District News Minute 10-16-17

This week on the District News Minute, learn about the League of Innovative Schools, which recently invited the Sioux Falls School District to join it's elite group, get the latest on an award the School Board is celebrating, and find out how you can learn about all the programs being taught at our Career and Technical Education Academy.

Envision: Safety and Security

Dr. Maher discusses the continuous and ongoing measures our staff undertake to ensure schools are safe and secure places for students to learn. From a retired Army general as a risk manager, to our close partnership with the Sioux Falls Police Department and our School Resource Officers, to regular training for anything that could happen at school - including natural disasters, fires, or intruders.

2nd Year of Summer Climb Helps More Students

Test results indicate that the second year of the Summer Climb program for targeted elementary school students is helping improve math and reading scores and academic growth in each area, especially for students who have attended the program both years.

The second year of the 8-week Summer Climb program began in June with 231 students in grades K-3 at Laura B. Anderson, Hawthorne and Hayward Elementary Schools. This is a growth of 60 students over the previous year. Seventy-eight students (45%) returned for the second year of the program. Students participated in a wide variety of physical and academic activities and were served breakfast and lunch. The attendance rates at each site remained high. In addition to math and reading instruction, the program applied academic concepts through projects and field trips.

Initial assessment results indicate that all while all students experienced “summer slide,” those who attended Summer Climb experienced less of a loss in learning, except among kindergarten students. However, the students who participated in the program for a second year outpaced their non-attending peers in both math and reading at all levels.

Click here for the full report.

Teachers Conclude Summer Research Projects

Several Sioux Falls School District professionals spent their summer building effective classroom lessons, bringing awareness to the needs of students, and developing materials and resources to help students become more successful in the classroom.

The School Board and the Sioux Falls Education Association (SFEA) jointly support Summer Research grants as part of the negotiated agreement for professional development. Grants were awarded for the following projects:

Gap Analysis in Algebra II Katherine Kopp
Speaking Time for Immersion Students Casey Elder and Andraya Peterson
Differentiated Coaching: More Effectively Meeting New Hire Needs Margaret Dalton                                                                                                Ready Bodies, Learning Minds Jolene Gordon and Trish Nelson
Helping Struggling Readers in the Intermediate Grades Christine Provance
A Mindful Approach to Teaching Jenny Taggatz
Using Technology to Support Student Success Rachel Turner
Using Critical Thinking Skills in Physics Homework to Improve Student Achievement Barb Newitt

Summer Research projects allow education professionals to explore an individual interest and develop knowledge to improve his or her expertise and enhance his or her work with students. Grant recipients are required to share their findings with District staff.

A total of $5,000 was allocated and awarded with 2017 Summer Research grants. Compensation included up to 36.25 hours of paid research time with no single project funded for more than $650.

Click here for the full report.

Summer School Program Helping HS Students

Thanks to a new summer credit recovery program, in 2017, 30 students were able to meet the graduation requirements to earn their high school diploma.

The Summer Up Recovery Program began in 2016 at Washington, Lincoln and Roosevelt High Schools in response to the state focus on the 4-year cohort in graduation calculations. Each year, there are 25-50 students who need 0.5 or 1.0 credits to graduate with their cohort group. The program uses online coursework and gives students the opportunity to meet graduation requirements or catch up with their cohort. Students earned a total of 163 credits through the program in 2017, an increase over the 2016 total of 142.5.

The program is free for students.

Click here for the full report.

Envision: Annual Report Card

Each year, schools are "graded" by the state on results of standardized test scores, college and career readiness, attendance and more. Dr. Maher explains how the Sioux Falls School District fared in 2016-17.

District News Minute 10-9-17

This week on the District News Minute, learn about the success of a high school summer school program designed to help students graduate with their 4-year cohort, get the latest about summer research projects conducted by teachers, and find out about how the 2nd year of the Summer Climb program fared in three Sioux Falls elementary schools.

ASBSD Executive Director Wade Pogany presents the Gold Level Award

Wade Pogany, Cynthia Mickelson, and Kent Alberty

The Sioux Falls School Board recently received the highest award possible from the Associated School Boards of South Dakota for their dedicated and ethical service to the students and communities they serve. The ASBSD Gold Level Board Recognition is based on the acronym of ALL. Act. Lead. Learn. The award recognizes the time, effort, and commitment put forth by Board members not only in regular board meetings, but also through activities and training opportunities offered through ASBSD, and demonstrated leadership through local, state, and national meetings, committees, and assemblies. This program recognize board members’ participation in outside activities, board development and training, and demonstrated leadership at various areas and levels.

Sioux Falls School District Accepted into National Network of Innovative School Districts

Digital Promise Logo

Sioux Falls School District joins Digital Promise League of Innovative Schools, will partner with other leading educators, entrepreneurs, and researchers from across the country

October 5, 2017 | Sioux Falls, SD - The Sioux Falls School District was accepted today into the League of Innovative Schools, a national coalition of forward-thinking school districts organized by Digital Promise, a nonprofit organization with the mission to accelerate innovation in education and improve the opportunity to learn for all through technology and research.

Sioux Falls School District was selected from a competitive national pool of applicants based on its leadership, evidence of results, innovative vision for learning, and commitment to collaboration.

Dr. Brian Maher, Superintendent of Sioux Falls Public Schools says, “The League of Innovative Schools is a highly-select group of K-12 programs that are on the cutting edge of defining the future of education. As Superintendent of the Sioux Falls School District, I couldn’t be more proud of our staff for creating a powerful momentum in the areas of student achievement and engagement. Our membership in the League of Innovative Schools will only accelerate the many great things already happening in our schools as we share our ideas and learn from some of this country’s best minds in education.”

CTE Academy Open House, Career Fair Conferences

CTE LogoOPEN HOUSE: Monday, October 23rd 4:00 pm-7:00 pm
4700 W. Career Circle
Sioux Falls, SD 57107

CTE Academy Mission: "To educate and prepare students for future success through specialized, relevant, career-oriented learning."

The Sioux Falls Career & Technical Education Academy would like to extend an invitation to ALL students, parents, community members and business owners to tour the facility and learn about the exciting opportunities available to students in the local area. Visitors will view our state of the art facility & lab equipment and have time to visit with instructors and counselors to learn more about our various courses and programs.

Envision: Graduation Rate Increases

Dr. Brian Maher told us in September he had reason to believe we'd hear good news when the state reported graduation rates. The news was better than expected, but that doesn't mean our job is done.

District News Minute 10-2-17

This week on the District News Minute: Get details about how the School Board is using less money than expected from Sioux Falls taxpayers, learn about a high school's initiative to dream big, and find out more about our Title I schools.

2017 Report Card/Accountability Report

The Sioux Falls School District increased its graduation rate more than three full percentage points in 2016-17 and outpaced the state averages in reading growth, math proficiency and math growth.

The Smarter Balanced Assessment was given to all students in grades 3-8 and 11 in the spring of 2017. English Language Arts proficiency for the District was comparable to the State average. While the District’s third grade reading scores fell behind the State average, the growth in reading was higher than the State average, as was math proficiency, which increased by nearly two percentage points. Though attendance in the District was down slightly compared to the previous year, 7% of students missed the 94% benchmark by only 1-2 days.

The District graduation rate increased to 83.85% with improvement in each subgroup. The gap between economically disadvantaged students and those without disadvantage was reduced nearly six percentage points.

Additionally, Laura B. Anderson Elementary was moved from Focus to Progressing status based on the School Performance Indicator.

Click here for the full report.