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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Feb. 2016
  education online
  Letter from the Secretary

The 2016 Legislative Session is well under way, and I've been traveling around the state with Gov. Daugaard to share information about his proposals based on the findings of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. We have an unprecedented opportunity this year related to competitive teacher pay and a revised school funding formula for South Dakota.

The Governor and I have also visited with the South Dakota Education Association. The support of statewide education groups like the SDEA, Associated School Boards and School Administrators of South Dakota will be critical to getting these proposals passed. My office has also reached out to the PTA.

The Department of Education has also hosted two informational sessions for legislators: one focused on the proposed new funding formula and an overview of the major findings of the Blue Ribbon Task Force, then a follow-up to discuss other pieces of the proposal such as capital outlay and other revenues. Both sessions were well attended.

As you know, increasing the state sales tax requires a two-thirds vote in both the House and Senate. That is certainly a heavy lift, but I am optimistic. There is a strong sense of urgency among legislators to get something done in this area this year. This is truly an exciting time.

Thank you for all you do for South Dakota students.

  2016 Legislative Session in full swing
State Capitol Building

Education funding and teacher pay are taking center stage this session, along with several other education-related bills. Here's a summary of bills the Department of Education is following.

Senate Education
SB 5 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=5] is the bill to revise procedures to initiate a school district boundary change. The bill passed out of Senate Ed.

SB 63 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=63] requires schools to have safety plans in place and to conduct an annual lockdown drill. It passed out of Senate Ed.

SB 81 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=81] is a result of recommendations by the Native American Student Achievement Advisory Council. It would create a paraprofessional tuition assistance scholarship program for a small number of paraprofessionals currently working in eligible districts. The program would end when funding runs out in four years. The bill passed Senate Ed.

SB 82 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=82] is a result of recommendations by the Native American Student Achievement Advisory Council. It would establish the Native American achievement schools grant. The grant would allow for the start-up of up to three pilot schools aimed at improving academic outcomes for Native students, with a focus on infusing language and culture into the educational experience. The bill passed Senate Ed.

SB 9 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=9] contains an appropriation of $2.2 million for the programs outlined in SB 81 and 82. These are one-time funds. The bill was sent to Appropriations.

SB 69 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=69] would require accredited schools to accept transfer credits for courses taken by students from other accredited schools during the summer.

SB 83 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=83] is titled "An act to protect the teaching of certain scientific information."

HB 1008 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=1008] is the bill to restrict access to certain rest rooms/locker rooms in public schools. It has passed the full House and has been referred to Senate Ed.

House Education
HB 1096 [http://legis.sd.gov/docs/legsession/2016/Bills/HB1096P.pdf] is a testing opt out bill. It would allow a parent/guardian to exempt their student from taking the state assessment. The bill is scheduled for hearing in House Education on Wednesday, Feb. 3.

Two other bills – HB 1061 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Bill=1061&Session=2016] and HB 1111 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Bill=1111&Session=2016] – are scheduled for hearing on Wednesday, Feb. 3 as well. The first would provide a tuition benefit to certain teachers who enroll in certain courses offered by Board of Regents institutions; the second would require the South Dakota High School Activities Association to promulgate major policy statements through the administrative rules process.

Other interesting bills that have been sent to House Education include: HB 1147 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=1147], which would prohibit schools from using school or team names that are determined to be racially derogatory or discriminatory, and HB 1148 [http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=1148], which requires schools to provide instruction on South Dakota’s tribal history, culture and government.

  Celebrate CTE Month
Learning that works for South Dakota Celebrate CTE month

February is Career and Technical Education Month. Check out the Department of Education's CTE Month webpage [https://doe.sd.gov/octe/ctemonth.aspx] throughout the month for stories about CTE teachers and other fun updates. The department will also host weekly webinars about great things happening in CTE.

  Congress beginning work on Child Nutrition reauthorization bill
kids at school lunch line

According to a statement from the School Nutrition Association, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry has released the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, legislation to reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Find more information on the SNA website [https://schoolnutrition.org/News/SenateChildNutritionReauthorizationBillReleased/].

  CTE program applications for SY 2016-17 due March 1
March calendar clock

Applications are available now for districts interested in adding or expanding approved Career and Technical Education programs in the 2016-17 school year.

Establishing approved CTE programs offers students coursework that allows them to seek meaningful and robust Personal Learning Plans. In addition, students can use the courses to meet requirements for both graduation and the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship. Approved CTE programs that seek to continually improve and support the aims of Career and Technical Education/Perkins are also eligible for the following:
  • Perkins funds
  • State and federal grants (when available)
  • Student organization membership (DECA, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, SkillsUSA)
  • Technical support and professional development
Applications [https://apps.sd.gov/DP42LaunchPad/Logon.aspx] for approved CTE programs must be submitted to the Department of Education by March 1. Contact your Regional CTE Specialist with any questions and to obtain application logon information. Click here [http://doe.sd.gov/octe/perkins.aspx] for more details, including directions for completing applications.

  Start planning now for selection of your district's Teacher of the Year
Teacher of the year written on chalkboard with books and apple

Who will be named your District Teacher of the Year this spring? Now is the time to start seeking nominations for this special recognition. 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.

All district-level Teachers of the Year are encouraged to apply for their Regional Teacher of the Year honor. Ultimately, one of these six regional finalists will become South Dakota’s 2017 Teacher of the Year. In order to be considered for the Regional Teacher of the Year award, a district’s honoree must have his or her application on file with the appropriate Education Service Agency by its designated deadline.

For more information about the SD Teacher of the Year selection process, including a list of frequently asked questions, nomination form, sample guidelines and timeline for selection, visit the Teacher of the Year webpage [http://www.doe.sd.gov/oatq/teacheroftheyear.aspx]. For further assistance, contact Kathy Riedy [Kathy.Riedy@state.sd.us], South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-8415.

  High School Graduation Requirements Handbook updated
High School Graduation Requirements Handbook

South Dakota's High School Graduation Requirements Handbook has been updated. Requirements have not changed, but the handbook contains updated information to assist educators as they work with students. Find an electronic version of the handbook and a new infographic on the Department of Education website [http://doe.sd.gov/octe/gradrequirements.aspx].
  Nominate a School Resource Officer making a difference in your district
South Dakota Association School Resource Officers logo

The South Dakota Association of School Resource Officers is looking for the School Officer of the Year. Nominees should display professionalism, dedication and commitment to their school and/or district. Submit this nomination form [http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/Feb/docs/SchlOffcrYrAchvmntAwrd-2016.doc] by March 11.

  State historical society looking for SD's History Teacher of the Year
South Dakota State Historical Society logo

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2016 South Dakota K-12 History Teacher of the Year, one of the Governor's Awards for History coordinated by the South Dakota State Historical Society. The society seeks to pay tribute to a teacher who excels in teaching the history of South Dakota. Elementary and secondary teachers are eligible.

Nominations need to be submitted on an official nomination form, which can be obtained by contacting Jeff Mammenga at (605) 773-6000 or Jeff.Mammenga@state.sd.us. Completed nominations must be received by Feb. 29. Nominated teachers will be asked to fill out an application form that needs to be returned by March 24.

The Governor's Awards for History will be presented Saturday, April 30, during the awards luncheon at the State Historical Society’s annual history conference in Pierre.

  Establish a Summer Food Service Program in your community
summer fruit

In an effort to fend off hunger, the South Dakota Department of Education’s office of Child and Adult Nutrition Services is seeking sponsors for a federally-funded program that provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months. [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2016/0128-SFSP.pdf]

  DOE seeking new educator voices for the Emerging Classroom Leaders Pool
class of pencils - one taller than the rest like a teacher

The Department of Education maintains a list of Emerging Classroom Leaders, which consists of distinguished teachers and principals from across South Dakota. These educators may be considered for membership on advisory boards and task forces, as well as candidates for special recognition programs.

Candidates should be relatively early in their teaching careers, with a minimum of five years of experience in education. Candidates must be building-level personnel. They are typically classroom teachers, as opposed to specialists, and are recognized by peers and supervisors as unique in their growth. Occasionally, a principal or specialist is considered. Previous recognition is not required.

To recommend someone for our Emerging Classroom Leaders Pool, complete a Talent Pool Recommendation Form [http://doe.sd.gov/oatq/distinguishededucators.aspx] and return it to Kathy Riedy, Department of Education, 800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501, no later than April 1.

In addition to filling out the form, we ask that you include a one-page narrative and a resume if possible. Please keep your recommendation confidential and do not share it with the individual.

For more information, contact Kathy Riedy, Department of Education, at (605) 773-8415 or Kathy.Riedy@state.sd.us.

  Upcoming Events
calendar graphic

District Leadership Retreat – Data Dig for Statewide Survey Data
Feb. 5, Watertown
Feb. 10, Platte
Feb. 11, Sioux Falls
Feb. 12, Pierre

Regional district leadership retreats will assist districts in analyzing data from this year's statewide survey, celebrate bright spots, identify additional support needed and plan for that support.

Districts are encouraged to bring their current professional development plan if they have one. It is recommended that a 4-5 member district leadership team consisting of teachers and administrators attend. Each team will need to have access to at least one computer at the training. Each team member will need to register.

Find more information at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/]. Search by course title.

Title Programs Wednesday Café
Feb. 10, online

Title Programs Wednesday Café webinars are intended for Title I schools. Topics for this month's conversation will include Federal Title programs and important updates regarding the newly adopted Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Find more information at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/]. Questions? Contact Dawn Smith, South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-2535 or DawnL.Smith@state.sd.us.

GMS Regional Training – Planning Sections
Feb. 11-Feb. 19, various locations statewide

In this half-day training, participants will learn how to access and complete the district- and school-level planning pieces in the Grants Management System. Morning and afternoon sessions will be offered at each location. This training is for superintendents, federal program coordinators/directors, Title I directors, principals and anyone else who works with the Consolidated Application each year.

Participants must bring a laptop or tablet as the training will be hands-on.

Find more information at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/]. Search by course title. Questions? Contact Betsy Chapman, South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-4712 or Betsy.Chapman@state.sd.us.

Winter and Spring Assessment Workshops

   Smarter Balanced and DSTEP Science
   Feb. 11, Pierre            Feb. 12, Aberdeen
   Feb. 18, Watertown    Feb. 19, Rapid City
   Feb. 29, Sioux Falls
         (NEW! Additional session scheduled 1-4 p.m.)
   March 1, Sioux Falls

   Alternate Assessment Administration
   – DSTEP Alt and NCSC (now MSAA)

   March 7, Watertown
   March 8, Sioux Falls
         (NEW! Additional session scheduled 1-4 p.m.)
   March 9, Oacoma
   March 10, Rapid City

   Paper/Pencil Schools
   – Smarter Balanced and DSTEP Science

   March 15, Pierre

Principal Effectiveness webinars
Feb. 17         April 20
March 24       May 17

The Department of Education is hosting a Principal Effectiveness webinar series throughout the 2015-16 school year. Principals and superintendents are invited to participate. Webinars will also be recorded and posted on the department's website. Register at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/]. Here is a calendar of session dates, descriptions and log-in information [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2015/Nov/documents/PE-calend2.pdf].

"I've Got a Lot to Say" – An Instructional and Assessment Look at Communication
March 1, Sioux Falls
March 3, Rapid City

This half-day training has been developed by representatives from the South Dakota Department of Education, members of the Augmentative and Alternative Communication/Community of Practice (AAC/CoP) members and ACERI Partners. The training will focus primarily on the development and instruction of communication, with specific emphasis on students who are emerging symbolic and pre-symbolic language users.

Participants will explore the NCSC Communication Toolkit and spend time reflecting on the implications of the toolkit information upon their instructional practices.

A second component of the training will be using the NCSC Resources to increase standards-based instructional skills and practices.

Find more information at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/]. Search by course title. Questions? Contact Ben Morrison South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-6119 or Ben.Morrison@state.sd.us.

Board of Education
March 14, Rapid City

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet in the Dakota Hall Lecture Room at Western Dakota Technical Institute, 800 Mickelson Drive, Rapid City. The time of the meeting is yet to be determined. The third of four public hearings will be held on proposed career and technical education standards in several career clusters. An agenda will be posted on the Boards and Commissions portal [http://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Meetings.aspx?BoardID=32] at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

TIE Conference
April 10-12, Sioux Falls

Don’t miss the 30th Annual TIE Conference!

Over the past 29 years, TIE has evolved from being the forerunner in sharing technology innovation with educators to meeting the current needs of technology integration, curriculum mandates, improved student achievement and effective assessment and evaluation.

Find registration information and more at http://www.conference.tie.net/.

Save the Date: 2016 Homeland Security Conference
May 3-5, Sioux Falls

This year's Homeland Security Conference will be held at the Sioux Falls Convention Center. More details to come. Questions? Contact Rachel Tilley, HomelandSecConf@state.sd.us, with the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/].


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