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Letter from the Secretary

SD Department of Education
Aug. 2017  
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look for the DOE booth at Joint Convention Aug. 10-11.

Photo of Dr. Melody Schopp Letter from the Secretary

When my children were growing up, my husband and I were resolute in encouraging them to go to college. I’m sure that’s not surprising to hear from a state Secretary of Education.

But it’s not enough.

I’m an exercise enthusiast, and I liken it to sending someone to the gym for the first time, with no guidance. Imagine walking in, facing those rows of ellipticals, treadmills and bikes, the weightlifting equipment, the pool, the track, that classroom with the huge mirror on the wall. Where to start?

It depends on your goals and what you like to do. And it’s why the gym is very busy in January, but not in July.

High school graduation can be like New Year’s Day: everyone is fired up to start something new. To be successful, though, requires a plan.

As you have likely heard, Gov. Dennis Daugaard is placing a strong emphasis on helping South Dakota students develop more focused plans for their lives after high school.

There are already great things happening in your districts: strong career and technical education programs, dual credit opportunities, school and business community partnerships. The Governor’s message is to keep it up and keep expanding.

Share your ideas about what’s working, what you would like to try, successes you want to share with other districts, challenges you need help overcoming.

If I could go back and do it all over again, I’d spend time asking my kids more questions: what do you like to do? What are some of your natural strengths? What are some careers where your interests and strengths might intersect? What might be the best pathway for you to prepare for those careers?

The gym might not be the answer at all right now. Maybe it’s a daily run through your neighborhood, an adult softball league or shooting hoops in your driveway. It just has to work for you.

Today’s students are likely to have several careers, and we serve them better by helping them understand that education isn’t an end in itself. It’s a tool for helping them attain their goals.

Thank you for everything you do for South Dakota students.

Board adopts principal evaluation rules

The South Dakota Board of Education Standards met July 17 and adopted principal evaluation rules that provide additional flexibility at the local level. Amendments were made to the proposed rules to address concerns expressed by superintendents during the public comment period.

The rules that were adopted simply state that districts shall evaluate principals and assistant principals based on the South Dakota Framework for Effective Principals. The following requirements were removed from the proposed rules:

  • School growth component and rating
  • Include at least one component from each domain from the Framework for Effective Principals
  • Professional practice rating
  • Summative rating
In addition, language was added to clearly communicate that the rules do not supersede the authority of a district to dismiss or non-renew a principal or assistant principal.

There was no change to the waiver requirement. If a district evaluates principals using the South Dakota Framework for Effective Principals, then a district does not need to submit a waiver to the Department of Education. If a district would like to use other standards, then districts can still apply for a waiver.

Finally, the department received a question about whether SLOs are still a requirement since they were removed from the principal evaluation rules. The answer is yes: Teachers are still required to implement SLOs as part of the Teacher Effectiveness system. Please direct any questions to Matt Gill [matthew.gill@state.sd.us], with the Department of Education, at (605) 773-8193.

Report Card pre-appeal window opens Aug. 16
The pre-appeal window is the time for districts to review accountability data, prior to public release of the data and the State Report Card going live on DOE’s website Sept. 19. It is critical that districts’ accountability teams take time to review the data carefully, so any errors can be addressed prior to public release.

DOE and SASD team up for program to support principals
DOE and School Administrators of South Dakota have joined resources to support principals in their first five years of practice. This program is designed to provide PD, resources and a network of support for early career principals. The first meeting is scheduled Aug. 9 as a pre-session to the ASBSD/SASD Joint Convention in Sioux Falls. Find registration information and more on this flyer [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2017/Aug/documents/LEADERSHIP2.pdf].

Teacher of the Year DOE would like to honor your district’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year

District-level Teachers of the Year from across South Dakota will be honored at a banquet hosted by the South Dakota Department of Education during the annual Systems Change Conference, Oct. 18-20, at the Ramkota Hotel & Convention Center in Rapid City.

The department will cover conference registration, lodging and meals during the conference for your district’s 2016-17 Teacher of the Year. The banquet will be held the evening of Oct. 19. This is a great opportunity to recognize and reward your district-level Teacher of the Year for always going the extra mile.

Please provide us with the name of your 2016-17 district-level Teacher of the Year by Sept. 1, so we can invite him or her to the annual banquet. Submit the information electronically via online survey [https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/VZPHCSZ].

Image of the cover of the 2017 Superintendent's Checklist. New electronic version of Superintendent’s Checklist available
In addition to hard copies, an electronic version of the 2017-18 Superintendent’s Checklist [http://doe.sd.gov/checklist/17-18.aspx] is now available on the Department of Education website. The electronic version allows users to add items directly to electronic calendars like Outlook and Google.
Image of guy in suit touching screen that says updating. ACT makes updates to NCRC assessment

Districts will notice several changes to the National Career Readiness Certificate assessment this school year. The names of the three ACT WorkKeys Assessments have changed, new and updated item content has been added, and the assessment delivery platform is new.

What’s changing?

ACT WorkKeys Applied Math (formerly Applied Mathematics)

  • New and updated item content to better match today's job skills
  • Increased emphasis on specific skills
  • Addition of new skills
  • New assessment delivery platform
  • Secure browser testing features

ACT WorkKeys Graphic Literacy (formerly Locating Information)

  • New and updated item content to better match today's job skills
  • Addition of new skills
  • Addition of new types of item stimuli
  • New score scale. Level score broadened 3-7.
  • Items have four response options instead of the current five
  • New assessment delivery platform
  • Improved item display (color, split-screen)
  • Secure browser testing features

ACT WorkKeys Workplace Documents (formerly Reading for Information)

  • New and updated item content to better match today's job skills
  • Addition of new types of item stimuli
  • New assessment delivery platform
  • Secure browser testing features

Supported web browsers:

  • Firefox 45+
  • Chrome 48+

**Internet Explorer will no longer be a supported browser**

What’s staying the same?

  • The updated assessments continue to measure the same core set of broadly relevant career readiness skills that have historically been measured by the NCRC assessments. The updated credential will continue to be a reliable signal of career readiness, trusted by job seekers, employers and educators.
  • Certificate level will continue to be determined by the lowest score earned in any of the three assessments. The back of the certificate will list each individual score.

Questions? Contact Barb Unruh [barb.unruh@state.sd.us] or Heather Nelson [heather.nelson@state.sd.us] at the Department of Labor and Regulation.

image of nurse giving an shot into an arm. Reminder: 6th grade vaccination requirements

Please remember that the Tdap (Tetanus, Diphtheria, Pertussis) and MCV4 (Meningococcal ACYW) vaccines are required for entry into the 6th grade. Schools may find this flyer from the Department of Health [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2017/Aug/documents/6thGradVaccination.pdf] useful in communicating this requirement to parents.

In 2016, meningococcal infection was added to the list of diseases specified in South Dakota Codified Law 13-28-7.1 [http://sdlegislature.gov/statutes/DisplayStatute.aspx?Statute=13-28-7.1&Type=Statute] for which the Department of Education, based on recommendations from the Department of Health, can require vaccination for school entry in South Dakota.

With the change, school entry requirements for South Dakota 6th grade students include:

  • One dose of Tdap vaccine
  • One dose of MCV4

The requirements apply only for 6th grade entry and transfer students in 6th – 12th grades. A child who is 10 years old when entering the 6th grade has 45 days after his or her 11th birthday to be vaccinated. Schools are required to report immunization data of 6th grade students yearly to the Department of Health just as they do with kindergarten students.

South Dakota meets requirements based on State Performance Plan
The U.S. Department of Education recently released state determinations on implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. South Dakota once again meets requirements based on its State Performance Plan. Learn more about this exciting news on the GRADS 360° website [https://osep.grads360.org/#report/apr/2015B/publicView?state=SD]!
Upcoming Events

Except where otherwise noted, details on the following events are available at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/].

New to Infinite Campus Training
Aug. 7, Pierre

District Leads/Trainers: Frontline Education Regional Training
Aug. 7, Rapid City
Aug. 8, Aberdeen
Aug. 9, Harrisburg

Administrators: Frontline Education Regional Training
Aug. 7, Rapid City
Aug. 8, Aberdeen
Aug. 9, Harrisburg

WIDA On-Line Screener Workshop
Aug. 8, Pierre

Behavior Training for Educational Assistants
Aug. 8, Sioux Falls
Aug. 10, Pierre

IEP Back to Basics
Aug. 14-Sept. 13, various locations statewide

IEP Process in Action
Aug. 15-Sept. 14, various locations statewide

IEP Transition
Aug. 16-Sept. 15, various locations statewide

New Assessment Coordinators Workshop
Aug. 30, Pierre

Board of Education Standards
Sept. 18, Aberdeen

Indian Education Summit
Sept. 24-26, Pierre

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