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Letter from the Secretary

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SD Department of Education May 2015  
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Update Personnel Record Form by June 12
The Personnel Record Form database is open, and the deadline to make changes is June 12. As the Department of Education plans for the release of the state Report Card, it is important to be sure information in the PRF database is updated to reflect the most accurate information for your district.

Every Child Achieves Act on way to US Senate floor
The federal Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has voted unanimously, 22-0, to approve the Every Child Achieves Act of 2015. This act is a proposed solution to reauthorization of No Child Left Behind and the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. To learn more about the proposal, click on the links below.
    • Press release
    • Bill summary
    • Bill draft

Teacher Evaluation District Self-Reflection Form due June 30

All public school districts are required to complete a District Self-Reflection Form by June 30, 2015. This form is similar to the 2014-15 Gap Analysis Plan that districts previously completed.

Principal Evaluation
    • Principal Effectiveness workshops scheduled this summer
    • District Gap Analysis and Planning Guide due June 30

Blue Ribbon Task Force website goes live
A website dedicated to the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students has been launched at http://blueribbon.sd.gov. Items such as meeting schedules, resources and research will be posted here as they become available.
SD public universities to use Smarter Balanced scores as part of placement
South Dakota high school students who take the Smarter Balanced assessment could enter postsecondary institutions and use their scores for placement in credit-bearing courses. The state’s six public universities will use high school scores as evidence that students are ready for entry-level, credit-bearing courses.
Registration open for fall dual credit courses
Students who will be juniors or seniors in high school next fall can register for fall dual credit courses at South Dakota public universities and technical institutes. Click here for more information, including a list of available classes.
Feds release further guidance on education of English language learners
The U.S. Department of Education has issued Chapter 2 of guidance to assist districts and public schools in meeting their legal obligations to ensure English language learners can participate meaningfully and equally in educational programs and services. The South Dakota Department of Education will be hosting a webinar on this topic May 12. See Upcoming Events for more information.
JAG students gather in Mitchell for Career Development Conference
JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) students from across the state gathered recently in Mitchell for a Career Development Conference. Students went on campus tours, participated in a junk build activity and participated in skills competitions.
SD Director of Indian Education honored as a founder of American Indian College Fund
Dr. Lowell Amiotte was honored recently as the American Indian College Fund celebrated its 25th Anniversary. More than 210 attendees gathered as the College Fund honored 10 of its original founders at the event to benefit its mission to provide Native American access to higher education.
Upcoming Events

Click here for a complete listing of events.

Good & Healthy South Dakota Schools webinar series
Available online until June 10

English Language Learners-School Districts’ Responsibilities for ELL Programs
May 12, online

Board of Education meeting
May 18, Aberdeen

Advanced Data Use Skills for Educators
June 1-July 15, online

2015 Summer Education Conference: Multi-Tiered System of Supports
June 3-4, Pierre

Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools
June 3-4, Madison

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

Principal Effectiveness In-Depth Implementation Guidance
June 15, Spearfish
June 16, Pierre
June 17, Watertown
June 18, Sioux Falls
June 19, Mitchell

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

Save the Date: 2015 Indian Education Summit
Nov. 1-3, Pierre

Click here for a printable version of this newsletter.

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