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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Nov. 2016  
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Encourage teachers to explore tools available from Smarter Balanced

There is more to the Smarter Balanced Assessment System than the end-of-year statewide summative assessments in math and English language arts. The system has two other components to support teaching and learning year-round:

  • The Digital Library is an online collection of formative assessment resources available at no cost to South Dakota K-12 educators. It contains resources for all K-12 educators, not just those who teach subjects and grade levels tested via the end-of-year statewide summative assessment.

    Most South Dakota educators already have access to the Digital Library. Any teacher unsure of his/her username and password is encouraged to check with his/her school’s assessment coordinator.

  • Interim assessments are aligned to South Dakota’s state content standards in math and English language arts, and can be used at strategic points during the school year. They are designed to gauge student progress toward mastery of the skills measured by the summative assessments. They can be used to guide instruction and help teachers highlight conceptual areas in which their students may be struggling.

    • There are two types of interim assessments, which can be accessed via South Dakota’s Smarter Balanced Assessment Portal.

      • Interim Comprehensive Assessments, or ICAs, meet the summative assessment blueprint. They can be administered at any time and are intended for grades 3-8 and high school. Teacher hand scoring is required. Score reporting is the same as that used for the summative assessment.

      • Interim Assessment Blocks, or IABs, are short, focused sets of items that are built on one or more targets from the summative blueprints. Score reporting is based on three classifications: below standard, at/near standard and above standard.
For more information on the Digital Library or Interim Assessments, contact your school’s assessment coordinator or Joe Moran with the South Dakota Department of Education at joe.moran@state.sd.us or (605) 773-3247.


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