- Successful Schools
- SD Principal Making a Difference
- Comprehensive Needs Assessment
- Roles & Responsibilities of Federal Programs Administrators
- 4th Annual Conference for Parents

Successful Schools

There is often a belief in the public eye that once a school is identified as needing improvement (in school improvement), that they will always be needing improvement. That is not necessarily correct. This year 15 schools that were in school improvement have made annual yearly progress (AYP) for the second year in a row and have been removed from improvement status.

These schools are:
1. Belle Fourche Middle School
2. Brandon Valley Middle School
3. Brookings High School
4. Rosette Colony Elem, Ipswich
5. Lead-Deadwood Middle School
6. Madison Middle School
7. Grandview Elem, Rapid City
8. Horace Mann Elem, Rapid City
9. Valley View Elem, Rapid City
10. Rockyford Lower Elementary, Shannon County
11. Lowell Elem, Sioux Falls
12. Hawthorne Elem, Sioux Falls
13. Bridges at Horace Mann, Sioux Falls
14. Garfield Elem, Sioux Falls
15. Yankton Middle School

With dedication and hard work by committed school staff, parents, and community members these schools that traditionally have faced many challenges have become successful. Perseverance and the willingness to overcome challenging circumstances should make these schools very proud! Congratulations to you all.

SD Principal Making a Difference

In the August 2011 edition of the Harry and Rosemary Wong online newsletter, Karen Whitney, Sisseton MS Principal, is featured in an article titled “How a Principal Creates a Culture of Consistency.”

In the article she describes how the staff embraced the book “The First Days of School” and put into practice the strategies from the book. Karen has also created several documents including a ‘First Day Script or Plan’ and ‘Accompanying Classroom Procedures Observation Rubric’ to help her teachers implement the procedures. Implementing procedures has made a tremendous impact in student achievement on the student population in Sisseton, especially among the Native American population.

To read more about the procedures implemented at Sisseton MS and to get a copy of the ‘First Day Script and Observation Rubric’ go to

Comprehensive Needs Assessment Process

The purpose of a comprehensive needs assessment is to examine multiple sources of data to identify the most important academic needs within a school. This data assists schools in monitoring and assessing the impact of programs and instruction on student achievement. The analysis of the data can guide in the improvement of the instructional practices within the school. These decisions should be based on data rather than assumptions.

The comprehensive needs assessment focuses on gathering data in four specific areas: student data, programs and structure, professional practices, and family and community. The committee should evaluate what data will provide the most information concerning the most pressing needs of the school. In order to compare the achievement between subgroups, data should be disaggregated based on gender, race and ethnicity, economically disadvantaged, and limited English proficiency. Data may be examined across multiple years, grade levels or schools to identify patterns and trends.

The state of South Dakota has been using Judy Sargent’s Model for Data Retreat workshops. Data Retreat® workshops are 2- or 3-day set-aside workshops for leadership teams to collaboratively study their school or district's data. Leadership teams work together through a guided structured process to discover their data patterns, pose hypotheses, and develop school plans.

The retreats follow a proven 8-step process:
• Step 1: Team Readiness
• Step 2: Data Collection
• Step 3: Data Analysis in 4 Data Lenses: Student Data, Professional Practices Data, Program & Structures Data, Family and Community Data
• Step 4: Pose Hypotheses
• Step 5: Develop Goals
• Step 6: Design Strategies
• Step 7: Design Evaluation
• Step 8: Develop Roll-Out and Sustainability
It is important that the Data Retreat® facilitator be trained and fully understands the process of leading educator teams.

Step 1: Team Readiness

The team should be a “leadership team” representing your school. There are several steps that will help your team be prepared.

Establish Team Members (example)
  District Team Members   Middle School Team
  District Administrator   Middle School Principal
  Curriculum Director   Middle School Guidance Counselor
  Special Education Director   Middle School Special Ed Teacher (s)
  School Board Member   Middle Level Math Teacher

  Elementary Team   Middle Level Reading/ L. Arts Teacher
  Elementary Principal   Middle Level Science Teacher
  Early Childhood Special Ed Teacher   School Psychologist
  Elementary Guidance Counselor   Parent
  Kindergarten Teacher   ELL Teacher
  Primary Level Teacher (s)   High School Team
  Primary Level Special Ed Teacher   High School Principal
  Intermediate Level Teacher (s)   Special Ed Teacher (s)
  Intermediate Level Special Ed Teacher   High School Guidance Counselor
  School Psychologist   High School Reading/L. Arts Teacher
  Parent   High School Math Teacher
  ELL Teacher   High School Science Teacher
    Transitional/Career & Tech Ed Teacher
    School Psychologist
    ELL Teacher

Prepare the Team: Plan an initial meeting with the team to review the purpose; dates, times, and expectations for attendance; team roles; data assignments.

Characteristics of Effective Teams: works interdependently, understands empowerment, documents work, understands roles and responsibilities, establishes ground rules, self-evaluates, and effective decision-making skills.

Roles & Responsibilities of Federal Programs Administrators

Federal Programs Director
• District and school assessment and accountability reports are accurate, complete, and disseminated to the public in a timely manner per the Consolidated Application and SD DOE guidance.

• Responsible for the design, submission, and implementation of the consolidated application.

• Updating the district’s written professional development plan.

• Identification of students with Limited English Proficiency, services, and testing.

• Implementation of all programs, including Title I part A, Title II A (Class Size Reduction or professional development), Title II D (technology), Title IV, or REAP, ensuring appropriate use of funds and compliance with all regulations

• Time distribution records are maintained and clearly indicate staff time paid with federal funds.

• Complaint policy encompasses right for all stakeholders to file a complaint about the use of federal funds and is widely distributed to all parents, students, teacher, and stakeholders and is available.

• School and district improvement plans are developed with staff, parent, and community input and implemented as written.

• Consult with officials of private schools for provisions of equitable services in all required NCLB federal programs.

Title I Director
• Complete consolidated application Title I sections. Rank order schools by poverty and select schools that will receive Title I funds.

• Evaluate district level parent involvement policy with parent input. Solicit parent input in determining how district set aside for parental involvement will be spent. Conduct annual meeting for parents of children served Title I during the school year with all parents of Title I students invited.

• Arrange for an annual meeting for parents of Title I students. Additional meetings and educational events are held to meet parental needs.

• Student needs assessment forms and procedures are consistent across the district.

• Annual attestations as required by section 1119 are completed by each principal of a Title I school at the beginning of the school year. Copies are available at each school site as well as in the district office. These statements are accurate in terms of core content teachers and paraprofessionals meeting requirements.

• Publish the Parents Right to Know to ensure that each parent of a child attending a Title I school knows they have the right to ask for the professional qualifications of each staff member working with their child.

• Conduct staff meetings for all Title I staff to provide pertinent information, review regulations, address compliance issues, and review the approved programs from the consolidated application.

• Complete Title I LEA Annual Report each spring.

• Time distribution records are maintained and clearly indicate staff time paid with Title I funds.

• Provide Title I services to eligible students in private schools.

• The district coordinates with all early childhood agencies in the district, implementing the coordination and transition plan developed and evaluated by a team of representative agencies and parents.

• All school improvement and schoolwide plans are annually evaluated by the school team, including parents, and implemented as written.

Principal of a Title I School

• Ensure that the school level parental involvement policy is implemented as written, evaluated with parental input on an annual basis, and is distributed to all parents of Title I students (all parents in a schoolwide school). Provide the school parent compact to all Title I students and their families.

• The 1119 assurance statement is written to reflect the actual status of core content teachers and paraprofessionals in Title I programs. The verification form is signed at the beginning of school, original kept at the school site with a copy on file at the district office.

• The Parent’s Right to Know is distributed to all parents. Requests for information are promptly provided. A letter to parents of students in classes taught for four or more weeks by a teacher that is not highly qualified is promptly sent.

• All staff paid with NCLB federal funds complete time distribution records on a regular basis as required.

• Classroom teachers complete assessments and information needed to complete the student needs assessment forms required for targeted assistance programs to determine eligible students.

• Schoolwide and school improvement plans, as applicable, are evaluated on an annual basis with team input, including parents, revised as necessary, and implemented as written.

Title I Teacher
• Distribute district and school level parental involvement policies and the school parent compact to parents of each child participating in a Title I program.

• Complete time distribution records.

• Coordinate with classroom and special education teachers.

• Using information generated by classroom teachers, complete the student needs assessment and assign points. Rank order all students and determine which students are most at risk of failing the state’s content standards. Identify students eligible for services. Ask parents to accept or deny services for their child. Set up schedule for services.

• Provide Title I services as outlined in the school’s approved plan in the consolidated application.

• Provide progress reports to parents on a regular basis, at least quarterly.

• Arrange for parent teacher conferences with parents of students served.

4th Annual Conference for Parents

4th Annual Conference for Parents was held in Sioux Falls over the weekend. Parents attending were excited to have the opportunity to attend and learn more about how to help their children with school. A variety of topics were presented to parents including bullying, Common Sense Parenting and how to use games to enhance family time and learning in the home.

Plans are in the works for next year’s parent conference to be held in Pierre.

Fall 2011