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SD Department of Education November 2014  

TIE learning specialist Jennifer Nehl discusses instructional coaching in reading. View video at: http://youtu.be/HZdmIyjigS4? list=UUyELvhISGHZs5cb _MT2RFeQ
“5 in 45” key to instructional coaching in reading
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 reading program. Reading support is offered to teachers of grades K-3.

This reading program focuses on five core reading skills. For those districts not involved in the instructional coaching program, the PD Menu of Options offers a Foundational Reading Skill training which covers these same five core skill areas:
• Phonemic awareness
• Phonics
• Fluency
• Vocabulary
• Comprehension

Throughout the school year, instructional coaches provide teachers five days of PD in a group setting. Each day of PD focuses on a different core skill. Coaches then observe teachers in the classroom and work with them one-on-one to reinforce the PD. Coaches are learning specialists from ESAs. The program is based on the Teaching Reading Sourcebook, by Bill Honig, Linda Diamond and Linda Gutlohn. This text includes a wide variety of activities teachers can use in their classrooms, though they are also welcome to use existing classroom resources and implement the core skills within them.

The PD and instructional coaching in reading are based on two goals:

1) Teachers deliver 45 minutes of core instruction to all students, with no student being pulled out during those 45 minutes of Tier 1 instruction.

Within those 45 minutes, one or more of the five core skills should be addressed. While students cannot be pulled out, they do not all need to be doing the same activities. Students may be engaged in structured partner reading, choral reading, a response journal, or other activities reinforcing that core skill initially introduced.

Keeping all students together for this 45-minute period is intended to help students learn from each other. For instance, a student who is very fluent may struggle with comprehension, while a less fluent student may excel in comprehension. Each of these students can benefit from working together.

It is important to note that the teacher may still work specifically with groupings of high, middle and low achieving students at other times throughout the day. Students may also still be pulled out of the classroom at other times. The key is that all students receive 45 minutes of core instruction together.

2) Classroom teachers are the ones administering DIBELS or aimsweb assessments to their students. This is intended to help teachers better understand individual student needs. By digging into this data themselves, teachers should have a clearer idea of where each of their students is struggling, achieving at grade level or excelling. This should help teachers more effectively differentiate instruction and lead to discussions for Tier 2 and 3 strategic planning.

At the beginning of the instructional coaching process this fall, coaches assisted teachers with data digs of DIBELS or aimsweb assessment results. Coaches and teachers will perform two more data digs—one in the winter and one in the spring—to gauge student progress.
Board of Education to hold hearing on proposed rule related to principal effectiveness
The Board of Education will consider a proposed administrative rule that establishes performance standards for principals, as well as requirements for evaluation. Go to: http://doe.sd.gov/board/documents/1114Hearn.pdf to read the proposed rule. Find out how to submit public comment at: http://doe.sd.gov/board/documents/1114Rules.pdf. The hearing on this proposed rule does not change the fact that the department has decided to delay the timeline for implementation of principal effectiveness. To access updated timelines and more information related to educator effectiveness, go to: http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/tpe.aspx.

Dual credit enrollment for spring 2015 open now
Registration for spring 2015 dual credit courses at technical institutes is open now. Registration for spring dual credit courses at Board of Regents schools begins Nov. 17. For more information, go to: http://www.sdmylife.com/educators/advanced-education-opportunities/.

American Education Week is Nov. 16-22: Raise Your Hand for Student Success
Thank you to everyone who plays a vital role in the success of South Dakota students: teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and school board members. You are all helping prepare our state's students for college, career and life. Enjoy the week and let’s celebrate public education!


Faulkton dual credit students
Students navigate frontier between high school and postsecondary with dual credit
This fall, students and educators are navigating an exciting frontier between high school and postsecondary with reduced cost dual credit courses. Across the state, approximately 1,100 high school juniors and seniors are taking college-level courses at the rate of $40/credit hour.

Hands-off instruction
While students can attend courses on university or technical institute campuses, distance and scheduling needs prompt many to take the courses online. That’s the case in Faulkton and Jones County, where teachers Nikki Melius and Carmen Miller praise their students’ independence and initiative. As their schools’ dual credit facilitators, the two see themselves primarily as sounding boards.

In Faulkton, Melius says, “After they get enrolled in their course, I am the one that occasionally will release a test or give information from their professors, but besides that, it’s just a lot of conversation with my students. They’re not even really ‘mine,’ I guess.”

Melius explains that while school districts coordinate enrollment, once courses begin, students have campus advisors and work directly with their instructors. This requires an adjustment to the more hands-off nature of online college-level instruction. Students primarily ask questions of instructors via email or text.

Faulkton student Cole Baloun says, “It’s different learning. Like, math, it’s coming from a classroom where your teacher’s standing up there and writing on the white board and if you don’t understand, you can say, ‘Hey, can you go through this with me?’ And now you’re kind of on your own, but you get used to it.”

Balancing high school and postsecondary
Students must also juggle schedules. For instance, Baloun recently found himself taking a test in his dual credit course on a day when his high school wasn’t in session.

In Jones County, Miller requires students to maintain a weekly log that helps them track their high school schedule alongside their dual credit schedule. She says students have appreciated the tool. Both districts want to ensure dual credit students successfully mesh the two schedules and don’t feel separated from the traditional high school experiences of their peers.

Time management
College-level work also demands students effectively manage their time. “It’s kind of a learning curve to change, because you go from having daily assignments to, ‘Okay, this is what you have for these next two weeks. Get them done,’” says Kaci Clement, a junior in Faulkton.

Faulkton senior Maddy Aesoph agrees: “You have to manage your time a lot better.” She acknowledges it can be tempting to procrastinate.

“They really feel like they have autonomy, like they’re in control of their own coursework,” Miller says. “Because we’re a small school, this program is allowing us to challenge our students in ways we couldn’t before.”

Both districts have been working to communicate with students and parents about what it takes to succeed in a dual credit course. As Melius notes, the prospect of avoiding a high school course can be intriguing to students, and the significant cost savings appeal to students and parents alike. But it’s important that both parties understand the level of rigor involved.

“These students are now our best advocates for the program because they’re very honest and they’ll tell fellow students that there are a lot of benefits, but it does change your learning,” says Melius.

Before a student enrolls in a dual credit course in Jones County, his or her parents must meet with appropriate staff members and sign forms outlining distance learning methodology and behavior expectations. Students sign the forms as well.

Policy decisions
As the name implies, dual credit means that students earn both high school and postsecondary credit. It is up to local districts, though, how much credit students earn at the high school level. For instance, in Faulkton, administrators have consulted the South Dakota Board of Regents and gotten local school board approval, to have a dual credit composition course count as one credit of senior English at the high school level.

Future implications
Because ACT scores are one way in which students can qualify to enroll in dual credit courses, staff at Faulkton and Jones County anticipate students will start taking the ACT earlier in their junior year.

And as more students continue to take more dual credit courses, some college freshmen will begin entering postsecondary institutions with a different perspective from their predecessors.

“Something we’ll learn more as a district, is counseling students what to take,” says Melius. “We want the process to be seamless for them, interesting and beneficial for them academically. And we want them to be with their peers once they get on campus.”

To learn more about dual credit, go to: http://www.sdmylife.com/educators/advanced-education-opportunities/. Registration for spring 2015 dual credit courses at technical institutes is open now. Registration for spring dual credit courses at Board of Regents schools begins Nov. 17.

Georgia Morse Middle School students play kickball
Kayaking, disc golf and clean houses help Georgia Morse win award
At Georgia Morse Middle School in Pierre, staff members are encouraged to maintain wellness calendars, which are logs of their daily exercise, including everything from walking and jogging to bowling, yard work and housecleaning. At the end of the month, they can turn in the calendars for a chance to win prizes, and at the end of the school year, a cash award is given away.

Efforts like this have helped the school earn the bronze-level Healthy School Award from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Georgia Morse is currently the only South Dakota school to achieve the recognition.

In September, Troy Wiebe traveled to Washington, D.C., to accept the award on the school’s behalf. Wiebe was the principal at Georgia Morse last year and led the school’s efforts to earn the award. He is now the district’s director of education.

As Wiebe explains, wellness has been an important part of the school’s culture for a long time, with health and physical education prominent among class requirements. PE classes emphasize lifelong wellness with activities like kayaking and disc golf.

Current Georgia Morse principal Kyley Cumbow says the goal is an overall healthy climate for students and staff. With activities like a fall dodgeball tournament, March Madness basketball tournament and Girls on the Run, the school aims to involve all students—athletes and non-athletes. Once per quarter, a student group called Youth 2 Youth also arranges afterschool events like basketball shootarounds and inflatables.

The bronze award gave the school a goal to help galvanize and expand its efforts. The school already had a wellness committee, but now it meets more often (monthly). Members hope to add student and parent representation by the end of January. Current members include teachers, the principal, school nurse, a secretary and a member of the kitchen staff.

Cumbow says that this year, the committee is applying for two grants. One is called the UNI Project (http://www.bethenextuni.com/), a $10,000 grant that would be used to augment 7th grade family and consumer science classes with instruction on making fruit and vegetable smoothies. The grant pays for fresh produce and equipment to make the smoothies.

The other grant would be used to provide staff aerobic activities to participate in before or after school.

Healthy messages are hard to miss at Georgia Morse. On the digital message board outside, TV monitors, posters and banners in the hallways, and murals in the gym and lunchroom, positivity abounds. Even Friday morning announcements feature health trivia questions.

“The school really has done a nice job of bringing all the pieces together and organizing it,” Wiebe says. “Student health is important. Staff health is important.”

Of course, for a goal-setting place like Georgia Morse Middle School, a bronze award begs the question, can the school earn silver? Gold? “That’s the discussion we’re having,” says Cumbow.

Go to: https://schools.healthiergeneration.org/ to learn more about the Alliance for a Healthier Generation’s Healthy Schools Program.
Principal runs marathon at school
On Oct. 10 in Aberdeen, May Overby Elementary principal Mike Neubert ran 26.5 miles (http://www.aberdeennews.com/news/local/school-principal-in-aberdeen-runs-miles-as-part-of-promise/article_14f3df8c-92b1-565e-a137-06328eafc514.html) around the playground as part of the school’s Fuel Up to Play 60 (http://www.fueluptoplay60.com/) kickoff.

DOE Blog: Common Core enhances ‘Camp Math a lot’
Read about how Tammy Jo Schlechter is helping her students develop deep understanding in math at sddoe.blogspot.com. Schlechter is a middle school math teacher in the Custer School District. She was a candidate for 2014 South Dakota Teacher of the Year.

DOE employee Ann Larsen honored as Friend of SDASP
Ann Larsen, director of educational services and support for the Department of Education, has won the first-ever Friend of SDASP Award. SDASP stands for South Dakota Association of School Psychologists. Ann was recognized for her advocacy for South Dakota children, as well as her acknowledgement of the important role that school psychologists play in the education of children. Congratulations, Ann!
Upcoming Events

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

Board of Education meeting
Nov. 17, Pierre

The South Dakota Board of Education is scheduled to meet at 9 a.m. (CST) in the Library Commons, first floor of the MacKay Building, 800 Governors Drive. The first of four public hearings will be held related to content standards adoption in the area of social studies. The second of four public hearings will be held on proposed content standards in the areas of science, fine arts and K-12 educational technology.

The board will also consider a proposed administrative rule that establishes performance standards for principals, as well as requirements for evaluation. Read the proposed rule at http://doe.sd.gov/board/documents/1114Hearn.pdf. To find out how to submit public comment, go to: http://doe.sd.gov/board/documents/1114Rules.pdf. The hearing on this proposed rule does not change the fact that the department has decided to delay the timeline for implementation of principal effectiveness. To access updated timelines and more information related to educator effectiveness, go to: http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/tpe.aspx.

An agenda will be posted at doe.sd.gov/board at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Steps to Success: Creating a Healthier Environment for Students to Learn and Staff to Work
Nov. 17, Pierre

Interested in creating a healthier school environment? Developing and/or enhancing your school wellness policy?

Register now at https://apps.sd.gov/Applications/DE49TrnTracker/Secure/AvailableClasses.aspx to attend training on promoting healthy eating (focusing on Smart Snacks in Schools (http://www.fns.usda.gov/healthierschoolday/tools-schools-focusing-smart-snacks)), increasing physical activity in the classroom, and the importance of health promotion for staff.

The training, sponsored by the South Dakota Departments of Education and Health in collaboration with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, will feature the AHG’s national nutrition and physical activity advisors.

The training will be held from 8:30 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at Red Rossa, 808 West Sioux Avenue, in Pierre. Participants will be reimbursed at state rates for meals, mileage, lodging and substitute teacher pay. A block of rooms has been reserved at state rates at the Ramkota Hotel, (605) 224-6877 and the Governor's Inn, (605) 224-4200.

Go to: http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2014/nov/documents/StepstoSu.pdf for more information or contact Karen Keyser (Karen.keyser@state.sd.us) or Kari Senger (kari.senger@healthiergeneration.org).

Career and Technical Education Program Improvement meetings
Dec. 1-5, various locations statewide

The South Dakota Department of Education’s Division of Career and Technical Education will be hosting a series of program improvement meetings for district CTE teams. Districts with approved CTE programs are required to attend one program improvement meeting in order to meet federal Perkins requirements for program improvement. The program improvement meeting takes the place of the Progress Report and PIP form school districts have submitted to the office in the past. A team of individuals, including CTE teachers, the Perkins coordinator, a school administrator and the school counselor, should plan to attend. At least two members from each district CTE team must be in attendance in order to meet the requirement.

During the meeting, district teams will review historical CTE performance in order to inform future priorities and set goals. The goals developed at the meeting will be submitted to the Career and Technical Education Office.

Go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/ to register. Search by course title.

Regional Meetings 2014: Career Exploration
Dec. 2-5, various locations statewide

The South Dakota Department of Education's Division of Career and Technical Education is partnering with the State Library to host School Library Regional Meetings during the first week of December. From those "What do you want to be when you grow up?" conversations with preschool and elementary students to high school Capstone experiences, career exploration is important to guide students of all ages as they prepare for college, career, and life.

During this year's regional meetings, you will learn how school libraries can provide a wealth of resources to help students along the way. The regional meetings, hosted at South Dakota's four technical institutes, will serve as a platform to plan for career exploration for all grades. Each meeting will include training on SDMyLife by Regional Career Development Specialists and a showcase of free online resources provided by the State Library for all grades as they learn about careers, develop skills, and practice for exams. Participants will also receive a tour of the technical institute.

All librarians are encouraged to bring a teacher along to this year's regional meetings to open doors to classroom collaboration. Join us for this opportunity to engage in conversations and learn ways to incorporate these resources into library lessons and partnerships with classroom teachers.

Go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/ to register. Search by course title.

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