budget proposal
Gov. Dennis Daugaard proposed a 2 percent increase in state aid to K-12 education during his budget address earlier this month. This increase is 0.5 percent higher than the CPI, and raises the per student allocation to $4,876.76.

To achieve the increase beyond the CPI, the Governor recommends funding for the Technology in Schools budget, payments to sparse school districts, and statewide assessment costs be included as an additional component in the state aid formula. By including these items in the state aid formula, the cost for these programs will be partially offset by local effort, allowing the state to fund the additional 0.5 percent increase.

Due to strong student response, the Governor has requested additional funding for reduced cost dual credit courses for the remainder of FY15 as well as increased funding for the program in FY16.

The proposed budget package also includes one-time funding to expand the JAG program and an increase of the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship from $5,000 to $6,500 for a four-year term per recipient.

To access more detailed information, go to: http://bfm.sd.gov/budget/rec16/index.htm.



Achivement Levels
Jan Martin, with the department’s Division of Assessment and Accountability, talks about achievement levels and cut scores. View video at http://youtu.be/FLsj4JO0a-g
Smarter Balanced achievement level cut scores approved by consortium
The Smarter Balanced consortium states met Nov. 14, and approved the achievement level cut scores (1, 2, 3, 4) for the assessment. In the processes leading up to this approval, South Dakota had almost 70 individuals who participated in the online achievement level setting, and 10 who participated in the face-to-face process. To access the press release regarding the achievement level setting, go to: http://www.smarterbalanced.org/news/smarter-balanced-states-approve-achievement-level-recommendations/.

The current achievement level cut scores are estimates based on field test data. Achievement level descriptors do not equate directly to expectations for “on-grade” performance, but to the range of performance within a grade level. Below are the cut scores (or, threshold scale scores) that have been set for each grade:

Math Threshold Scale Scores

View larger document at: http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2014/dec/documents/MathScale.pdf

ELA Threshold Scale Scores
View larger document at: http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2014/dec/documents/ELAscale.pdf

The following two charts indicate the percentage of students (across all consortium states) expected to score within each level.

Math: Achievement Level Estimate
View larger document at: http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2014/dec/documents/MathEstim.pdf

ELA: Achievement Level Estimate
View larger document at: http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2014/dec/documents/ELAEstima.pdf

“Initially, we anticipate that more students will score in the Level 1 and 2 ranges than in the Level 3 and 4 ranges,” says Jan Martin, assessment coordinator for the South Dakota Department of Education. “Long-term, though, we fully expect South Dakota students will adjust to the higher expectations, and we will see more students scoring in Levels 3 and 4.”

According to Martin, the goal is for students to get to those higher ranges, because students achieving those scores demonstrate not only more thorough understanding of the standards, but the ability to apply their knowledge. Scoring in Levels 3 and 4 indicates students are on track to be college and career ready.

It is important not to make comparisons with the Dakota STEP, as the Smarter Balanced assessment measures student proficiency against a new set of standards. The new assessment sets a new baseline.

It is also important to note that the South Dakota Board of Regents plans to use 11th grade Smarter Balanced scores for placement guidelines in the future. So, if a student reaches a certain level (to be determined) on Smarter Balanced, that student can go directly into credit-bearing college-level courses. This will make the state assessment more meaningful to high school students.

Resources for communicating with parents and other community stakeholders are available at: http://commoncore.sd.gov/assessment.aspx. Items are being added to this page regularly.



Regional retreats planned to assist districts in analyzing survey data
The South Dakota Department of Education is working with ESAs to schedule regional district leadership retreats to assist districts in analyzing data from this year’s statewide survey on implementing standards, classroom best practices and components of the teacher effectiveness system. The retreats will be a time to plan for professional development and celebrate bright spots. It’s recommended that a 4-5 member district leadership team, consisting of teachers and administrators, attend.

Below are retreat dates and locations. Retreats are scheduled from 9:30 a.m-3:30 p.m. Registration is available at https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/.

Districts that would prefer a planning session for their district only, may use one of the state-sponsored days to do so.

Date Location
Friday, Jan. 9 Rapid City
Tuesday, Jan. 13 Kadoka
Tuesday, Jan. 20 Vermillion
Wednesday, Jan. 21 Sioux Falls
Thursday, Jan. 22 Mitchell
Thursday, Jan. 22 Mobridge
Friday, Jan. 23 Pierre
Friday, Jan. 23 Platte
Tuesday, Jan. 27 Watertown
Wednesday, Jan. 28 Aberdeen
Thursday, Jan. 29 Huron
Thursday, Feb. 5 Madison



Board of Education approves rules for principal evaluation and continues standards work
The Board of Education met Nov. 17 and approved proposed rules (www.doe.sd.gov/board/packets/documents/111714/Item5Doc2.pdf) for principal evaluation, which would become effective in school year 2016-17. The rules encompass six domains for professional practice for principals, as well as a component related to student growth.

Public hearings were held for four proposed sets of academic content standards: Fine Arts, K-12 Education Technology, Science and Social Studies. As expected, there was some opponent testimony related to science and social studies. Generally speaking, the opposition came from outside the education community. Hearings will continue at the board’s meeting in January.

The board also approved an updated/revised standards adoption schedule (www.doe.sd.gov/board/packets/documents/111714/Item20Docb.pdf). Per state law, the board is required to approve a schedule of standards review, as well as to approve content standards on a cyclical basis. A number of CTE standards will be up for review in the coming years, and for the next review of ELA and math, the plan is not to do both content areas at the same time.



 
 
 
 
Retention high at state technical institutes, LATI adds swine management option
The South Dakota Board of Education heard a report on state technical institute retention rates at its Nov. 17 meeting. System-wide, the rate is 76 percent, the highest it has ever been.

Read more at www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2014/1117_BOE3.pdf
 
 
 
 
DOE Blog: Editorial in Argus Leader favors proposed science standards
Dr. Jill Weimer and Liz McMillan with Sanford Research recently voiced their support for South Dakota’s proposed K-12 science standards, explaining why they believe the standards will prepare students for careers.

Read more at: http://sddoe.blogspot.com/
 
 
 
 

Dakota Valley student wins $185,000 scholarship award
Christian Pollema, a senior at Dakota Valley High School, recently won the National Academy Medical School Scholarship Challenge for his research project on Alzheimer’s disease.

Read more at: http://sdhosa.org/articles/chris-pollema-wins-185000-scholarship-award
 
 
 
 

DOE’s director of 21st CCLC wins 2014 ‘SACCY’ Award
Sue Burgard, director of 21st Century Community Learning Centers for the South Dakota Department of Education was recently honored for her work with out-of-school time programming. The ‘SACCY’ Award is given annually by the South Dakota School Age Care Alliance. Congratulations, Sue!

Read more at: http://sodaksaca.org/recognition/saccyawards/index.htm
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Events

For a complete listing of events, go to http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/.

Regional District Leadership Retreats
Jan. 9-Feb. 5, various locations statewide

The South Dakota Department of Education is working with ESAs to schedule regional district leadership retreats to assist districts in analyzing data from this year’s statewide survey on implementing standards, classroom best practices and components of the teacher effectiveness system. The retreats will be a time to plan for professional development and celebrate bright spots. It’s recommended that a 4-5 member district leadership team, consisting of teachers and administrators, attend.

Retreats are scheduled from 9:30 a.m-3:30 p.m. Registration is available at https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/

Districts that would prefer a planning session for their district only, may use one of the state-sponsored days to do so.


Board of Education meeting
Jan. 15, Pierre

The South Dakota Board of Education is scheduled to meet in Pierre. The time of the meeting and the location in Pierre are yet to be determined. Public hearings will be held, related to content standards adoption in the areas of science, social studies, fine arts and K-12 educational technology. An agenda will be posted at doe.sd.gov/board at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.


SD Invest Yr 2 School Counselor Workshop
Jan. 16-17, Mitchell

Educators are tasked with ensuring all students are college, career and life ready. As such, there is a need for middle and high school counselors to have a clear understanding of South Dakota’s current workforce priorities, labor market needs, post-secondary options and available resources to help adequately prepare students for life after high school. Stipends are available for practicing public school counselors.

To register, go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/. Search by course title.


Your First Years in CTE: 10 Things to Know
Jan. 28, Mitchell

Are you new to the world of career and technical education? If so, join this session to hear teachers from your content area share lesson plans and give you tips for navigating Perkins requirements.

To register, go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/. Search by course title.
 
   
 
 

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