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SD Department of Education
March 2020  
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Dr. Jones SECRETARY’S COLUMN: Wóokiye Project is an opportunity to expand teacher capacity
South Dakota has a tremendous resource in the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards, which explain the core concepts for understanding and teaching Lakota, Dakota, and Nakota history and culture. The Wóokiye Project will seek to build educators’ capacity for implementing the OSEUs in their classrooms and schools.

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Leader Feature LEADER FEATURE: Ron Swier recognized as School Counselor of the Year
Ron Swier, K-12 school counselor at the Avon School District, was recently honored amongst top school counselors from across the nation during the American School Counselor Association’s School Counselor of the Year celebration in Washington, D.C. Congratulations, Ron!

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Apply by March 31 to participate in Wóokiye Project
Beginning this summer, the Wóokiye Project, supported through a Bush Foundation grant, will be an opportunity for 20 South Dakota teachers to create and implement a network of support that will help, aid, and assist them as they become proficient in using the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards. Learn how you and educators at your school can apply to participate.
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SD Week of Work Hundreds of SD Week of Work opportunities available
It’s time for schools to begin registering their 10th graders for the first-ever South Dakota Week of Work. More than 2,900 diverse opportunities – job shadows and industry tours – exist at organizations across the state. Go to sdweekofwork.com, register your school, and then register your students for opportunities that meet their interests.
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Workforce Education Grants

Apply by March 27 for Workforce Education Grants
The South Dakota Department of Education is accepting applications for the 2020 Workforce Education Grants. This is your chance to dream big and make transformative changes to your district’s career and technical education programs.
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Aspiring School Leaders Retreat

Looking for candidates: Aspiring School Leaders Retreat
School administrators, please consider nominating one of your finest teachers to attend the Aspiring School Leaders Retreat, which is designed for teachers viewed as strong candidates for school administration roles. Participants must be nominated by a supervising administrator in order to apply. Applications are due by March 20.
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Testing Testing windows open in March and April
Testing windows for statewide assessments in math, English language arts, and science open in March and April. Find more information on the Department of Education's Office of Assessment website.

Questions? Email doeassessment@state.sd.us.
  • SD English Language Arts and Math Assessments:
    March 4-May 1
  • SD English Language Arts and Math Alternate Assessments:
    March 16-May 1
  • SD Science Assessment and Alternate Assessments:
    April 1-May 1
Students in grades 5, 8, 11 to take field test in science this spring
This is a field test year for the South Dakota Science Assessment, which is administered to students in grades 5, 8, and 11. The test is computer adaptive and will assess all three dimensions of the South Dakota Science Standards, adopted in 2015: Disciplinary Core Ideas, Science and Engineering Practices, and Crosscutting Concepts.
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Submit public comment on proposed rule changes by March 11

The Board of Education Standards will hold a public hearing regarding proposed rule changes at its March 16 meeting in Mitchell. The effect of the proposed changes is to update state Administrative Rule to accurately reflect the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act, and to correct the definition of preschool age and preschool program to align with IDEA preschool age.

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SD Suicide Prevention New suicide prevention resource available for schools

A snapshot of suicide prevention resources for schools is available through the sdsuicideprevention.org website. Awareness campaigns, school-based suicide prevention curriculum, suicide prevention training, and additional resources are featured on a two-page document. The document is also linked on the Department of Education's Mental Health webpage, or you may access it here.

SD Parental Rights Handbook Updated Parental Rights handbook available

The format of the South Dakota Department of Education’s Parental Rights Handbook has been updated, and it is now designed to be more parent-friendly. The updated handbook is located on the department’s Parental Rights webpage. Coming soon: Spanish version and additional languages. Note: content and processes have not changed.

Planning 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. School districts are invited to complete a brief survey to help the department gauge interest and determine dates and locations. Completing a survey is not a commitment to participate.

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mentoring video
Encourage your experienced teachers to become mentors

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 now open.

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Pencils How can I showcase my district’s emerging teacher leaders?

The South Dakota Department of Education maintains a list of Emerging Classroom Leaders, which consists of distinguished teachers and principals from across the state. These educators are considered for membership on advisory boards and task forces, and as candidates for special recognition programs.

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Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

Essential Skills for Success – Teaching Kids to Thrive
March 9-April 17, online book study course

Title Programs webinars
3:30-4:30 p.m. CT

March 10 – Build It and They Will Come K-12
March 26 – Mindfulness
April 6 – How to Prevent Summer Slide K-5
April 23 – STEM in a Bag

See It In Action! Day – Rural CTE Programs
March 11, Webster

Board of Education Standards
March 16, Mitchell

Strengthening relationships with all families with an emphasis on EL/Migrant families
March 17, Sioux Falls

South Dakota Special Education Conference
March 17-18, Sioux Falls

SD-STARS topical webinar
March 25

Spring DOE/Infinite Campus user groups
March 31-April 3, various locations statewide

For more information, contact Judy Merriman or Teri Jung

SD Advisory Panel for Children with Disabilities
April 2, Pierre

TIE Conference
April 19-21, Sioux Falls

South Dakota Early Childhood Education Conference
April 23-25, Sioux Falls

Looking Back on South Dakota History with 20/20 Vision
State Historical Society History Conference
April 24-25, Pierre

SPED Spring Legal Update
April 28, webinar

Grants Management Workshop – Consolidated Application Technical Assistance Opportunity
April 28, 9 a.m. CT, Pierre
April 28, 1 p.m. CT, Pierre
April 29, 9 a.m. CT, Pierre
April 29, 1 p.m. CT, Pierre

SD Education Conference
May 27-28, Oacoma

  • Don’t miss the Pre-Conference event sponsored by Project AWARE!

Save the Date:

  • Top 20 Training
    July 28-30, Chamberlain
  • ExCITE! (formerly School Library Boot Camp)
    Sept. 30, Aberdeen, and online through October
  • Indian Education Summit & Conference
    Oct. 15-17, Pierre

Printable version of this newsletter.

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