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Letter from the Secretary
SD Department of Education May 2016  
  Teacher Appreciation Week May 2-6

Letter from the Secretary

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 2-6, which is a great opportunity to reflect on the school year and celebrate the profession.

With the passage of Gov. Daugaard’s education reform package, this has certainly been a historic year in South Dakota. The increase in teacher pay is vital, and so are other items in the package—including the development of a teacher mentoring program for first- and second-year teachers and the reestablishment of the stipend for National Board Certification. I believe this legislation will do great things for recruiting and retaining educators in our state.

Legislation is big. It makes headlines and dominates news cycles. We mustn’t forget, though, that every day in classrooms across our state, thousands of teachers are doing a million little things for their students. You won’t hear about these things on the nightly news, but that doesn’t make them any less significant. You can see it in the admiring eyes of a little girl who thinks her teacher is even cooler than Elsa from Frozen. You see it when that high school English teacher stays late to help a student polish his college application essay. And you hear it when the one cheering loudest at a school play, concert or game is a teacher.

This profession is an honorable one, and I am proud to call South Dakota educators my colleagues. Thank you. Every day, you make a difference in the life of a child.
2015-16 Report Card schedule available
The South Dakota Department of Education is looking ahead to the release of the State Report Card later this year. With the transition to the new Every Student Succeeds Act, the department will still calculate and publish School Performance Index, or SPI, scores this year on the Report Card. However, per the administrative rule change before the state Board of Education on May 16, the department does not intend to calculate new school classifications based on those SPI scores. In other words, school classifications currently in place would continue throughout the 2016-17 school year.

Below is the tentative schedule for release of the 2015-16 Report Card:

• June 10 – PRF closes; last day for districts to make changes to SY 2015-16 data in Infinite Campus

• Aug. 26-Sept. 2 – Districts review and validate data in SD-STARS. If data errors are discovered, this is the time to fix them. The Department of Education recommends districts have their Accountability Team available during this time to assist with the data review process.

• Sept. 27 – Department provides districts with final data prior to the public release of the Report Card.

• Sept. 27-Oct. 3 – Districts share local data with key stakeholders, including boards of education.

• Oct. 4 – Public release of statewide data in the 2015-16 Report Card.

• Oct. 17 – Deadline for formal appeals to be submitted to the department.

• Oct. 31 – Deadline for the department to make decisions on formal appeals.

Classroom Innovation Grants Video
View video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vQnJYsCDp2Q
Apply for Classroom Innovation Grants by May 31
Senate Bill 133 from the 2016 Legislature included an ongoing appropriation of $1 million to provide Classroom Innovation Grants to public schools. The purpose of the program is to provide funding for developing teacher training and classroom access to virtual education and customized learning tools. Learn more on the Department of Education website (http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/cig.aspx).

Proposed rule changes available for public comment
The state Board of Education will hold a public hearing on a proposed rule change related to school accountability at its May 16 meeting. The proposed change calls for holding school classifications currently in place in South Dakota steady for another year (throughout the 2016-17 school year). Visit the board’s webpage (http://doe.sd.gov/board/) to learn more; look under the “Rules” subhead.
June 10 Update Personnel Record Form by June 10
The Personnel Record Form database is open, and the deadline to make changes is June 10. As the Department of Education plans for the release of the State Report Card, it is important to be sure information in the PRF database is updated to reflect the most accurate information for your district.

PRF Timeline

New! May 9 —Teacher Compensation Data. DOE will extract 2015-16 data from the PRF for all teachers (name, SSN, instructional FTE and instructional contract salary). This information will be loaded to the Annual Financial Report (AFR) and must be reviewed and edited by each district to report the baseline teacher compensation data for FY 2016.

• May 14 —Praxis tests taken and passed after May 14 will not be received in time for teachers to be considered highly qualified. Testing locations are available at the following locations: Aberdeen, Huron, Vermillion, Rapid City and Sioux Falls. This allows options for individuals who need to pass a Praxis test in order to be considered highly qualified.

• Before June 10 —Review the Highly Qualified reports for all staff to ensure accuracy.

• June 10 —The PRF database closes for the summer.

Areas of the PRF to review and update

• Non-Authorized Position Code. The system does not automatically update the PRF to indicate a person is highly qualified after he or she passes the Praxis exam. If staff take and pass the Praxis test, districts will need to manually switch the person’s position code from non-authorized to “elementary school teacher,” “middle school teacher,” or “high school teacher” so the system can deem them highly qualified.

• Employee who is no longer a staff person after working the first part of the school year. If a staff person quit after the first part of the school year, districts will need to update his or her information. Do NOT change a person’s record to reflect No Longer Employed. This will be done next year in the 2016-17 database. Districts should open each assignment and update the quarters or trimesters a person actually worked at the school. Also update salary (if required) to reflect what was paid based on time worked.

• New Employee. If a staff person was employed after the database was closed in October, add the staff person to the appropriate area of the PRF. The FTE and salary should reflect time worked.

• Plans of Intent. Review each Plan of Intent. If the person has completed the requirements, the Plan Status will show as Completed.

• Bus Drivers. If a district employs or contracts with a bus driver who had not taken the required Annual Training before the PRF closed, but has since taken that training, the district should update the driver’s record.

• Program Reviews. If you have had a Program Review since the PRF closed, and you have information on the PRF that needs to be updated, you may do this now.

• Other Areas of the PRF. Review each area of the PRF to ensure data is accurate. A number of edit checks were completed on the data, but there can still be something which was not identified as a problem.

• Assurance Statement. The Assurance Statement does not need to be completed at this time.

Contact Jantina Nelson-Stastny (Jantina.Nelson-Stastny@state.sd.us), Department of Education, at (605) 668-2904 with questions.
Teacher with Ipad Update: National Board Certification stipends
As reported previously, Gov. Dennis Daugaard and the 2016 Legislature approved a K-12 education package that, among other things, reinstated the stipends for South Dakota public school teachers and counselors who seek National Board Certification.

The Department of Education will be paying stipends for South Dakota’s National Board Certified public school teachers and National Board Certified – NCSC public school counselors retroactively: $1,000 per year for years 1–5 of certification, if it has not done so already. While districts are not required to contribute retroactively, if a district did pay individuals $1,000 per year for years 6-10 of certification, the department will match that amount.

In addition, if a district did not pay the stipend for years 6-10 but chooses to do so now, retroactively, the Department of Education will match that amount up to $1,000 per year.

National Board Certified individuals have been contacted and will be required to provide proof of the years 6-10 payments by submitting pay stubs showing the district payments or documentation from the contributing district’s accounting system. Required forms for reimbursement have been provided and are available at http://doe.sd.gov/oatq/NB-reimbursement.aspx.

The Department of Education will pay eligible public school teachers and counselors their stipends for years 1-5 of certification in FY 2016. Payment for years 6-10 of certification will be made in FY 2017 provided appropriate documentation has been received and confirmed by the department.

Questions about the National Board stipend can be directed to Kathy Riedy (kathy.riedy@state.sd.us), Department of Education, at (605) 773-8415.
Graduation Handbook Questions as you prepare to hand out diplomas?
As districts work with transcripts to make sure students are on track for graduation, a reminder that the Department of Education recently issued an updated version of the High School Graduation Requirements Handbook. It is organized in a Q & A format and includes an infographic that provides an “at a glance” summary of requirements. The handbook is available on the Department of Education website (http://doe.sd.gov/octe/gradrequirements.aspx).

One of the most commonly asked questions is about whether a high school course can be used to meet more than one graduation requirement. This “double dipping” is not allowed. Courses may not be counted more than once to fulfill high school graduation requirements. For example, Economics cannot meet both the Social Studies elective credit requirement and the Personal Finance or Economics credit requirement. It can only meet one of the requirements.

Questions about the Board of Regents South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship and Regents’ Scholar Diploma are also common. For information on these items, please visit www.sdbor.edu or call (605) 773-3455.
Scholarships available for paraprofessionals in select districts
Senate Bill 81 (http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=81), passed by the 2016 Legislature, establishes a tuition assistance scholarship program for paraprofessionals working in qualifying South Dakota schools. The purpose of the program is to help these individuals earn their teaching degrees and, ultimately, state certification. Find more information on the Office of Indian Education website (http://indianeducation.sd.gov/ParaprofessionalsScholarships.aspx).
Dyslexia work group to meet this summer
A work group will meet this summer to examine strategies for providing South Dakota educators and pre-service teachers with tools to help identify and serve students with dyslexia. The group will also update South Dakota’s Dyslexia Handbook. The group’s first meeting will be June 14 in Pierre.
Nominate your district’s Bus Driver of the Year
The South Dakota School Transportation Association is looking for nominations for Bus Driver of the Year. In addition, districts can recognize drivers for 25 years or more of service, and districts can recognize drivers who are retiring. Click on the links below to access the appropriate nomination forms.

• Bus Driver of the Year (http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/May/documents/BusDriveroftheYear.doc)

• 25+ Years of Service (http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/May/documents/25YearsofService.doc)

• Bus Driver Retirement (http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/May/documents/BusDriverRetirement.doc)

Questions should be directed to Tim Steichen (tim.steichen@k12.sd.us), president of SDSTA, at (605) 882-6335.
Sue Burgard National AfterSchool Association honors DOE employee
The National AfterSchool Association has named Sue Burgard one of the Most Influential People in State and Local Government (http://naaweb.org/most-influential-in-gvmt). According to the association, honorees were chosen because their service, research and action in local government influence and affect large numbers of children and families. Congratulations, Sue!
Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/.

Title Programs Wednesday Café
May 11, online

Title Programs Wednesday Café webinars are intended for Title I schools. Find more information at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Questions? Contact Dawn Smith (DawnL.Smith@state.sd.us), South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-2535.

Board of Education
May 16, Aberdeen

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet at 9 a.m. CDT in the Northern State University Student Center, 1200 South Jay St., in Aberdeen. The final of four public hearings will be held on proposed career and technical education standards in several career clusters.

The board will also hold a public hearing on a proposed rule change related to school accountability. The proposed change calls for holding school classifications currently in place in South Dakota steady for another year (throughout the 2016-17 school year). Visit the board's webpage (http://doe.sd.gov/board/) to learn more; look under the “Rules” subhead.

An agenda will be posted on the Boards and Commissions portal (http://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Meetings.aspx?BoardID=32) at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Principal Effectiveness webinar
May 18

The Department of Education is hosting a Principal Effectiveness webinar series throughout the 2015-16 school year. Principals and superintendents are invited to participate. Webinars are also recorded and posted on the department’s website. Register at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Here is a calendar of session dates, descriptions and log-in information (http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/documents/15-PEWeb2.pdf).

Advanced Data Use Skills for Educators
May 30-July 13, online

Since summer 2013, the Department of Education has offered courses to train educators on how to use data. These courses provided training on fundamental skills.

Building upon skills taught in the prerequisite “Fundamentals of Using Data for Educators,” this online course applies the fundamental skills to an individual project that uses data. Participants will complete required readings, participate in online discussions and complete a data project with the goal of using data to answer important questions to drive positive change in their district, school or classroom.

Find registration information and more at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Search by course title.

Providing Evidence-Based Feedback/Communication and Data Analysis for Administrators
June 20-24, various locations statewide

Participants will become familiar with research-based strategies for developing critical questions and providing evidence-based feedback for growth within a structured evaluation process. Using these strategies, participants will have an opportunity to collaboratively create critical questions and develop evidence-based feedback based on a variety of scenarios.

Part of the training will include reflecting upon leadership behaviors that are requisite to building trust and creating a culture in which leaders can successfully coach for growth.

Participants will also discuss methods to analyze the summative data of the Smarter Balanced Assessment to maximize the use of this data in the SLO process and other district decisions.

Register for these trainings at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Contact Matt Gill (Matthew.Gill@state.sd.us) with questions.

Civil Rights Regulations in the Educational Setting
June 21, Rapid City
June 23, Watertown

The South Dakota Department of Education is making available a professional development opportunity that will allow participants to gain in-depth knowledge into civil rights federal regulations for the educational setting. The full-day sessions will feature specialists from the regional U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights in Kansas City, Mo.

The department encourages K-12 staff as well as postsecondary personnel to attend. Please inform staff who serve in any of the following capacities about these trainings:
• Title IX Coordinator
• Section 504 Coordinator
• School Administrator
• School Counselor
• Career and Technical Education Teacher/Director
• School District Attorney

Space is limited. Eight contact hours towards a CEU credit are available for full-day attendance. Register at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Search ‘civil rights.’

Questions? Contact Carol Uecker, South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-4771.

2016 Summer Education Conference
June 28-29, Chamberlain

This year’s conference will focus on explicit instruction with keynote speaker Dr. Anita Archer. Read more about Dr. Archer and find registration information on this shareable flyer (http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/March/documents/MTSS-Conf.pdf).

Fundamentals of Using Data for Educators
July 5-Aug. 19, online (and one face-to-face workshop)

This fundamentals course provides educators with the skills they need to analyze and use data in order to answer important questions. Scheduled from July 5-Aug. 19, this course requires online work, and participants must attend in-person at one of the following locations, 9 a.m-5 p.m., local time:
• July 18, Rapid City
• July 20, Aberdeen
• July 21, Mitchell

Find more information at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Search by course title.

Boot Camp 2016: Primary Sources in the 21st Century School Library
July 18-21, Pierre

What is a primary source? Where can I find primary sources to use with my students? How do I integrate primary sources into my lessons?

Find the answers to these questions and more at the State Library in Pierre from July 18-21, during Boot Camp 2016. Students will explore Primary Sources in the 21st Century School Library with an emphasis on integrating research and social studies standards. Class time will include activities at the Cultural Heritage Center Museum and Archives, a tour of the Oahe Dam and a visit with a Lewis and Clark expert.

All educators, certified and paraprofessional, are welcome! Find registration information and more on the State Library website (http://library.sd.gov/LIB/DEV/training/bootcamp/index.aspx).

Registration closes June 1.

Questions? Contact Joan Upell (joan.upell@state.sd.us) or Kathleen Slocum (kathleen.slocum@state.sd.us) with the State Library.

The GO TO Strategies Workshop
July 25, Sioux Falls
July 26, Oacoma

This full-day workshop will introduce newly-developed strategies and resources that enable teachers to plan scaffolded, yet rigorous and relevant content lessons for English language learners. It is imperative that teachers create lessons that enable ELLs to master academic language and content simultaneously. The strategies presented in this workshop have been chosen to reflect research-based principles of instruction for ELLs with an emphasis on the inclusion of oral academic language instruction. The goal is to increase the comprehensibility of academic language and to promote student interaction while using language.

Participants will be able to:

• Associate strategies with research-based principles of instruction.

• Become familiar with the components of the GO TO Strategies and how to use the resources.

• Participate in strategy demonstrations during the workshop and plan classroom applications.

• Draft and share action plans that use specific strategies to develop the domains of language.

• Begin to use a planning framework that scaffolds content lessons by integrating strategies.

• Leave with abundant resources for scaffolding instruction for ELLs, including the complete GO TO Strategy materials (101 pages) and handouts of workshop activities.

Spread the word with this shareable flyer (http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/May/documents/GoToflyer.pdf). Register at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Search by course title.

Principal Effectiveness Training: Transitioning from the Planning Year into the Implementation Year
July 25-28, various locations statewide

In this final regional training, principals and their evaluators will engage in a four-step process of reflection, sharing, collaboration and integration.

Goal Sharing and Reflection
Participants will be asked to bring School Growth Goals and Professional Practice Goals. Using a reflection guide, participants will share and reflect upon both Professional Practice and School Growth Goal development. Discussion will include how goals were established and how they are being assessed. The reflection process will conclude with a sharing of decisions made and action steps taken to achieve the goals. A focus of this discussion will be how principal growth goals are tied to the overall school goals (i.e. School Improvement Plans, Title Plans, Focus/Priority plans), etc.

Artifact Review and Reflection
Participants, both evaluators and evaluatees, will be asked to bring artifacts/evidence gathered over the course of the planning year. In small groups, using a series of reflection questions, participants will share artifacts/evidence and how they are tied to the Professional Practice Goals, School Growth Goals, Principal Effectiveness domains, the bigger-picture goals of the school (i.e. School Improvement Plans, Title Plans, Focus/Priority plans), etc.

Evaluation Cycle Review and Reflection
Using a series of reflection questions, participants will share how the evaluation cycle worked and ideas for the future.

Both groups will go through a process of integrating Professional Practice Goals, artifacts/evidence and student growth results (both SLO and SBAC) into a final Summative Evaluation. This discussion will include a review of how Summative Scores are calculated but participants will not actually assign scores during the process. Register for these trainings at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Contact Matt Gill (Matthew.Gill@state.sd.us) with questions.

New format in 2016! Indian Education Summit
Sept. 25-27, Pierre


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