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DISCIPLINE – AUTHORITY

  • Who has the overall discipline authority in schools?
    • In South Dakota, superintendents, principals, supervisors, and teachers have disciplinary authority over all students while the students are in school or participating in or attending school sponsored activities whether on or off school premises.
    • Superintendents and principals may also discipline students for aggressive or violent behavior off campus that disrupts school or that affects a health or safety factor of the school or its programs. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-1.

DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS

  • What type of discipline is permitted?
    • The board may suspend or expel from school any student for violation of rules or policies or for insubordination or misconduct, and the superintendent or principal in charge of the school may temporarily suspend any student in accordance with the procedures set forth in § 13-32-4.2. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.
    • Other less severe forms of discipline may include suspension or expulsion from a class or activity. Id.

SUSPENSION

  • What is the difference between suspension and expulsion?
    • Short-term suspension, long-term suspension, and expulsion are defined by South Dakota law. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4, 13-32-4.2.
      • In a short-term suspension, the student is not permitted to attend school for a period that is not to exceed ten days.
      • Long-term suspension bans attendance for a period of more than ten school days but less than 90 school days.
      • Expulsion bans attendance for at least 90 days, but no more than 365 days. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:01:01.
  • Under what circumstances can a student be suspended or expelled?
    • The rules or policies giving rise to grounds for suspension or expulsion include rules prohibiting:

    1. Consumption or possession of beer or alcoholic beverages on the school premises or at school activities;
    2. The use or possession of a controlled substance, without a valid prescription, on the school premises or at school activities;
    3. The use or possession of a firearm on or in any elementary or secondary school premises, vehicle, or building or any premises, vehicle, or building used or leased for elementary or secondary school functions or activities; S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4
    4. Cutting, defacing, or otherwise injuring any schoolhouse, equipment, or outbuilding thereof; S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-5
    5. Aggressive or violent behavior that disrupts school or that affects a health or safety factor of the school or its programs. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-1.

  • What are the types of suspension and the processes for each?
    • Short-term suspension
      • The principal or superintendent has authority to suspend a student from school for a maximum of ten consecutive school days for any single action that the local school board has designated as a reason for suspension. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:02:01.
      • Any suspension by a principal must be immediately reported to the superintendent who may revoke the suspension at any time. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:02:01.
      • Students involved in the formal suspension process must be provided due process. The principal or superintendent must tell the student orally or in writing the basis for the suspension. The student must be given the opportunity to respond. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:02:01.
      • A minor may not be removed from the school premises before the end of the school day without contacting the student’s parent unless the student’s presence at school poses a continuing danger, in which case the student may be removed from school immediately and transferred to a parent or law enforcement. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4, 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:02:01.
    • Long-term suspension
      • A long-term suspension (more than ten but less than 365 days) is imposed by the superintendent. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2.
      • If the superintendent finds grounds for a long-term suspension from a class or classes, the superintendent may exclude the pupil from a class or classes by using the short-term suspension procedure in § 24:07:02:01. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:03:02.
      • The superintendent must give a written notice to the pupil’s parent or to a pupil who is 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor and may schedule a hearing before the school board. The notice must contain the following minimum information:

    1. The policy allegedly violated;
    2. The reason for the disciplinary proceedings;
    3. Notice of the right to request a hearing or waive the right to a hearing;
    4. A description of the hearing procedure;
    5. A statement that the pupil’s records are available at the school for examination by the pupil’s parent or authorized representative; and
    6. A statement that the pupil may present witnesses. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:03:02.

    • The superintendent must file a sealed, written report with the school board by the end of the fifth school day following the first day of the long-term suspension and may request that a hearing be held before the school board.
    • The report must include the facts of the situation, the action taken, the reasons for the action, and the superintendent’s decision or recommendation. The superintendent must send a copy of the report to the pupil’s parent at the same time the report is filed with the school board’s secretary or business manager. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4, 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:03:01
    • If a hearing is requested, the superintendent must give notice to each school board member of an appeal to the board for a hearing. The superintendent must set the date, time, and place for the hearing and send notice by first class mail to each school board member and by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the pupil’s parent. The pupil’s parent may waive the right to a hearing in writing to the superintendent.
    • If the hearing is not waived, the hearing will be held on the date, time, and place set in the notice unless a different date, time, and place are agreed to by the parties. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:03:03. If no hearing is requested or the hearing is waived, the action of the superintendent is final. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:03:02.
    • The school board is the hearing board and will conduct the hearing in the following manner:

    1. The school board must appoint a school board member or a person who is not an employee of the school district as the hearing officer;
    2. Each party may make an opening statement;
    3. Each party may introduce evidence, present witnesses, and examine and cross-examine witnesses;
    4. Each party may be represented by an attorney;
    5. The school administration presents its case first;
    6. The hearing is closed to the public. A verbatim record of the hearing will be made and will be sealed pending court order;
    7. Witnesses may be present only when testifying. All witnesses must take an oath or affirmation administered by the school board president or business manager;
    8. Each party may raise objections; however, objections are limited to relevancy and scope of the question;
    9. All relevant evidence must be admitted; however, unproductive or repetitious evidence may be limited by the hearing officer;
    10. The hearing officer may ask questions of witnesses and may allow other school board members to interrogate witnesses;
    11. Each party may make a closing statement;
    12. After the hearing, the school board continues to meet in executive session for deliberation. No one other than the hearing officer may meet with the school board during deliberation. The school board may seek advice during deliberation from an attorney. Consultation with any other person during deliberation may occur only if a representative of the pupil is present; and
    13. The decision of the school board must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing and must be formalized by a motion made in open meeting. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4, 13-32-4.2;S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:03:04.

    • To the extent the section refers to notice and waiver for a pupil under 18, notice is given to the pupil’s parent, and waiver of a hearing can only be done by the parent. To the extent that these provisions relate to a pupil who is 18 or older or an emancipated minor, notice is provided to the pupil and waiver can only be done by the student.

EXPULSION

  • What is the procedure for expulsion?
    • The student must be told of the charges and, if the student denies them, be given an explanation of the facts as known to the school and an opportunity to present his or her version of what occurred.
    • If the superintendent finds grounds for expulsion from one or more classes or from school, the superintendent may exclude the student immediately by using the short-term suspension procedure in § 24:07:02:01. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:04:02.
    • The superintendent must give a written notice to one or both of the student’s parents or to a student who is 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor. The notice must contain the following information at a minimum:

    1. The rule, regulation, or policy allegedly violated;
    2. The reason for the disciplinary proceedings;
    3. Notice of the right to request a hearing;
    4. A description of the hearing procedure;
    5. A statement that the student’s records are available at the school for examination by the student’s parent or parents or another authorized representative;
    6. A statement that the student may present witnesses; and
    7. A statement that the student may be represented by an attorney. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:04:02.

    • The superintendent must set the date, time, and place for the school board hearing.
    • The superintendent must send notice of the hearing to each school board member by first class mail and to the student’s parent or to a student who is 18 years of age or older or an emancipated minor by certified mail, return receipt requested.
    • If the superintendent recommends expulsion, the school board must act on the recommendation before it is implemented. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:04:02.
    • The student, if of the age of majority or emancipated, or the student’s parent, may waive the right to a hearing in writing to the superintendent. If the hearing is not waived, the hearing must be held on the date and at the time and place set in the hearing notice unless a different date, time, and place are agreed to by the parties. If the hearing is waived in writing, the school board may consider the matter at a regular or special meeting without further notice to the student or the student’s parents. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2; S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:04:03.
  • What is the process to appeal a suspension or expulsion?
    • The school board is the hearing board and must conduct the hearing in the following manner:

    1. The school board must appoint a school board member or a person who is not an employee of the
    school district as the hearing officer;
    2. Each party may make an opening statement;
    3. Each party may introduce evidence, present witnesses, and examine and cross-examine witnesses;
    4. Each party may be represented by an attorney;
    5. The school administration must present its case first;
    6. The hearing is closed to the public. The school board must make a verbatim record of the hearing by means of an electronic or mechanical device or by court reporter. This record and any exhibits must be sealed and must remain with the hearing officer until the appeal process has been completed;
    7. Witnesses may be present only when testifying. All witnesses must take an oath or affirmation administered by the school board president, hearing officer or other person authorized by law to take oaths and affirmations;
    8. Each party may raise any legal objection to evidence;
    9. The hearing officer must admit all relevant evidence; however, the hearing officer may limit unproductive or repetitious evidence;
    10. The hearing officer may ask questions of witnesses and may allow other school board members to interrogate witnesses;
    11. Each party may make a statement;
    12. After the hearing, the school board continues to meet in executive session for deliberation. No one other than the hearing officer may meet with the school board during deliberation. The school board may seek advice during deliberation from an attorney who has not represented any of the parties to the hearing. Consultation with any other person during deliberation may occur only if a representative of the student is present; and
    13. The decision of the school board must be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:04:04.

    • The student may appeal an adverse decision by the school board to the state circuit court. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:07:04:05.
  • What is the process to petition for readmission to school?
    • If any student is under suspension or expulsion in a school district, the student may not enroll in any school district until the suspension or expulsion has expired. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.3.
    • If a student is expelled from school, the school board may grant the student an early reinstatement allowing the student to return to school before the end of the period of expulsion. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.4. The school board may include one or more specific conditions that the expelled student must meet, either prior, or after the granting of the early reinstatement.
    • Any early reinstatement conditions established by the school board for an expelled student must pertain to the reasons why the student was expelled, and the board must provide notice of any early reinstatement conditions to the student’s parent or guardian, or, if the student is at least eighteen years of age, to the student. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.5.
    • If the superintendent of a school district determines that an expelled student has met the early reinstatement conditions, the superintendent may grant the student early reinstatement and allow the student to return to school. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.6.
    • If a student violates an early reinstatement condition before the end of the expulsion period, the superintendent of the school district may revoke the student’s early reinstatement. Within five days after revoking an early reinstatement, the superintendent must provide written notice of the revocation. This notice should include any early reinstatement condition that was violated by the student. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.6.
    • If a student’s early reinstatement is revoked, the student’s expulsion must continue until the end of the original period of expulsion unless the student’s expulsion is firearm-related and the original period of expulsion is modified by the superintendent. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.6.
    • The local school policy must provide an opportunity for the student to apply for readmission to be effective within one calendar year from the date of expulsion. Terms and conditions for readmission may be established. Depending on local policy, the application for readmission may be reviewed and acted on by the superintendent, a subcommittee of the school board, or the full school board. If the application is denied by the superintendent or the sub-committee, the student may petition the full school board for review of the denial. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.2, 13-32-4.6.
  • May a student who has been expelled from school move to another county and enroll in a school in the new county?
    • No. The superintendent or school administrator of any school district may prohibit a student from enrolling in that school district if the student is under suspension or expulsion in a school in another state or in a nonpublic school in this state. Upon receiving a request for a student’s permanent school records from the receiving district, the sending school must provide the receiving district with written notice of any suspension or expulsion. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4.3.

ZERO TOLERANCE POLICIES

  • What does “zero tolerance” mean?
    • Zero tolerance of a behavior by a school means that the school’s response is pre-determined and required and includes severe consequences or punishment (most often suspension or expulsion) for a specific offense.
    • South Dakota does not appear to have any formal zero tolerance policies. However, if a student has intentionally brought a firearm onto school premises, the expulsion may not be for less than twelve months. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-3.

CORPORAL PUNISHMENT

  • Is corporal punishment at schools permitted?
    • No. Corporal punishment is not permitted at school or day care in South Dakota.
    • Superintendents, principals, supervisors, and teachers and their aids and assistants, have the authority to use the physical force that is reasonable and necessary for supervisory control over students. The same authority over students is given to any person delegated to supervise children who have been authorized to attend a school function away from their school premises, and to school bus drivers while students are riding, boarding, or leaving the buses. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-32-4, 13-32-4.2.

BULLYING

HAZING

DRESS CODE

  • Can school uniforms be required?

    Under South Dakota law, local school boards may require students to wear a school uniform, consistent with guidelines established by the Board of Education.

ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS (ELL)

  • Who is considered an ELL?
    • “Limited English proficient” means an individual:

    1. Who is aged 3 through 21;
    2. Who is enrolled or preparing to enroll in an elementary school or secondary school;
    3. Who has any of the following characteristics:

    i) Who was not born in the United States or whose native language is not English;
    ii) Who is a Native American or Alaska Native, or a native resident of the outlying areas; and
    iii) Who is migratory, whose native language is a language other than English, and who comes from an environment where language other than English is dominant; and

    4. Whose difficulties in speaking, reading, writing, or understanding the English language may be sufficient to deny the individual:

    i) the ability to meet the State’s proficient level of achievement on State assessments described in section 1111(b)(3);
    ii) the ability to successfully achieve in classrooms where the language of instruction is English; or
    iii) the opportunity to participate fully in society.

    • School systems are legally obligated to identify all LEP students. School districts must administer a home language survey (http://doe.sd.gov/oats/documents/ELAsrvqns.pdf) to parents and students. If any questions from the home language survey (via the New Enrollment Card) are answered something “other than English,” districts must give the W-APT (WIDA-ACCESS Placement Test) to the student. see South Dakota Department of Education, “WIDA/ELP Testing”, http://doe.sd.gov/oats/elp.asp.
  • What is the assessment test used for ELL? What are the procedures for the test?
    • The Kindergarten Listening and Speaking Test is an oral proficiency test intended for students in pre-K through 1st semester of grade 1. If combined Listening and Speaking raw score is less than 29, the student will be deemed eligible for language assistance services and must be administered the annual ACCESS for ELLs® assessment.
    • The Kindergarten Reading and Writing Tests are diagnostic tests intended for students in 2nd semester kindergarten through 1st semester of grade 1. If combined Listening and Speaking raw score ranges from 19 to 28, the Reading and Writing portions need to be administered. If the Reading score is lower than an 11 and the Writing score is lower than a 12, the student is classified as ELL and must be administered the annual ACCESS for ELLs® assessment.
    • Prior to testing, the district should determine each LEP student’s need for special accommodations that are most likely to yield accurate and reliable information on what students know and can do in the subjects tested. Such determinations must be made on a case-by-case basis and, when possible, should be made by LEP teams comprised of teachers, counselors, and administrators with specific knowledge of the student involved. Factors for LEP teams to consider include:
      • The student’s ability to comprehend and follow standard instructions delivered in English (whether oral or written) as compared to another language.
      • The student’s ability to comprehend and appropriately respond to standard test items written in English.
      • The language that will best allow the student to demonstrate his or her proficiency in the in the skill(s) being tested.
      • Timing or pacing variations that may assist in English comprehension.
      • Responsive variations that may minimize English language limitations.
      • Encoding or decoding assistance including interpreters or translators.
    • If it is determined that an LEP student can participate in the testing with accommodations, the team making that decision must specifically indicate the type and extent of accommodations that will be provided.
    • Since every student is different and language abilities and needs vary widely, any testing accommodation made available to students will not be applied universally. A student’s LEP team must consider the individual needs of the student in daily instructional settings as well as the additional needs that arise in a secure testing environment.
    • For more information, see South Dakota Department of Education, “WIDA/ELP Testing”, http://doe.sd.gov/oats/elp.asp; see also South Dakota Department of Education, “Identifying and assisting English language learners”, Jan. 6th, 2011, available online at: http://doe.sd.gov/oats/documents/ELLproces.pdf.
  • How is progress for ELL measured?
    • Students in grades K-12 must be given the ACCESS (Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State) each February, if identified as ELL using the W-APT assessment. This large-scale test addresses the academic English language proficiency standards that help with instructing and evaluating the progress of English language learners.
    • To exit a student from an ELL status, the student must obtain an Overall Proficiency Level of 4.8 or higher on Tier B or C AND in the Reading and Writing domains must be 4.0 or higher of the ACCESS assessment. See South Dakota Department of Education, “WIDA/ELP Testing”, http://doe.sd.gov/oats/elp.asp
  • What instructional programs are available for ELLs?
    • Once a student has been identified as ELL, districts must create a Language Acquisition Plan for the student. It is important to involve staff members that will be working closely with the student in developing this plan. Schools should update the student’s LAP annually or when needed. Sample plans can be found at: http://doe.sd.gov/oats/documents/ELLAcquPn.pdf
    • The school must provide sufficiently qualified human resources, bilingual material, and appropriate programs and methodologies to ensure the learning of English and the curriculum to the same extent as native English speaking students.
    • The school must evaluate the program to verify that it is providing effective instruction, similar to that of students without limitations in English.
    • South Dakota is a member of the WIDA consortium, and adheres to WIDA’s standard for ELL.
      • The ELL content standards for grades Pre-K through Fifth Grade can be found at: http://doe.sd.gov/contentstandards/documents/ELP_PreK-5.pdf.
      • The ELL content standards for grades 6-12 can be found at: http://doe.sd.gov/contentstandards/documents/ELP_6-12.pdf
    • The standards are intended to reflect the social and academic dimensions of acquiring a second language that are expected of ELLs in grade levels PreK-12 attending schools in the United States. Each ELP standard addresses a specific context for English language development. Overall, the standards center on the language needed and used by ELLs to succeed in school.
    • Each standard is organized by grade level cluster (PreK-K, grades 1-2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12) and by language domain (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
    • Within each grade cluster and domain, there are five model performance indicators (MPIs), one for each language proficiency level from 1, Entering, to 5, Bridging. All five MPIs focus on the same example topic from a content area reflected in the standard, forming a “strand” that illustrates the language development continuum.
    • Each MPI contains three elements:
      • a language function (e.g., describe, justify),
      • an example topic (e.g., weather, human populations),
      • and a form of support through level 4 (e.g., pictures or illustrations, working in small groups).
    • The components of the ELP standards, from frameworks down to the elements of an MPI, work together to form the standards document, a tool for educators of ELLs for curriculum development, instruction and assessment.

ABILITY GROUPING FOR LEARNING PURPOSES

  • Does the state have any policy on achievement grouping?
    • South Dakota’s achievement standards define four levels of academic achievement to categorize public schools and public school districts based on the comparison of their achievement levels in mathematics and reading to the state’s annual objectives. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-3-66.
    • Advanced, proficient, basic, and below basic are the levels of academic achievement for reading and mathematics. These levels of achievement are based on grade level content standards as approved by the South Dakota Board of Education, standards performance descriptors, and cut scores within the scoring data for achievement levels on the state’s assessment system in reading and mathematics. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:42:04:07.
  • Does the state have any state policy on ability grouping?
    • Yes. South Dakota has provided guidelines (http://doe.sd.gov/oats/documents/DSintvGde.pdf) for proper use of grouping by ability, age, achievement, or some other criterion. These guidelines suggest that teachers:
      • Use as many relevant sources of information as possible when assigning students to instructional groups.
      • Form the instructional groups in order to achieve a very specific instructional goal or standard; students should not be assigned to groups on the basis of overall achievement or ability.
      • Consider alternatives to ability grouping; individualizing materials or assignments in conjunction with whole-group instruction; assigning “learning partners”; establishing peer tutoring; creating small heterogeneous task groups or teams.
      • Keep the number of groups to a minimum. The amount of instructional time you can spend with each group is reduced as the number of groups increase.
      • Remember that assessment should be an ongoing part of instruction; reassign a student to a different group when the instructional goal is reached.
      • Use whole-class instruction and other types of grouping whenever possible if ability grouping is used in the classroom.
  • Does the state ensure students access to any specific quality of classes (i.e. such as college prep, etc.)?
    • A single, statewide state accountability system holds public schools and public school districts accountable for the academic achievement of their students to ensure that all public schools and all public school districts make adequate yearly progress in continuously and substantially improving the academic achievement of their students. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-3-62.
    • The state accountability system must be based on the South Dakota Content Standards in reading and mathematics approved by the South Dakota Board of Education. The yearly progress of students must be measured by the state academic assessments as may be prescribed by the Legislature, and must take into account the achievement of all public elementary school and secondary school students in reading and mathematics annually.
    • An additional academic indicator must be used in the measurement of yearly progress: the additional academic indicator for the public K-8 elementary schools must be the annual rate of student attendance; the additional academic indicator for public 9-12 high schools must be the annual rate of graduation. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-3-63.
    • The state accountability system must establish a timeline for adequate yearly progress that ensures that no later than the 2013-2014 school year, all students meet or exceed the state’s proficient level of academic achievement as measured by the state’s assessments.
    • Annual measurable objectives in both reading and mathematics must be established to ensure continuous and substantial academic improvement of the achievement of all public school students as well as sub-groups of public school students, including economically disadvantaged students, students from major racial and ethnic groups, students with disabilities, and students with limited English proficiency.
    • The annual measurable objectives must identify a single minimum percentage of students who are required to meet or exceed the proficient level on the academic assessments. The objectives are to be applied separately in reading and mathematics and applied to all students and to each sub-group of students described in this section. The annual measurable objectives are to be used for determining adequate yearly progress. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-3-64.
    • South Dakota GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Program) acts as a gateway system to introduce core concepts in math and science to participating schools (24 middle schools and 14 high schools). The discretionary grant program is designed to increase the number of low-income students who are prepared to enter and succeed in postsecondary education.
    • The program simulates a collegiate experience by exposing, educating and engaging students and their families. To that end, the program conducts the following activities and outreach:
      • Family Night Programs at all GEAR UP schools to create hands-on experiences in science and math, and increase the awareness and understanding of postsecondary opportunities;
      • a six-week summer residential and college preparatory program on a college campus for students;
      • Summer College Readiness Programs;
      • GEAR UP Teacher and Site-Coordinator Professional Development;
      • Postsecondary transition programming for SD GEARUP 12th grade students;
      • and partnerships with postsecondary institutions to increase retention of target student populations.
  • Does the state have Distance Learning programs?
    • The South Dakota Virtual School is designed to provide choice, accessibility, flexibility, quality, and equity in high school curricular offerings for students in the state. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:43:12:09.
    • Virtual methods of learning are a helpful option when, for example, the student’s school doesn’t offer the desired course, a course doesn’t fit into the student’s schedule, the student is in need of credit recovery, or the student needs an academic challenge. http://www.sdvs.k12.sd.us/Students/About.aspx
    • Any middle or high school student enrolled in a South Dakota school can take courses via the Virtual School. Home school students can also take advantage of the curriculum offerings, as long as they register through their home district. Students who wish to take courses via the South Dakota Virtual School must coordinate the enrollment with their local distinct. School districts handle the enrollment/registration process, and will be able to explain the support they provide during the course.
    • The Department of Education reviews and approves each course offered by an approved distance learning provider before posting the course offering to the South Dakota Virtual School. Each course shall be approved contingent on:

    1. Alignment with state content standards;
    2. Qualified instructional staff;
    3. Evaluation component for students to demonstrate course completion; and
    4. Assurance that the approved distance learning provider will work with the local district to meet special needs in order to be in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended to July 1, 2006;
    5. Being identified as a need by the South Dakota Virtual School Advisory Council.

    • Each course description must include prerequisites, course duration, number of credits, delivery method, syllabus, and fee amount. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:43:12:11.
  • Common Core Standards
    • The secretary of the Department of Education prepares and submits for approval of the South Dakota Board of Education academic content standards in language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science for kindergarten through grade twelve. Each school district is required to adopt and implement clearly defined and measurable course guidelines so as to meet the state academic content standards. S.D. CODIFIED LAWS § 13-3-48.
    • All students need to meet the content standards at the proficient level by the end of each grade level. The standards are organized by grade so that a student, parent, classroom teacher, administrator, or local school board member can quickly review what learning is expected at each specific grade. The standards are also provided in a second format across grade levels so that the alignment of standards from grade to grade is immediately apparent.
    • The complete Reading, Mathematics, and Science Content Standards can be found at the South Dakota Department of Education website: http://doe.sd.gov/contentstandards/.
    • The South Dakota Content Standards provide a basis for the performance descriptors that characterize and differentiate basic, proficient, and advanced levels of achievement, are designed to guide the planning of instruction, and anchor the assessment of learning from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
    • The performance descriptors provide information to teachers and students, giving them specific targets for instruction and learning. The content standards and performance descriptors provide a common set of goals and expectations for all students in all schools in South Dakota.

GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS

  • What are the graduation requirements?
    • For high school graduation, students must earn a minimum of 22 units of credit during course of in grades 9 through 12. Local school boards or governing bodies may set requirements of credit beyond the minimum. 24:43:11:01.
    • Effective in 2009 (http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2009/Bills/SB185ENR.pdf), South Dakota law only specifies one kind of diploma – the standard diploma. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:43:11:01. Previously, South Dakota offered standard and advanced diplomas. See S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:43:11:04 (repealed); S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:43:11:05 (repealed); http://doe.sd.gov/octe/gradrequirements.asp#summary

    Required Standard Credits for Standard Diploma
    (Effective with ninth graders 2011-2012)

    • English- 4 units
    • Mathematics- 4 units
    • Laboratory Science- 2 units
    • Social Studies- 3 units
    • Physical Education- half of a unit
    • Fine Arts- 1 unit
    • Economics or Personal Finance- half of a unit
    • World Language- 2 units
    • Computer Science- half of a unit
    • Career and Technical Education-1 unit
    • Health- half of a unit
    • Capstone experience and learning- half of a unit

     

    • Credit for certain career and technical education courses may be used to partially satisfy required course credit in English, mathematics, social science, and science. Up to one unit of credit from career and technical education courses may be substituted for required course credit in each of these academic areas. Required course credit earned in this manner must be accounted for on the student transcript, identifying the career and technical education courses approved and applied toward the credit.
    • Graduation requirements must include the following specifications:

    1. English must include:

    a. One and one-half units of writing;

    b. one and a half units of literature;

    c. one-half unit of American literature;

    d. one-half unit of speech or debate;

    e. and one-half unit of language arts electives;

    2. Mathematics must include a minimum of one unit of algebra I, one unit of algebra II, and one unit of geometry;

    3. Laboratory science must include a minimum of one unit of biology, one unit of physical science, and one unit of chemistry or physics;

    4. Social studies must include a minimum of the following:

    a. one unit of U.S. history;

    b. one-half unit of U.S. government;

    c. one-half unit of geography;

    d. and one-half unit of world history;

    5. The two units of world language must be in the same world language.

    • These requirements are effective September 1, 2013. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:43:11:02.
    • A Capstone experience is a culminating high school experience designed to integrate knowledge, skills, and concepts gained from a student’s program of study. Examples would include senior experience projects, enterprenuership experience, youth internships, and preapprenticeships. S.D. ADMIN. R. 24:43:01:01(6)(a)-(d).

STATE PARENT INFORMATION RESOURCE CENTERS

  • What are the state parent information resource centers?

    Contact Information
    1. South Dakota Department of Education
    Carol Uecker(as of July 2011)
    SD Department of Education
    800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501
    Phone: (605) 773-4771
    http://doe.sd.gov/
    2. South Dakota Parent Resource Centers
    SD Parent Information and Resource Center
    PO Box 218
    Sturgis, SD 57785
    800-219-6247 or 605-347-6260
    http://www.sdpirc.org/content/default.htm
    The South Dakota Parent Resource Network provides a varied array of direct training and information resources designed to support parents in their active and effective involvement in their children’s education by encouraging parents to promote positive attitudes and beliefs about education, provide structure, teach appropriate behavior, assist with homework, provide opportunities to learn, and support healthy decisions.
    3. South Dakota Parent Connection
    www.sdparent.org
    3701 West 49th Street, Suite 102
    Sioux Falls, SD 57106
    Phone: 605-361-3171
    800 Number: 800-640-4553 (in state only)
    TTY: 605-361-3171
    Fax: 605-361-2928
    [email protected]
    Parent Center Coverage Area:
    The mission of South Dakota Parent Connection is to connect families caring for children (birth to 26) with disabilities or special health care needs to information, training and resources in an environment of support, hope and respect
    4. Regional U.S. Office for Civil Rights
    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Education
    8930 Ward Parkway, Suite 2037
    Kansas City, MO 64114-3302
    Telephone: 816-268-0550
    FAX: 816-823-1404; TDD: 877-521-2172
    Email: [email protected]
    Web site: www.ed.gov