Secretary Schopp sat down with School Administrators of South Dakotaís Rob Monson to talk about the departmentís aspirations for the future.

2013 legislative session begins Tuesday
The 2013 Legislative Session gets underway on Jan. 8 with the Governorís State of the State address beginning at 1 p.m. (Central). You can listen in via South Dakota Public Broadcasting. You can also follow any education-related bills by visiting the Legislative Research Councilís webpage.

Final public draft of Next Generation Science Standards to be released Jan. 8
A second draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is scheduled to be made available for comment on Tuesday, Jan. 8. South Dakota was one of 26 lead states involved in development of the standards. Click here for more information.

Farm to Schools grant winners announced
Congratulations to Flandreau Indian School on its successful Farm to Schools grant application. Flandreau received a planning grant for $39,463.

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Grant funds available for after-school programs

The South Dakota Department of Education recently opened the application process for the federally funded 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) competitive grant program. 2013 grant application instructions are now online. 21st CCLC funds are to be used for programming that takes place outside of regular school hours. The competition is based on availability of federal funding.

The 21st Century Community Learning Center program supports the creation of community learning centers that provide academic enrichment opportunities during non-school hours for children, particularly students who attend high-poverty and low-performing schools. Local programs help students meet standards in core academic subjects, such as reading and math; offer students a broad array of enrichment activities that complement their regular academic programs; and offer literacy and other educational services to the families of participating children.

Webinars for those interested in applying will be held on Jan. 23 and 24. Participants must preregister by Jan. 16 and can do so by visiting DOEís 21st Century Learning Centers page.

For more information, contact Jill Cotton at (605) 773-4693.