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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Sept. 2016  
 
 
 
 
Governor proclaims September Attendance Awareness Month in South Dakota
View proclamation at http://doe.sd.gov/documents/ProAttend.pdf.
 
 
 
 
Letter from the Secretary

I hope the school year is off to a great start in your district.

In this month’s newsletter, you’ll find an article about the review and revision of our state’s content standards in English language arts and math. I want to take this opportunity to remind you that at the state level, we remain committed to our standards and confident that they are preparing our students to be college, career and life ready.

Reviewing and revising standards in all content areas is a normal process that occurs at regular intervals (on average, about every seven years) to ensure students experience the most up-to-date, relevant education possible.

Over the summer, a number of dedicated South Dakota educators and other stakeholders began this important work in the areas of ELA and math, and throughout this school year, those of you out in the field have the opportunity to study their proposed changes and offer feedback.

This is a great professional development opportunity. Department of Education staff and standards work group participants are developing a document intended to help guide your discussions. In addition, a number of these individuals will be available to give your staff presentations on these topics.

Unfortunately, there is sometimes a misperception that standards review is simply a matter of reading over existing standards and offering some minor tweaks. However, if you could be a “fly on the wall” during these meetings, I promise you would hear a good deal of energetic discussion and debate from individuals who are passionate advocates for South Dakota students.

In June 2017, the math and ELA standards work groups will meet to consider feedback from the field and make any necessary changes before the revised standards are taken to the state Board of Education for public hearings. Public hearings will be held during the 2017-18 school year.

 
 
 
 
HOT TOPICS
SD Stars Logo New stoplight feature added to SD-STARS attendance report
The Student Attendance List Report (AT.002.00-A) in SD-STARS now includes an Attendance Status stoplight feature labeling a student’s attendance as “Good,” “Warning” or “Chronic.” These labels are based on national research. This Data Interpretation Guide [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/Sept/documents/StudentAtt.pdf] explains this valuable report.

Engage staff in math & ELA standards discussions
Work groups reviewed and revised the state’s math and English language arts standards throughout summer 2016. During the 2016-17 school year, all K-12 educators are encouraged to provide feedback on these proposed changes.

The South Dakota Department of Education will be emailing districts a toolkit in coming weeks outlining options for presenting proposed standards and guiding discussion among staff. The toolkit is designed to meet a variety of district needs: from a 15-minute presentation for all staff, up to two-three hours for in-depth discussions within grade levels and departments.

Lively conversations
“There were educated, informed (sometimes lively) debates over the addition, amendment or deletion of nearly every word or phrase in almost every ELA Standard Strand K-12,” said Redfield Elementary Principal and ELA work group member Samantha Walder. “And, although there is still work to be done in the revision process and our group did create many recommendations for the disaggregating process, the new South Dakota ELA Standards will have been created with input from South Dakota educators. One addition that was brought to the group that I am glad to see is explicit handwriting standards in lower elementary.”

Nicol Reiner, the South Dakota Department of Education’s new math specialist, also appreciated the review process: “Being involved in the math standards revision was such a valuable experience. The conversations with colleagues about the standards and their implications for learning and instruction were so deep and insightful. Each time we met, I walked away with a more refined understanding of not only the mathematics being learned at each grade level, but how it is best learned, how it fits in with the other concepts in other grades, and why the grouping, progression and alignment of concepts is so important.”

“We really hope all South Dakota educators will dig into these proposed changes,” said Teresa Berndt, reading specialist for the Department of Education. “If you’re a 3rd grade teacher, I hope you’ll look at your own grade-level standards, but also up and down: Do the 2nd grade standards appropriately build to yours, and do your standards build to 4th grade?”

It is also important to remember that ELA standards cover reading and writing standards for literacy in science, history/social studies and technical subjects. “This means everyone has insight to offer,” says Berndt. “For instance, if you teach high school chemistry, I hope you’ll take a look at the literacy standards for science.”

Revision and adoption timelines
Standards work groups will reconvene in June 2017 to consider all feedback from the field and make any necessary changes. Both sets of standards will then receive four public hearings before the state Board of Education during the 2017-18 school year.

After board approval, 2018-19 will be capacity-building years for revised ELA standards, with educators expected to teach to the new standards in school year 2019-20. Students will be assessed on the new standards for the first time in spring 2020.

Capacity-building for revised math standards will be 2018-20, after board approval. Educators will be expected to teach to the new standards in school year 2020-21, and students will be assessed on the new standards for the first time in spring 2021.

Find detailed information on the revision process for both sets of standards on the Department of Education website:
    • Math [http://www.doe.sd.gov/contentstandards/math-review.aspx]
    • English language arts [http://doe.sd.gov/ContentStandards/ELA-review.aspx]


Mentoring icon New teacher and mentor apps due Sept. 23
The new statewide teacher mentoring program, established as part of the 2016 education package, is getting underway. Experienced teachers who wish to serve as mentors and first- and second- year teachers wanting to be mentored are encouraged to apply by Sept. 23. Learn more on the DOE website.
*Corrected Sept. 9, 2016
 
 
 
Time to share assessment results with parents/guardians
With the start of the new school year, it is time to remind districts about the need to share assessment results with parents and guardians. Overviews of reporting requirements are posted under the Parent Communication [http://doe.sd.gov/Assessment/] heading on the DOE assessment website.

 
 
 
 
Encourage students to take college readiness coursework
Some high school seniors have received a letter [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/Sept/documents/Postsecondary.docx] from the South Dakota Department of Education indicating they qualify for College Readiness coursework (Accuplacer/My Foundations Lab) to develop the skills needed to take credit-bearing coursework once they enroll in a South Dakota postsecondary institution. Students who did not meet the following college readiness benchmarks on the Smarter Balanced Assessment or the ACT received the letter:
  • Smarter Balanced English score of 2583 or higher (level 3 or 4) and math score of 2628 or higher (level 3 or 4) or
  • ACT English subscore of 18 and 20 in mathematics
As was the case last school year, students will have the opportunity to complete this coursework through the South Dakota Virtual School online option. Students interested in this opportunity will need to work with school counselors and/or principals to access the coursework. Find more details about the coursework on the South Dakota Virtual School website [https://sdvs.k12.sd.us/Students/CollegeReadiness.aspx].

A handful of school districts are offering the same coursework (Accuplacer/My Foundations Lab), as a face-to-face option with a highly qualified math teacher supporting the students. If your district is interested in offering the face-to-face option, please contact Nicol Reiner [Nicol.Reiner@state.sd.us] with the South Dakota Department of Education.

As a reminder, starting with this school year, ACT, Accuplacer and SBAC scores will be used as part of the calculation for high schools’ College and Career Readiness indicator in the School Performance Index.
 
 
 
 
SD Administrative Rules Image Workforce Education Grant rules up for review
At its Sept. 20 meeting, the South Dakota Board of Education will hold a public hearing to consider the adoption and amendment of proposed rules for Workforce Education Grants. These proposed rules are posted on the South Dakota Administrative Rules website [https://rules.sd.gov/agency.aspx?agency=DOE%20%20Department%20of%20Education].
 
 
 
 
CPR in Schools Training Kit CPR survey due by end of September
While CPR is not a state requirement, South Dakota Codified Law requires the Department of Education to report to the legislative education and health and human services committees which districts are currently implementing CPR into their curriculum. DOE will email the annual CPR survey to districts soon. Please complete it by Sept. 30.
 
 
 
 
SD Indian Eduation Summit 2016 logo Register for the 2016 Indian Education Summit
Each year, education professionals from across the state and around the country attend this summit to access high quality professional development, information on the latest trends and proven best practices in the field of Indian education. We seek to showcase successful projects, programs and initiatives for all ages, from preschool to postsecondary.

The summit will be organized into the following strands:
  • Attendance
  • Culture/Language
  • Recruiting/Retaining Qualified Teachers
  • Innovation
Note schedule/format change: Several of this year’s sessions will be two hours long, with the first hour intended to be informational. The second hour will be designated for attendees to work together in small groups to develop action plans based on the information presented.

For more information and to register, visit the summit’s website [http://tie.events/ies/].
 
 
 
 
Dyslexia stakeholders group meets over summer
The dyslexia stakeholders group was assembled to help guide the state on how to better assist schools in identifying and serving students with dyslexia. The group is currently focusing on how it can help schools recognize the symptoms of dyslexia for early identification as well as how to help general education teachers accommodate students with dyslexia in the general education setting. For more information on the group and the meeting minutes, please visit the DOE website [http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/Dyslexia.aspx].
 
 
 
 
Accurate data matters: Check out these upcoming trainings
The Department of Education, in conjunction with Infinite Campus, is offering the annual Fall User Group training sessions. These sessions are opportunities for district staff to learn about updates to Infinite Campus, hear about new state reporting requirements and network with peers from across the state.

Never has the accuracy of your district’s data been more important. The data in the Infinite Campus system is used by the South Dakota Department of Education for many purposes including:
  • Calculating districts’ State Aid allotment
  • Calculating districts’ Special Education State Aid allotment
  • Calculating districts’ Title III funding
  • Creating pre-id labels and assigning students in the online assessment systems for districts
  • Populating other systems such as SDMyLife, eMetric, SD-STARS and Perkins
  • Computing attendance, graduation rates, completer rates, dropout identification, etc. for district and school Accountability Report Cards
  • Data requests from the executive and legislative branches of state government
  • General data requests
  • Federal reporting through EdFacts and the Consolidated State Performance Report
  • Complying with requirements for the Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation program
There is no cost to attend this training. Attendees should bring their laptops because they will be able to work in their live production site. Participants are on their own for lunch. To register, please complete the online registration form [https://www.infinitecampus.com/client-services/south-dakota/south-dakota-user-group].

Dates and locations:
  • Sept. 13 - Mitchell - Mitchell Technical Institute (Amphitheater [Tech Center]) - 1800 E. Spruce St.
  • Sept. 14 - Watertown - Lake Area Technical Institute - 1201 Arrow Ave.
    **Must print off the parking pass for this location**
  • Sept. 15 - Pierre - Capitol Lake Visitor Center - 650 East Capitol Ave.
  • Sept. 16 - Rapid City - University Center (Lecture Hall 112) - 4300 Cheyenne Blvd.
 
 
 
 
Semillas pilot program held for children of migrant workers
SDSU Extension, along with the 4-H Youth Development Program and the South Dakota Department of Education, hosted a day camp for children of South Dakota dairy workers on the campus of South Dakota State University. This was a pilot program called Semillas (seeds) and was offered for several children of dairy farm employees. The program’s objectives are to provide an ongoing hands-on learning experience and a culturally rich environment for youth to:
  • See value in being contributing members of their local communities
  • Learn leadership, citizenship and life skills
  • Be introduced to the university’s opportunities
  • Understand the value of the dairy industry
  • Be introduced to the mission and focus of the 4-H organization
  • Explore their ethnic heritage while participating in local cultural activities
The youth participated in activities and workshops and toured the campus to meet with academic departments for a fun learning day. Families of the youth met with representatives from South Dakota State University, the South Dakota Department of Education and the National Farm Workers Association to gain knowledge about services available to help support the education of their children. South Dakota Department of Education staff also provided an activity with materials to demonstrate and encourage the support of learning at home. An outcome of the day camp was to establish relationships and provide supports to the families of migrant workers in South Dakota.

SDSU Women’s Basketball players
SDSU Women’s Basketball players Sydney Palmer and Jessica Mieras helped with the day.
In these photos they were making piñatas.
 
 
 
 
 
Does the School Psychologist of the Year work in your district?
The South Dakota Association of School Psychologists is looking for the School Psychologist of the Year. The association also gives out an Early Career Service Award. Nominations are due Sept. 14. Click below for the appropriate nomination form.
   • School Psychologist of the Year [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/Sept/documents/SchoolPsychologist.docx]
   • Early Career Service Award [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/Sept/documents/EarlyCareer.docx]
 
 
 
 
 
Upcoming Events

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


Face-to-Face EL Program Boot Camp for Administrators & EL Coordinators
Sept. 8-9, Mitchell

South Dakota school districts are experiencing an increase in the number of linguistically diverse students. This change in demographics has created a need for additional support for English Learners (ELs) in schools. In South Dakota, EL teachers are frequently responsible for developing the EL program in their schools, often with very little training. There is also a need for mainstream teachers and administrators to increase their expertise in developing instruction and programming for ELs.

This two-day face-to-face workshop will cover 15 topics related to the education of ELs in the state. Educators (administrators and EL coordinators) will learn about the EL program and have opportunities to ask questions to help develop their local EL programs and knowledge base. Sample documents will be presented and participants will be encouraged to update their local documents and paperwork related to the EL program.

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


Fall DOE/Infinite Campus User Group sessions
Sept. 13, Mitchell
Sept. 14, Watertown
Sept. 15, Pierre
Sept. 16, Rapid City

The Department of Education, in conjunction with Infinite Campus, is offering the annual Fall User Group training sessions. These sessions are opportunities for district staff to learn about updates to Infinite Campus, hear about new state reporting requirements and network with peers from across the state.

Never has the accuracy of your district’s data been more important. The data in the Infinite Campus system is used by the South Dakota Department of Education for many purposes including:
  • Calculating districts’ State Aid allotment
  • Calculating districts’ Special Education State Aid allotment
  • Calculating districts’ Title III funding
  • Creating pre-id labels and assigning students in the online assessment systems for districts
  • Populating other systems such as SDMyLife, eMetric, SD-STARS and Perkins
  • Computing attendance, graduation rates, completer rates, dropout identification, etc. for district and school Accountability Report Cards
  • Data requests from the executive and legislative branches of state government
  • General data requests
  • Federal reporting through EdFacts and the Consolidated State Performance Report
  • Complying with requirements for the Federal Perkins Loan Teacher Cancellation program
There is no cost to attend this training. Attendees should bring their laptops because they will be able to work in their live production site. Participants are on their own for lunch. To register, please complete the online registration form [https://www.infinitecampus.com/client-services/south-dakota/south-dakota-user-group].

Dates and locations:
  • Sept. 13 - Mitchell - Mitchell Technical Institute (Amphitheater [Tech Center]) - 1800 E. Spruce St.
  • Sept. 14 - Watertown - Lake Area Technical Institute - 1201 Arrow Ave.
    **Must print off the parking pass for this location**
  • Sept. 15 - Pierre - Capitol Lake Visitor Center - 650 East Capitol Ave.
  • Sept. 16 - Rapid City - University Center (Lecture Hall 112) - 4300 Cheyenne Blvd.



Title Programs Wednesday Café
Sept. 14, online

Title Programs Wednesday Café webinars are intended for Title I schools. Find more information at https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/. Questions? Contact Dawn Smith [DawnL.Smith@state.sd.us], South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-2535.




Board of Education
Sept. 20, Pierre

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet at 10 a.m. CDT, in the Library Commons on first floor of the MacKay Building, 800 Governors Drive, in Pierre. A proposed agenda will be posted at doe.sd.gov/board/.




Indian Education Summit
Sept. 25-27, Pierre

Each year, education professionals from across the state and around the country attend this summit to access high quality professional development, information on the latest trends and proven best practices in the field of Indian education. We seek to showcase successful projects, programs and initiatives for all ages, from preschool to postsecondary.

The summit will be organized into the following strands:
  • Attendance
  • Culture/Language
  • Recruiting/Retaining Qualified Teachers
  • Innovation
Note schedule/format change: This year’s sessions will be two hours long, with the first hour intended to be informational. The second hour will be designated for attendees to work together in small groups to develop action plans based on the information presented.

For more information and to register, visit the summit’s website [http://tie.events/ies/].






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?i=285a9f9e-f84e-4222-8f17-6d9aa5979585] 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.






Title I Director’s Workshop
Oct. 5, Pierre

The South Dakota Department of Education’s Title I office is offering a workshop for Title I directors.

Learn about expectations for the 2016-17 school year during the transition to the Every Student Succeeds Act, changes under ESSA, program-specific information for Title programs and the Grants Management System. Spend time collaborating with your colleagues, asking questions and giving input to the Title programs offered in our state.

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




SBAC Interim Assessments
Oct. 7, Pierre

This workshop will provide details on how to set up the administration of interim assessment as well as how to use the Teacher Hand Scoring System. Participants will learn how to use the Interim Blueprints to decide which blocks can inform instruction as well as how to interpret the various reports available once interim assessments are scored.

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




Systems Change
17th Annual Conference & Teacher of the Year Banquet
Oct. 12-14, Chamberlain

This year’s Systems Change Conference [http://tie.events/systems-change-conference/] will be held at the Cedar Shore Resort in Chamberlain. This is one of the region’s premier professional development events for educators. On the evening of Oct. 13, the 2017 South Dakota Teacher of the Year will be announced during a special recognition banquet. Graduate credit and DOE contact hours are available.

For more information and to register, visit the Systems Change website [http://tie.events/systems-change-conference/].




Fall Assessment and Accountability Workshop
Oct. 17-21, various locations statewide

These workshops will focus on connecting student data, assessments, curriculum and instruction. The training has been designed to provide proactive tips to address frequently asked questions from last year’s assessment administration and includes information that may be valuable to a variety of education professionals, including assessment directors, Infinite Campus contacts, curriculum directors and administrators.

Teams of three to four people from a district are encouraged to attend, and there will be an opportunity for participants to develop a plan of shared responsibility for assessment administration.

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

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