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SD Department of Education
Nov. 2020  
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Dr. Jones SECRETARY’S COLUMN: JAG-SD going strong with new state director in place
During the 2020 legislative session, you may recall an exciting development that occurred related to South Dakota’s Jobs for America’s Graduates program. It was officially placed into statute, a special donations fund was created, and the position of state JAG director was established within the Department of Education.

Applications open for competency-based, learner-centered course series
Over the next three years, 1,600 South Dakota K-12 educators will be invited to apply for a series of courses to increase their capacity in competency-based, knowledge-rich, whole-child approaches to instruction. Funding for educators to take these courses is made possible through South Dakota’s Rethinking K-12 Education Models (REM) grant.

Save the Date: Native American Needs Assessment coming in 2021
In January, the South Dakota Department of Education will invite all South Dakota K-12 educators to complete the state’s first-ever Native American Needs Assessment. This survey is intended to gauge current awareness, knowledge, practice, and advocacy for the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings. Results will be used to develop targeted support for broader implementation.

K-12 Connect K-12 Connect enrollment deadline approaching
The deadline to enroll in South Dakota’s K-12 Connect program is Nov. 20. This program provides free internet service to eligible K-12 students in their homes for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.
SD-JAG DOE aims to expand JAG program in South Dakota
The Jobs for America’s Graduates program seeks to connect with students who have barriers to success and empower them to graduate from high school and move confidently toward the realization of their dreams. Established in South Dakota in 2009, the program was placed in statute by the 2020 Legislature, and the Department of Education is aiming to grow JAG’s footprint in the state.
CTE for Core Content applications due Dec. 1
South Dakota schools may offer students the opportunity to earn academic credit by completing approved career and technical education courses that address the pertinent standards within the curriculum. Approval to offer credit must be obtained through an application process with the Department of Education.
South Dakota School Library Guidelines adopted

The South Dakota State Library Board and South Dakota Library Association have formally adopted the South Dakota School Library Guidelines. These guidelines are based on best practices from professional research and educational organizations. They are to be used in conjunction with the South Dakota School Library Content Standards.
Nominations open for Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award

Nominations are open until Jan. 31, 2021, for the second annual Presidential Cybersecurity Education Award, which honors two K-12 educators for excellence in cybersecurity education. Congratulations to Eagle Butte Superintendent Kara Four Bear, who received this honor last year when she was the principal at New Town Middle School in New Town, N.D.!

bus Apply by Dec. 11 for Clean Diesel grants

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources is accepting applications for funding under the South Dakota Clean Diesel Grant Program. The program provides rebates to assist in purchasing new buses to replace old, high-emitting diesel buses.
U.S. Ed. seeking School Ambassador Fellows

The U.S. Department of Education is seeking outstanding teachers, administrators, and other school leaders to join the School Ambassador Fellowship and lend their voice to the national education dialogue. Applications are due Jan. 11, 2021.

  Test-optional alternatives open to students applying to public universities

South Dakota’s six public universities are emphasizing test-optional academic pathways for prospective students as they apply in the current admissions cycle. Current South Dakota Board of Regents’ policies allow students admission based on various academic criteria.

  SFEC develops college and career resource guide

To help students navigate the wide variety of resources available, the South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center has created The Ultimate College and Career Resource Guide. This is a free online “one-stop-shop” resource guide for students, families, schools, and communities.

Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

SD-STARS training – Analyzing Quantitative Student Data
Nov. 18, online

Special Education – Legal Issues Related to Bullying, Restraint and Seclusion
Nov. 18, online

Special Education BDI-3 Transition: Informational Webinar
Nov. 23, online

2021 National ESEA Conference
Feb. 8-11, 2021, online

Save the Date: SD Education Conference
May 26-27, 2021

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