Nov. 11-17 is American Education Week
American Education Week is coming up this month. This special week recognizes the contributions of the various people who make up the public education system, from teachers to food service workers and counselors to bus drivers, and everyone in between. Thanks for all you do to make sure our state’s children are receiving the best education!

New DOE directors in place
Colleen O’Neil recently began as director of the department’s Division of Curriculum and Career and Technical Education, and Ann Larsen took over as the new director of the Division of Educational Services and Support. A recent transplant from Greeley, Colo., Colleen is a lifelong educator, having served in numerous positions, including teacher, chief learning officer, assistant principal and chief human resource officer. Ann has been with the department for more than 10 years, most recently serving as special education director.

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Another round of Clean Diesel Grant Program funding opens

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources just started accepting applications for the fifth round of funding under the South Dakota Clean Diesel Grant Program. The program provides funds to assist schools in purchasing new public school buses to replace old, high-emitting diesel school buses, and to equip in-use diesel school buses with exhaust control retrofit devices that significantly reduce toxic soot emissions. The primary goal of the Program is to reduce your school children’s exposure to both fine particulate and smog-forming pollution.

There is no cost for the exhaust control retrofits. Eligibility for the retrofits includes any South Dakota public school district that directly provides transportation services. Total award per school district for a replacement bus will be approximately 25 percent of replacement cost and may be more depending on the number of successful applicants. Districts that have not received a replacement bus in previous rounds will have preference. DENR intends to award funds to as many eligible applicants throughout the state as possible.

The application deadline for round five is December 21, 2012. Click here for more information about the program, or contact the DENR Air Quality office at (605) 773-3151.