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Letter from the Secretary

DOE Homepage
SD Department of Education Sept. 2015  
State Report Card goes live on DOE website Sept. 22
School-, district- and state-level Report Card results are being finalized. The timeline for release of this information is as follows:
   • Sept. 18 – DOE releases final Report Card data
      to districts
   • Sept. 18-21 – Districts share local results with
      key stakeholders, including Boards of Education
   • Sept. 21 – DOE briefs South Dakota Board of
      Education on state-level results
   • Sept. 22 – 2014-15 Report Card goes live
      on DOE website

How SD’s new social studies standards address early U.S. history
The South Dakota Board of Education has adopted new social studies content standards, and there has been some confusion about how the standards address U.S. history, particularly at the high school level.

South Dakota’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver approved for one year
South Dakota’s ESEA Flexibility Waiver has been approved for the 2015-16 school year. The state was put on “high risk” status because the U.S. Department of Education wants South Dakota to directly tie state test scores to teacher evaluation in a manner other than we are doing. We are not willing to change course on a teacher/principal effectiveness system that we believe meets the requirements of the waiver. The department is requesting reconsideration of the high risk status.

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Early bird and group rates for Indian Education Summit end Sept. 15

The Indian Education Summit will be held Nov. 1-3 in Pierre. This year’s schedule features a pre-conference session on the WoLakota Project. Keynote speakers will be Donald Montileaux and Joseph Marshall III. Visit the summit’s webpage for more information and to register.

New workshop!
Building Your School District’s Core ESL Program

Schools are invited to bring a team to one of three workshops being held across the state at which they will get to work with a consultant who can help them build a Core ESL Program.
Workgroup recommends model science course pathways
A workgroup of South Dakota science teachers, higher education representatives, administrators and instructional leaders has developed recommended model course pathways for middle and high school students, aligned with South Dakota’s new content standards in science.
South Dakota’s ACT score steady, above the nation
South Dakota’s average composite ACT score is above the national average. The statewide composite score for the graduating class of 2015 – which includes scores for English, math, reading and science – was 21.9, versus the national average which was 21.0.
NASAAC meets in Mission
The Native American Student Achievement Advisory Council met in Mission Aug. 26-27. The group will meet two more times this fall before issuing a report to the Governor by Dec. 1. Find more information on the Office of Indian Education’s website.
Blue Ribbon Task Force hears about teacher supply and demand, innovation in schools
The Blue Ribbon Task Force met Aug. 19 and heard about teacher supply and demand at the national, regional and local levels. Several presenters reported on innovation in South Dakota schools. Meeting materials and audio are available on the task force website. The group’s next meeting is Sept. 9.
Brandon Valley food service director nominated for national board position
Gay Anderson, food service director for the Brandon Valley School District, is one of two candidates for Vice President of the School Nutrition Association’s Board of Directors. Anderson recently completed a two-year term as the board’s Education Committee Chair. Read this press release for more information. Congratulations, Gay!
Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

SD Graduation Requirements FAQs
Sept. 2, online

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

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

Data Reporting – New Employee
Sept. 17 (10 a.m. CDT) & Sept. 18 (1:30 p.m. CDT), online

Data Reporting – Refresher Training
Sept. 17 (1:30 p.m. CDT) & Sept. 18 (9 a.m. CDT), online

Board of Education
Sept. 21, Watertown

Building Your School District’s Core ESL Program workshops
Sept. 21, Rapid City
Sept. 22, Pierre
Sept. 23, Sioux Falls

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

2015-2016 School Turnaround Kick Off
Oct. 5-6, Pierre

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

SD-STARS Training for STARS Account Managers
Oct. 19-Nov. 12, various locations statewide

SD-STARS Training for Data STARS
Oct. 20-Nov. 13, various locations statewide

2015 Indian Education Summit
Nov. 1-3, Pierre
Read a printable version of this newsletter.

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