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SD Department of Education Jan. 2016  

Photo of Deb Steele, principal of Rapid City High School
Call them leaders and they will lead

I'll buy you anything but a textbook, because the textbook didn't work. That's why they're here.

That was the guidance Deb Steele's principal gave when she began working for the Rapid City Area School District's first alternative programs in the early 1990s. "There was no blueprint for what an alternative school looked like, and we worked to tailor it to fit the needs of the kids," Steele says.

Steele is now the principal of Rapid City High School, which houses all of the district's alternative programs under one roof. "We do more hands-on types of things where they have to prove what they know. They can create or demonstrate something, versus doing worksheets, quizzes and so forth," she says. "We push attendance, being here, taking care of your schoolwork while you're here. We have longer class periods that give them enough time to get through the material."

In spring 2013, Steele visited Wagner High School to learn about Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG), a leadership program for students at risk of dropping out. She was amazed at what she saw: "By Christmas of their senior year, they all had letters of acceptance at the colleges of their choice."

In fall 2013, Steele brought the program to Rapid City High School. "Deb's leadership and guidance in regard to JAG can best be summed up in two words: enthusiasm and support," says Julie Callahan, one of two JAG teachers at RCHS. "From the beginning, her enthusiasm has been contagious and, because of that, JAG was accepted as an integral part of the school dynamic." In December 2015, Steele received a National Education Leadership Award from JAG for her efforts with the program.

In regards to winning the award, Steele says, "I'm just doing my job, and I love it. I'm fortunate that I have a job I love. So getting recognized for something that I just love doing was uncomfortable for a little bit."

After Steele accepted the invitation to attend the awards ceremony in Washington, D.C., she was also asked to speak at the event. "So when we got to the Kennedy Caucus Room, it was full of Fortune 500 CEOs, governors and congressmen from all over the country. Luckily I survived it. But if I had known that I was going to be speaking to all those people? I know me. I would have chickened out and just said, 'I'm sorry, I can't go. Can you mail it to me?'"

Some JAG students can likely identify with the feeling. "We talk about them being the leaders of the school. And that old adage about 'you are what you believe,' it's true," Steele says. "They step up and become the leaders of the school. It's fascinating to watch that transpire."

blue ribbon task force ribbon logo
Governor makes proposals on teacher pay, funding formula and more

In his State of the State address, Gov. Daugaard proposed a half cent increase in the state sales tax to raise teacher pay. The proposal is based on the Blue Ribbon Task Force report, the centerpiece of which is a revised school funding formula. Read more about these proposals in the Governor's Weekly Column [http://news.sd.gov/newsitem.aspx?id=19760]. The column is also available in audio format [http://news.sd.gov/mediacontent.aspx?id=1&media=audio].

In addition to the sales tax increase and revised funding formula, the Governor proposed a number of other items based on the task force’s recommendations, including the following:

  • An e-learning proposal would expand the capacity of the Northern State University e-learning center and create a "classroom innovation grant fund" to incentivize teacher training and classroom access to virtual education and customized learning tools.
  • A mentoring program would be created for first and second-year teachers.
  • The bonus for achieving National Board Certification (and payment to those teachers who achieved this in the five years since it was suspended) would be reinstated.
  • Expansion of voluntary shared services, to include areas such as purchasing, payroll and software licensing.

calendar entry get started on application note Time to think about certificate renewal! Applications due July 1

Teachers whose certificates expire July 1 of this year are strongly encouraged to submit their renewal applications as soon as possible. Early application ensures optimal processing. Processing time is typically four to six weeks, but during the summer months, can take up to 10 weeks. By waiting too long, teachers risk not having their certificate updated before the start of the school year.

State regulations require educators whose certificates have lapsed to obtain six university transcripted credits to renew.

The Teacher 411 system at http://teacher411.sd.gov lists information from teachers' certification records, including the expiration date and core content teaching assignments that teachers are qualified to accept. Click here [http://www.doe.sd.gov/oatq/teachercert.aspx] for more information or to apply online. Questions can be directed to certification@state.sd.us.

SD Commission on Teaching and Learning
Commission begins work on special education certification

The South Dakota Commission on Teaching and Learning has spent the past year examining teacher certification in the state. A draft framework of recommendations for general education certification is largely complete, and at the commission's January meeting, members began work on special education certification and reciprocity. Next, the group will share its recommendations with special education stakeholders.

"I'm really excited about the progress we're making," said Carla Leingang, a commission member and administrator of certification and teacher quality for the South Dakota Department of Education. "We have a clear direction in mind for where we want to go with proposed rules. The general framework for the rules has been developed and next steps will include visiting with various stakeholder groups like higher education, special education and so forth, to get feedback and determine how to move forward as the department writes rules based on the commission's recommendations."

The commission will meet again Feb. 19-20, in Pierre, to begin discussion of alternative certification.

Teachers, administrators and higher education representatives from across the state serve on the commission, which formed in 2013. Initially, the group came together to help develop South Dakota’s educator effectiveness systems.

Students learning CPR
Want to teach students and colleagues to save lives? Find resources on the DOE website

The South Dakota Department of Education provides resources on its CPR Resources for Schools webpage [http://www.doe.sd.gov/octe/cpr.aspx]for use in providing instruction in CPR and the use of AEDs (automated external defibrillators). Stakeholders from various state and nonprofit agencies and health/physical education teachers have compiled these resources and contacts for districts to access when implementing training.

Training can range from learning the two simple steps required for hands-only CPR [http://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/Programs/HandsOnlyCPR/UCM_473196_Hands-Only-CPR.jsp]to getting certified in basic life support. See below for highlights of successes from across the state and ideas for incorporating training in your classroom or school.

  • Corsica-Stickney School District
    "In South Dakota, we're blessed to have a network of paid and volunteer emergency medical service providers, and so many of those folks are willing and excited to come into schools and teach CPR basics for free to teachers and students," says Megan Myers [Megan.Myers@heart.org], South Dakota's government relations director for the American Heart Association. "In Corsica, for example, Douglas County's ambulance service comes to the high school and trains students in hands-only CPR [http://cpr.heart.org/AHAECC/CPRAndECC/Programs/HandsOnlyCPR/UCM_473196_Hands-Only-CPR.jsp].

    "The students gain lifelong knowledge and they also get to see healthcare workers in their own communities who are willing to give their time to help their fellow neighbors. Having that exposure can even help motivate young people to consider a career in medical services and help their communities continue to grow. It's really a win-win for everyone involved."
  • Rapid City Area School District
    "This fall, medical student Michael Frost and his colleagues at the USD School of Medicine started teaching CPR for RCAS employees," says Linda Poppens Boland [Linda.PoppensBoland@k12.sd.us], health services coordinator and a school nurse for the Rapid City School District. "The medical students took on the project voluntarily and there is no cost for RCAS staff members.

    "They've taught classes at nine schools, impacting staff from a total of 11 schools. They also recertified the RCAS school nurses. As of January, 1,114 people have been trained in CPR in RCAS. During the first week of March, the medical students will do two more classes for the remaining schools and staff. Then they plan to work with the PE teachers to provide CPR training to the students of RCAS."
  • Area health education centers
    "Both the Yankton Rural Area Health Education Center and the Northeast South Dakota AHEC work with school districts to provide CPR training," says Sandy Viau-Williams [sandy.viau@avera.org], executive director of the Yankton Rural AHEC [http://yanktonruralahec.org/]. "We provide tools and resources to teachers and community health nurses to use in the classroom. We use American Heart Association materials; generally focusing on introductory level training beginning as early as 4th grade. We link students and teachers with local resources for more advanced training, which is often provided by the local hospital or ambulance service."

    Rachel Haigh-Blume [director@nesdahec.org] is executive director of the Northeast SD AHEC [https://www.nesdahec.org/]: "We've done a lot of school trainings and it has been very rewarding. The NESD AHEC provides classes in CPR and the use of an automated external defibrillator (AED) according to American Heart Association standards so everyone receives a card. We also have completed BLS (basic life support) for those in healthcare courses so they're prepared for the healthcare arena with their card. There is a small fee charged if the school would like the students to have the CPR card, which is good for two years."

In 2014, the South Dakota Department of Education began gathering information via an annual electronic survey [http://www.doe.sd.gov/octe/documents/15CPR-Surv.pdf] about which districts are implementing CPR into the school health curriculum. The most recent survey indicates that 76 public school districts (51 percent) are implementing CPR training, or planning to implement it this school year. This compares to 67 public school districts (44 percent) in the 2014-15 school year.

national youth science camp Encourage seniors to apply for National Youth Science Camp®

Two South Dakota high school seniors will be chosen to attend the National Youth Science Camp®, which honors academic excellence in STEM and promotes leadership through a lecture series, hands-on research, educational activities and outdoor adventures.

The application deadline is Feb. 17.

Please share this informational handout [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/zebra/news/16/Jan/NYSC.pdf] with students, and find more details on the National Youth Science Camp website [http://www.nysf.com/w/programs/nysc/].

Attendees get the opportunity to exchange ideas with scientists and other professionals from the academic and corporate worlds. The nearly month-long experience includes lectures and hands-on research projects presented by scientists from across the nation; overnight camping trips into the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia; and a visit to Washington D.C.

The NYSC experience is offered at no cost to participants, so selected delegates may attend regardless of financial status. Contributions to the National Youth Science Foundation® allow delegates to participate. Educational and recreational programming, as well as meals, lodging and round-trip air travel are provided free of charge.

Delegates arrive in Charleston, W.Va., on Wednesday, June 15, and depart Sunday, July 10.

South Dakota State Fair Shine the spotlight on student work at the State Fair

Teachers can highlight their students' best work in art, literature and photography at the 2016 South Dakota State Fair. The work must be from the 2015-16 school year and entries must be submitted no later than April 16.

In addition, students in 1st-6th grade may enter an essay contest. This year's topic is "Living the Life in South Dakota! What's great about our state?" Students in 5th-8th grade may enter poetry in the Prairie Winds Competition. Winners have their work submitted for publication in the Prairie Winds magazine.

Teachers are also encouraged to nominate outstanding fellow educators for the Most Valuable Educator Award.

"South Dakota’s Largest Classroom" will again be part of the State Fair in 2016. In 2015, schools from across the state participated, with approximately 1,000 students and teachers attending. Learn more about this program on the State Fair website [http://www.sdstatefair.com/special-events/all/sds-largest-classroom].

More information on all of these educational opportunities is available in the 2016 South Dakota State Fair Education Book [http://www.sdstatefair.com/assets/docs/uploads/exhibitors/education-book-2016.pdf].

21st Cemtury Community Learning Centers
Peer reviewers needed for 21st CCLC grant applications

The Department of Education is seeking qualified individuals to become peer reviewers for 21st Century Community Learning Center grant applications. Centers provide students with academic enrichment opportunities and activities designed to complement regular school instruction.

The peer review process is used to ensure qualified proposals are selected for funding. The deadline to apply to become a peer reviewer is Feb. 11. All selected reviewers will be required to attend an on-site training in Pierre on March 24.

Individuals of diverse expertise, geographic location, gender, racial and ethnic representation are encouraged to apply. Examples of potential applicants include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • Experts in extended learning and out-of-school time practices
  • Teachers, principals
  • Youth development experts and practitioners
  • Community and youth service providers
  • Representatives of faith-based organizations
  • Private-sector individuals involved in education
  • Local and civic leaders
  • Representatives from foundations and other charitable organizations
  • College and university staff

On the Department of Education’s 21st CCLC webpage [http://doe.sd.gov/oatq/21cent.aspx], find 2016 Peer Reviewer Documents, including a reviewer application and reviewer rubric. For more information, contact Jill Cotton [jill.cotton@state.sd.us], (605) 295-3876; or Sue Burgard [sue.burgard@state.sd.us], (605) 773-5238, with the South Dakota Department of Education.


How to REACH those you TEACH
Webinars for general educators

• Feb. 1: Differentiated Instruction
• Feb. 29: Behaviors and Behavior Plans
• March 14: Autism Spectrum Disorder

The Office of Special Education is excited to offer webinars specifically designed for general educators to help them reach all the students in their classrooms. Over the past year the office received a number of requests from teachers and administrators asking for professional development in assisting with students with disabilities who are integrated in the general classroom. Participants will learn tips, tricks and the basics of special education.

Registration is closed; however, educators can still view webinars without being registered. (Note: Participants will not receive the two contact hours unless they registered prior to, and attended the Jan. 11 webinar.)

Webinars begin at 3:30 p.m. CST. A computer with Internet access and a phone line will be needed. Find more information at GoSignMeUp [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/calendar]. Contact Wendy Trujillo [wendy.trujillo@state.sd.us], South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-8071 with questions.

Webinar 1: Disability Training was held Jan. 11. The recording can be found on the Department of Education website [http://www.doe.sd.gov/oess/SPED-webinars.aspx]. Future "How to REACH those you TEACH" webinar recordings will be posted within one week after the training.

24th Annual Joint Professional Development Conference:
SD Science Teachers Association & SD Council of Teachers of Mathematics

Feb. 4-6, Huron

Bring your best Supermarket Science lab/demo or favorite math activity/handout to Thursday night sharing sessions. Other conference highlights will include:
• ARTsome Astronomy
• Not Your Mother’s Microscope
• Fun with Fractions
• Science + Math + SD History = FUN!

Find registration information, learn about featured speakers and much more on theSouth Dakota Council of Teachers of Mathematics website [http://www.sdctm.org/conference/annualconference.htm].

Board of Education
March 14, Rapid City

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet in the Dakota Hall Lecture Room at Western Dakota Technical Institute, 800 Mickelson Drive, in Rapid City. The time of the meeting is yet to be determined. The third 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/Template.aspx?BoardID=32]at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

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

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