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South Dakota Workgroup Recommends New School Quality Indicator

 

On January 23rd, North Central Comprehensive Center (NCCC) facilitated a workgroup of stakeholders representing South Dakota districts and education organizations to consider a list of prioritized School Quality measures for elementary and middle schools. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) requires states to have a School Quality indicator as part of their accountability systems. The stakeholders engaged in rich discussions based on their knowledge of South Dakota districts and Regional Education Laboratory for the Central region (REL Central) research. The six measure options discussed ranged from well-rounded education to health screens.

 

At the end of the workgroup session, the stakeholders provided SD DOE a recommendation to incorporate health screens into the School Quality indicator, in addition to the current student attendance measure. The health screens would include vision and hearing screens for elementary and middle school students. This innovative stakeholder workgroup recommendation makes South Dakota the first state to consider health screens for a School Quality indicator. SD DOE is investigating the potential of this new measure with a pilot to occur in the 2019–2020 school year. In South Dakota’s 2017 state plan, student attendance was set as the sole measure of School Quality for elementary and middle schools. Stakeholders who provided input on the state plan at that time had a significant desire to see this area re-examined to encapsulate a broader measure of safe and healthy schools.

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