- Note from the Title Administrator
- Consolidated Title Reviews
- Need Quick Training to Help your Efforts to Work with Students in Need?
- You may be the One to Recognize a McKinney-Vento Eligible Student
- Ensure that Student Records Quickly Follow Students
- Title I Focus & Priority Schools
- Basic Migrant Child Eligibility Factors
- Parents Play An Important Role in Building Children’s Character
- Title I School Family Compacts
- National Title I Distinguished School
- Regional Data Retreats
- Academy of Pacesetting Districts
- Committee of Practitioners – An ESEA Requirement of Each State
- SD LEAP- An Online Tool for Planning Improvement
- September Attendance Awareness Month

Note from the Title Administrator

It’s that time of year again when school is back in full swing and the buzz around the school buildings is about the Football game on Friday night or the Homecoming Festivities and what each class is going to be doing to honor the school colors and show their pride. This is truly a time of year when any outsider can encounter teamwork and enthusiasm from the students as they prepare to build their class float, as well as a lot of energy and passion from the teachers that are leading those efforts.

The Title Team at the South Dakota Department of Education is also creating a buzz and showcasing a new vision as we move from a time of Compliance Driven Monitoring to an Outcome Based Process. While this shift doesn’t allow us to create floats or showcase our school colors, it does allow us to think about teamwork, both within the SD DOE and with the schools that we work with. This shift will provide more technical assistance to the schools that we work with as well as professional development opportunities to help strengthen the areas that are of highest concern based upon the data that we will continue to collect and review throughout the year.

We look forward to an exciting 2013-14 school year and working with many of you throughout the coming months.

Go Big Green, Red, Blue, Purple, Gold, Black, Orange, Yellow…whatever your colors may be!

Shannon Malone

Consolidated Title Reviews

The South Dakota Department of Education will not be conducting any on-site Title I Monitoring that were previously scheduled. The SD DOE is working to develop a process for collecting all Title I components that were not waived in the ESEA Flexibility Waiver. The SD DOE will be providing technical assistance throughout the school year in a variety of ways: Title I Director’s Meeting for New Title I Director’s, webinars, emails, Title I/SPED Summer Conference, quarterly newsletters, and on-site visits.

Need Quick Training to Help your Efforts to Work with Students in Need?

Each month, the DOE emails district McKinney-Vento (M-V) liaisons a listing of the webinar training opportunities for the month. This training is provided by the National Center for Homeless Education, the technical assistance center funded by the US Department of Education. The trainings are provided at no cost to all districts nationwide and to anyone wishing more information. The webinars are 60+ minutes in length. Some training sessions are directed toward social workers or counselors and other school personnel. The trainings are meant to help all school personnel, not just the M-V liaison. To look at a listing and to register for a webinar go to

Additionally, several trainings have been recorded and posted on the NCHE website along with self-paced trainings and power points. The self-paced trainings range from 8-25 minutes in length. Training topics posted on the NCHE website may be accessed at any time of the day or night. A list of self-paced and recorded webinars can be found at

Topics include:
    Knowing the Law 101
    Homeless with Homework
    Equal Access
    Homeless and Title I Collaboration
    Information for Parents
    Helping Unaccompanied Youth Access College

If you need further information from the DOE, contact or (605) 773-2491.

You may be the One to Recognize a McKinney-Vento Eligible Student

Each school district is required to designate a person to serve as the McKinney-Vento liaison. Districts are required under the law to identify students who qualify under the McKinney-Vento statute. However, recognizing that students may be in need is the responsibility of everyone. A McKinney-Vento eligible student is a student who is in transition as the student is not living in permanent, stable housing.

The lack of stable housing is both a symptom and cause of many other issues that children, youth, and their families encounter. A family or youth lacking housing has many concerns? Where do I stay? Where do I keep my possessions? How and where do I keep my important papers? Where do I bathe? Where do I eat? What do I eat? What happens this winter? Can my relatives help me? How will my children stay in school? What will the future be for my children? What hope do I have for security?

Identifying students and their younger siblings as living in transition and instability can lead to assistance. This assistance may include staying in the same school, free food at school, transportation to school, tutoring, and referrals and access to other services such as food, clothing, and medical care.

Don’t forget that a teenager may not be living with a custodial parent and may be in a very unstable situation. Often times, locating a teenager living in non-permanent housing is particularly difficult. You may be the one who can help.

Contact your district’s McKinney-Vento liaison if you believe a child or family may be in need.

If you need further information from the DOE, please contact or 605-773-2491.

Definition found in the McKinney-Vento Law

The McKinney-Vento Act defines “homeless children and youth” as individuals who lack a fixed, regular, and adequate nighttime residence. The term includes:

• children and youth who are:

- sharing the housing of other persons due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason (sometimes referred to as doubled-up);

- living in motels, hotels, trailer parks, or camping grounds due to lack of alternative adequate accommodations;

- living in emergency or transitional shelters;

- abandoned in hospitals; or

- awaiting foster care placement;

• Children and youth who have a primary nighttime residence that is a public or private place not designed for, or ordinarily used as, a regular sleeping accommodation for human beings;

• Children and youth who are living in cars, parks, public spaces, abandoned buildings, substandard housing, bus or train stations, or similar settings; and

• Migratory children who qualify as homeless because they are living in circumstances described above.

Ensure that Student Records Quickly Follow Students

School Districts must ensure that student records are transferred quickly when notified of a student’s transfer. In order for students to continue with appropriate courses and lessons, the receiving school must obtain the records as soon as possible. FERPA allows for the flow of records. Please do what you can to help students receive the academic services they need so they will move closer to graduation and a brighter future. “All students will graduate - college, career, and life ready.”


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. 1232g and 34 C.F.R. Part 99) is an important federal law for ensuring the privacy of students’ education records. The FERPA statute and regulations and other state and local privacy requirements have significant implications for students who are involved in the juvenile justice system. Youth involved with the juvenile justice system experience many transitions between educational programs—from community school into facilities, between facilities, and when returning to their community schools—so it is critical that the relevant agencies understand the conditions under which FERPA allows for the transfer of student records. In fact, FERPA specifically authorizes the non-consensual disclosure of personally identifiable information (PII) from students’ education records to state or local authorities within the juvenile justice system under the following conditions….

(Click here for a copy of the entire mythbuster document.)

Title I Focus & Priority Schools

SD DOE has identified Focus and Priority schools and Priority districts for the 2013-2014 school year. Focus schools are defined as schools whose rank is among the lowest 10% of the Title I schools across the state when looking at the Gap group performance in achievement and attendance at the Elementary/Middle school level and in achievement and graduation rates at the High school level. Focus school designations are determined on an annual basis. A Priority school is defined as schools with an overall School Performance Index (SPI) score which ranks at/or below the bottom five percent. The total number of Priority Schools must be at least five percent of the Title I schools in the state. A Priority School designation is for four years- consisting of an initial planning year and then three years of implementation. Priority Districts are districts with at least one Priority school and at least 50% or more of its schools designated as Focus and/or Priority (Title and non-Title). Only districts with three or more public schools maybe identified as Priority Districts. The district will remain a Priority District for a minimum of four years.

Once identified, Focus and Priority schools and districts are required to implement a series of interventions to address the issue of low performance in their schools and districts. Interventions include but are not limited to: a set aside of Title I allocations to support professional development and/or meaningful classroom interventions; form school and/or district leadership teams to drive the continuous improvement process; assess, plan, implement, and monitor indicators of effective practice; participate in a two-day Data Retreat; and work with a state-assigned School Support Team (SST) member who will support schools throughout the designation. In addition to these items, Priority schools are also required to implement South Dakota Multi-Tiered System of Support (SD MTSS), undergo a school performance audit, and review the performance of the Priority School principal to ensure ability to lead turnaround.

Currently, South Dakota has 33 Focus Schools, 25 Priority Schools (two of which are designated due to School Improvement Grants), and six Priority Districts. Ten new Focus schools and three new Priority schools were identified for the 2013-2014 school year. Eleven schools were removed from Focus status after the 2012-2013 school year.

For more information on Focus and Priority schools and district visit

Basic Migrant Child Eligibility Factors

The child is younger than age 22.

The child is eligible for a free public education under State law.

The child moved on his or her own as a migratory agricultural worker/migratory fisher OR the child moved with or to join/precede a parent spouse or guardian who is a migratory agricultural worker/migratory fisher, AND

The move was form one school district to another, AND

The move was a change from one residence to another residence, AND

The move was due to economic necessity, AND

The move occurred within the past 36 months.

One purpose of the workers move was to seek or obtain qualifying work:

The worker moved to obtain qualifying work and obtained it, OR

The worker moved for qualifying work specifically, but did not obtain the work, AND

The worker has a prior history of moves to obtain qualifying work, OR

There is other credible evidence that the worker actively sought qualifying work soon after the move.

The employment is seasonal or temporary, AND

The work is agricultural or fishing.

Parents Play An Important Role in Building Children’s Character

If parents are committed to developing their child’s good character, they’ll get results. It takes dedication and constant watchfulness to raise a child with good morals. But it’s worth it. Your child will grow up with a strong moral compass that will serve him well in school and in life.

To build your child’s character:

• Keep a strong focus on good morals in daily activities. Incorporate the ideals of honesty and respect into dinner and car conversations with your child.

• Explain to your child why you make certain decisions. Talk about the values—such as tolerance and generosity—that guide your decisions.

• Watch TV with your child. When a character does something wrong, ask why it’s wrong. When the character makes a good moral decision—such as returning something lost—discuss why that’s the right thing to do.

• Catch your child showing good character. Tell him you-re proud of him for telling the truth or working hard to finish a task.

• Evaluate how your efforts are working. If you need help, turn to friends, family, and books about character and morals.

Source: M. Berkowitz, “Character Must Matter to Parents First,” Topeka: City of Character, The Topeka Capital-Journal,

Title I School Family Compacts

PARTNERSHIPS ARE KEY TO SUCCES--No more Title I School Parent Compacts for the sake of meeting regulations!

It’s time to develop meaningful compacts that develop partnerships between home and school. Partnerships with student’s families are an important part of student success. School family compacts should be a key part of building partnerships with families.

What do successful parent-school compacts look like? When developed properly compacts build partnerships and focus on building student achievement. The components of a compact clarify what schools and families will do to help children reach high academic achievement. In a compact, families and school staff agree how to work together.

Use the resource on the DOE website to assist in developing school compacts that meet the requirements of ESEA section 1118 and build meaningful relationships to boost academic achievement

Each Title I school must develop and disseminate Title I School Family compacts. Once the compact has been developed it is the schools responsibility to distribute the compact to families of children participating in Title I programs.

If you have questions regarding Title I Parent Involvement Compacts contact

National Title I Distinguished School

Doland’s Hillside Colony Elementary has been named a National Title I Distinguished school. This designation is to recognize the excellent work being done as a Title I School in the area of exceptional school performance for two or more consecutive years.

Timber Lake High School has been named a National Title I Distinguished school. This designation is to recognize the excellent work being done as a Title I School in the area of closing the achievement gap between student groups for two or more consecutive years.

As a result of these designations, the schools have been invited to send representatives to the National Title I Conference in San Diego, CA, Feb. 2 – 5, 2014.

Regional Data Retreats

State sponsored Regional Data Retreats for Focus and Priority schools are being held during the first three weeks of September in Sioux Falls, Pierre, and Rapid City. These two day retreats are currently being offered to Focus and Priority schools. These retreats offer schools a dedicated time to look at the four lenses of data: Student Achievement, Professional Practices, Programs & Structures, and Family & Community, and to determine a course of action that will lead to increasing student achievement and academic growth.

These regional retreats are currently being offered to schools identified as Focus or Priority. They have also been offered to some schools that are considered to be progressing for identification purposes, but have SPI scores or Gap group scores that place them at risk of becoming a Focus or a Priority school in the future. These schools will also be invited to participate in some of the same activities that are being offered to the Focus and Priority schools, such as participating in SD LEAP and the data retreats in an effort to be pro-active in the turnaround of the trends in their schools.

Academy of Pacesetting Districts

Academy of Pacesetting Districts (APD) is a year-long process in which District teams work to formalize the system of support reflecting district level practices which promote and support positive change at the school and classroom level. The product of the Academy experience is a written operations manual that defines and explains the systems of support. Nine Districts have participated in APD. Our first three Districts, Sioux Falls, McLaughlin, and Todd County, started in 2011-2012 as pilot districts. In 2012-2013, six districts participated as part of the Priority District requirements. Priority Districts are districts with at least one Priority school and at least 50% or more of its schools designated as Focus and/or Priority (Title and non-Title).

All Priority Districts identified for the 2013-2014 have started the APD process; therefore, no new cohorts will begin this year. The Priority Districts will meet at least quarterly to continue to assess, plan, and monitor district indicators within the SD LEAP program. Teams will also review the District Operations Manual policies and update as needed. Teams will be paired with another team to share ideas, problem solve, and to be critical friends and partners during quarterly meetings.

For more information regarding the APD process, please contact Jordan Dueis at 773-4716.

Committee of Practitioners – An ESEA Requirement of Each State

South Dakota, along with every other state, maintains a Committee of Practitioners (COP) as defined in Section 1903(b) of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Committee members serve in an advisory capacity and are appointed by Secretary Schopp to fill three-year positions as defined in the Federal statutes.

The committee is composed of teachers, administrators, parents, school board members, private school representatives, other educators, and pupil services personnel such as counselors. Members are also chosen based on regional representation, plus involvement in Title supported programs such as migrant, homeless and neglected/delinquent.

Each state has a State Plan for implementation of the requirements of Title I defined in Section 1111(c)(11) of ESEA. The COP provides input into the plan including the ESEA Waiver and Waiver Amendments, Focus and Priority School Guidance, Academy of Pace Setting Districts, SD LEAP (Indistar©), Multi-Tiered System of Support, and all Title I related programs.

The committee meets in person twice a year in the fall and in June. Phone call meetings are held as needed. Minutes of past meetings may be found at

As an advisory committee, members are not compensated for their time, however, all expenses are paid. If you are interested in serving on the committee or want more information, contact Along with other areas of representation, the committee is seeking additional parent representation. Self-nominations are appropriate or districts may wish to nominate someone to the position. The Department Secretary has final authority on appointment.

To find an application, a list of current members, and committee guidelines go to

SD LEAP- An Online Tool for Planning Improvement

Several schools throughout South Dakota will be utilizing the SD LEAP (Indistar®) program this school year. SD LEAP is a web-based tool that guides a district or school team in charting its improvement efforts and manag­ing the continuous improvement process. SD DOE provides a framework for the process and each district team and school team applies its own ingenu­ity to achieve the results it desires for their students. The teams will meet monthly and assess, plan, and monitor indicators of effective practice. The system is built to allow the teams to submit forms, such as their goals and objectives, directly to the DOE with the click of a button. The system also has a feature called Wise Ways, research based briefs, which assist the teams in determining their current level of implementation towards indicators of effective practice. Agendas and meeting minutes can be recorded directly in the system and it archives all documents to be seen at a later date.

SD LEAP was piloted with three School Improvement Grant (SIG) schools during the 2011-12 school year. Since then we have added our Priority and Focus Schools and a few optional participating schools to engage in the process. Currently we have six districts meeting with a District Leadership Team to assess and plan district indicators of effective practice. We have a total of 66 schools meeting with a School Leadership Team to assess and plan school-level indicators of effective practice- 32 Focus school, 25 Priority, and 9 Optional schools.

For more information, please visit or contact Shawna Poitra at (605) 773-8065.

September Attendance Awareness Month

Attendance is important from the time students enter school to the time they exit. September is Attendance Awareness Month and Attendance Works has a variety of ideas to provide schools, parents, and communities. Attendance Works is a national and state initiative that promotes better policy and practice around attendance. Their website has a variety of useful information including webinars, banners and poster ideas, toolkits, and policy information. Check out this good resource at

Fall 2013