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Letter from the Secretary

SD Department of Education
Dec. 2017  
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Celebrating SD’s National Title I Distinguished Schools
Secretary of Education Dr. Melody Schopp recently visited Wall Elementary and Fred Assam Elementary (Brandon Valley School District) to celebrate their designations as National Title I Distinguished Schools. Kudos to students and educators at these two accomplished schools!

image of Wall Elementary student body and staff holding banner that has text Wall Elementary National Title 1 Distinguished School.   image of Fred Assam Elementary  student body and staff holding banner that has text National Title 1 Distinguished School

Governor delivers state budget address
In his Dec. 5 budget address to state lawmakers, Gov. Dennis Daugaard indicated that state revenues continue to come in below projections. Learn more about what this means for K-12 education funding in the Governor’s Budget Report for Fiscal Year 2019.

Appropriations Committee approves SFAB recommendations
The Department of Education presented the Report on School Finance Accountability Board Meetings: Summary and Recommendations to the Joint Committee on Appropriations at the committee’s Dec. 5 meeting. Meeting audio is available on the committee’s webpage. The committee approved the SFAB’s recommendations.

Child Count submissions due Jan. 19
The system for collecting Child Count data is now open. Child Count is an unduplicated count of all children with disabilities, ages 3-21, receiving special education and related services according to an individualized education program on Dec. 1 of each year. Access the system on the Department of Education’s Child Count webpage. School districts must submit their Child Count data by Jan. 19.
stock photo of hands holding up letters that spell out ENGLISH SD English Learner Chats to begin this month
Beginning Dec. 19, the Department of Education will host monthly webinar sharing sessions for educators who work with English learners. Hear new ideas from colleagues, share ideas and ask questions. Find details, including several planned topics of discussion, on this flyer.

SD’s National Blue Ribbon Schools honored in Washington, D.C.
Representatives from each of South Dakota’s three National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2017 attended an awards ceremony Nov. 6-7 in Washington, D.C. Congratulations to these South Dakota schools!
Images of representative from Robert Bennis Elementary being presented award.
Robert Bennis Elementary (Brandon Valley)
Images of representative from Frederick Elementary being presented award.
Frederick Elementary
Images of representative from Robert Bennis Elementary being presented award.
Immaculate Conception School (Watertown)
Stock photo of biology teacher. Nominate an outstanding biology teacher
Want to recognize a great science teacher in your district? Nominate him or her for the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award. The award is sponsored by the National Association of Biology Teachers and honors teachers of the life sciences in grades 7-12. Nominees will have until March 30, 2018, to complete their application for the award.
read more

Graphic with text site assess

Mobile app designed to support school and district site assessment
The SITE ASSESS comprehensive tool from U.S. Ed. helps school and district personnel examine safety, security, accessibility and emergency preparedness. The app generates a customized to-do list that can be used in the short and long term, prompts teams to share pertinent information with first responders and contains relevant resources on several education facility and safety topics.

Image of cover of report

SD school health efforts highlighted in national publication
South Dakota is among several states highlighted in Achieving Impact, a new publication of the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. The report highlights achievements of select states related to implementation of the school health area of a cooperative agreement funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here’s a direct link to South Dakota’s project information.
Image of two arrows pointing opposite directions. Text on top of arrows DUAL CREDIT. BOR develops Dual Credit Advisory Tracks
South Dakota public universities have developed advising materials for high school dual credit students. A series of Advisory Tracks were created, which group together majors that share similar program requirements and may have preferred courses that should be taken to fulfill general education requirements. Find more information on the Board of Regents website.
Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

New Special Ed Directors Webinar Series
Dec. 12
Jan. 23

SD-STARS Monthly Webinar
Dec. 14
Jan. 24

Effective Core EL Program
Jan. 4, Pierre
Jan. 5, Sioux Falls

ACCESS 2.0 Assessment Workshop
Jan. 16, Pierre
Jan. 17, Watertown
Jan. 18, Mitchell

2017-2018 Program Improvement Meetings
Jan. 22, Rapid City
Jan. 23, Pierre
Jan. 24, Aberdeen
Jan. 29, Mitchell
Jan. 30, Sioux Falls
Jan. 31, Brookings

Board of Education Standards
Jan. 26, Rapid City

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