New school year means new writing test
South Dakota will have a new writing assessment beginning 2010-11. Called WriteToLearn, it’s an online, formative assessment.

Learn More. »

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Upcoming Events

Conference to address all things CTE

Brought to you by the Department of Education and the South Dakota Association for Career and Technical Education, the 2010 Career and Technical Education Conference is geared toward teachers, administrators and counselors. This year’s event is slated for Aug. 1-4 at the Ramkota in Pierre.

The conference will provide innovative, hands-on activities related to, High School 2025, Career Clusters, Programs of Study, Personal Learning Plans and Career Guidance. Participants will explore ideas to assist them in preparing students for postsecondary education.

For more information, visit

Top 20 Training: Making a positive difference

If you were given the free opportunity to gain life-changing skills that will make a positive difference in your students’ lives, would you take it? The chance is yours Aug. 2-3, when the Department of Education brings Top 20 Training to Sioux Falls.

Since 2000, Top 20 Training has been empowering youth and adults to make a positive difference in the quality of their lives, relationships and experiences. From Top 20 training and books, educators have discovered immediately applicable tools for developing the potential of their students and enhancing the culture of their classrooms and schools.

Other benefits to educators include:
• More effective and rewarding work experiences with students, colleagues and parents
• Problem solving skills when conflict arises
• Awareness of how to remove some of the roadblocks to student success in school
• Adaptable curriculum for classes, counseling sessions and advisory periods
• Effective ways of reducing negativity in the school culture

For more information about Top 20 Training, go to To register for the Sioux Falls training, visit

Continuing education contact hours are available.

Contact Becky Cain, Department of Education, at (605) 280-3568.

Don’t miss: Trainings for new state writing assessment

The Department of Education will host the following trainings for educators involved in administering the new statewide writing assessment, WriteToLearn. The online assessment will be delivered three times during the school year to students in grades 5, 7 and 10. It replaces the old Dakota Writing Assessment.

Testing Coordinator Trainings – held via Webinar
(More details to come)
Aug 30: 10-11 a.m.
Aug 31: 2-3 p.m.
Sept 1: 10-11 a.m.
Sept 2: 2-3 p.m.

Account Administrator Trainings – held via Webinar
(More details to come)
Aug 31: 10-11 a.m.
Sept 1: 2-3 p.m.

Teacher Trainings – half-day, face-to-face sessions
(One teacher per district)
Sept 13: Rapid City
Sept 14: Pierre
Sept 15: Aberdeen
Sept 16: Sioux Falls
Sept 17: Sioux Falls

Gifted education conference coming to Pierre

A conference for those who work with high-ability students will be held Sept. 12-13 at the Ramkota RiverCentre in Pierre. Keynote speaker is Dr. Karen Rogers, who will discuss “Ten Elements Needed in Every Successful Gifted Program.” Rogers is the author of “Re-Forming Gifted Education” and a faculty member at the University of St. Thomas.

The conference also includes a pre and post workshop titled “Great Explorations in Math and Science (GEMS)” for credit. This workshop is sponsored by the South Dakota Discovery Center and the South Dakota Space Grant Consortium.

The conference is sponsored by the South Dakota Association for Gifted Children.

To learn more, visit their website at