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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education March 2016  

HB 1182 headed to Governor’s desk
HB 1182, the bill to increase the state sales tax to help raise teacher pay has passed the House and Senate. It now awaits Gov. Daugaard's signature. Pictured here (l to r): Wade Pogany, ASBSD; Secretary of Education Melody Schopp; Blue Ribbon co-chairs Rep. Jacqueline Sly and Sen. Deb Soholt; Rob Monson, SASD; Tony Venhuizen, Governor’s chief of staff.

ESSA update
The South Dakota Department of Education has developed an Every Student Succeeds Act webpage with various resources, including a summary and PowerPoint presentation. Following legislative session, DOE will bring together stakeholder groups to discuss several ESSA-related topics.

CTE LOGO New! Workforce Education Grant applications now available
In 2013, the South Dakota Legislature established the Workforce Education Fund through SB 235. Part of that fund, up to $1.5 million was designated to provide grants for CTE programs in secondary schools. Grant applications are now available.

Kids at computer SBAC testing window opens March 9
The Smarter Balanced testing window opens March 9. This date applies to all tested grade levels. There will not be separate windows for grades 3-8 and grade 11. This change is intended to give districts more flexibility in scheduling assessments for all students. Find more information on the Assessment webpage.
Quality and alignment of SBAC assessment reaffirmed
Two more external evaluations have declared Smarter Balanced to be a high quality test strongly aligned with South Dakota’s math and English language arts standards. The Smarter Balanced high school test received the highest possible ratings.
Survey Graphic       Distribute Parent Involvement Surveys by March 31
School districts must distribute Parent Involvement Surveys to parents of children with disabilities by March 31. The South Dakota Department of Education sent the surveys to districts in the fall. Additional copies are available if needed. Surveys can also be completed online.
RAMP Logo Fred Assam Elementary counseling program achieves special designation
Fred Assam Elementary School’s (Brandon Valley) counseling program has been designated a Recognized ASCA Model Program (RAMP) and will be honored this summer at the American School Counselor Association’s conference in New Orleans, La. Congratulations!
Mitchell administrator named finalist for national LifeChanger of the Year award
Congratulations to Shane Thill! He is a national finalist for the LifeChanger of the Year award. Thill is director of Second Chance High School and assistant principal for Mitchell High School. Learn more and see pictures and video from the big announcement on the LifeChanger website.
Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

Winter and Spring Assessment Workshops

   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

Title Programs Wednesday Café
March 9, online

Board of Education
March 14, Rapid City

Principal Effectiveness webinars
March 24     May 17
April 20

TIE Conference
April 10-12, Sioux Falls

Perkins Data Collection Training
April 20, Pierre
April 21, Aberdeen
April 25, Rapid City
April 27, Mitchell
April 28, Sioux Falls

2016 Homeland Security Conference
May 3-5, Sioux Falls

Registration Now Open: 2016 Summer Education Conference
June 28-29, Chamberlain

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