READING Up gets under way
Eager to improve reading proficiency at your school? The new READING Up initiative may help. Register your teachers for a workshop today!

Learn More. »

Sign up to receive this newsletter!

Your email:



Upcoming Events

READING Up workshops slated

Fifty READING Up workshops will be held at locations across South Dakota this fall. READING Up offers targeted professional development to improve student performance on specific English language arts content standards. It will follow the Standards in Practice method, which can be used to review, revise and align lessons and student assignments to grade-specific standards at the appropriate Bloom’s Taxonomy level.

Learn more and access the READING Up schedule.
READING Up is an initiative of the South Dakota Department of Education.

Watch for IEP Workshops

The department’s Special Education Programs is conducting several IEP Workshops this fall. Workshops will cover information regarding: child find and pre-referral strategies; determining suspected areas of disabilities; prior notice/consent and procedural safeguards; evaluation procedures and reporting; developing and implementing an IEP.

Sept. 24, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Central Time)
Mid-Central Cooperative, Platte
Session ID: 46054

Sept. 30, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Super 8, Hill City
Session ID: 46060

Oct. 12, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Central Time)
First Lutheran Church, Brookings
Session ID: 46165

Oct. 21, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Central Time)
Huron Middle School, Huron
Session ID: 46437

Nov. 2, 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. (Central Time)
School District Administrative Office, Yankton
Session ID: 46439

Nov. 5, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m. (Central Time)
Milbank High School
Session ID: 46070

Nov. 17, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. (Mountain Time)
Western Dakota Technical Institute (main entrance), Rapid City
Session ID: 46441

Dec. 8, 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. (Central Time)
Governors Inn, Pierre
Session ID: 46443

To register for an event, go to and enter the appropriate Session ID.

Separating Difference and Disability with Dr. Collier

A growing number of students from diverse racial, cultural and linguistic backgrounds have unique learning needs as they acquire school English and adapt to the culture of the American education system. Among this diverse population of students are at-risk learners and learners with a variety of disabilities. This situation presents school districts, and even the most experienced education professional, with unique challenges.

The needs of these diverse learners are not being appropriately addressed when “difference” is used to disproportionately place or deny diverse learners special education services.

This workshop, Oct. 7-8 at the AmericInn in Fort Pierre, will address specific issues facing education professionals who work with diverse learners with learning and behavior problems, particularly language minority students. Led by Dr. Collier, the workshop will provide guidelines to the assessment, intervention and identification strategies that are most effective in separating difference from disability.

Participants will learn best practice strategies to assist teams in determining the degree to which ESL contributes to academic and/or behavioral concerns. Participants will learn what tools and strategies are available and appropriate to use. Response to Intervention and Response to Instruction and Intervention models for English Language Learners will also be explored, focusing upon the interpretation of data gathered during the general education intervention problem-solving process, prior to conducting an evaluation for special education. This process will ultimately lead to strategies and interventions that will reduce barriers to special populations.

Registration is available online. CEUs are available.

Questions can be directed to Becky Cain, Department of Education, (605) 280-3568.

Conference promotes parental involvement

The 3rd Annual Parent Conference, “Learning Starts at Home,” will be held Oct. 15-16 at the Rushmore Plaza Holiday Inn in Rapid City. Anne Henderson, author of “Beyond the Bake Sale,” is the featured speaker.

The event is free.

To view the complete agenda and to register, visit SDPIRC’s website.

Get re-energized at Systems Change

“Passion and Persistence in Education” is the theme of this year’s Systems Change Conference, slated for Oct. 13-15 in Chamberlain. The event will be held at Cedar Shore Resort.

The 2011 South Dakota Teacher of the Year will be announced during the Thursday evening banquet. The National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling of Iowa, will address the audience that night as well.

To review an agenda and to register, click here.