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Sullivan: Supplemental educational services can help students

This summer, as required through the No Child Left Behind Act, the district distributed a letter to parents indicating that Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) had not been achieved.

The No Child Left Behind Act contains certain requirements for school districts that do not achieve AYP. Letters were mailed to parents of eligible children in mid-September.

Specifically, once a district has been identified as not making AYP for two or more consecutive years, the district enters what is called program improvement status. Under program improvement, one requirement for the district is that funding must be provided for supplemental educational services aimed at meeting the needs of students, including educationally disadvantaged students.

These services are targeted at students in specific buildings that qualify for Title I services. In the Dickinson Public Schools, those buildings are Heart River, Lincoln, Roosevelt, Berg and Hagen Junior High. Students who attend one of these schools and will be on free or reduced lunch for the 2013-14 school year may be eligible for supplemental educational services.

As a result of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, an eligible child in the identified schools can receive academic tutoring to help him or her do better in school. These supplemental educational services are provided at no cost to the parents. Additionally, the services may help a student make additional academic gains and help the school district to achieve AYP.

Supplemental educational services are additional instruction programs designed to increase the academic achievement of students in schools that have not met AYP for three or more years.

These services include help in academic subjects, such as reading, language arts and mathematics, provided free of charge to eligible students. These services are provided outside the regular school day, before or after school, on weekends or in the summer.

They may be offered through public or private sector providers that are approved by the state, such as public schools, public charter schools, local education agencies, educational service agencies, and faith-based organizations.

States must maintain a list of approved providers from which parents may select. The North Dakota Department of Public Instruction has posted the list of approved providers for the 2013-14 school year on its website in the Supplemental Educational Services: An Informational Guide for Parents brochure and in the North Dakota's Approved List of Supplemental Service Providers.

Parents can choose a free tutoring program that best meets their child's need from the list of approved tutoring programs in our area.

These programs, which have been approved by the state department of education, will provide your child with tutoring that is coordinated with what is being taught in school and may help improve your child's academic skills.

Research from the federal government has shown that students who participated in this free tutoring program made significant gains in academic achievement and those students who participated in multiple years did even better. When deciding which tutoring program is best for your child, you may want to ask these questions:

V When and where will the tutoring take place (at school, home, or a community center)?

V How often and for how many hours in total will your child be tutored?

V What programs, by grade levels and subject areas, are available for your child?

V What type of instruction will the tutor use (small group, one-on-one, or the computer)?

V What are the tutor's qualifications?

V Can the tutor help if your child has a disability or is learning English?

V Is transportation available to and from the location where the tutoring will take place?

The school district encourages parents to consider signing their children up for these services. It is another opportunity to assist the school district in its effort to achieve AYP. If you are interested in enrolling your child to receive supplemental educational services please contact Dorothy Martinson, Director of Student Services at 444 4th St. W, Dickinson, ND 58601 or by calling 701-456-0002.

Those with questions about supplemental educational services, or any other issue in the school district, are encouraged to contact Sullivan, the Dickinson Public Schools Superintendent, at 701-456-0002 or

email him at