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SD Department of Education
Aug. 2021  
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Tiffany Sanderson SECRETARY’S COLUMN:
A promising school year lies ahead

Throughout the pandemic, South Dakota school leaders, educators, and staff have worked hard to facilitate students’ overall well-being: working to balance students’ physical health and safety with their academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. As schools return to more normal operations, Secretary Sanderson is looking forward to the 2021-22 school year.

Proposed content standards posted for public comment

The South Dakota Board of Education Standards will hold four public hearings at locations across the state throughout the 2021-22 school year on proposed content standards in the following subject areas:

  • Career and technical education (Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Arts, Audio/Video Technology and Communications; Finance; Health Science; Human Services; Manufacturing)
  • Fine arts
  • Social studies
Proposed standards are now posted for public comment. Find more information on our Content Standards: Under Review webpage.

ARP Homeless Children and Youth competitive grant opportunity opens

A competitive grant opportunity is available under the American Rescue Plan Homeless Children and Youth program. This is the first of two opportunities: one is competitive; the second will be formula based. Find more info in this grant background document. Interested districts should submit this Notification of Intent to Apply by Aug. 25. Questions? Contact Dawn L. Smith, 605-773-2535.

Alternative Instruction Notification system now available

The Alternative Instruction Notification webpage, required by SB 177, is now accessible via the Department of Education’s website. Families wishing to provide their students with alternative instruction need to fill out the online notification form. A paper form may also be downloaded. We will host several training sessions for school personnel in August. More information to come.

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 2019. The state is one of only 12 across the country 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.

Application deadline extended to Sept. 1: Science and special education teachers needed to help with assessment review

The South Dakota Department of Education has an opportunity for science and special education teachers to help with the review of Performance Level Descriptors and standard setting for the South Dakota Science Assessment (SDSA) and the South Dakota Science Assessment-Alternate (SDSA-Alt). Apply by Sept. 1.

Sign up for 2021-22 Comprehensive Needs Assessment workshops

When’s the last time your school conducted a comprehensive needs assessment? Where do you start? Who can you call for help? Is there a tool to use? We’re hosting year-long regional South Dakota Comprehensive Needs Assessment (SDCNA) workshops in school year 2021-22 designed to build capacity in conducting the needs analysis, looking at both qualitative and quantitative data sources.

School directory information due Sept. 1

Please take time to update your district/school directory information within the Department of Education’s Ed Verification Database. It’s critical that directory information is correct, as this database is the source used by all DOE offices to officially communicate with school administrators. This information also appears on DOE’s website. Superintendents should have received an email on July 15 with instructions. Questions? Email Jennifer Rattling Leaf.

Office of Assessment offering two programs for educators

Beginning in school year 2021-22, the Office of Assessment is offering two great opportunities for educators to learn more about effective use of assessment. Sign up today!

New mental health resource available

DOE has published a new guide to help school leaders understand the different roles that school-based mental health providers play in South Dakota’s school settings. We hope this is helpful, especially as districts consider using ESSER funding to address students’ mental health needs. Find this resource and others on the DOE mental health webpage. Questions? Please contact Andrea Diehm.

Apply by Aug. 13 for FCC grant opportunity

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced a funding opportunity to cover broadband connections for off campus use by school students and staff, including WiFi hotspots on school buses. Schools may apply for funding for purchases made July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022.

Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

Virtual PBIS Monthly Webinars
School year 2021-22

IEP Transition
Aug. 24, Chamberlain
Sept. 1, Sioux Falls
Sept. 8, Aberdeen
Sept. 15, Rapid City
Sept. 16, Mobridge

IEP Basic – HERO in IEP Process
Aug. 25, virtual
Sept. 10, Aberdeen
Sept. 20, Rapid City
Sept. 24, Sioux Falls
Sept. 28, online

New Assessment Coordinators Workshop
Aug. 31, Pierre

Planning with the WIDA ELD Standards Framework
Sept. 8 and 15, online, 3-4:30 p.m. CT

IEP Advance – Do you have the evidence?
Sept. 9, Aberdeen, 8-11:30 a.m. CT
Sept. 9, Aberdeen, 1-4:30 p.m. CT
Sept. 14, online
Sept. 21, Rapid City
Sept. 23, Sioux Falls
Sept. 29, online

Northern Plains Law Conference on Serving Students with Disabilities
Sept. 16-17

Board of Education Standards
Sept. 20, Aberdeen

IEP Early Childhood Workshop – Building the Bridge
Sept. 21, Rapid City

Community Response to Child Abuse Conference
Sept. 29-30

Printable version of this newsletter.

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