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Letter from the Secretary

SD Department of Education
Jan. 2018  
  Ed Online Graphic
Photo of Donald Kirkegaard, South Dakota Secretary of Education. Letter from the Secretary

Getting back into the swing of things after the holiday break is energizing, and the Harrisburg School District certainly started 2018 with a fun event. I was fortunate to be in attendance as Carla Diede, a math teacher at Harrisburg South Middle School, was presented with the $25,000 Milken Educator Award on Jan. 4.

This award was presented during an all-school assembly, but the true purpose of the gathering was kept secret. Students and teachers were under the assumption that officials with the Department of Education were visiting to celebrate Harrisburg’s work with personalized learning (which, by the way, is work worth celebrating).

At the last minute, Greg Gallagher with the Milken Educator Awards stepped up to the microphone with the news that a teacher in the audience was about to receive a $25,000 surprise. You can read more about Carla Diede and this award in the main story of this issue of the Ed Online.

As I step into my new role as Secretary of Education, I admit I’m not used to starting a New Year with quite so many new things happening at once, but I embrace the challenge before me. Having spent my career to this point in the Bristol, Britton-Hecla and Meade school districts and serving on the state Board of Education Standards, I am fortunate to know many of you in the field already.

Whether we’ve met or have yet to meet, I look forward to working with you.

I know we can’t have the excitement of a Milken announcement every day, but it seemed fitting to start my new role at such a celebration—it’s just one example of the many great things happening in South Dakota schools.


Image of Carla Diede holding large $25,000 check with several previous South Dakota Milken Educator Award winners.

Harrisburg teacher receives $25,000 Milken Educator Award
Carla Diede, a National Board Certified math teacher at Harrisburg South Middle School, is South Dakota’s newest recipient of a $25,000 award that Teacher magazine calls the “Oscar of Teaching.” State Education Secretary Don Kirkegaard and Greg Gallagher, with the Milken Educator Awards, surprised Diede with the award during a school assembly earlier this month.

Read more at http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2018/0104-Milken.pdf

logo for the South Dakota Department of Public Safety Apply for Homeland Security grant funding by Feb. 16

Applications for Homeland Security grant funding are being accepted until Feb. 16 at 5 p.m. CST. State and local, public and private nonprofit agencies, including public and non-public schools, are eligible to apply.

Funding will be awarded for one-time projects that have a connection to a Homeland Security mission such as prevention or protection against terrorism threats. In particular, schools may be interested in access control projects such as keyless entry, video entry and Fire Marshal-compliant door locks. Surveillance camera systems are not allowable at this time; grants will focus on basic security measures, such as access control, and funding is limited.

Awards are competitive and local awards will be based on recommendations of regional review committees. Funding for projects will become available on or about Sept. 1, 2018. Award agreements will be generated after funding becomes available; projects cannot start before the award date.

Questions? Find more information on the South Dakota Department of Public Safety website [https://dps.sd.gov/safety-enforcement/homeland-security/grants] or call the South Dakota Office of Homeland Security at 605-773-3450.

Image of Gov. Dennis Daugaard speaking at podium. Legislative session opens Jan. 9
The 2018 Legislative Session begins Jan. 9, with Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s State of the State address at 1 p.m. CST. Listen live at sd.net. House and Senate Education Committee meetings will also be streamed live throughout session via sd.net and on the SDNet app available for iOS and Android.
Image of students from Bennett County, Todd County and Wagner Community school districts with Sen. Mike Rounds.
JAG (Jobs for America’s Graduates) students from Bennett County, Todd County and Wagner Community school districts recently traveled to Washington, D.C. for the JAG National Leadership Conference. Here the students are pictured with Sen. Mike Rounds.
  elementary students in computer lab
Preparing for 2018 assessment

Assessment Coordinator Toolkit
The Assessment Coordinator Toolkit 2017-18 [http://doe.sd.gov/Assessment/presentations.aspx] is a go-to resource that includes items like Assessment Milestones and Important Websites.

Winter Assessment Workshops start this month
The Winter Assessment Workshop will provide attendees with the necessary information to support their school and district in the administration of Smarter Balanced, the South Dakota Science Assessment (SDSA), SDSA Alt and the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA). The workshop will be set up conference-style with two breakout sessions occurring concurrently. More information on the schedule and breakout session descriptions are available on the Office of Assessment Workshop Presentations and Webinars webpage [http://doe.sd.gov/Assessment/presentations.aspx].

Register via the following links:

  • Jan. 31, Huron [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/Course/browse?courseid=12240]
  • Feb. 7, Sioux Falls [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/Course/browse?courseid=12241]
  • Feb. 8, Sioux Falls [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/Course/browse?courseid=12242]
  • Feb. 14, Rapid City [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/Course/browse?courseid=12243]
  • Feb. 15, Rapid City [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/Course/browse?courseid=12244]

What are the testing windows?

  • ACCESS and ACCESS Alt (for English learners)
    • Jan. 29-March 2
  • Smarter Balanced (ELA and math assessment)
    • Grades 3-8 and 11: March 7-May 4
    • Paper/pencil window: March 19-April 20. Tests shipped no later than April 25.
  • MSAA (alternate ELA and math assessment)
    • March 19-May 4
  • South Dakota Science and South Dakota Science Alt
    • April 2-May 4

Find more information on each assessment on the Office of Assessment’s webpage [http://doe.sd.gov/Assessment/].

Proactive admissions reminder: SBAC matters for high schoolers
Remind 11th grade students taking the Smarter Balanced assessment that their scores can earn them guaranteed acceptance to South Dakota’s public universities and technical institutes, through the state’s proactive admissions initiative.

This initiative offers high school seniors guaranteed general admittance into any of the state’s six public universities and four technical institutes when they meet certain eligibility criteria. Students can meet the eligibility criteria in one of two ways:

  • Achieve a Level 3 or 4 on the 11th grade Smarter Balanced test (English and Math), or
  • Achieve an ACT composite score of 18 or higher. (NOTE: SD School of Mines requirements differ slightly.)

Students who meet the eligibility criteria will receive a letter from the Secretary of Education in fall 2018, indicating that they are eligible for this opportunity. About one week before these letters are mailed to students, the Department of Education will provide schools with a report via SD-STARS, allowing them to see which of their students qualify for the program.

  • Frequently asked questions [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2017/Sept/documents/PAI-letter.pdf]
  • Introductory video [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnYJ0eL3fv4]
  • Website: www.SDMylife.com/accepted

This initiative not only benefits students, it’s a positive for the state and employers in the long-term. It also makes the SBAC test more meaningful for students.

Image of CPR mannequin and AED devices that are used to teach CPR Annual reminder: CPR and AED training resources on DOE website

While CPR is not a graduation requirement, as of July 1, 2017, South Dakota Codified Law [http://doe.sd.gov/octe/documents/CL13-3-91-2.pdf] requires districts to incorporate into district curriculum the skills necessary to perform hands-only CPR and awareness in the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator). The South Dakota Department of Education must annually make school districts aware of available resources for use in providing this instruction, which can be found on the department’s CPR Resources for Schools webpage [http://doe.sd.gov/octe/cpr.aspx].

Stakeholders from various state and nonprofit agencies and health/physical education teachers have compiled these resources and contacts for districts to access when implementing CPR training.

A certified teacher is not required to be an authorized CPR or AED instructor to oversee this instruction. However, any CPR course that results in the students earning a completion card must be taught by an authorized CPR or AED instructor.

The Department of Education is also required to annually collect and report to the South Dakota Legislature information regarding how CPR is being taught in schools. This information is gathered annually via an electronic survey. Read this year’s survey results [http://doe.sd.gov/octe/documents/17-CPR-Surv.pdf] on the DOE website.

Any questions concerning the CPR/AED requirements can be directed to Teresa.Berndt@state.sd.us.

Image of part of the South Dakota Department of Education logo. Department of Education social media update
We’ve updated the name of the SDMyLife Facebook page to South Dakota Department of Education [https://www.facebook.com/sddoe/]. If you haven’t liked/followed the page already, please consider doing so. In addition to information related to SDMyLife and career and technical education, we will now also post information about work across the department.
Stock photo fo fruit and veggies. K-12 Food Waste Reduction Webinar scheduled for Feb. 1
K-12 school administrators and food service personnel are invited to attend a free one-hour webinar on food waste reduction in schools, hosted by the Environmental Protection Agency Region 8. The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 1, 10-11 a.m. CST. 

Read more at http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2018/Jan/documents/FoodWaste.pdf.

21st Century Community Learning Centers Logo. Submit Notice of Intent to Apply for 21st CCLC grant funding by Jan. 19
Now is the time for schools and other organizations interested in 21st Century Community Learning Centers, or 21st CCLC, grants to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply. The grant application will be online, and applicants must first submit a Notice of Intent to Apply to the South Dakota Department of Education by Jan. 19.
Read more at http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2018/0103-21CCLC2.pdf.
Upcoming Events

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

ACCESS 2.0 Assessment Workshop
Jan. 16, Pierre
Jan. 17, Watertown
Jan. 18, Mitchell

SD English Learner Chats (3:45-4:30 p.m. CST)
Jan. 16
Feb. 20
March 20
April 17
May 15

2017-2018 Program Improvement Meetings
Jan. 22, Rapid City
Jan. 23, Pierre
Jan. 24, Aberdeen
Jan. 29, Mitchell
Jan. 30, Sioux Falls
Jan. 31, Brookings

New Special Ed Directors Webinar
Jan. 23

SD-STARS Monthly Webinar
Jan. 24

Board of Education Standards
Jan. 26, Rapid City

SD State Library Resources for School Counselors
Jan. 30, online (10-11 a.m. CST)
Jan. 30, online (2-3 p.m. CST)

2018 Winter Assessment Workshops
Jan. 31, Huron
Feb. 7, Sioux Falls
Feb. 8, Sioux Falls
Feb. 14, Rapid City
Feb. 15, Rapid City

South Dakota Special Education Conference
March 13-14, Sioux Falls
   • Free Parents' Night Session March 13 [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2018/Jan/documents/Parents.pdf]


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