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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Jan. 2016  
Letter from the Secretary
With the passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act, I know many of you are wondering what this new law means for South Dakota.

We don’t anticipate schools will notice any major changes in the short term. We still have our standards. We are still required to assess students every year in grades 3-8 and 11. Our teacher and principal evaluation systems remain in place.

I’m pleased that the ESSA puts more control back in the hands of our state’s educators and allows for more local decision-making. In preparation for full implementation of the law in the 2017-18 school year, we will pull together a group of stakeholders to examine our accountability system. Where we had been under certain guidelines and requirements with No Child Left Behind, there may be opportunities to make changes that are more appropriate for South Dakota students, schools and educators.

Standards review schedule
At the state Board of Education meeting Jan. 7, the department will ask the board to consider a proposal regarding the standards review schedule. Revision of the state’s English language arts standards was already scheduled to begin this summer. The proposal moves the review of the state’s math standards up one year, so it will also happen this summer.

The state believes the current ELA and math standards support college and career readiness. We also know that many states have had to respond to directives or legislation mandating a change in standards, and we think this push will become stronger in South Dakota this year, due to passage of the ESSA. By taking this proactive approach of reviewing math standards a year earlier than planned, we hope to alleviate concerns some people may have about the standards by allowing for modifications if any are needed.

As required by law, each set of revised standards would then receive four public hearings in four different locations across the state. These proposed schedule changes do not affect the timeline for teaching to revised standards (http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/JAN/images/STimeline.jpg).

2016 Legislative Session
The 2016 Legislature will soon be in session, and I know all of you will be paying close attention as legislators address the recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Task Force. Here at the department, we look forward to discussion of this important issue, and we will keep you updated throughout the session.

Thank you for everything you do for South Dakota students.
ESSA Video
View video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JuNaO9hPkSI
What the Every Student Succeeds Act means for South Dakota
President Obama has signed into law the Every Student Succeeds Act (http://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/every_student_succeeds_act_-_conference_report.pdf), a bipartisan bill reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The ESSA replaces No Child Left Behind. In this video, Secretary of Education Dr. Melody Schopp discusses what the new law means for South Dakota.

Governor to deliver State of the State
The 2016 Legislative Session begins Jan. 12, with Gov. Daugaard’s State of the State address at 1 p.m. CST. Listen/watch live at sdpb.org. As part of the address, the Governor will outline his proposals based on the Blue Ribbon Task Force’s recommendations.

DOE to propose revised schedule for reviewing standards
At the state Board of Education meeting Jan. 7, in Pierre, the Department of Education will propose a revised schedule for reviewing South Dakota’s English language arts and math standards.

South Dakota’s core content standards are on a seven-year rotation for review. The review schedule is approved by the state Board of Education. Per the currently approved schedule, review of the English language arts standards is scheduled to begin this summer. The department will be asking the board at its next meeting to allow for the review of the math standards at the same time. However, the timeline to teach to the math standards would not change. The chart below outlines the changes (highlighted in yellow) that will be proposed.

As seen in the chart below, any changes made to the standards through this process will be some time in coming – allowing ample time to make any necessary adjustments.

Standards Timeline
National Title I Distinguished schools Corsica-Stickney and Faulkton named National Title I Distinguished schools
Kudos to Corsica-Stickney and Faulkton elementary schools on being named National Title I Distinguished schools for 2015-16! Corsica-Stickney has had exceptional student performance for two or more consecutive years, and Faulkton Elementary has significantly closed the achievement gap. The schools will be honored at the National Title I Conference this month.
JAG Award Deborah Steele receives JAG National Education Leadership Award
Congratulations to Deborah Steele, principal of Rapid City High School! She recently received a National Education Leadership Award from JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) (http://jag.org/). This award recognizes local and state leaders who demonstrate a high level of commitment and involvement in support of JAG and the student leaders JAG serves.
Smarter Balanced logo       Assessment changes planned for 2016
South Dakota will be making some assessment-related changes in 2016, which have already been shared with assessment directors. The changes are as follows:

• The 11th grade Smarter Balanced testing window is being expanded; it will begin March 9. This means there will not be separate windows for grades 3-8 and grade 11. This change is being made to give districts more flexibility in scheduling assessments for all students. Test windows for all assessments can be found on the Department of Education website at http://doe.sd.gov/Assessment/.

• To help address concerns about time needed for state assessments, South Dakota will not be requiring classroom activities prior to the administration of performance tasks. Students will simply log in to take the performance tasks as they would any other portion of the test.

• After receiving feedback from the field, the department has tailored winter/spring Assessment Workshops to cover specific assessments. The updated schedule (doe.sd.gov/Assessment/documents/2016works.pdf) for those trainings is now available. It replaces the previously shared schedule. You can register for the workshops via the department’s online registration system (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/Public/Course/Browse).
SD Teaching and Learning logo CTL preparing to recommend framework of changes to certification
The South Dakota Commission on Teaching and Learning plans to recommend a framework of changes to general education certification. In December, the group began examining administrative rules related to this framework. Members will begin discussing special education certification at their next meeting, Jan. 8-9, in Pierre.
CPR Class Your students could save lives—find resources on the DOE website
Per SDCL 13-3-91 (doe.sd.gov/octe/documents/CL13-3-91.pdf), the South Dakota Department of Education must annually make school districts aware of available resources for use in providing instruction in CPR and the use of AEDs (automated external defibrillators). These resources can be found on the department’s CPR Resources for Schools webpage (doe.sd.gov/octe/cpr.aspx). Stakeholders from various state and nonprofit agencies and health/physical education teachers have compiled these resources and contacts for districts to access when implementing CPR training.

CPR training is not mandatory, but the Department of Education is required to share related resources annually and to report to the South Dakota Legislature which districts are implementing CPR into the school health curriculum. This information is gathered annually via an electronic survey (doe.sd.gov/octe/documents/15CPR-Surv.pdf).
21CCLC Logo 21st CCLC grant applications now available
Applications for the next round of 21st Century Community Learning Centers, or 21st CCLC, grants are now available online (doe.sd.gov/oatq/21cent.aspx). The centers provide students with academic enrichment opportunities and activities designed to complement regular school instruction.

Read the press release at http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2016/0105-21st.pdf
Upcoming Events

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

Board of Education
Jan. 7, Pierre

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet at 9 a.m. CST in the Library Commons on first floor of the MacKay Building, 800 Governors Drive, in Pierre. The second of four public hearings will be held on proposed career and technical education standards in several career clusters. An agenda is posted on the Boards and Commissions portal (http://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Template.aspx?id=32).

Winter and Spring Assessment Workshops

   ACCESS 2.0 (doe.sd.gov/Assessment/documents/2016works.pdf)
   Jan. 19, Rapid City     Jan. 20, Oacoma
   Jan. 21, Sioux Falls    Jan. 22, Watertown

   Smarter Balanced and DSTEP Science (doe.sd.gov/Assessment/documents/2016works.pdf)
   Feb. 11, Pierre            Feb. 12, Aberdeen
   Feb. 18, Watertown    Feb. 19, Rapid City
   Feb. 29, Sioux Falls     March 1, Sioux Falls

   Alternate Assessment Administration
   – DSTEP Alt and NCSC
   March 7, Watertown     March 8, Sioux Falls
   March 9, Oacoma         March 10, Rapid City

   Paper/Pencil Schools
   – Smarter Balanced and DSTEP Science
   March 15, Pierre

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

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 https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/. Here is a calendar of session dates, descriptions and log-in information (doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2015/Nov/documents/PE-calend2.pdf).

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.


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