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Letter from the Secretary

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SD Department of Education July 2015  
Letter from the Secretary
Lunch with future teachers makes me optimistic

Each summer, the Department of Education hires interns. As you might guess, many of these college students are future teachers. Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down at lunch with the entire group of interns, and the conversation, as always, inspired me.

During the lunch, we visited about the interns’ goals and future plans. This summer, our interns’ interests run the gamut from early childhood education to special education to math education. As I talked with the interns, I repeatedly heard them express how excited they are to get out in the field, and I am happy to report that many of them are interested in staying in South Dakota.

They also shared their experiences related to South Dakota’s teacher preparation programs. For example, we have several interns who have gone through the year-long student teaching experience, which they felt more thoroughly prepared them for the next step. They also talked about some of the things they don’t feel prepared for, which helps me to see that we still have gaps between what’s being taught in higher education and what happens in K-12 classrooms.

As Blue Ribbon Task Force meetings get under way, I am hopeful that the task force will find solutions that support these young people, and many others like them, as they seek to become our next generation of educators. I am optimistic for the future of education in South Dakota, having seen the commitment, enthusiasm and potential of this year’s interns at DOE.

Dual credit numbers indicate success
In its first year, South Dakota’s low-cost dual credit program proved to be popular with students and parents. Similar results are anticipated in the 2015-16 school year. For a look at the numbers, go to: doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2015/July/documents/dualcredit.pdf.

Schopp asks for less onerous regulations on school food programs
Dr. Melody Schopp recently testified at a Congressional subcommittee hearing regarding the school lunch and breakfast programs. She asked for a reduction in the complex federal requirements associated with these programs.

Read more at http://edworkforce.house.gov/calendar/eventsingle.aspx?EventID=399091.

Board of Education to consider rule changes
Proposed administrative rule changes will be discussed at the upcoming Board of Education meeting, July 27, in Rapid City. The changes cover several areas, including creation of an intermediate mathematics endorsement. A summary of the proposed changes is below. The board also will hold a final public hearing related to proposed social studies standards (doe.sd.gov/board/documents/15PropdSS.pdf).

• The effect and purpose of changes to § 24:10:42:28 (postsecondary technical institute per student allocation) is to increase the postsecondary technical institute student allocation to the level set for fiscal year 2016 by the legislature.

• The effect and purpose of changes to § 24:15:03:04 (revoke, suspend, or void a certificate) is to repeal that section.

• The effect of changes to chapter 24:15:06 (math endorsement) is to clarify the test required to obtain a 7-12 mathematics endorsement and create a 7-12 intermediate mathematics endorsement. The purpose is to create an endorsement for qualified individuals who are teaching only lower level high school math courses.

• The effect of article 24:18 (certificate denial and discipline procedures) is to detail the procedures for the denial of an application for a certificate, the duration of an order imposing discipline, the procedures for reinstatement, and the public or private nature of disciplinary records. The purpose is to provide more detail on processes and comply with new legislation from the 2015 legislative session.

• The effect of changes to chapter 24:40:05 (tuition equalization grant program), chapter 24:40:09 (Robert C. Byrd honors scholarship program), chapter 24:40:11 (Christa McAuliffe fellowship program), § 24:43:09:05 (school term length grades 1-3), and article 24:54 (teacher compensation program) is to repeal all those provisions. The reason for these changes is that the statutory authority for these rules has been repealed by the legislature, or the programs are no longer funded.

To access the proposed rule changes in their entirety, go to http://www.doe.sd.gov/board/documents/0715PubHg.pdf.

Governor announces additional Blue Ribbon members
Gov. Dennis Daugaard recently announced additional members (http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=17818) of the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students. The full task force held its first meeting (http://blueribbon.sd.gov/docs/Blue%20Ribbon%20Task%20Force%20July%207%20Meeting%20Agenda[1].pdf) July 7 at Capitol Lake Visitor Center in Pierre.
Nominate School Psychologist of the Year
The South Dakota Association of School Psychologists is looking for the School Psychologist of the Year. The association also gives out an Early Career Service Award. Nominations are due Aug. 12. See below for links to the appropriate nomination forms.

   • School Psychologist of the Year (doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2015/July/documents/SPYA.docx)
   • Early Career Service Award (doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2015/July/documents/ECSA.docx)
Libraries recognized as 21st Century School Libraries
Eighteen school libraries (doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2015/0515-SDSL-21CentSchLibs.pdf) have received the 21st Century School Library Award for 2015. The 21st Century School Library Award recognizes school libraries as Effective, Enhanced or Exemplary, based on performance in three areas: place, programming and professionalism.
US DOE designates teacher shortage areas
Each year, the U.S. Department of Education designates teacher shortage areas. This federal designation may qualify borrowers for deferment or forgiveness of outstanding Federal Family Education Loans, Federal Stafford Loans or Federal Perkins Loans. Qualification depends on the type of loan and the date issued.

These designations may also enable grant recipients to fulfill their teaching obligation under the Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant Program.

Individuals teaching in one of the designated areas can contact the lender holding their loans to determine whether the loans qualify for deferment or forgiveness. The Federal Student Aid Hotline at 1-800-4FED-AID is also available to answer questions.

School principals are delegated authority to provide certification that eligible borrowers are teaching in a designated teacher shortage area.

Statewide Academic Disciplines or Subject Matter:
Career and Technical Education (Grades 7-12)
English as a New Language (Kindergarten – Grade 12)
Language Arts (Grades 7-12)
Mathematics (Grades 7-12)
Science (Grades 7-12)
Social Science (Grades 7-12)
Special Education (Kindergarten – Grade 12)
World Languages (Kindergarten – Grade 12)

Geographic Areas:
Bennett County
Cheyenne Indian Reservation
Corson County
Crow Creek Indian Reservation
Jackson County
Lower Brule Indian Reservation
Mellette County
Roberts County
Shannon County
Todd County
Upcoming Events

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

Board of Education meeting
July 27, Rapid City

The South Dakota Board of Education will hold its regularly scheduled meeting in Dakota Lecture Hall at Western Dakota Tech, in Rapid City. The time of the meeting is yet to be determined. An agenda will be posted at http://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Template.aspx?id=32 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

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/events/2015-northern-plains-law-conference-on-students-with-disabilities/event-summary-eaba0d1b87b242abb22bfa7eae26904a.aspx.

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 doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2015/July/documents/SystemsChange.pdf.

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

Registration Now Open! 2015 Indian Education Summit
Nov. 1-3, Pierre

Go to http://indianeducation.sd.gov/summit.aspx for details.

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