2013













     *This is a repeat session of training previously offered by the Department of Education.




Secretary's Column:
By Dr. Melody Schopp
Department of Education

Spring 2014 marks big step in implementation of Common Core

Winter has not yet begun, but already I’m thinking about spring. As you know, the field test of the Smarter Balanced assessment will begin March 18, 2014.

You, your teachers and students have all been working hard, adjusting to the new Common Core standards in ELA and math. This spring will be the first time our students are assessed wholly on these new standards. It’s a critical step in this ongoing transition.

Everyone in the department’s Office of Assessment and Accountability is working hard to ensure this shift to a new test goes as smoothly as possible. We have been working closely with our colleagues in the Bureau of Information and Telecommunications to ensure that the technology infrastructure needed to deliver the new online assessment is in place and able to support the demand. Districts should also be assessing their local infrastructure to ensure smooth administration. So far, indications are positive that we are prepared in this area.

We are also working with the Smarter Balanced consortium on more specific details of test administration, consortium requirements for administration, and so forth. In order to ensure validity, there will be certain parameters that South Dakota will need to follow during the testing window. As those details are firmed up, we will share them with you as quickly as possible.

With all of the changes surrounding assessment this year, I highly encourage you to send your assessment coordinator, or some other representative, to the department’s testing “road shows” that will take place at various locations across the state in January and February.

Finally, as you visit with parents about the move to a new assessment, it’s important to reassure them. Any time we move to new standards and a new assessment, we need to establish a new baseline. It is not fair or valid to compare performance on the Dakota STEP to performance on the Smarter Balanced assessment. Our expectation is that proficiency under the SBAC will look different than it did with the Dakota STEP, and we need to lay out that expectation for parents.

Preparing our students for success in the 21st century will not happen quickly, but we are setting them on the right path. I know South Dakota students will rise to the challenge.



Summary of spring 2014 testing released

A number of changes will occur in state testing this spring, pending federal approval of South Dakota’s application to not double test students and to hold accountability classifications steady for the 2014-15 school year.

For a chart summarizing the spring 2014 testing plan, go to: http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2013/nov/documents/S14testing.pdf

Smarter Balanced
South Dakota is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC), which is creating new tests aligned to the Common Core standards in English-language arts and math. “South Dakota is one of several states that plan to test all students in grades 3-8 and 11 this spring using the new assessment, in order to meet our federal testing requirements,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Melody Schopp.

The test will be delivered online, and the testing window will open March 18 and end at the close of the school year.

“We know that there will be certain parameters regarding the timing of testing during that window, in order to ensure the validity of the field test and to manage technology infrastructure,” Schopp said. Those parameters will be announced in the next few months.

Besides the move to the Smarter Balanced assessment for all students in grades 3-8 and 11, the following assessment changes also will take place.

9th and 10th graders
A small group of 9th and 10th graders across the state will be selected to participate in the SBAC field test this spring. Testing of these grades is necessary for one year only, in order to provide information for standard setting and scale score development. Specifics regarding this requirement will be coming in the next few months.

Alternate Assessment
South Dakota is part of another consortium of states, the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC), which is field testing an Alternate Assessment in English-language arts and math this spring, which will replace the Dakota STEP Alternate, or Dakota STEP-A, in these subject areas. The test is designed for students with the most severe cognitive disabilities.

South Dakota schools can volunteer to be a part of this pilot. Students who are selected to be part of the field test will take either the field test for English-language arts or the field test for math. The students will be required to take the Dakota STEP Alternate in the other subject area. In other words, students will be required to take both an ELA and a math test, but only one of the tests will be the field test.

The NCSC field test for math will occur in February and March 2014, and the NCSC field test for English language arts will occur in March and April 2014. Exact dates will be forthcoming. Schools will know prior to the Dakota STEP Alternate window of Feb. 3-March 14, which of their students are selected to participate in the Alternate Assessment field test, so that they can plan accordingly.

Science Assessment
There is no change to the state science assessment. Students in grades 5, 8, and 11 will take the current Dakota STEP science assessment, in paper-and-pencil format, during the testing window of March 31-April 18.

The Dakota STEP Alternate science assessment will be given at the same time as the Dakota STEP Alternate for English-language arts and math, Feb. 3-March 14.

Testing at Hutterite Colony Schools
Districts with Hutterite Colony schools have been given the option to use either the Smarter Balanced assessment or the paper-and-pencil Dakota STEP for the 2014 testing window. This is the only instance in which the current assessment will be made available in paper-and-pencil format. In the future, a paper-and-pencil version of SBAC may be available.

The Department of Education has already been in contact with district superintendents that have colony schools, to identify which option each of their colony schools will use. Colony schools that have chosen the paper-pencil Dakota STEP option will have their student achievement results publicly reported as usual, if they meet the minimum N size of 10.

Public Reporting
While student achievement data on the field test assessments will not be reported for the 2013-14 school year, other required accountability information will still be reported, including test participation rates; attendance rates; high school completion rates; ACT data; information about Highly Qualified teachers and staffing data. Schools will still be expected to meet established targets in these areas.

Requirement to Notify Parents
As part of the double testing waiver requirement, schools are required to alert parents of the changes in testing for spring of 2014. Sample letters are available from the department.

The department will offer its annual assessment “road shows” in January and February at locations across the state. Testing coordinators are strongly encouraged to attend.

For more information, contact Jan Martin, South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-3246 or Jan.Martin@state.sd.us.



South Dakota Board of Education to meet

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet Nov. 18 beginning at 10:30 a.m. (Central) in Pierre. The board will consider a proposed rule change related to SDAR 24:05:33:07.03.Cooperative educational service unit costs. The proposed change would allow a school district to pay certain costs incurred by a co-op, as a result of providing special education or special education and related services, from state and local dollars deposited into the district’s special education fund.

In addition, the board will hear an update from the Department of Education regarding proposed changes to the state’s accountability system, as DOE prepares to re-apply for its ESEA Flexibility Waiver.

A draft agenda is available on the board’s web page at http://doe.sd.gov/board/index.aspx .



Student growth rating for teachers based on learning objectives

This story is the second in a three-part series on the continuing development of South Dakota’s model teacher effectiveness system.

Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, South Dakota public school districts will be required to have a teacher effectiveness system in place. Under the model system developed by South Dakota’s Commission on Teaching and Learning (CTL), teachers will receive both a professional practice rating and a student growth rating, which are combined into one summative rating. Districts will have the flexibility to use their own systems of evaluation, as long as they can demonstrate alignment to this model.

The professional practice rating is based on the state’s professional teaching standards known as the South Dakota Framework for Teaching (i.e. Charlotte Danielson model). The teaching standards include 22 components grouped into four domains: 1) Planning and Preparation, 2) Classroom Environment, 3) Instruction, 4) Professional Responsibilities.

When it comes to the student growth rating, the model system relies on student learning objectives (http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2013/nov/documents/SLO_FAQ13.pdf).

“While many schools are familiar with the standards for professional practice, the concept of using student learning objectives, or SLOs, in the evaluation process is a new one,” said Abby Javurek-Humig, director of assessment and accountability for the South Dakota Department of Education.

A student learning objective is a teacher-driven goal or set of goals that establish expectations for student academic growth over a period of time. These specific, measurable student learning goals are based on student learning needs and aligned to applicable standards. SLOs reflect a rigorous, yet realistic expectation of student growth that can be achieved during a given instructional period. SLOs must be approved by the principal. Under the model system, teachers are required to develop a single SLO based on the critical learning needs of students in a particular class or course. For example:

• A second-grade teacher responsible for teaching multiple content areas only needs to create one SLO for one of those content areas.
• A physical education teacher who teaches multiple classes and even multiple grade levels is only required to create one SLO for one class in one grade level.
• A high school math and science teacher need only create one SLO for one class in one content area.

Under the model system, a teacher’s student growth rating is based on a percentage of SLO attainment. A Low Growth rating indicates that a teacher’s SLOs were less than 65 percent attained. An Expected Growth rating indicates a teacher’s SLOs were 65 to 85 percent attained, and a High Growth rating indicates a teacher’s SLOs were 86 to 100 percent attained.

At Fred Assam Elementary, a pilot school in the Brandon Valley School District, teachers and students are excited about SLOs. Some teachers, like Missy Livingston, write the SLO on the board, so students are well aware of the goal they’re working towards.

Livingston teaches second grade and says that the process of developing SLOs has presented a great opportunity for collaboration. She and her fellow second grade teachers chose to develop a grade-level goal (see http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2013/nov/3a.aspx). The goal is still unique to each teacher’s students because each second grade class has a slightly different starting point, as determined in this case, by DIBELS scores. Developing a grade-level goal is one option, but teachers can also develop SLOs individually.

“This process encouraged us to work together and figure out a focus for the year,” said Livingston. “We brainstormed about what content area to emphasize, looked at the data, and decided that this goal would really help our students develop a strong foundation in addition and subtraction.“

Livingston and her colleagues know that foundation will be essential when these second graders move on to third grade and delve deeper into multiplication.

“I’ve heard students say, ‘I really think I did better today,’” says Principal Susan Foster. “Students are taking ownership and that is exciting. This whole process, digging down into the data, really looking for that area of student need, is keeping us focused.”

While teachers and administrators were initially apprehensive, Foster says that piloting the teacher effectiveness system has done a great deal to help them see how all the pieces fit together: the Danielson Framework, evaluation, and SLOs.

Livingston agrees: “It’s been a pretty easy transition overall. We’ve had a lot of support from administration in developing the goals and working to obtain them.”

RESOURCES:
• SLO Example: Brandon Valley, 2nd grade (http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2013/nov/3a.aspx)
• SLO Examples: State of Wisconsin (http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=950936)
• Frequently Asked Questions (http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2013/nov/documents/SLO_FAQ13.pdf)
• SD’s Student Learning Objectives Guidebook (http://www.doe.sd.gov/oatq/documents/SLO_Draft.pdf)



Principal evaluation incorporates student growth in two ways

This story is the second in a three-part series on the continuing development of South Dakota’s model principal effectiveness system.

Beginning in the 2014-15 school year, South Dakota public school districts will be required to have a principal effectiveness system in place. Under the model system, principals receive both a professional practice rating and a student growth rating. The two separate ratings are combined into one summative rating.

Professional practice
The professional practice rating is based on the South Dakota Framework for Effective Principals, developed by several work groups, including the South Dakota Commission on Teaching and Learning. The framework includes six domains and 22 performance components. These domains include those pieces of a principal’s job that surround instructional leadership and school improvement, as well as those duties related to the daily management and operation of a school.

The domains of the framework include:
1. Vision and Goals
2. Instructional Leadership
3. School Operations and Resources
4. School, Student and Staff Safety
5. School and Community Relationship
6. Ethical and Cultural Leadership

Student growth
A principal’s student growth rating is primarily determined by the percentage of teachers under his or her supervision who have success meeting Student Learning Objectives, or SLOs. (http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2013/nov/documents/SLO_FAQ13.pdf) SLOs are agreed upon by the principal and teacher. A Low Growth rating for a principal indicates that less than 80% of teachers attain Expected Growth. An Expected Growth rating indicates that 80% to 90% of teachers attain Expected Growth, and a High Growth rating indicates that 91% to 100% of teachers attain Expected Growth. This measure accounts for 75 percent of a principal’s student growth rating. The secondary measure of a principal’s impact on student growth requires a principal, in cooperation with the district superintendent, to set school-level growth goals based on available state accountability data (SPI or AMOs). In years when such data is available, this measure accounts for 25 percent of a principal’s student growth rating.

Training related to SLOs will be offered to administrators beginning in spring 2014.

To access the Student Learning Objectives Guidebook, go to: http://www.doe.sd.gov/oatq/documents/SLO_Draft.pdf.





USDA “Smart Snacks” standards available online

“Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards will be a requirement in 2014-15 as part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. These standards affect foods sold in schools during the school day, beyond the federally-supported meal programs. These would include foods sold in vending machines and at snack bars.

The “Smart Snacks in School” nutrition standards require healthier foods, including more whole grains, low fat dairy, fruits, vegetables and leaner protein. Food items will need to be lower in fat, sugar, and sodium and provide more nutrients. Students’ homemade lunches are not affected. Nor are treats for activities like birthday parties, holidays, other celebrations, fundraisers, or bake sales. Foods sold at afterschool sporting events or other activities will not be subject to these requirements either. For more information, go to: http://www.fns.usda.gov/cnd/governance/legislation/allfoods.htm





Common Core training offered to principals

Elementary and secondary principals can attend Common Core training in Rapid City or Aberdeen this month. Principals play a vital role in implementation of the Common Core State Standards. These workshops will provide practical, hands-on experiences to help principals better understand what higher-order instruction and assessment should look like in the classroom. The workshops will assist principals in putting all the pieces together: the Common Core State Standards, the South Dakota Teaching Standards (Danielson Framework) and the Teachscape evaluation system. Find more information in the Upcoming Events section.



South Dakota beta-testing ACT® National Career Readiness Certificate program

The Department of Education is collaborating with the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation during the 2013-14 school year for a beta-test of the ACT® National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) program. The NCRC is an industry-recognized, portable credential certifying essential skills needed for workplace success.

Some funding is still available for high school juniors and seniors wanting to participate in this year’s pilot. Principals, school counselors, and teachers are also welcome to get acquainted with the process by taking the assessments.

For an application, go to: http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/educationonline/2013/nov/documents/NCRCapp.docx

DLR staff assist in assessing students on-site at a school. Schools need to supply space and one computer per student, as the program is administered online. Students are allowed 55 minutes to complete each of three ACT® WorkKeys assessments (Applied Mathematics, Reading for Information and Locating Information). The program can be incorporated into specific classes or the tests can be offered to all juniors and seniors.

Based on their performance, students receive bronze, silver, gold or platinum-level certification. On the ACT® website (http://www.act.org/products/workforce-act-national-career-readiness-certificate/), students can use their test scores to learn what careers match their current skill set and conversely, they can research careers of interest to determine what skills they need to obtain.

Administrators at T.F. Riggs High School in Pierre chose to start implementing the NCRC in 2012 and have gotten positive feedback from students. “We’ve actually even had students come back in and say, ‘Well I’d like to re-take it and see if I can achieve a higher level.’ It gives them an idea of skills they have and skills they might need to work on,” said Principal Kevin Mutchelknaus.

Practice tests and sample questions can also be found online at http://www.act.org/products/workforce-act-national-career-readiness-certificate/. According to ACT, the three WorkKeys assessments measure skills necessary for 77% of all careers.

The NCRC is an asset for students whether they choose to enter the workforce immediately after high school graduation or pursue postsecondary education. Some South Dakota businesses already prefer applicants who have obtained an NCRC.

This initiative is part of the Department of Education’s goal to help prepare South Dakota students for jobs in the 21st century workforce and ensure that all students graduate college, career and life ready.

For more information, contact Tiffany Sanderson, South Dakota Department of Education, (605) 773-7006 or Tiffany.Sanderson@state.sd.us.



Hot Topics

Nov. 18-22 is American Education Week

American Education Week is a chance to celebrate public education! Thanks to all teachers, administrators, support staff and parents who play an essential role in educating our students.


2013 NAEP results announced

South Dakota’s fourth grade and eighth grade scores for math and reading on the National Assessment of Educational Progress have remained steady since the test was first administered in the state in 2002. For more information, go to: http://www.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2013/110713NAEP.pdf





Upcoming Events
Board of Education meeting

Nov. 18, Pierre

The South Dakota Board of Education is scheduled to meet Nov. 18 in Pierre, at the MacKay Building, 800 Governors Drive. A draft agenda is available on the board’s web page: doe.sd.gov/board.



*Common Core: K-12 Module 2 & 3

Nov. 19, Sioux Falls
Dec. 3, Aberdeen

Module Two: Common Core 101 will be a one-day workshop. The workshop will focus on review and understanding Common Core KUD concepts and Webb Leveling. Participants will engage in a process to analyze lessons to ensure alignment to the disaggregated CCSS (KUD) and meet the cognitive demand of the CCSS (Webb Leveling.) Participants will also discuss the relationship of formative and summative assessments and evaluate the purposes and uses of assessment. (Danielson Framework: Domain 1)

MODULE 3 will be online follow-up work for both Math and ELA.

For more information, go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/




Elementary: Common Core for Principals

Nov. 20, Aberdeen

Building the capacity of school principals is critical for successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It demands a shift in thinking to enhance instruction, assessment, and learning. Successful implementation of CCSS will move districts from preparing students for graduation to preparing students for college and careers.

This workshop will provide principals with practical, hands-on experiences to better understand how the Common Core fits within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). Workshop activities will also focus on what higher-order instruction and assessment should look like in the classroom. Lastly, the workshop will help principals understand how the Common Core State Standards, the South Dakota Teaching Standards (Danielson Framework) and the teacher effectiveness system all fit together.

For more information, go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/




Secondary: Common Core for School Principals

Nov. 20, Aberdeen

Building the capacity of school principals is critical for successful implementation of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). It demands a shift in thinking to enhance instruction, assessment, and learning. Successful implementation of CCSS will move districts from preparing students for graduation to preparing students for college and careers.

This workshop will provide principals with practical, hands-on experiences to better understand how the Common Core fits within a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). Workshop activities will also focus on what higher-order instruction and assessment should look like in the classroom. Lastly, the workshop will help principals understand how the Common Core State Standards, the South Dakota Teaching Standards (Danielson Framework) and the Teachscape evaluation system all fit together.

For more information, go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/




*Common Core: 6-12 ELA Module 5 & 6

Nov. 21, Aberdeen

Module Five: In this module, participants will learn strategies to infuse higher-order instructional practices and help students extend and apply knowledge. Infusing higher-order thinking strategies increases the chances students will make connections to the schema when they encounter new information and be able to make sense of that information. (Danielson Framework: Domain 3)

Module Six: This module will help participants assess the higher-order thinking emphasized in Common Core standards. Participants will also gain knowledge of benefits and how to implement a quality, well-balanced plan for utilizing formative, interim and summative assessment. (Danielson Framework: Domains 1 and 3)

For more information, go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/




*Common Core: K-5 Module 5 & 6

Dec. 2, Rapid City

Module Five: In this module, participants will learn strategies to infuse higher-order instructional practices and help students extend and apply knowledge. Infusing higher-order thinking strategies increases the chances students will make connections to the schema when they encounter new information and be able to make sense of that information. (Danielson Framework: Domain 3)

Module Six: This module will help participants assess the higher-order thinking emphasized in Common Core standards. Participants will also gain knowledge of benefits and how to implement a quality, well-balanced plan for utilizing formative, interim and summative assessment. (Danielson Framework: Domains 1 and 3)

For more information, go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/



*Common Core: Literacy in History/Social Studies, Art, Music, World Language

Dec. 2, Various locations statewide
Dec. 5, Rapid City

This workshop will cover the Common Core State Standards for Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects. Teachers of all non-ELA content areas in grades 6-12 are welcome to attend. Participants will learn foundational components found in Common Core for ALL content areas. The workshops will include understanding of the standards as well as strategies for implementation.

The training will run from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Please bring the following:
1) Laptop Computer

2) Text-based resource that will be used in an upcoming lesson. This text-based resource will be analyzed and transformed during the workshop. If you bring a textbook, please bring a supplementary reading material such as an article, blog, quantitative text (graph, chart, etc.)

For more information, go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/



Formative Language Assessment

Dec. 3, Rapid City
Dec. 5, Brookings

This workshop provides an overview of assessment models with a focus on formative assessment. Participants will explore academic language in formative assessment, its implementation, and impact on instruction. Participants will be able to do the following:
• Describe different types of assessment
• Create targets or objectives for academic language measurement and development
• Develop a variety of performance tasks and identify appropriate assessment tools
• Discuss the importance and use of feedback

For more information, go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/



*Common Core: Literacy in Science & Technical Subjects

Dec. 3, Various locations statewide
Dec. 6, Rapid City

This workshop will cover the Common Core State Standards for literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects. Teachers of all non–ELA content areas in grades 6-12 are welcome to attend. Participants will learn foundational components found in Common Core for ALL content areas. The workshops will include understanding of the standards as well as strategies for implementation.

The training will run from 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Please bring the following:
1) Laptop Computer
2) Text-based resource that will be used in an upcoming lesson. This text-based resource will be analyzed and transformed during the workshop. If you bring a textbook, please bring a supplementary reading material such as an article, blog, quantitative text (graph, chart, etc.)

For more information, go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/



These are only a few upcoming events. Go to: http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/ for a complete listing.

*This is a repeat session of training previously offered by the Department of Education.