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SD Department of Education
April 2020  
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South Dakota students are lucky to have you

I’ve learned many things during this COVID-19 crisis. Chief among these lessons: the resiliency of educators, school support personnel, and students is second to none. Your resiliency and ability to keep South Dakota students learning, fed, and supported during this challenging time continues to amaze us all.

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2019 Outstanding Administrators LEADER FEATURE: Recognizing South Dakota’s 2019 Outstanding Administrators
Congratulations to the 2019 Administrators of the Year! These administrators were recognized at the Capitol during the 2020 legislative session. Thank you, School Administrators of South Dakota, for putting together this video spotlighting these tremendous educators.

Find the latest on DOE’s COVID-19 webpage
The South Dakota Department of Education’s COVID-19 webpage is updated regularly as new information becomes available. Some of the newest resources include Flex Learning Guidelines, posted April 1; K-12 Schools Cybersecurity Considerations, posted April 8; and Grades, Awarding Credits, and Graduation During COVID-19, posted April 9.

Executive Orders address teacher prep, teacher evaluation
  • Governor Noem’s Executive Order 2020-10 waives certain Administrative Rules, including several having to do with teacher preparation candidates at our universities who can’t accomplish certain requirements (such as student teaching and taking a Praxis) given the current situation. The order provides needed flexibility for the teacher preparation programs to conditionally approve these individuals if deemed appropriate.
  • Via Executive Order 2020-14, Governor Noem has suspended Administrative Rule 24:57:01:01(6)(b) related to teacher evaluation. This action eliminates the requirement to assign a student growth rating based on attainment of student learning objectives (SLOs), when completing teacher evaluations this school year.

“Meals to You” new option from USDA
Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “Meals to You” program, meal packages are delivered directly to a student’s address every two weeks, minimizing person-to-person contact. Schools in rural areas where at least 50% of students are eligible for free and reduced price meals are eligible to apply. Find more information on our COVID-19 webpage.

ECF deadline extended to May 14
The South Dakota Department of Education has extended the Extraordinary Cost Fund application deadline to May 14. The original timeline required applications to be submitted by April 27. The department wants to allow more time for districts to estimate expenditures accurately – to provide financial statements through the end of April instead of March.

Opportunity for public comment on ESEA Fiscal Waiver
South Dakota has applied for an ESEA Fiscal Waiver from certain provisions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and the McKinney-Vento Education for Homeless Children and Youth Program. Access the application on our COVID-19 webpage. Public comment on this waiver can be sent to DOE.Accountability@state.sd.us. Reference “ESEA Fiscal Waiver” in the subject line. Comments are due by Friday, April 24, at 5 p.m. CT.

SD Captiol Building Final legislative summary available

Here is the final summary of education-related bills passed during the 2020 legislative session. The list of bills is not all inclusive. To access all bills from the 2020 session, visit the Legislative Research Council’s website.

DOE seeking applicants for P.E. and ed tech standards revision workgroups
The South Dakota Department of Education is seeking K-12 and postsecondary educators to serve on standards revision workgroups in the content areas of physical education and educational technology. The South Dakota Board of Education Standards will hold public hearings on the revised standards beginning in fall 2020.
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Check out variety of instructional resources available
A variety of instructional resources to assist educators in navigating flex learning is available from the Department of Education and Northern State University’s E-learning Center. Additionally, South Dakota Public Broadcasting is offering special programming on its TV channels.
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Make plans to attend 2020-21 Comprehensive Needs Assessment workshops

The South Dakota Department of Education will host year-long regional South Dakota Comprehensive Needs Assessment workshops in the 2020-21 school year. We spoke with a facilitator and participants about the workshop series and the value they've gotten out of it.

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Distribute Parent Involvement Surveys by April 30

School districts must distribute Parent Involvement Surveys to parents of children with disabilities by April 30. The South Dakota Department of Education sent the surveys to districts in the fall. If needed, additional copies are available by contacting Beth Schiltz at 605-773-4257.

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School Library Month

Don’t miss ExCITE! (formerly School Library Boot Camp)
ExCITE! (formerly School Library Boot Camp) is scheduled for Sept. 30 in Aberdeen and subsequently online through the month of October. This year’s focus will be on textual literacy, the first of the three strands of the South Dakota School Library Standards. Learn more and register.

21st Century School Library Award applications open until May 1

The State Library recognizes schools with libraries that meet the characteristics of a 21st Century school library through their program, place, and professional. School librarians are encouraged to apply for this special recognition.
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Complete School Library Survey by May 15

The South Dakota State Library has opened the annual school library survey to collect data for the 2019-20 school year. Each district is asked to submit one survey per district rather than one survey per library. The survey is available online through May 15.

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Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

In light of COVID-19 concerns, we are evaluating all upcoming events. When possible, some events are being made available online. Please check with event organizers before making plans to attend.

TIE20 Virtual Conference
April 20

Board of Education Standards
May 11, teleconference

Printable version of this newsletter.

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