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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Dec. 2016  
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Schools would receive 1 percent increase under budget proposal
Gov. Dennis Daugaard proposed a 1 percent increase in state aid to K-12 education during his budget address earlier this week. This increase raises the target teacher salary to $48,985. Click here to access more detailed information.

Overview of proposed certification rule changes now available
An overview of proposed changes to educator certification rules is now available. A first reading of the proposed rule changes was held at the Nov. 15 state Board of Education meeting. Public hearings will be held in January and March.

School Finance Accountability Board to hold first reading of rules Dec. 8
The School Finance Accountability Board will hold a first reading of rules related to the appeals process for teacher compensation accountabilities at its next meeting, scheduled Dec. 8 at 1 p.m. CST via teleconference and Skype. Find more information, including past meeting minutes and supporting documents, on the Department of Education website.

SD Blue Ribbon Task-Force logo Blue Ribbon education package lifts average salary by 11.9 percent
Preliminary data indicates that South Dakota’s teacher salaries are on track to meeting a statewide target average of $48,500. According to a survey of school districts, the projected average salary of public school teachers for Fiscal Year 2017 is $46,924, which represents an 11.9 percent increase statewide.
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Photo of mentoring meeting
Statewide mentoring program kicks off
Mentor/new teacher pairs have been meeting for the first time at regional kickoff meetings for the statewide mentoring program, established as part of the 2016 education package. The educators pictured here were gathered at the Fort Pierre event Nov. 15.

US Ed releases final accountability regulations
The U.S. Department of Education has announced final regulations to implement the accountability, data reporting and state plan provisions of the Every Student Succeeds Act. US DOE also issued a summary of the regulations.
Apply now for Team Nutrition sub-grants
Team Nutrition is an integrated, behavior-based, comprehensive nationwide plan for promoting the nutritional health of the nation’s students.
  • $1,000 Smarter Lunchroom sub-grants
  • 2017 Power Chef Challenge
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CTE Logo Board holds first public hearing on proposed CTE standards
The South Dakota Board of Education held the first of four public hearings on proposed career and technical education standards in six career clusters at its Nov. 15 meeting. The remaining three hearings on these standards will be held in 2017 at board meetings around the state.
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National Title I Distinguised Schools logo Leola and Anne Sullivan named National Title I Distinguished Schools
Kudos to Leola and Anne Sullivan (Sioux Falls) elementary schools on being named National Title I Distinguished schools for 2016-17! Leola has significantly closed the achievement gap, and Anne Sullivan has exhibited excellence in serving a special population of students (English learners). The schools will be honored at the National Title I Conference in February.
General photo of fruit and veggies. South Dakota sites recognized for efforts with Summer Food Service Program
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has recognized Rapid City Area Schools and the Boys and Girls Club of Rosebud for their efforts with the Summer Food Service Program in 2016. Summer Food Service Program sites operate in low-income areas to provide meals and snacks to children during the summer months.
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Warner Elementary second grade teacher Barb Nelson (left) and fourth grade teacher Cheryl Ochsner Warner Elementary recognized as SD’s National Blue Ribbon School
In November, Warner Elementary School was honored in Washington, D.C., for being among 279 public and 50 private schools nationwide named Blue Ribbon schools this year by the U.S. Department of Education. Warner was honored based on their overall academic excellence.
Second round of shared services grants awarded to schools
Two proposals from South Dakota school districts will be funded under the second round of the state’s new shared services grant program. The program was established as part of the 2016 legislative package aimed at improving teacher recruitment and retention efforts in South Dakota.
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Photo of Dr. Melody Schopp Secretary Schopp elected president of CCSSO
South Dakota Secretary of Education Dr. Melody Schopp has been elected president of the Council of Chief State School Officers Board of Directors. When she spoke at the group’s annual policy forum, she shared this video about South Dakota’s efforts in raising teacher pay.
Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

Title I Director’s Workshop
Dec. 8, Pierre

Administrative Support Series
Dec. 12, online
Feb. 13, online
March 7, online
April 5, online
**Note: Each session of the Administrative Support Series listed is unique; not a repeat of a previous session

Preparing for ACCESS 2.0
Jan. 17, Watertown
Jan. 18, Sioux Falls
Jan. 19, Chamberlain
Jan. 20, Rapid City

Board of Education
Jan. 19, Pierre

Winter Assessment Workshops
Feb. 7, Watertown
Feb. 8, Sioux Falls
Feb. 9, Pierre
Feb. 10, Rapid City

SD Invest Year 5
March 1, Mitchell
March 2, Sioux Falls
Click here for a printable version of this newsletter.

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