Legislative session winding down
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Vermillion Middle School project finalist in Samsung competition
Students are studying how Asian carp threaten native fish species in the Missouri River and raising community awareness.

Yankton students take stand against bullying
Webster Elementary students created a music video to spread their anti-bullying message.

Dan Guericke and James Cutshaw discuss SD Innovation Lab schools, where projects guide learning. SDIL is a partnership of the Mid Central Educational Cooperative, Sanford Research and the PAST Foundation.

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Getting up to speed on Student Learning Objectives

Spring trainings target administrators; summer events target teachers

Four sessions designed to introduce administrators to student learning objectives, or SLOs, have been slated for this spring. The schedule for this summer’s SLO trainings for teachers is now available as well. As South Dakota moves towards evaluation systems that take into account both professional practices and student growth, training will be critical for both groups.

“As a state, we are trying to balance having a meaningful evaluation system – one that promotes continuous professional growth – and meeting our federal requirements. And sometimes that feels like a tightrope,” said Secretary of Education Dr. Melody Schopp. “These trainings will help all of us gain a better understanding of what SLOs are and how they can be used to enhance instruction and learning.”

Administrator training

One-day regional trainings for administrators will cover the SLO process (setting and determining progress), how SLOs support a culture of data-driven instruction, and more.

• March 18 in Pierre
• April 1 in Sioux Falls
• April 2 in Aberdeen
• April 9 in Rapid City
• A session in late May also will be scheduled if necessary.

These trainings are intended for superintendents, principals, curriculum directors, SPED directors, and anyone else who will be evaluating teaching staff. Registration is available through the department’s Calendar of Events. (NOTE: Site is best viewed in a browser other than Internet Explorer.)

Teacher training

For each training location (eg., Mobridge, Watertown), participants will be divided according to grade level and content area. For example, all 4th grade teachers will meet in one location, while all 6-12 social studies teachers will meet in another location. This has been done to encourage optimal collaboration and learning.

Teachers will learn the basics of setting appropriate SLOs, assessing progress towards attainment, and more.

Registration is now available via the department’s online registration system. The deadline to register is April 18.

Administrators are asked to share this information with their teaching staff, while providing them with context as to how SLOs fit into their overall teacher evaluation program.


• Once a preferred date/location has been identified, teachers should be sure to register for the specific session that best describes their position (eg., 4th grade, Elementary MS/HS Music, MS/HS Science, etc.) Click here to access list of specific sessions.

• The registration site works best using a browser other than Internet Explorer.

• Teachers who attend the state-sponsored trainings will receive a $125/day stipend.

• CEUs will be available.