Dakota STEP testing begins
The Dakota STEP testing window has opened. Test administration began April 2 and must conclude by April 20.
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April is School Library Month
Spring is a good time to celebrate school libraries – and to recognize the contributions that library staff make in improving educational outcomes for students.
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i3 Fund grants announced
The U.S. Department of Education has issued notices inviting applications for “validation grants” (up to $15 million) and “scale-up grants” (up to $25 million) through the Investing in Innovation, or i3, Fund. School districts, groups of schools, and non-profits organizations in partnership with districts and schools are eligible to compete for these grants, with applications due May 29. Grant awards will be made to those with the strongest proposals for expanding promising or effective educational practices to improve learning.
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Check status of any waivers now

Districts should review the status of any current waivers from administrative rule and make any necessary applications soon. After approval by the department, waivers take effect at the beginning of the next school fiscal year on July 1.

A school district may apply for a waiver from South Dakota Administrative Rule governing school accreditation, in order to implement an alternative plan that better addresses local learning goals, enhances educational opportunities, promotes equity or increases accountability.

While many waivers last for five years, some have a shorter life span. One of the most common waivers among districts is to offer high school credit for Algebra I at the 8th grade.

For further explanation and access to application forms, click here.

For a list of current waiver holders, click here.

Questions can be directed to Carol Uecker, at the Department of Education, at (605) 773-4771.