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SD Department of Education
June 2019  
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Reminder: Educator certification rule changes go into effect July 1

In 2017, South Dakota overhauled its educator certification system. That overhaul included several administrative rule changes that were adopted with a two-year delay because they impose additional requirements on educators. Those rule changes will go into effect this July 1, 2019.

This document [https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2019/June/documents/certification.docx] outlines these changes. Please share this information with appropriate staff in your school and/or district.

State assessment vendor selected

The current contract to administer state assessments in English language arts, math, science and alternate science is ending. State law requires a bid process, and the Department of Education received three proposals from potential vendors during this process. American Institutes for Research and Questar submitted bids for all needed assessments, while the University of Kansas submitted a bid just for the alternate science assessment.

AIR has been selected as the vendor to administer South Dakota’s state assessments beginning spring 2020 for grades 3-8 and 11 in ELA and math and grades 5, 8, and 11 in science and science alternate. AIR is the state’s current vendor for ELA and math (since 2014-15), but the science and science alternate will be a new assessment that AIR will deliver. The contract is a six-year contract with an option to renew for three additional one-year terms. The contract amount is roughly $2 million annually. AIR will continue to use ELA and math assessment items from the Smarter Balanced Consortium.

Vendor proposals were reviewed by a small group of K-12 administrators, department staff, and state BIT (technology) staff. Several factors were considered in the selection process. AIR was selected based on the availability of high-quality test items aligned to our state standards; consistency in providing a single platform for all three tests; ability to provide continuous reporting results, including the ability to seamlessly continue student growth calculations; accessibility features; and access to interim assessment and instructional resources.

Finally, you may recall that the department sponsored a bill this past legislative session that would have allowed for an end-of-course model for state assessment at the high school level. That bill failed, so the state will continue with the current comprehensive exam at the high school level.

ESSA State Plan Revision Workgroup meeting June 19
The ESSA State Plan Revision Workgroup will hold its second meeting June 19 in Fort Pierre and is expected to meet several times in the months ahead, with the intention of submitting a revised State Plan to the U.S. Department of Education by early 2020. A list of group members, along with notes from the group’s first meeting are posted on the department’s ESSA Implementation webpage [https://doe.sd.gov/ESSA/].

SPED Interim Legislative Committee to meet July 11

The Special Education Interim Legislative Committee members have been announced, and the first meeting is scheduled for July 11 in Sioux Falls. The committee was established by SB 3 [http://sdlegislature.gov/docs/legsession/2019/Bills/SB3ENR.pdf] during the 2019 session. Three superintendents, a SPED director, a school business manager, and a school board member are among committee members. The committee’s purpose is to study the cost and coordination of special education services in the state.

Read more at http://sdlegislature.gov/docs/PressReleases/PressRelease05142019.pdf.

Special education report now available online

Information regarding school districts’ performance on improving the educational outcomes of students with disabilities is now available online. The Special Education Report is released annually by June 1. The report addresses the federal requirement of special education programs, known as Part B, to report on the performance of each local school district, based on the State Performance Plan results.

Read more at https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2019/0531-SPP.pdf.

Deadline approaching for year-end data submission
In May, key school personnel received an email outlining year-end data deadlines, as well as a timeline for release of the 2018-19 Report Card. June 14 is the final date to make changes to Infinite Campus, Personnel Record Form, Perkins, and Safe, Drug- and Gun-Free data systems. The Year-End Signoff document, signaling that a district’s data is complete, must be returned to DOE by June 21.
Educational Items Board adopts changes to educator preparation program approval
The Board of Education Standards has adopted changes to South Dakota Administrative Rule 24:53, which has to do with approval of educator preparation programs. The changes update language to reflect industry standards, correct references to national program standards where applicable, and align terminology and requirements with updated educator certification rules. The changes next go to the Legislature’s Interim Rules Review Committee for approval.
DSS to support school-based substance use and violence prevention program

The Department of Social Services, Division of Behavioral Health is pleased to offer an opportunity to middle schools in South Dakota to implement an evidence-based substance use prevention program. During the 2019 Legislative Session, Governor Noem requested, and the legislature approved, funding to support school-based meth prevention.

To gauge the level of interest from middle schools in the implementation of the LifeSkills program, a brief survey is available for schools: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6X6DYXP.

This funding is intended to support the implementation of the Botvin LifeSkills Training program in middle schools.

For those unfamiliar with LifeSkills, it is an evidence-based substance use and violence prevention program designed to promote positive youth development. The program learning objectives include personal self-management skills, general social skills, and drug resistance skills to promote healthy behavior and positive education outcomes. The middle school program is designed to be taught in sequence over three years and build on skills learned in previous levels.

The LifeSkills middle school program structure is as follows:

  • Foundation Level 1, 15 sessions
  • Booster Level 2, 10 sessions
  • Booster Level 3, 5 sessions
Each session is designed to be taught in 30-45 minutes, and sessions are taught as your schedule allows. This may include a more intensive schedule, such as sessions occurring two to three times per week, or it can be taught on a more extended schedule, such as once per week. Supplemental sessions can be included in Level 2 and Level 3 on topics such as meth, marijuana, vaping/e-cigarettes, health, nutrition, and bullying. Please see the LifeSkills Middle School Scope and Sequence [https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2019/June/documents/LifeSkills.pdf] for more information on the structure and topics covered in the program.

DSS-DBH’s next step is to issue a Request for Proposals to solicit accredited substance use prevention providers to employ the LifeSkills facilitators. The expectation of the LifeSkills facilitators is that they are trained in the LifeSkills program and possess either a Certified Prevention Specialist or Certified Prevention Specialist Trainee certification.

If you have questions about the program, you may contact Jana Sprenger with the Division of Behavioral Health at 605-367-5236.

Vape Posters

New vaping posters and flyers available from DOH

The South Dakota Department of Health Tobacco Control Program has new, free vaping resources for schools. Find seven new flyers and eight new posters to use at your school. To order, visit DOH's online catalog [http://doh.sd.gov/catalog.aspx], select the Tobacco Prevention tab on the left, and scroll down to find all the vape-related materials. Questions? Contact Jacob Parsons [Jacob.Parsons@state.sd.us], with the Department of Health.

21 Century State Library recognizes 21st Century School Libraries

Thirteen school libraries have received the 21st Century School Library Award for 2019. This award recognizes school libraries as Effective, Enhanced, or Exemplary, based on performance in three areas: place, which refers to the learning environment (both physical and online), programming, and the professional.

Read more at https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2019/0603-SDSL.pdf.

Holding Globe Don’t miss English Learner Program Boot Camp June 24-25 in Pierre

South Dakota school districts are experiencing an increase in the number of linguistically diverse students, creating a need for additional support for English learners in schools. This two-day workshop is targeted to school administrators, English learner teachers and mainstream teachers. Educators will learn about the EL program and have opportunities to ask questions about developing local programs.

Read more at https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/Course/browse?courseid=12650.

Download infographic at https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2019/June/documents/MentoringIG.pdf

Recently hired a first-year teacher? Sign them up for mentoring!

The statewide mentoring program provides a first-year teacher access to a mentor teacher for a period of two years and participation in a summer academy following the first and second year of employment.

There is still time for first-year teachers to sign up. Late hires will also have an opportunity to participate. Through this program, South Dakota’s newest teachers are supported and welcomed into the education community.

There is also still time for new mentors to sign up. This is an excellent opportunity for experienced South Dakota teachers (current and retired) to share their skills and help guide beginning teachers.

Requirements have also been established for districts that would like to receive funding to handle mentoring locally.

Visit the mentoring program's webpage [http://doe.sd.gov/mentoring/] to learn more and find the following:

  • Applications for new mentors and first-year teachers
  • Program information for second-year participants
Those who are already participating in the program are not required to complete a new application.

Upcoming Events

Except where otherwise noted, details on the following events are available at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/].

Summer book studies on English learner topics
Self-paced, online

MTSS Summer Conference
June 11-12, Oacoma

Civil Rights Regulations in the Educational Setting
June 12, Watertown

Special Education Advisory Panel
June 12, Pierre

Multi-Hazard Emergency Planning for Schools
June 13-14, Mitchell

The Fundamentals of Using Data for Educators
June 13, Rapid City
June 18, Watertown
June 19, Mitchell

2-Day Face-to-Face English Learner Program Boot Camp
June 24-25, Pierre

Board of Education Standards
July 15, Pierre [http://doe.sd.gov/board/]

National Customized Learning Summit
July 16-18, Rapid City

Co-Teaching & Collaboration (for educators working with English learners)
July 22, Mitchell [https://www.eventbrite.com/e/july-22-co-teaching-collaboration-mitchell-tickets-55909992292]
July 23, Aberdeen [https://www.eventbrite.com/e/july-23-co-teaching-collaboration-aberdeen-tickets-55910576038]

CTE Conference
July 28-30, Mitchell

2019 IEP Workshops
Various dates and locations statewide, summer and fall

Active Shooter Workshop
Aug. 13, Pierre

Save the Date! Indian Education Summit
Sept. 22-24, Pierre

School Library Boot Camp
Sept. 25, Spearfish, and online


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