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SD Department of Education
Nov. 2019  
TEACHER FEATURE: SD teachers dig into new math and ELA content standards

Implementation of South Dakota’s new content standards in math and English language arts is underway this fall. Students will be assessed on the standards beginning in spring 2020. The path to implementation began in summer 2016, and South Dakota educators have been involved from the outset.

That summer, work groups of K-12 educators and other stakeholders gathered to revise existing standards. Throughout the 2016-17 school year, the Department of Education gathered feedback from the field on the work groups’ proposed changes. The work groups finalized their revisions after considering the feedback in summer 2017, and the South Dakota Board of Education Standards then held four public hearings on the proposed standards before adopting them in spring 2018.

The following educators were among those involved in revising standards and/or later disaggregating, or “unpacking,” the standards. Unpacking of the standards took place during the summer of 2018. Find standards and supporting documents to help teachers use them effectively on the department’s English language arts [https://doe.sd.gov/contentstandards/ELA.aspx] and math [https://doe.sd.gov/contentstandards/math.aspx] content standards webpages.

I had the opportunity to work with unpacking the 4th grade math standards. It was an eye-opening experience for me. It allowed me to fully understand the depth of what the standards were saying. It also helped me see what the students truly need to know.

The value of the unpacked standards documents, for me, is I can look at the standard for the previous grade level if I have a struggling student. It also clearly lays out each standard for me as an educator. This, in turn, helps me teach that standard better.

For teachers familiarizing themselves with the updated standards, I would encourage them to keep referring back to them as they are planning and teaching lessons. The documents give you examples, important vocabulary, and so much vital information.
--Bev Dunn, fourth grade, Woonsocket Elementary

Unpacking the standards was great professional development. Each standard was carefully considered and discussed by experienced teachers. As the work progressed, I gained a much better understanding of the sequence and depth of knowledge needed to master each standard. It was a joy to work with teachers who are passionate about their subject!
--Cindy Kroon, math, Montrose High School

I was fortunate to be part of the ELA standards revision process, unpacking the revised ELA standards, and helping develop the toolkit for rolling out the ELA unpacked standards.

In addition to becoming more familiar with the standards themselves, I most appreciated the K-12 discussions, where we voiced approval, suggestions, and/or concerns. We had to look closely at how possible changes at one grade level might affect both previous and successive grade levels. Revising Reading and Writing Standards 10 to include student choice initiated intense discussion, yet the decision to include student self-selection within South Dakota’s standards is backed by research on what's best for our students (see National Council of Teachers of English Statement on Independent Reading [http://www2.ncte.org/statement/independent-reading/]).

The unpacked standards give teachers starting points for lesson and unit planning and may, perhaps, help “demystify” each standard. If teachers utilize essential questions to guide their planning, the unpacked standards provide examples. If teachers are looking for student-friendly language, the unpacked standards offer suggestions. If teachers have been overwhelmed at the prospect of teaching each standard in isolation, the unpacked standards share “clusters” of standards that can work together.

I recommend using the toolkit as part of professional development to review and discuss the unpacked standards. The toolkit offers guiding questions and activities for digging into and discussing the unpacked documents. If possible, take a collaborative approach - looking at the standards with a colleague or two or more, even if they're at different grade levels. I gained so much from listening to not only the middle level educators who were part of the standards work but also the elementary and high school ELA teachers.
--Anne Moege, seventh and eighth grade English language arts, National Board Certified, Mitchell Middle School

I had the privilege of being the third-grade table lead for both the revision and unpacking process. Participating in this process was an incredible professional development opportunity. I was able to reflect upon and analyze the standards in a way that I never had before. I became very familiar with the vertical alignment of our South Dakota standards and came to appreciate the level of rigor across grade levels.
--Melissa Pankratz, intervention teacher, Sturgis Elementary

The unpacked standards documents are packed with information about each standard. Maybe you're not sure of the depth of the standard or how a standard connects to other standards. The unpacked standard documents have those answers. They also have great examples to help clarify any language that may seem vague or confusing.

The process of creating the unpacked standards documents was the best professional development! It allowed for deep discussions about each standard with teachers passionate about their profession from across the state. While challenging work, it was rewarding to be a part of creating a product that can help teachers as they navigate the updated standards.
--Amy Schander, math and science, Gayville-Volin High School

Carolyn Schuldies Carolyn Schuldies receives Outstanding Transition Services Award

Governor Kristi Noem recently presented Carolyn Schuldies with the Governor’s Award for Outstanding Transition Services. Schuldies has worked for the past 25 years providing self-advocacy instruction and training to the students of the Meade School District. Congratulations, Carolyn!

South Dakota LEADS conference Dec. 9

Gov. Kristi Noem has announced the launch of the South Dakota LEADS Conference, to be held Monday, Dec. 9, at the Convention Center in Sioux Falls. The one-day event is comprised of three tracks for students, teachers, and women. The event is free.

Below is a run-down of the tracks. To learn more and to register, visit sdleads.sd.gov.

  • The student conference will energize students to amplify the power they have to make a difference. It’s open to middle and high school students. The conference will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
  • The educator conference will encourage and motivate administrators, counselors, teachers, and school leaders at all levels. Educators will be reminded of the power they hold to influence students’ lives. The conference will run from 9:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • The women’s conference will empower women to lead in their communities. Community and state organizations will share about their missions and share information on how people can get involved. Attendees are encouraged to bring gently used professional clothing to donate to women’s organizations that assist women in need. The conference will run from 2 to 6:30 p.m.

Silent Silos Make new exhibits at the CHC part of your class legislative visit

Bringing students to Pierre this winter to observe the state legislature? Discover hands-on history at the Cultural Heritage Center, home of the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society, located northeast of the State Capitol at 900 Governors Drive.

Missile silo under
Missile silo under construction (Photo courtesy Minuteman Missile National Historic Site)

The “Silent Silos: South Dakota’s Missile Field” exhibit will be on display in the Hogen Gallery until February 2021. This exhibit traces the development of the Cold War-era missile field in South Dakota and features never-before-seen artifacts from the collections of the South Dakota State Historical Society and Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Students can watch a missileer training video, build a fallout shelter, play Missile Command, and more.

Women suffragists unveiling the suffragist banner
Women suffragists unveiling the suffragist banner in Washington, D.C., after the 19th Amendment was ratified (Photo courtesy Smithsonian Institution)

A new exhibit is also on display in the museum’s Observation Gallery: “The Right is Ours: Women Win the Vote.” This exhibit focuses on the story of South Dakota women, men, and organizations that supported our state giving most women the right to vote in 1918 and national ratification in 1920. The gallery will also explore the multiple arguments made for suffrage as well as opposition to the movement. The exhibit will be on display through Nov. 3, 2020.

With a museum visit, students can gain insight into the state history that informs the legislature’s work. The South Dakota Experience galleries tell the story of the state from American Indian life before the arrival of Europeans in the 1700s through the end of the 20th Century.

Visitors can see (and in some cases, even touch) artifacts from our state’s past. To schedule a free tour, guided or self-guided, contact Jeff Mammenga at Jeff.Mammenga@state.sd.us or 605-773-6000. Museum hours are 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. CST, Monday-Saturday and 1-4:30 p.m. CST on Sundays. For more information, visit the museum’s website [http://www.history.sd.gov/museum].

SD Captiol Building Security tightening at Capitol

Students and educators visiting the Capitol in Pierre during the legislative session will notice some changes. A security screening room is being constructed at the north entrance. Once completed, Capitol visitors will enter through the north doors and be directed into the screening room. Signage will help direct visitors and inform them what items are not allowed in the Capitol. Construction is expected to be completed before the start of the 2020 legislative session.

ENGLIH Reminder: Free PD available to build your capacity to work with English learners

The South Dakota Department of Education has partnered with WIDA Professional Learning to offer educators access to six, self-paced, on-demand eWorkshops. These free workshops are available to educators throughout the 2019-20 school year and are appropriate for all teachers and administrators, not only teachers currently working with English learners.

Professionally developed by WIDA, a trusted name in the field of multilingual learner education and assessment, these eWorkshops cover a range of topics intended for a variety of audiences. We’re excited to offer this opportunity for several reasons:

Unlimited enrollment – With no limit on the number of participants, these eWorkshops are ideal for a district looking for high quality professional development for their entire staff.

Easy to access – Log in at any time, from any place. No need to spend extra money and time on travel. WIDA’s eWorkshops are a great option for rural districts. A WIDA account is needed to log in. If an educator doesn’t have an account already, they can contact their district assessment coordinator.

Professional learning for everyone – Not just for teachers of multilingual learners—everyone from administrators and facilitators to content teachers and specialists can find an eWorkshop relevant to their goals.

Actionable content – School leaders, general classroom, and ESL teachers will be introduced to strategies and resources they can put to use in their instruction right away.

Flexibility – WIDA’s eWorkshops can be taken individually at an educator’s own pace or utilized by a larger group or professional learning community.

Contact hours and graduate credit available – Once a participant completes an eWorkshop, they will be asked to complete a workshop evaluation and survey. Upon completion of the evaluation and survey, they will receive a certificate that they can email to Yutzil Becker [yutzil.becker@state.sd.us] at the South Dakota Department of Education to earn contact hours. Graduate credits will also be available through the University of Sioux Falls. One graduate credit [https://reach.usiouxfalls.edu/modules/shop/index.html?action=section&OfferingID=723248&SectionID=723278] can be earned for completion of 15 hours of workshops; two graduate credits [https://reach.usiouxfalls.edu/modules/shop/index.html?action=section&OfferingID=723162&SectionID=723172] can be earned for completion of 30 hours of workshops.

See this flyer for detailed information on these WIDA eWorkshops [https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2019/Aug/documents/WIDA.pdf].

Questions? Contact Yutzil Becker [yutzil.becker@state.sd.us] with the South Dakota Department of Education.

New skills assessment added to student SDMyLife accounts

SDMyLife powered by Xello’s all-new skills assessment has been added to student accounts.

Skills Lab is a brand new, 35-question survey for students in grades 9-12. This engaging, interactive survey asks students to consider their preferences for using a variety of skills. Their skills assessment results are combined with results from their Matchmaker interest assessment to refine career matches and provide a more comprehensive evaluation of career fit.

Skills Lab is designed to help your school meet ARSD 24:43:11:08 [http://sdlegislature.gov/Rules/DisplayRule.aspx?Rule=24:43:11:08]. By administering this assessment, your school will meet the career aptitude assessment piece of ARSD 24:43:11:08.

The following documents will help you get acquainted with Skills Lab in Xello:

  • Walk-through guide & FAQs [https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/zebra/news/19/nov/documents/SkillsLab1.pdf]: review these to get familiar with the student experience (not for distribution to your students)
  • Introductory presentation [https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/zebra/news/19/nov/documents/IntroSkillsLab.pptx]: A brief presentation to introduce Skills Lab to your students and guide them through accessing the survey and reviewing their results.

Educators are encouraged to take some time to review and test out Skills Lab in their demo student account to familiarize themselves with the new feature. Questions? Please reach out to any of the following individuals:

  • Megan Tatum: Megan.Tatum@state.sd.us, 605-773-4726
  • Janeen Outka: Janeen.Outka@teachwell.org, 605-216-4884
  • Xello Client Solutions team: help@xello.world, 1-800-965-8541

South Dakota NAEP scores hold steady

South Dakota scores on the 2019 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), known as the Nation’s Report Card, are mostly steady and remain at or above national scores. Bright spots include state scores in eighth-grade math and fourth-grade reading.

Read more at https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2019/1030-NAEP.pdf.

Session proposals for 2020 Special Education Conference due Dec. 6

The 2020 Special Education Conference will be held March 17-18, 2020, in Sioux Falls. Session proposals must be received by Dec. 6. See this “Call for Presentations” flyer [https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2019/Oct/documents/2020-PRESENTATIONS.pdf] for suggested topics and more information on guidelines for submitting a proposal.

Virtual Dairy Farm Tour

Miss last month’s Virtual Dairy Farm Tour?

In October, as part of Farm to School Month festivities, the Boadwine dairy farm near Baltic, S.D., offered a live Virtual Dairy Farm Tour for students in grades 4-6. A recording of this tour is now available on the Department of Education’s Child and Adult Nutrition Services webpage [https://doe.sd.gov/cans/index.aspx]. Look for the “Virtual Dairy Farm Tour” link under the “Farm to Table Resources” heading.

Encourage colleagues to apply for Outstanding Math Teacher Award by Dec. 1

The South Dakota Council of Teachers of Mathematics is pleased to partner with Daktronics for the 11th annual Daktronics Outstanding Mathematics Teacher Award. Encourage colleagues to apply, or apply yourself. The honoree receives a $1,000 cash award and is recognized at the SD STEM Ed Conference in Huron in February.

Read more at https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2019/Nov/documents/Daktronics.pdf.

Upcoming Events

Except where otherwise noted, details on the following events are available at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/].

SDMyLife for Juniors and Seniors
Nov. 20, webinar, 10 a.m. CT
Nov. 20, webinar, 3 p.m. CT

SD Week of Work webinar
Nov. 21

Family and Community Engagement in Action: Beyond the Bake Sale
Dec. 1, 2019-Jan. 31, 2020, online

Family and Community Engagement in Action: Powerful Partnerships
Dec. 1, 2019-Jan. 31, 2020, online

SDMyLife for Middle School
Dec. 4, webinar, 10 a.m. CT
Dec. 4, webinar, 3 p.m. CT

Equitable Grading of English learners
Dec. 5, Sioux Falls [https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sioux-falls-equitable-grading-tickets-72138326677]
Jan. 23, Huron [https://www.eventbrite.com/e/huron-equitable-grading-tickets-72143917399]

South Dakota LEADS Conference
Dec. 9, Sioux Falls [https://sdleads.sd.gov/]

ESL Teacher Summit
Dec. 10, Rapid City [https://www.eventbrite.com/e/esl-teacher-summit-curriculum-exploration-rapid-city-tickets-74715922335]

Board of Education Standards
Jan. 27, 2020, Pierre [https://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Meetings.aspx?BoardID=32]

Save the Date: Foundational Reading Workshops
Grades 4-8: July 29-30, 2020, Pierre
Grades K-3: Aug. 3-5, 2020, Pierre

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