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SD Department of Education April 2016  

Making students feel at home in the library

The Douglas High School Library is a busy place. Librarian Kim Darata works hard to encourage students to read for pleasure and to enjoy their library space.

How are today’s school libraries different from when you were in school?
I think they’re used a lot more than when I was in school, and I think that has a lot to do with the technology we have today that our students need. We have a room of 35 computers within our library. We also provide cameras and iPads for students to check out.

I also think librarians are making changes in the environment of libraries to make them more welcoming places and more “teen-centric,” so it doesn’t look like it was built or decorated for adults.

How do you make the library “teen-centric”?
We have a couple different lounge areas, and we have some beanbag chairs, rugs, posters, lamps. Around August, I start looking at store ads, because that’s when they’re advertising for dorm decorations. So that’s the best time to find things I think our students will like in their space.

What kind of social events do you hold in the library?
I advise a student book club, and they run our Library Cafe every Monday and Friday morning. They make coffee, hot chocolate and tea. We have fruit and cereal bars. And one non-breakfast item is very popular--the popcorn. It’s nice for the book club students to get together and our other students enjoy the cafe as well.

What are some unique ways you collaborate with teachers on student projects?
For the past few years, I’ve worked with our photography teacher on a project called Book Face. Students choose a book that has either a face or a person on the cover and they must then incorporate that cover into a portrait of themselves or a model they choose.

Poetry Book
A few years ago, I also started working with some of our English teachers on Book Spine Poetry. Their students come in and create poems by stacking books that have words on the spines. We take pictures of those poems; then students and staff get the opportunity to vote on their favorites and we award prizes.

library books

When it comes to research, how do you help students identify reliable resources?
We discuss what to look for in a resource and the fact that our State Library provides these research databases that are maintained by authoritative publishers who do this work professionally--providing us with quality information.

Our middle school librarian teaches about those databases too, so I explain that the databases for the high school level and beyond look a little different from the ones they used when they were younger, but that they all basically work the same way. Once they’ve learned how to use one, they can learn to navigate others.

And if they choose to use something from websites and so forth, we talk about how to evaluate those sources so they can still get quality information.

Learn more about the Douglas High School Library’s programming on its website (https://sites.google.com/a/k12.sd.us/douglas-high-school-library/). It is recognized by the South Dakota State Library as an Exemplary 21st Century School Library.

School Library Month

Celebrate School Library Month

A big thanks to school librarians for all you do for South Dakota students! Today’s school libraries aren’t only places of quiet study, but engaging hubs of activity. School libraries are collaborative learning labs where students engage in research, invention and exploration.

ed reform

Education reform: Beyond the teacher pay increase

This year’s legislative session was a historic one for education. The teacher pay increase garnered the most attention, but the education reform package passed by this year’s legislature also seeks to bolster the teaching profession in other ways.

The legislature appropriated approximately $1.2 million in ongoing funds for the purpose of establishing a teacher mentoring program in South Dakota. This program will pair experienced trained mentors with first- and second-year teachers. A new teacher summer academy will also be developed for first- and second-year teachers.

The Department of Education is in the beginning stages of this work. Right now, the focus is on identifying existing mentor programs in South Dakota school districts, working with higher education faculty, agencies and other organizations in South Dakota as well as the Council of Chief State School Officers.

“The first step will be to pull everyone together for a face-to-face meeting to understand what we currently have in place and then determine how to move forward to create the South Dakota Teacher Mentorship Program,” said Carla Leingang, the Department of Education’s administrator of certification and teacher quality. “The 2016-17 school year will be a learning year as we work to ensure we have a strong program.”

National Board Certification
The bonus for achieving National Board Certification has been reestablished. More information on this funding will be forthcoming.

Classroom Innovation Grants
SB 133 included establishment of a “classroom innovation grant fund” to develop teacher training and classroom access to virtual education and customized learning tools. Schools/school districts may apply for these funds. The application period is now open. Learn more at http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/cig.aspx.

2016 Legislative Session: Takeaways for educators

A number of bills passed by the 2016 Legislature directly affect educators, including a scholarship opportunity for paraprofessionals, an extended tuition-reduction benefit and an added training requirement in the area of suicide awareness and prevention.

• Scholarship program for paraprofessionals (SB 81 (http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=81): A scholarship program is being created for paraprofessionals working in targeted public school districts: those with high Native student populations (at least 50%) and low state test scores (below state average in English language arts and math). The scholarships are designed to help individuals already living and working in these districts to earn their teaching degrees. More information, including an application, will be made available soon. The program is a result of the Native American Student Achievement Advisory Council’s work.

• Extended tuition-reduction benefit (HB 1061 (http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=1061): The 50 percent tuition-reduction benefit currently available to educators taking courses at Board of Regents’ institutions has been extended to include distance education courses at these same institutions. Previously, the benefit only applied to face-to-face courses. The extended benefit goes into effect this summer.

• Suicide awareness and prevention training (SB 129 (http://legis.sd.gov/Legislative_Session/Bills/Bill.aspx?Session=2016&Bill=129): Beginning July 1, 2017, applicants for certification—both initial and renewal—will be required to complete one hour of suicide awareness and prevention training. The requirement applies to teachers, administrators and other education professionals. The Department of Education is in the process of identifying potential criteria and resources for this training. SB 129 charges the Board of Education with creating rules and curating evidence-based resources to fulfill the requirement. Watch for more information on this topic in future newsletters and other communications from the Department of Education.

Boot Camp 2016

Boot Camp 2016: It’s all about Primary Sources in the 21st Century School Library

What is a primary source? Where can I find primary sources to use with my students? How do I integrate primary sources into my lessons?

Find the answers to these questions and more at the State Library in Pierre from July 18-21, during Boot Camp 2016. Students will explore Primary Sources in the 21st Century School Library with an emphasis on integrating research and social studies standards. Class time will include activities at the Cultural Heritage Center Museum and Archives, a tour of the Oahe Dam and a visit with a Lewis and Clark expert.

All educators, certified and paraprofessional, are welcome! Find registration information and more on the State Library website (http://library.sd.gov/LIB/DEV/training/bootcamp/index.aspx).

Registration closes June 1.

Questions? Contact Joan Upell (joan.upell@state.sd.us) or Kathleen Slocum (kathleen.slocum@state.sd.us) with the State Library.

SLO Video
Watch video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOGqb3GnrL8
Student Learning Objectives: Lessons learned

The 2015-16 school year marks the first year of full implementation of South Dakota’s Teacher Effectiveness System. Within the system, evaluated teachers must write Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). The Department of Education has received valuable feedback from educators who have gone through the process:

1. Length of the SLO – Writing an SLO only for a unit or chapter measures whether a target was met, but not necessarily whether student growth occurred. Useful questions for determining the length of an SLO include the following:

   • What is the most important learning that needs to occur during my class?
   • What do I want students to walk away with at the end of the course?

An SLO should typically last the duration of the instructional period in order to be a measure of growth.

2. Reviewing Data – Identifying students’ strengths and weaknesses helps make the SLO meaningful for teachers and students. A variety of data sources can help teachers select priority content and standards on which to base the SLO:

   • Course data from previous years
   • State assessment data (a required data source for teachers of
     state-tested grades and subjects)

Reviewing data in vertical teams can make the SLO process a valuable opportunity for collaboration. For example, a high school Algebra I teacher could connect with 8th grade math and high school Algebra II teachers; and a 3rd grade teacher could connect with 2nd and 4th grade teachers.

3. Measuring the SLO – A well-written test will give a teacher useful data to drive instruction. A test should include some questions covering ‘precursor’ skills, with the bulk of the test addressing the main skill, and some questions addressing the next level of skills. This will help the teacher understand each student’s starting point and how to differentiate instruction.

4. Differentiated Goals – A differentiated goal is not required, but is recommended in most cases. A differentiated goal establishes tiered expectations for student growth for groups or individual students. Grouping student data may reveal patterns that allow teachers to establish more authentic, differentiated growth goals. Not every student can be expected to reach the same goal, but every student can be expected to grow. Student growth goals should include all students in a given course or class.

5. SLOs take practice – Many teachers have said their first SLO wasn’t very good and they want to make changes to their next SLO. That’s okay! Writing a high quality, useful SLO takes practice. The SLO Process is intended to help teachers determine meaningful, measurable student growth goals that should guide conversations with their administrators. Practicing the process should also allow teachers to see how SLOs tie in with other school initiatives, such as their professional practice evaluations, school-wide and district-wide goals.

Upcoming Trainings
The South Dakota Department of Education is offering SLO Refresher Trainings statewide this spring and summer. Whether or not educators have attended an SLO training in the past, they are finding value in these free workshops.

Learn more with this shareable flyer (http://doe.sd.gov/documents/16-SLOTrn.pdf).

Teachers who attended the first training share their feedback in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Biwv_90Jlhs).

ESSA work groups begin meeting in April

The Every Student Succeeds Act requires a State Plan, outlining strategies for implementing key requirements of the new law. Four South Dakota work groups will develop this plan in coming months. Click the links below for meeting times and names of work group members:

• Accountability (http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/essa-Accountability.aspx)
• School Improvement (http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/essa-SI.aspx)
• Educator Effectiveness (http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/essa-educator.aspx)
• English Language Learner (http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/essa-ELL.aspx)

21st Century School Library Award applications due May 1

The 21st Century School Library Award recognizes school libraries as Effective, Enhanced or Exemplary, based on performance in three areas: program, place and professional. Applicants conduct a self-assessment and awardees are recognized at the annual Systems Change Conference. Find more information on the State Library website (http://library.sd.gov/LIB/SLC/21stCentAward.aspx).

Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/.

Fine Arts Standards Implementation
April 21-May 1, online and various locations statewide

This is an awareness training on the newly adopted South Dakota Fine Arts Standards. This training encompasses the layout of the standards and planning and assessment incorporating the new standards with a particular focus on the four artistic processes: creating, performing, responding and connecting.

Participants are asked to bring a unit or lesson plan from the arts content they teach for work on implementing the new standards and applying the four processes. Participants are also required to bring a paper copy of the new standards. Teachers can print the whole document or only the pages that pertain to courses they teach. The standards are available on the Department of Education website (http://doe.sd.gov/ContentStandards/documents/SD-FA-snd.pdf).

During the online course, participants will be asked to work with a unit or lesson plan from the fine arts content area they teach to implement the new standards and apply the four processes.

Here is a video invitation (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zAD3Tso9pI&feature=youtu.be) to the course.

Six hours toward a Continuing Education Unit are available. Find more information at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Search by course title.

SLO Refresher Trainings for Teachers
April-June, various locations statewide

SLO Refresher Trainings are for all teachers, whether or not they’ve attended an SLO training in the past. Learn about updates and SLO best practices from trainers who have worked with SLOs for several years and have assisted hundreds of teachers across South Dakota in developing, revising and editing SLOs in all content areas and grade levels.

Participants will discover the power of analyzing baseline data and how this frequently missed step can drive creation of a truly meaningful SLO. Trainers will share strategies and promising practices for SLO goal setting, which can be one of the most challenging parts of the SLO. Participants are encouraged to bring a current SLO or other materials and assessments to get a jump start on developing a great SLO for 2016-17.

Learn more with this shareable flyer (http://doe.sd.gov/documents/16-SLOTrn.pdf). Teachers who attended the first training share their feedback in this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Biwv_90Jlhs).

SD State Historical Society History Conference
Everyone Eats: South Dakota's Food Heritage

April 29-30, Pierre

Historical Photo

Sitting down to a family dinner, slicing into fruit kuchen or grilling fresh-caught walleye by the river – everyone eats! Come and learn about South Dakota’s food traditions and practices at “Everyone Eats: South Dakota’s Food Heritage.”

Teachers can obtain 13 contact hours from the South Dakota Department of Education for attending. For more information, call the historical society at (605) 773-3458, or visit the conference website (https://history.sd.gov/aboutus/HistoryConference/default.aspx). Join the historical society and get $10 off conference registration.

Board of Education
May 16, Aberdeen

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet at 9 a.m. CDT in the Northern State University Student Center, 1200 South Jay St., in Aberdeen. The final of four public hearings will be held on proposed career and technical education standards in several career clusters. An agenda will be posted on the Boards and Commissions portal (http://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Meetings.aspx?BoardID=32) at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

Advanced Data Use Skills for Educators
May 30-July 13, online

Since summer 2013, the Department of Education has offered courses to train educators on how to use data. These courses provided training on fundamental skills.

Building upon skills taught in the prerequisite “Fundamentals of Using Data for Educators,” this online course applies the fundamental skills to an individual project that uses data. Participants will complete required readings, participate in online discussions and complete a data project with the goal of using data to answer important questions to drive positive change in their district, school or classroom.

Find registration information and more at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Search by course title.

MVPA Maximized! (for physical education/physical activity educators)
June 1, Pierre
June 2, Oacoma

The School Health program in the South Dakota Departments of Education and Health will host professional development for physical education/physical activity educators at two locations this summer. The MVPA Maximized! workshop will be held from 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. CDT.

MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity) is an essential component of a quality physical education program. The MVPA Maximized! workshop will show K-12 physical education/physical activity educators how to increase MVPA during physical education classes and in other environments.

Registration deadline: May 25.

Participants will be reimbursed at state rates for meals, mileage and lodging. Find registration information and more on this shareable flyer (http://doe.sd.gov/schoolhealth/documents/MVPA-MAXED.pdf).

Questions? Contact Karen Keyser, Health and Physical Education Specialist, South Dakota Department of Education, at karen.keyser@state.sd.us or (605) 220-6453.

2016 Summer Education Conference
June 28-29, Chamberlain

This year’s conference will focus on explicit instruction with keynote speaker Dr. Anita Archer. Read more about Dr. Archer and find registration information on this shareable flyer (http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2016/March/documents/MTSS-Conf.pdf).

Fundamentals of Using Data for Educators
July 5-Aug. 19, online (and one face-to-face workshop)

This fundamentals course provides educators with the skills they need to analyze and use data in order to answer important questions. Scheduled from July 5-Aug. 19, this course requires online work, and participants must attend in-person at one of the following locations, 9 a.m-5 p.m., local time:
  • July 18, Rapid City
  • July 20, Aberdeen
  • July 21, Mitchell

Find more information at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Search by course title.

Top 20 Training
July 18-19, Rapid City
July 20-21, Sioux Falls

Top 20 Training is back in South Dakota, and it’s free. This is a one-of-a-kind professional development opportunity that will be a difference maker for educators and students. Top 20 Training is geared to help educators, no matter the grade level of their students. Concepts help teachers and students build better relationships and experiences in the classroom.

Find more information at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Search by course title.

Boot Camp 2016: Primary Sources in the 21st Century School Library
July 18-21, Pierre

What is a primary source? Where can I find primary sources to use with my students? How do I integrate primary sources into my lessons?

Find the answers to these questions and more at the State Library in Pierre from July 18-21, during Boot Camp 2016. Students will explore Primary Sources in the 21st Century School Library with an emphasis on integrating research and social studies standards. Class time will include activities at the Cultural Heritage Center Museum and Archives, a tour of the Oahe Dam and a visit with a Lewis and Clark expert.

All educators, certified and paraprofessional, are welcome! Find registration information and more on the State Library website (http://library.sd.gov/LIB/DEV/training/bootcamp/index.aspx).

Registration closes June 1.

Questions? Contact Joan Upell (joan.upell@state.sd.us) or Kathleen Slocum (kathleen.slocum@state.sd.us) with the State Library.

The GO TO Strategies Workshop
July 25, Sioux Falls
July 26, Oacoma

This full-day workshop will introduce newly-developed strategies and resources that enable teachers to plan scaffolded, yet rigorous and relevant content lessons for English language learners. It is imperative that teachers create lessons that enable ELLs to master academic language and content simultaneously. The strategies presented in this workshop have been chosen to reflect research-based principles of instruction for ELLs with an emphasis on the inclusion of oral academic language instruction. The goal is to increase the comprehensibility of academic language and to promote student interaction while using language.

Participants will be able to:
• Associate strategies with research-based principles of instruction.
• Become familiar with the components of the GO TO Strategies and how to use the resources.
• Participate in strategy demonstrations during the workshop and plan classroom applications.
• Draft and share action plans that use specific strategies to develop the domains of language.
• Begin to use a planning framework that scaffolds content lessons by integrating strategies.
• Leave with abundant resources for scaffolding instruction for ELLs, including the complete GO TO Strategy materials (101 pages) and handouts of workshop activities.

Spread the word with this shareable flyer (http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/zebra/news/16/April/documents/GOTO.pdf). Register at GoSignMeUp (https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/). Search by course title.

New format in 2016! Indian Education Summit
Sept. 25-27, Pierre http://indianeducation.sd.gov/summit.aspx

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