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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Dec. 2015  

Board of Education passes new administrative rules

The Board of Education passed several administrative rule changes at its Nov. 16 meeting. Below is a summary of each. Following the legislature’s rules review process, these rules should become effective in January 2016 (unless otherwise noted).

End of course exams: Changes to ARSD 24:43 eliminate the requirement that a student taking a high school course from a qualified teacher before 9th grade pass a state-approved assessment before credit can be awarded. This allows the local school district to determine whether the student has met the criteria for passage of the course and awarding of credit. The changes also remove the Department of Education from approval of end of course exams (although the department does plan to continue to offer EOC assessments in Algebra I, Algebra II, Geometry, Spanish, Physical Science and Civics/Government that districts may use).

Questions? Contact Christina Booth to set up test administration or Jan Martin for other questions. Please note that districts still need to apply for waivers if they plan on offering credit before grade 9. Contact Laura Scheibe with questions regarding waivers.

Summer credit: A proposed rule that would have required districts to accept credit for summer courses taken from an accredited school system was not adopted by the board.

Public school accountability: Changes to ARSD 24:55 update certain components of the state’s accountability system. The changes make the rules consistent with changes made to South Dakota’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver over the last two years. This document provides the simplest summary of the changes. If you look specifically at the items in the “2015-16” column, they represent the primary changes approved by the board in November (e.g., incorporating additional years of state assessment data into the Achievement indicator, applying the Academic Growth indicator, etc.) This PowerPoint presentation provides more information regarding the new Academic Growth indicator.

Questions? Contact Laura Scheibe.

CTE certification: Changes to the CTE certification process passed by the board provide more consistency in certification options across career clusters, while offering school districts more flexibility in how teachers are certified. This graphic is a summary of the changes. Questions? Contact Erin Larsen. Highlights:

   • Changes to the alternative certification route help ensure new teachers
      have strong content knowledge and additional support for developing
      their skills as a teacher.

   • Teachers use industry experience, coursework or a state certification
      exam to demonstrate content knowledge. A CTE methods course
      and mentored internship will be required of new CTE teachers.

   • Rules will not go into effect until July 1, 2018; however, if teachers meet
      the requirements of the new rules prior to then, they can earn certification
      under the new rules.

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