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SD Department of Education
June 2020  
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Update on the Opportunity Gap work group

As you may be aware, the Department of Education has developed an Opportunity Gap work group that is looking at ways our state can close the achievement gap for our economically disadvantaged students. While the pandemic delayed this group’s work, it has also highlighted the group’s purpose. So, we recently gathered (virtually) to dig into a couple potential areas of focus.

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U.S. Ed. approves SD’s Perkins V plan
The U.S. Department of Education has approved South Dakota’s career and technical education state plan. South Dakota is one of the latest states to have its CTE plan approved under the new, bipartisan Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V). Find more information about South Dakota’s plan on the Department of Education’s Perkins V webpage.

Future Teacher Signing Day event celebrates students planning to teach
Educators Rising South Dakota recently held a virtual Future Teacher Signing Day event. Five school district chapters recognized their graduating seniors who are planning to pursue careers in education. Secretary of Education Dr. Ben Jones, State Teacher of the Year Amanda Harris, and Milken Educator Gina Benz shared messages of encouragement for the graduates.
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US ED Three SD students named U.S. Presidential Scholars
Jonathan Coronado, Rapid City Stevens High School; Katherine Pardy, Sioux Falls O’Gorman High School; and Ainsley Powers, Brookings High School, have been named among 161 U.S. Presidential Scholars. Seven South Dakota students were semifinalists for this distinction. Congratulations to these outstanding students!


State Library recognizes 21st Century School Libraries
The South Dakota State Library has announced the 2020 recipients of the 21st Century School Library Award. The 21st Century School Library 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.
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Deadline approaching for year-end data submission
Deadlines for closing out 2019-20 school year data are approaching, and the timeline for publishing of the 2019-20 Report Card has been established. Due to the impact of COVID-19, we know that this year’s Report Card will look very different from previous years (i.e., no new assessment, growth, or attendance data).
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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.

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Finishing the school year and looking ahead with SDMyLife (powered by Xello)

Thank you to educators who help students utilize SDMyLife (powered by Xello) as they prepare for postsecondary and careers. Please take note of a couple summer tasks to complete, a new student dashboard coming soon, and trainings coming up in August and September.

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South Dakota’s universities and technical colleges sign transfer agreement

The South Dakota Board of Regents and the South Dakota Board of Technical Education have signed a general education transfer agreement, which guarantees that a student who completes general education courses in South Dakota will be able to transfer the credits from those courses between public universities and technical colleges.
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No proactive admissions letters this fall

The Department of Education will not send out proactive admissions or college readiness coursework letters in fall 2020, due to the lack of state assessment data and the likelihood that few of the 2021 senior class will have taken the ACT. The department will still offer college readiness coursework during the 2020-21 school year, if you have students who would benefit. More information about this coursework is found on the SDVS website.


Hiring first-year teachers? Enroll them in the statewide mentoring program

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. Applications for the 2020-21 school year are open.

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Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

Please note: Due to the fluid nature of COVID-19 concerns, face-to-face meetings are subject to cancelation, postponement, or shifting to an online platform. Confirm with event organizers before making plans to attend.

Summer 2020 book studies through SD Statewide Title III & Migrant Consortia
Work due Aug. 9

Introduction to IEPQ
June 16, 9 a.m. CT, online
June 16, 1:30 p.m. CT, online

The Fundamentals of Using Data for Educators
June 16 and 18, online

Advanced Data Use Skills for Educators
June 29-Aug. 16, online

An Introduction to the 2019 SD School Library Standards
July 1-Aug. 1

Board of Education Standards
July 13

SD-STARS workshop for new STARS Certified Trainers
July 13, online

Top 20 Training
July 28-30, online

CTE Virtual Conference
Aug. 3-5 (no cost, details to come)

New to Infinite Campus training
Aug. 4-6, online

Indian Education Summit – rescheduled and going virtual!
Aug. 10

Printable version of this newsletter.

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