STARS Connections

The official newsletter for SD-STARS - April 2022

Update on Accountability Report Card

The department’s accountability team is already working on the 2021-22 Accountability Report Card. Read more...

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SAM Corner: Year-end sign off and accountability permissions

Every year, districts receive communication from the South Dakota Department of Education regarding the Year End Sign Off document. This signoff document helps ensure that all school districts have completed the necessary end-of-year tasks so that calculations used for the Accountability Report Card, federal reporting, and more can be determined and reported in an accurate and timely manner. Read more...

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How Spearfish use data

The SD-STARS team recently visited with Lana Main, curriculum director and assessment coordinator for the Spearfish School District. Lana is a frequent SD-STARS user. Read more...
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Ask the Experts

Why should teachers use SD-STARS?

SD-STARS is not a one-size-fits-all option. What works for one district may not work for another. Read more...

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SD-STARS Desk Items

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Federal resources regarding student data and privacy

The U.S. Department of Education has resources for districts about federal laws and best practices that affect students’ data and privacy. The below resources were created by the department’s Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO) and its Privacy Technical Assistance Center (PTAC). Read more...

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Federal reminder about W2 tax scams

With the federal tax deadline coming up, the IRS and U.S. Department of Education want schools to watch out for scams regarding taxes. Read more...

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Flyers for FERPA

The U.S. Department of Education Privacy Technical Assistance Center has created eight flyers for schools and education stakeholders to use to help share the message to protect student data. You can access all flyers in PDF form at This makes it easy for schools to print and hang them in areas staff frequent, like the refrigerator, lounges, and printer/copier areas.

This month we feature a flyer that reminds people not to click on suspicious emails.
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No Newsletter in June

The STARS Connection newsletter is taking a hiatus this summer. We will be back with a new edition in August.

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State offices closed for holidays on the following days:

  • April 15 - Good Friday
  • April 18 - Easter Monday
  • June 20 - Juneteenth
  • July 4 - Independence Day
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Workshop for New STARS Certified Trainers

The SD-STARS team is seeking STARS Certified Trainers (SCTs) for the 2022-23 school year. There are two main requirements to become a new STARS Certified Trainer: attend the summer workshop and participate in monthly update calls on SD-STARS. Although they typically do not provide SD-STARS-specific training sessions, SCTs are better equipped to use SD-STARS to supplement the work they are already doing. The SD-STARS team is currently finalizing the details for the summer workshop. If you or someone you know works with multiple districts (ex: contractor) and are interested in more information on becoming an SCT, email
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STARS Certified Trainers

STARS Certified Trainers are located throughout the state and are ready and willing to answer your questions. They are available to conduct SD-STARS trainings for your school or district to help educators make the most out of SD-STARS. They have been trained by department staff on the SD-STARS system and are kept up to date on system developments and new reports. Districts can contact SCTs directly to request training at a cost to the district.
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About us

South Dakota STARS Connections is a publication for South Dakota administrators and teachers, produced by the South Dakota Department of Education. This publication is intended to communicate news and events regarding the South Dakota Student Teacher Accountability and Reporting System (SD-STARS), our Statewide Longitudinal Data System.
Contact us with story ideas or questions.


General Mailbox, for the quickest response to any question

Jay Lamb, Support Lead

(605) 295-7260

Sara Kock, Team Lead

(605) 220-6548

Kim Carlson, Project Manager

(605) 773-8062