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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Nov. 2016  
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HOT TOPICS
School Finance Accountability Board to meet Nov. 4
The School Finance Accountability Board will hold its third meeting Nov. 4 at 1 p.m. CDT via teleconference and Skype. This board was established by Senate Bill 131, which also included the new school funding formula. Find more information, including past meeting minutes and supporting documents, on the Department of Education website.
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Photo of school bus Apply by Dec. 16 for Clean Diesel Grant Program funding
Apply by Dec. 16 for funding under the South Dakota Clean Diesel Grant Program. The program provides rebates to assist schools in purchasing new public school buses to replace old, high-emitting diesel school buses.
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ESSA update: Accountability Work Group holds final meeting
South Dakota’s ESSA Accountability Work Group has held what should be its final face-to-face meeting. This group’s ideas, along with those of the School Improvement and ELL Work Groups will serve as a starting point for proposals on which the Department of Education will seek broad input from across the state.
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Proposed certification rule changes to get first reading Nov. 15
Proposed changes to certification rules will get a first reading at the state Board of Education’s Nov. 15 meeting in Sioux Falls. The intent is to streamline rules and make them easier to understand. New rules are scheduled to be phased in, beginning in July 2017.
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Strive for 5, every day at school counts graphic Terry Redlin Elementary students
Strive for 5

Administrators at Terry Redlin Elementary School in Sioux Falls are working to improve attendance rates with a weekly Strive for 5 program that rewards students for being in school on time, all day, for five consecutive days. So far, they’re encouraged by the results.
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Apply by Nov. 30 for Equipment Assistance Grants
Equipment Assistance Grants can help schools purchase equipment to serve healthier meals, with emphasis on serving more fruits and veggies (including locally purchased items), improving food safety and expanding access. Schools with 50 percent or more of students eligible for free/reduced price meals that have not received this grant previously are given priority.
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Encourage teachers to explore tools available from Smarter Balanced
There is more to the Smarter Balanced Assessment System than end-of-year statewide summative assessments. The system also features a suite of tools and resources that support classroom-based formative assessments and interim assessments to support teaching and learning year-round.
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Dual Credit logo Study finds dual credit benefits go beyond saving money
According to a study conducted by the South Dakota Board of Regents, students who completed dual credit courses and subsequently enrolled in one of the state's six public universities completed more credit hours and had significantly higher grade point averages after the first year of college than students who did not complete any dual credit courses.
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CTE logo Apply by Nov. 21 for Workforce Education Grants
Workforce Education Grants provide school districts in South Dakota the opportunity to make transformative change in career and technical education programs. Department of Education staff are holding conference calls to answer questions about the grant and discuss project ideas.
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Support series for school administrators underway
DOE is offering a professional development series for school administrators, with topics including evaluation feedback, differentiating staff needs, instructional coaching tips and more. The series includes a mix of webinars and face-to-face sessions. Participate in all sessions or single sessions, but please register in advance. Questions can be directed to Teresa Berndt with DOE.
 
 
 
 
Changes to AP Test Fee Program announced
At the federal level, funding for the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program is being eliminated as a separate funding stream. The South Dakota Department of Education has a plan to fund test fees for low-income students, with state dollars, for one year (2017 administration). After that, districts will need to plan accordingly.
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Image from Attendance Awareness Ad SDPB produces attendance awareness ads
DOE has partnered with South Dakota Public Broadcasting to create several ads promoting attendance awareness to be used during all major High School Activities Association sports tournaments. Feel free to share these ads within your district’s communications efforts. Thank you to the Vermillion School District for allowing filming on location.
 
 
 
 
 
South Dakota’s NAEP scores hold steady in science
Fourth grade and eighth grade scores for science on the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress are steady in South Dakota and remain above the national average. Find details on the Department of Education website.
 
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

Title I Director’s Workshop
Nov. 3, Pierre
Dec. 8, Pierre

SD Invest Real World Readiness
Nov. 4, Brookings

2016-2017 CTE Program Improvement Meeting
Nov. 7, Mitchell
Nov. 9, Sioux Falls

CTE – Focus Session 2016
Nov. 7, Mitchell
Nov. 9, Sioux Falls

Title Programs Wednesday Café
Nov. 9, online

SBAC Interim Assessments
Nov. 9, Pierre

Youth Mental Health First Aid
Nov. 9, Mobridge

Board of Education
Nov. 15, Sioux Falls

Administrative Support Series
Nov. 15, Pierre
Dec. 12, online
**Note: Each session of the Administrative Support Series listed is unique; not a repeat of a previous session
 
   
 
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