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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education July 2016  
 
 
 
  Joint Convention
  Letter from the Secretary

As you are likely aware, we have released preliminary state assessment results. The news is good: student performance shows gains in English language arts and math in all but one grade level. I commend school districts for the hard work and dedication that has led to these improvements.

It takes about 100 students to show a 1 percent increase in proficiency at each grade level, so we are talking about 300 to 600 more students testing proficient in many grade levels, which is significant progress. We also saw growth overall for our Native American students.

Our youngest tested students are showing the greatest gains. This makes sense, since they have been working with these content standards in math and English language arts for most, if not their entire, school careers.

At the other end of the spectrum, our 11th grade assessment results are largely flat. We aren’t entirely sure why this is, but I think several factors are at play. Our state’s 11th graders have spent a smaller proportion of their schooling with these content standards, and they are much more familiar with the former state assessment, which was essentially a “bubble test.” It did not require them to apply and demonstrate their knowledge in the way the Smarter Balanced assessment does.

We also know that some of our 11th grade students feel the test has little value or meaning for them. I urge you to share the message with your high school students and their parents that all six of our state’s public universities accept Smarter Balanced scores for placement purposes. This makes the assessment very valuable. Students who score in Levels 3 or 4 in math and/or English language arts avoid the need for remediation and can automatically enter credit-bearing courses in the respective content area once they get to college.

I’ve said repeatedly that we must stay the course with regard to our state standards in English language arts and math. These preliminary assessment results bolster that message.

I am also pleased to report that a recent lawsuit against the state of South Dakota for its participation in a multi-state testing consortium was dismissed.

Thank you for everything you do for South Dakota students.

 
HOT TOPICS
arrow Preliminary state assessment results show gains
Secretary Schopp recently presented preliminary assessment results to the Legislative Planning Committee in Pierre. Access her PowerPoint presentation and meeting audio below:
• Presentation to Legislative Planning Committee
  [http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/documents/062016-PC.pdf]
• Audio (starts at 2:20:20)
  [http://sdpb.sd.gov/SDPBPodcast/2016/Interim/LPC06202016.mp3]

ESSA update: What U.S. Ed’s proposed rules mean
The U.S. Department of Education has proposed rules related to the Every Student Succeeds Act. Laura Scheibe, administrator of accreditation and accountability for the South Dakota Department of Education, summarizes these draft rules in this PowerPoint presentation [http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/documents/0616-EDNP.pdf]. Public comment on the rules is due to U.S. Ed by Aug. 1; DOE will be commenting and encourages others to do so as well.
 
 
 
Board of Education approves rules
At its June 20 meeting, the state Board of Education approved rules related to shared services. These rules lay out the application process, guidelines and criteria for the shared services grant program established in Senate Bill 133 of the 2016 education package. The program encourages the sharing of employee services between school districts.

The Department of Education plans to make grant applications available to school districts later this summer. The grant review committee will give priority to applications addressing rural or sparsity needs, increased opportunities or services for students or increased efficiency.

An individual grant may be used to fund up to three shared services employees. Grant funding is intended to help initiate the process of sharing services and will be awarded for up to three years, with a 50 percent reduction in year two and a 75 percent reduction in year three. Applicants must demonstrate a need for shared employees among participating districts and the ability to sustain the plan for sharing employee services.

The board also put into administrative rule the annual deadline and requirements for school districts to report their educational structure data in order to comply with all reporting and state aid calculation requirements. The new annual deadline will be March 1.

Several rules related to technical institutes were also approved.

The board’s next meeting is July 18 in Mitchell. Follow board activity at doe.sd.gov/board.

 
 
 
 
You Are Hired Districts encouraged to administer NCRC assessment
Time to plan for National Career Readiness Certificate assessments in your school district during SY 2016-17 for high school juniors and seniors. Schools must apply to administer the NCRC tests. Access the application on SDMyLife [http://sdmylife.com/educators/national-career-readiness-certificate-ncrc/]. Questions? Contact Barb Unruh [barb.unruh@state.sd.us] at the Department of Labor and Regulation, (605) 773-3101.
 
 
 
 
Teacher shortage areas announced for 2016-17
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.

State Academic Disciplines or Subject Matter:
Career & Technical Education
English Language Learners
Fine Arts
Language Arts
Mathematics
Physical Education/Health
Science
Self-Contained
Social Science
Special Education (Non-Core)
World Languages
Other

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

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

Board of Education
July 18, Mitchell

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet at 9 a.m. CDT in the Amphitheater Room TC 116 at Mitchell Technical Institute, 1800 E. Spruce St. A proposed 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.


Top 20 Training
July 18-19, Rapid City
July 20-21, Sioux Falls

Top 20 Training is back in South Dakota, and it’s free. This is a one-of-a-kind professional development opportunity that will be a difference maker for educators and students. Top 20 Training is geared to help educators, no matter the grade level of their students. Concepts help teachers and students build better relationships and experiences in the classroom.

Find more information on this shareable flyer [http://doe.sd.gov/oess/documents/Top20Training.pdf].

Register at GoSignMeUp[https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/]. Search by course title.


Principal Effectiveness Training: Transitioning from the Planning Year into the Implementation Year
July 25-28, various locations statewide


View video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w7ZLrKLMEUU

In this final regional training, principals and their evaluators will engage in a four-step process of reflection, sharing, collaboration and integration.

Goal Sharing and Reflection
Participants will be asked to bring School Growth Goals and Professional Practice Goals. Using a reflection guide, participants will share and reflect upon both Professional Practice and School Growth Goal development. Discussion will include how goals were established and how they are being assessed. The reflection process will conclude with a sharing of decisions made and action steps taken to achieve the goals. A focus of this discussion will be how principal growth goals are tied to the overall school goals (i.e. School Improvement Plans, Title Plans, Focus/Priority plans), etc.

Artifact Review and Reflection
Participants, both evaluators and evaluatees, will be asked to bring artifacts/evidence gathered over the course of the planning year. In small groups, using a series of reflection questions, participants will share artifacts/evidence and how they are tied to the Professional Practice Goals, School Growth Goals, Principal Effectiveness domains, the bigger-picture goals of the school (i.e. School Improvement Plans, Title Plans, Focus/Priority plans), etc.

Evaluation Cycle Review and Reflection
Using a series of reflection questions, participants will share how the evaluation cycle worked and ideas for the future.

Integration
Both groups will go through a process of integrating Professional Practice Goals, artifacts/evidence and student growth results (both SLO and SBAC) into a final Summative Evaluation. This discussion will include a review of how Summative Scores are calculated but participants will not actually assign scores during the process.

Register for these trainings at GoSignMeUp [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/course/browse]. Questions? Contact Matt Gill [matthew.gill@state.sd.us], with the South Dakota Department of Education.


School Nutrition Association/Child & Adult Nutrition Services Conference
July 26-28, Watertown
http://www.snasd.org/tp42/Default.asp?ID=322771


Career and Technical Education Conference
July 31-Aug. 2, Sioux Falls

The Career and Technical Education Conference is sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Education, in cooperation with the South Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education. Each year, this conference brings together more than 300 teachers, administrators and school counselors to explore best practices that will help them prepare students to be college, career and life ready.

Sunday will include numerous hands-on, in-depth sessions. Monday will be filled with industry tours from all career areas. Tuesday will be dedicated to content-specific time for each division and breakout sessions running in tracks related to specific career clusters.

Find registration information and more on the Department of Education website [http://doe.sd.gov/octe/training.aspx].




Title Conference
Aug. 1-2, Oacoma

Title I Conference Video
Watch video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEEmPz14tP0

This conference is focused on current issues in education and is the primary conference for Title I schools. It emphasizes the critical nature of doing what is right and what is needed to help every child succeed.

Join other South Dakota educators for this important professional development opportunity. All South Dakota education professionals are invited to attend--not only those working at Title I schools.

Find registration information and more on this shareable flyer [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/july/documents/16-TitleI.pdf].


New format in 2016! Indian Education Summit
Sept. 25-27, Pierre
http://indianeducation.sd.gov/summit.aspx


Northern Plains Law Conference on Students with Disabilities
Oct. 4-5, Bismarck, N.D.

The Northern Plains Law Conference on Students with Disabilities will cover special education legal issues, including the latest information on due process hearings, circuit court cases, OSEP/OCR guidance letters and basic IDEA procedural requirements.

This conference is designed for general/special education staff, administrators, state/school district attorneys, state education agency staff, related services staff, parents and other stakeholders. Visit the registration site[http://www.cvent.com/events/2016-northern-plains-law-conference-on-students-with-disabilities/event-summary-654f2276ec9946c88f3fda629258467b.aspx] to learn more.

There will also be a Pre-Conference [http://www.cvent.com/d/3fqs9m] on Oct. 3, open to school district attorneys, special education directors, dispute resolution contractors and SEA staff.
 
   
 
 

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