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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education Feb. 2016  
State Capitol Building Photo 2016 Legislative Session in full swing
Education funding and teacher pay are taking center stage this session, along with several other education-related bills. Here’s a summary of bills the Department of Education is following.

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Celebrate CTE Month
February is Career and Technical Education Month. Check out the Department of Education's CTE Month webpage throughout the month for stories about CTE teachers and other fun updates. The department will also host weekly webinars about great things happening in CTE.

Congress beginning work on Child Nutrition reauthorization bill
According to a statement from the School Nutrition Association, the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition & Forestry has released the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act of 2016, legislation to reauthorize the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Find more information on the SNA website.
March calendar clock CTE program applications for SY 2016-17 due March 1
Applications are available now for districts interested in adding or expanding approved Career and Technical Education programs in the 2016-17 school year. Applications for approved CTE programs must be submitted to the Department of Education by March 1.

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Teacher of the year written on chalkboard with books and apple Start planning now for selection of your district's Teacher of the Year
Who will be named your District Teacher of the Year this spring? Now is the time to start seeking nominations for this special recognition. Districts can determine their own methods for selecting winners, but nomination forms should be made widely available.

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High School Graduation Requirements Handbook High School Graduation Requirements Handbook updated
South Dakota's High School Graduation Requirements Handbook has been updated. Requirements have not changed, but the handbook contains updated information to assist educators as they work with students. Find an electronic version of the handbook and a new infographic on the Department of Education website.
South Dakota Association School Resource Officers logo Nominate a School Resource Officer making a difference in your district
The South Dakota Association of School Resource Officers is looking for the School Officer of the Year. Nominees should display professionalism, dedication and commitment to their school and/or district. Submit this nomination form by March 11.

South Dakota State Historical Society logo State historical society looking for SD's History Teacher of the Year
Nominations are being accepted until Feb. 29, for the 2016 South Dakota K-12 History Teacher of the Year, one of the Governor’s Awards for History coordinated by the South Dakota State Historical Society.
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summer fruit Establish a Summer Food Service Program in your community
In an effort to fend off hunger, the South Dakota Department of Education’s office of Child and Adult Nutrition Services is seeking sponsors for a federally-funded program that provides nutritious meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during the summer months.

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class of pencils - one taller than the rest like a teacher DOE seeking new educator voices for the Emerging Classroom Leaders Pool
The Department of Education maintains a list of Emerging Classroom Leaders. These educators may be considered for membership on advisory boards and task forces, as well as candidates for special recognition programs.
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Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

District Leadership Retreat – Data Dig for Statewide Survey Data
Feb. 5, Watertown
Feb. 10, Platte
Feb. 11, Sioux Falls
Feb. 12, Pierre

Title Programs Wednesday Café
Feb. 10, online

GMS Regional Training – Planning Sections
Feb. 11-Feb. 19, various locations statewide

Winter and Spring Assessment Workshops

   Smarter Balanced and DSTEP Science
   Feb. 11, Pierre            Feb. 12, Aberdeen
   Feb. 18, Watertown    Feb. 19, Rapid City
   Feb. 29, Sioux Falls
         (NEW! Additional session scheduled 1-4 p.m.)
   March 1, Sioux Falls

   Alternate Assessment Administration
   – DSTEP Alt and NCSC (now MSAA)

   March 7, Watertown
   March 8, Sioux Falls
         (NEW! Additional session scheduled 1-4 p.m.)
   March 9, Oacoma
   March 10, Rapid City

   Paper/Pencil Schools
   – Smarter Balanced and DSTEP Science

   March 15, Pierre

Principal Effectiveness webinars
Feb. 17     April 20
March 24     May 17

"I've Got a Lot to Say" – An Instructional and Assessment Look at Communication
March 1, Sioux Falls
March 3, Rapid City

Board of Education
March 14, Rapid City

TIE Conference
April 10-12, Sioux Falls

Save the Date: 2016 Homeland Security Conference
May 3-5, Sioux Falls

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Click here for a printable version of this newsletter.

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