Jan Martin, with the department’s Division of Assessment and Accountability, talks about this spring’s Field Test of the Smarter Balanced assessment

2014 legislative session opens Jan. 14
Track education-related bills at legis.sd.gov

Braille and large-print textbook orders due Jan. 15
Need to order braille or large-print textbooks for next year? Click here for more information.

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Grants available to fund after-school programs

Applications for the next round of 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) grants are now available online. The centers provide students with academic enrichment opportunities and activities designed to complement students’ regular school instruction.

These are five-year grants awarded in amounts of $50,000 to $150,000 per year. Funds are often awarded to schools, but other organizations may also apply. The grants must specifically support programs offered outside of regular school hours.

The learning centers are intended to assist students from high-poverty areas and low-performing schools. Funding comes from the federal government in the form of formula grants to states. Because it is authorized under the No Child Left Behind law, programming must include an academic component and content-specific enrichment activities.

“The programs funded by these grants are important to students, their parents and the community. They give students a safe, fun and educational place to go after school,” said Sue Burgard, who oversees the 21st CCLC grant program for the South Dakota Department of Education.

Grant applications must be submitted to the department by Feb. 28.

The 21st CCLC team has set up two webinars for applicants. Webinars are scheduled for Jan. 22 and 23 and will provide guidance and the opportunity for applicants to ask questions. Webinar participants must pre-register by Jan. 17. The webinars are not required, but applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in one. Click here for the webinar schedule and registration.

Contact Jill Cotton at the South Dakota Department of Education, (605) 773-4693, with any questions.