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Letter from the Secretary

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SD Department of Education February 2015  

February is CTE Month

    • CTE Month focuses on CTE Innovators
    • CTE program applications for SY 2015-16
      due March 2
A message for students from
the Governor: Consider a
CTE course
Governor joins with legislative leaders to create task force to study education funding
Gov. Daugaard is joining with legislative leaders to create a Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students. The task force will reevaluate the current funding formula. It will collect and analyze data, engage with stakeholders and seek public input. The task force will make recommendations to the 2016 State Legislature for reform.

Board of Education holds first reading of proposed accountability rule changes
The Board of Education held a special meeting Jan. 29 to address several items, including the first reading of proposed updates to accountability rules (ARSD 24:55). These proposed changes stem from the changes made to South Dakota’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver, approved by the U.S. Department of Education last summer.

Consortium-wide SBAC field test results available
Jan Martin, assessment director for the South Dakota Department of Education, gives an overview of consortium-wide Smarter Balanced field test results.

Activity picks up at the Capitol
As the 2015 legislative session shifts into full gear, a number of education-related bills have been posted, including HB 1092, which would establish a rural school teacher recruitment assistance program. HB 1093 seeks to give parents the ability to opt students out of the statewide assessment. SB 164 would require that students take a civics test in order to graduate. Track these and other bills at legis.sd.gov.
Webinars replace spring assessment roadshow
Instead of a statewide roadshow covering all tests in daylong workshops, the South Dakota Department of Education is hosting a series of webinars for Smarter Balanced, Dakota STEP Science and NCSC assessments. District testing coordinators are strongly encouraged to attend the webinars. Registration is required and space is limited.
Feds release guidance on education of English language learners
The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice recently issued joint guidance to assist state education agencies, school districts and all public schools in meeting their legal obligations to ensure English language learners can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs and services. For your convenience, here are links to these documents:
    • Dear Colleague letter
    • English Language Learner Toolkit
    • Fact sheet for parents
Summer Food Service success story: Hill City School District
The South Dakota Department of Education’s office of Child and Adult Nutrition Services is seeking sponsors and sites for the Summer Food Service Program. The program is meant to help low-income children who lose access to school meals during the summer months. The Hill City School District became a Summer Food Service site for the first time in summer 2014.
Search is on for District Teachers of the Year
Spring will soon be here and with it comes the selection of District Teacher of the Year recipients. It’s now time to start seeking nominations for this honor. Districts can determine their own methods for selecting winners, but nomination forms should be made available to teachers, parents, students, school support professionals and the general public through multiple avenues and formats.
JAG Student Leadership Conference held in Rapid City
JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) students recently gathered in Rapid City for a leadership conference. Breakout session topics included leadership, youth engagement, team building and communication skills. Students also participated in a contest to design a new logo for JAG-South Dakota.
Nominate a school resource officer who’s making a difference
The South Dakota Association of School Resource Officers is asking school administrators and counselors to nominate individuals for the School Officer of the Year Award. Nominations must be postmarked by March 13. Click here for more information and a nomination form.
Upcoming Events

Click here for a complete listing of events.

Board of Education meeting
March 16, Sioux Falls

Steps to Success: Creating a Healthier Environment for Students to Learn and Staff to Work
March 23, Pierre

Civil Rights Regulations: Target - Education Settings
June 9, Rapid City
June 10, Aberdeen
June 11, Sioux Falls

Click here for a printable version of this newsletter.

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