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Letter from the Secretary

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SD Department of Education August 2015  
Letter from the Secretary
I recently had the opportunity to visit with the candidates for 2016 State Teacher of the Year, and at the ASBSD/SASD Joint Convention, I got to touch base with a number of school administrators from across the state. These conversations have me energized for the new school year.

In that spirit, I would like to make you aware of a new publication developed by the Department of Education, entitled “Celebrating South Dakota Teachers.” This magazine highlights some of the great things teachers across the state are doing. Our goal with this publication is to elevate and raise awareness about the importance of the teaching profession and to highlight the positive things happening in South Dakota classrooms.

The magazine features many of our award-winning teachers and will be shared with teacher preparation candidates at our public universities. We will also be sharing it with legislators and educators. Public school districts will receive copies for each of their buildings.

To access the electronic version of “Celebrating South Dakota Teachers” go to http://doe.sd.gov/documents/SDTeacher.pdf.

There is much to celebrate in South Dakota public education. Thank you for all you do for students.

Have a great school year!

Schools required to submit student immunization records
State law (http://legis.sd.gov/statutes/DisplayStatute.aspx?Statute=13-28-7.1) requires schools to submit student immunization records to the state Department of Health. Principals should have received a letter from the DOH (http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2015/Aug/documents/Immunization.pdf) outlining instructions for submitting records. The mailing also included a memo explaining changes to access the South Dakota Immunization Information System.

Report Card Pre-Appeal window closes Aug. 14
Now is the time for districts to review accountability data, prior to public release of the data on Sept. 21 to the state Board of Education and the State Report Card going live on DOE’s website Sept. 22. It is critical that districts’ accountability teams take time to review the data carefully, so any errors can be addressed prior to public release.

Board of Education approves intermediate math endorsement
The state Board of Education has approved the creation of an intermediate math endorsement. It creates a pathway for individuals who are teaching lower-level math courses only (Algebra I and II, Geometry) to earn the endorsement and teach those courses. The high-school level option, which allows the individual to teach upper-level math courses as well, remains intact.

Submit directory information by Sept. 15
It’s time to complete the Verification of Educational Directory in order to prepare the school directory for school year 2015-16. Ensuring this database is accurate is important, because directory information appears on the Department of Education website, and is used by the department to communicate with administrators. An email on this topic was sent to superintendents and Education Structure/Directory contacts on Aug. 4.

The data collection program is accessible at https://apps.sd.gov/DP42LaunchPad/Logon.aspx. Login information is the same as last year.

Please take the time to review and update data as soon as possible. For step-by-step instructions go to http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2015/Aug/documents/Instructions.pdf.

Collection of this data will conclude Tuesday, Sept. 15.

For more information, contact Jennifer Rattling Leaf, South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-4703 or jennifer.rattlingleaf@state.sd.us.
District-level Teachers of the Year to be honored at Systems Change Conference
District-level Teachers of the Year from across South Dakota will be honored at a banquet hosted by the South Dakota Department of Education during the annual Systems Change Conference, Oct. 14-16, at the Cedar Shore Resort in Chamberlain.

The department will cover conference registration, lodging and meals during the conference for your district’s 2014-15 Teacher of the Year. The banquet will be held the evening of Oct. 15. This is a great opportunity to recognize and reward your district-level Teacher of the Year for always going the extra mile.

Please provide us with the name of your 2014-15 district-level Teacher of the Year by Sept. 1, so we can invite him or her to the annual banquet. To submit the information electronically go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BJ3M7QM.
Reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act
In July, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Student Success Act (H.R. 5), and the Senate passed the Every Child Achieves Act (S. 1177). Next, a conference committee will be appointed to negotiate a compromise bill. The Council of Chief State School Officers has compiled an in-depth overview (http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2015/Aug/documents/CCSSO.pdf) of each of the bills and how they compare to current law and waivers.
Reminder: Opportunity Scholarship funding amount increased
The amount of the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship has increased from $5,000 to $6,500 for students first receiving a scholarship after July 1, 2015. For more information go to http://sdos.sdbor.edu/.
Future teachers among recent scholarship recipients
Forty new South Dakota high school graduates have been awarded Dakota Corps scholarships (http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17990) to pursue careers in critical-need occupations, including teaching, within the state. Twenty-five South Dakota college students have been awarded the Critical Teaching Needs Scholarship (http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17991), which supports future teachers who plan to serve in critical-need teaching areas.
What did your students do at summer camp?
Thanks in part to funding from a Governor’s CTE Grant, students in the Yankton area learned about the healthcare field this summer. The Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center puts on Certified Nursing Institutes (http://yanktonruralahec.org/?page_id=333), which are day camps for students ages 16-19. AHEC partners with area school districts for this and other CTE programming.

Grant funding paid for a June institute, for which students from the Avon, Bon Homme, Gayville-Volin, Irene-Wakonda and Yankton school districts were eligible to apply. During the 2014-15 school year, grant funding also helped make it possible for AHEC to offer Certified Nursing Assistant training to students from these school districts. These trainings were again offered during the summer of 2015.

“Career and Technical Education gives students real-world skills they can apply to their future careers,” says Yankton High School principal Dr. Jennifer Johnke. “The regional CNA trainings provide students with the training and certification needed to pursue a career in a high-need area of the workforce.”

“Healthcare is the fastest growing employment sector not only in South Dakota but across the U.S.,” says Yankton Rural AHEC executive director Sandy Viau-Williams. “We partner with high schools to widen students’ expectations regarding healthcare careers and provide valuable hands-on learning.”

Johnke recommends other districts explore opportunities for partnerships within their communities: “The partnerships we have developed in the Yankton School District with Yankton Rural AHEC, Yankton Area Progressive Growth, Mitchell Technical Institute and the Regional Technical Education Center over the past few years have opened so many doors and built a foundation from which we can grow.”
Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events can be found at http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/.

IEP Process in Action
Aug. 18-Oct. 2, various locations statewide

This training is designed to provide an overview of criteria used in the special education process. Participants will review the special education process to think about how the whole team can be involved in the IEP process. Participants should bring a hard copy or a downloaded copy of the current IEP Technical Assistance Guide. Registration is limited to 50 participants.

Go to http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com to register. Search by course title. Contact Arlene Maxfield at the South Dakota Department of Education, (605) 773-3678 or Arlene.Maxfield@state.sd.us, with questions.

Board of Education
Aug. 24, Rapid City

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet at the South Dakota Department of Transportation Area Office, 2300 Eglin St., in Rapid City, at 9 a.m. MDT. A public hearing will be held related to content standards adoption in the area of social studies. An agenda will be posted at http://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Template.aspx?id=32 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

IEP Back to Basics
Aug. 24, Aberdeen
Sept. 11, Sioux Falls
Sept. 24, Rapid City

This training is designed for teachers with less than three years of special education experience wanting to learn more about special education referral to placement. During this training, participants will review all of the forms as they follow the special education process from referral through consent, evaluation, eligibility, IEP development and parental prior written notice. Participants should bring a hard copy or a downloaded copy of the current IEP Technical Assistance Guide. Registration is limited to 50 participants.

Go to http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com to register. Search by course title. Contact Arlene Maxfield at the South Dakota Department of Education, (605) 773-3678 or Arlene.Maxfield@state.sd.us, with questions.

SD Graduation Requirements FAQs
Aug. 27, online
Sept. 2, online

This course will highlight some of the most commonly asked questions about South Dakota graduation requirements.

Go to http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com to register. Search by course title. Contact Andrea Diehm at the South Dakota Department of Education, (605) 773-4150 or Andrea.Diehm@state.sd.us, with questions.

Northern Plains Law Conference on Students with Disabilities
Sept. 22-23, Rapid City

This is a new conference that will cover special education legal issues, including the latest information from due process hearings, circuit court cases, OSEP/OCR (Office of Special Education Programs/Office of Civil Rights) guidance letters, and basic IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) procedural requirements. It is designed for general/special education staff, administrators, state/school district attorneys, state education department staff, related services staff, parents and other stakeholders.

For more information and to register go to http://www.cvent.com/d/4rq15w.

2015-16 School Turnaround Kick Off
Oct. 5-6, Pierre

The South Dakota Department of Education is hosting a fall kick-off event for 2015-16 Focus and Priority schools at the Ramkota Conference Center in Pierre.

Sam Redding, from the Academic Development Institute, will be the keynote speaker. Dr. Redding provides expertise in the areas of:

• School management
• Social and emotional learning
• Family-school relationships
• School improvement
• Factors that affect student learning

The Department of Education will sponsor all Focus and Priority schools to send a School Leadership Team to the kick-off to begin planning for the 2015-16 school year. Registration information and more will be coming soon.

Contact Jordan Dueis, South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-4716 or jordan.dueis@state.sd.us with questions.

16th Annual Systems Change Conference
Oct. 14-16, Chamberlain

This year’s Systems Change Conference (http://www.systemschange.midwestmaple.org/default.htm) will be held at the Cedar Shore Resort in Chamberlain. This is one of the region’s premier professional development events for educators. On the evening of Oct. 15, the 2016 South Dakota Teacher of the Year will be announced during a special recognition banquet. Graduate credit and DOE contact hours are available.

For more information about keynote speakers Kathleen Cushman and Denise Ryan go to http://www.systemschange.midwestmaple.org/content/KeynoteSpeakers.htm.

For information on submitting proposals for breakout sessions go to https://bhssctie.wufoo.com/forms/2015-systems-change-call-for-proposals/.

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