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SD Department of Education
Aug. 2020  
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Back to school: Districts up to the challenge

School districts across the state have begun opening their doors again, and that is exciting. What stands out most is the sheer resilience of educators, students, and families. This year will require tremendous flexibility, patience, creativity, and perseverance. I know you are up to the task.

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Report Card appeal window open through Sept. 3
Schools now have access to their 2019-20 Report Card data via SD-STARS. At this time, access is being provided to school district personnel only; the public version of the Report Card will not be available until Oct. 7, after any appeals have been finalized.
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Zoom licenses available to educators free of charge
The South Dakota Department of Education has negotiated a three-year agreement at $7.50/per user annually with Zoom to provide licenses to K-12 teachers and school administrators, as those most directly responsible for providing instruction to students. DOE will provide Zoom licenses free of charge for three years to any school that is interested in using Zoom for distance learning.
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Starting Well webpage updated regularly
The South Dakota Department of Education regularly adds guidance and resources to its Starting Well webpage. Among recent additions is a Parent Toolkit that includes information for families as they prepare for the 2020-21 school year. Resources will be added to this toolkit as well.

South Dakota awarded $6.9 million Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant
The South Dakota Department of Education has been awarded a Rethink K-12 Education Models Grant in the amount of $6,883,481 to support the state’s efforts to better serve students during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. This grant project aims to provide a comprehensive road map to successful learning so that students can learn at school, at home, or with blended learning approaches.
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South Dakota again receives highest ratings under IDEA
South Dakota has received the highest rating possible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, for both Parts B and C for the most recent reporting year of federal fiscal year 2018. The state is one of only 12 to meet the requirements and purposes of IDEA under both Parts B and C, according to information released recently from the U.S. Department of Education.
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Laura Scheibe Scheibe named to Advance CTE Board
Congratulations to Laura Scheibe, South Dakota’s state director of career and technical education! She has been named secretary/treasurer of the Advance CTE Board for 2020-21. Advance CTE is the longest-standing national nonprofit that represents state CTE directors and state leaders of career and technical education.
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Updated graduation requirements take full effect; webinars planned

Starting with the 2020-21 school year, the graduation requirements adopted in 2018 will take full effect. The new graduation requirements were adopted by the Board of Education Standards in July 2018, with a soft implementation. September webinars are planned to provide an overview of the new requirements.

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Changes to dual credit now in effect

During the 2020 legislative session, SB 142 was passed. This new law went into effect July 1, 2020. It requires that, starting this fall, students participating in the High School Dual Credit program are no longer eligible to participate if they have received a “W” or “F” grade in a high school dual credit course. Learn more about this change in this Frequently Asked Questions document.

Webinars to address suicide prevention policy
School administrators, counselors, teachers, and board members are invited to attend one of two webinars on Model School Policy: Suicide Prevention to be held in September. The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention will provide an overview of the Model School District Policy on Suicide Prevention.
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Reminder of annual home school reporting process

Families who home school their students must annually report exempt status to the public school district in which they reside. The school district must provide a copy of the notification form to the location where the student is being provided instruction and a copy to the state Department of Education, as per SDCL 13-27-9. Encourage home school families to use the current Notification for Public School Exemption Certificate form, posted on the department's Home School webpage.


Remember school entry immunization requirements

As a result of COVID-19, the Department of Health reports seeing a decrease in childhood immunizations. In late June and again on Aug. 21, DOH sent a letter to principals reminding them of SDCL 13-28-7.1, which requires any pupil entering school be adequately immunized against certain communicable diseases.

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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.

SD-STARS Account Managers (SAM) Training Session
Sept. 8, online

Board of Education Standards
Sept. 21, Aberdeen

Webinar for SD educators: Model School Policy on Suicide Prevention
Sept. 29, 10 a.m. CT or 2 p.m. CT

Community Response to Child Abuse Conference
Sept. 30-Oct. 1, online

Northern Plains Law Conference
Oct. 5-6, online

Dyslexia Assessment in SD
Oct. 9, online
Oct. 16, online
Nov. 6, online

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