Thoughts on Common Core
A column by Gov. Dennis Daugaard

Jan Martin, with the department’s Division of Assessment and Accountability, talks about this spring’s Field Test of the Smarter Balanced assessment

Legislative session under way
Click here for more information on bills DOE is tracking.

ELL student population growing Second story in a series on English Language Learners (ELLs) in South Dakota. Click here for more information.

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Upcoming Events

CTE Program Improvement Follow-up:
• Business & Industry Partnerships
• Dual Credit & Industry Certifications
• Reading & Math Skills for the CTE Classroom
• Work Based Learning
• District Collaboration

Sessions offered Feb. 10-14, online

These two-hour webinars are follow-up to the CTE Program Improvement meetings held in November 2013. Participants from approved CTE programs will be reimbursed for substitute teachers. Following each webinar, two $1,500 Perkins reserve grants will be awarded to assist districts in implementing their program strategies. Participation in a webinar is required prior to applying for a grant.

Click here for more information.

**Common Core
• 6-12 Math Module 5 & 6
• K-5 Module 5 & 6
• 6-12 ELA Module 5 & 6
• Literacy in History/Social Studies, Art, Music, World Language
• Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects

Various dates and locations statewide

**These are repeat sessions of training previously offered by the Department of Education.

Click here for more information.

Building a Standards-Based Report Card 101
Feb. 13 and June 3, Rapid City
Feb. 20 and June 5, Sioux Falls
Feb. 26 and May 21, Mobridge
Feb. 27 and June 9, Mitchell
March 10 and June 3, Aberdeen
March 11 and June 3, Fort Pierre

The South Dakota Department of Education is offering an opportunity to learn the essential steps in building an effective standards-based report card. This training will get your school/district on the right track to implementing a standards-based report card. It will focus on purpose, help align standards to student learning, and assist in recording students’ progress and achievement based on standards. The intent is to offer one approach to developing a standards-based report card through thoughtfully planned efforts and practical ideas.

The training will be on the two separate dates listed for each location with time allotted in the interim to work on the report cards (homework for obtaining 1 graduate credit).

Click here for more information.

Smarter Balanced Pre-Test Workshop
Feb. 24, Rapid City
Feb. 25, Pierre
Feb. 26, Aberdeen
Feb. 27 and 28, Sioux Falls
March 4, Rapid City
March 5, Oacoma
March 6, Watertown

These workshops will provide district and school testing coordinators with the training and resources they need in order to administer the Smarter Balanced assessment in 2014. Dakota STEP Science details and an update on all other upcoming assessments will be provided. Click here to register.

Common Core Literacy Standards for CTE Teachers
Feb. 26, Chamberlain

This session will provide Career & Technical Education teachers with strategies to implement Common Core literacy standards in the classroom, using cluster-specific assignments and activities. CTE teachers with all levels of experience with the Common Core standards are encouraged to participate. Participants will need to bring a laptop equipped with Internet Explorer. Continuing education hours will be available.

Click here for more information.

FERPA: Data Sharing
Feb. 26, online
Feb. 27, online

The South Dakota Department of Education and experts from the U.S. Department of Education will team up to offer a series of webinars on the Family and Educational Rights and Privacy Act. All webinars will be offered twice and recorded. Districts are encouraged to send questions ahead of time to This webinar will focus on FERPA rules related to data sharing.

Click here for more information.

Dakota STEP Assessment – Colony Schools
March 10, Huron

This workshop will address all aspects of the paper/pencil administration of the D-STEP in reading and math. Materials will be distributed at this workshop. A district representative from each of the districts using the paper/pencil alternative in 2014 must attend.

Click here for more information.

CTE Standards Implementation
March 12, Watertown

This CTE Standards Implementation training is designed for those who are new to teaching approved Career & Technical Education courses or those who are looking to revamp current courses.

Throughout training, participants will learn about the latest South Dakota labor market projections in their content area, evaluate current course offerings and align courses to appropriate CTE standards. By the end of training, participants will complete at least one course's curriculum plan and receive guidance on doing the same for other courses.

This training would also be useful for school administrators who want to learn more about the knowledge and skills students should master within the approved CTE program(s) at their school/district. Administrators and teachers could work together on program and curriculum planning throughout the day.

The training is scheduled from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. local time. Please bring a laptop and any course materials you would like to reference (online content subscriptions, course syllabi, unit outlines, current curriculum map, lab/project outlines, texts or manuals, etc.).

Schools with approved CTE programs who send teachers to training will be reimbursed for substitutes and for mileage. Participants will receive continuing education hours. Career Cluster Specialists from the Department of Education will be on hand to guide participants through the standards implementation process and to answer questions.

Click here for more information.

School Health Guidelines training
March 17, Pierre

The “School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity” training is fast approaching. This free event will be held from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, March 17, at the Kings Inn Conference Center in Pierre. Physical education and health teachers, school nutrition directors, school health council members, administrators, community members, policy makers, parents, and students are all encouraged to attend.

The School Health Guidelines training is designed to help schools develop or enhance school wellness policies, create healthier school environments and promote healthy eating and physical activity. Each local educational agency that participates in the National School Lunch Program or other federal child nutrition programs is required by federal law to establish a local school wellness policy for all schools under its jurisdiction. For school year 2013-14, districts are encouraged to continue reviewing and assessing their local wellness policies and implementing the new requirements which include accountability for local school wellness policy implementation, assessment, and public updates.

The School Health Guidelines, developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provide evidence-based guidance for schools on how to most effectively promote the health of children and adolescents aged 5 to 18 years.

Sponsors include the South Dakota Departments of Education and Health and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation - South Dakota. For more information, call Karen Keyser, Health and Physical Education Specialist, South Dakota Department of Education at (605) 773-6808.

Meals, mileage, lodging and substitute teacher pay will be reimbursed for up to three people per school district or agency. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Kings Inn. Call (605) 224-5951 by March 3.

Click here for more information and to register.

Special Education Conference
March 25-26, Pierre

The 2014 South Dakota Special Education Conference (formerly the CEC Conference) will feature state-of-the-art, innovative and creative best practices to promote college, career and life readiness for all students. Filmmaker Dan Habib will be the keynote speaker. Habib’s film credits include Who Cares About Kelsey? and Including Samuel.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Disabilities, University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, and the South Dakota Department of Education Special Education Programs.

Click here for more information.

2014 National Forum on Dropout Prevention for Native and Tribal Communities
April 27-30, Prior Lake, MN

The 2014 National Forum on Dropout Prevention Strategies for Native and Tribal Communities is titled "Building Engaging Educational Communities for Native Students." Hear from nationally known keynote speakers as well as professional educators. Presentations will emphasize a variety of strategies for working with Native students who are at risk of dropping out before high school graduation. Conference strands include the following:

• Addressing the opportunity gap
• Instructional strategies to increase learning
• Emotional supports
• School climate: safety and student wellness
• Service-learning and restorative justice
• Digital communication and engagement
• Re-engagement and recovery strategies
• Culture and language

Click here for more information.

Statewide Education Conference
June 2-3, Pierre

Mark your calendars for the 2014 Statewide Education Conference to be held this June in Pierre. Featured speakers include Dr. Richard Cash and Lori Laughlin. Click here for more information.

Click here for a complete listing of events.