Schools recognized for commitment to health
Three South Dakota schools and one school district have been selected as winners of Governor Mike Rounds’ Healthy School Awards.

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Upcoming Events

Dakota STEP Pretest Workshops slated for February

The 2010 Dakota STEP Pretest Workshops will be held at locations statewide the week of Feb. 1. The half-day sessions cover the basics of administering the annual assessment required under No Child Left Behind.

Dates and locations of the workshops are as follows:
  Monday, Feb. 1 – Ramkota, Rapid City
  Tuesday, Feb. 2 – Chamber of Commerce meeting
  room, Pierre
  Wednesday, Feb. 3 – Ramkota, Aberdeen
  Thursday and Friday, Feb. 4-5 – Ramada, Sioux Falls

All workshops are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. and end at 1:30 p.m. Registration starts at 8 a.m.

To register for a Dakota STEP Workshop, go to the escWorks Web site at Remember, you must register for an account before you can sign up for the workshop.

Workshop to address civic education

If government and politics is “your thing,” you won’t want to miss the 2010 Civic Education Workshop. The profession development opportunity will take place Feb. 21-23 at the Ramada in Aberdeen.

This workshop is divided into four sessions:
   • We the People: The Citizen and the Constitution
   • Representative Democracy in America
    – Engaging Students in Responsible Citizenship
   • Engaging Students in Local and State Issues
    – South Dakota Project Citizen
   • Legislative Education for Greater Inquiry & Study:
     Elementary Students as “Little Leaders” to High
     School Students as “Active Citizens”

The workshop is sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, The Chiesman Center for Democracy and the South Dakota Humanities Council. These sponsors will cover mileage, hotel room and meals. The first 15 teachers to sign up for the workshop also will receive $150 for stipend/substitute pay.

Participants are eligible for graduate credit through the University of Sioux Falls as well as continuing education credits. The workshop is limited to 25 teachers; veterans of the programs are welcome to apply.

For more information or to register, contact:
DeVee Dietz, Chiesman Center for Democracy,
Stephanie Horsley, South Dakota Humanities Council,

Training for early childhood:
Language Essentials for Teachers of Reading and Spelling

The department’s Special Education Programs will host two separate Early Childhood Literacy LETRS training. The free training will be led by Lucy Hart Paulson, a speech-language pathologist with a research focus on early literacy.

Early Childhood LETRS is appropriate for early childhood educators working with preschool and kindergarten children as well as early elementary children experiencing difficulty with the literacy process. It is also appropriate for early care and education providers who are interested in enhancing their own interactions with the children in their care.

The program provides descriptions of the development of language and literacy in ways that create a deeper understanding of these important processes, while offering practical strategies for building these skills in young children.

Dates and locations are as follows:

April 29-30 – Ramada Inn & Suites, 1300 W. Russell St., Sioux Falls (Session ID: 42359)

Sept. 30-Oct. 1 – Ramkota, 2111 N. LaCrosse, Rapid City (Session ID: 42363)

Space is limited. To register, visit the escWorks Web site at

Questions? Contact or call (605) 295-2949.

Math, science, English teachers:
Get paid for summer learning

Learning Power Summer Institutes for math, science and English teachers will be offered twice this summer at Black Hills State University: July 19-22 and 26-29.

Participants will discover strategies to enhance their instructional practice. They also will receive a $400 stipend and earn one graduate credit. On-campus lodging and meals are provided as well.

The four-day institute immerses secondary (grades 6-12) math, science and English teachers into rich, hands-on curriculum strategies for impacting student learning. Participants receive teacher guides packed with lessons and strategies to enhance classroom instruction. Produced by Laying the Foundation, the materials are designed to strengthen instruction for all levels of secondary learners.

South Dakota’s Learning Power program is funded by a grant from the National Math and Science Initiative. The aim of this professional development activity is to raise the bar for instruction and learning, so more students are prepared for higher-level learning and Advanced Placement courses. The summer institute focuses on pre-AP and enhancing the capacity of teachers to provide a challenging curriculum for all students.

An application form is available at Applications are due April 30. Applicants will receive e-mail notification of acceptance by May 7.

Slots for the summer institute are limited. Preference will be given to early applicants and to applications reflecting team involvement.

For more information, contact MaryLou McGirr, project coordinator, at (605) 394-1876 or