Feb. 20, 2013


Research supports DOE’s focus on student outcomes

The department has identified four key student outcomes for achieving the overall aspiration that all students should leave the K-12 system college, career and life ready. This month, we will look at some of the research behind those outcomes.

Outcome #1: All students will enter 4th grade proficient or advanced in reading.
Third grade marks a critical point in a child’s education. It’s the time when students shift from learning to read and begin reading to learn. Research tells us that students who don't read at grade level by 3rd grade are four times more likely to leave high school without a diploma than students who are proficient readers. Poverty only compounds the problem. Children who are not reading proficiently at 3rd grade and who have lived in poverty are three times more likely to drop out or fail to graduate than those who have never been poor.

To learn more, see “Double Jeopardy: How Third Grade Reading Skills and Poverty Influence High School Graduation.”

Outcome #2: All students will enter 9th grade proficient or advanced in math.
A firm grasp of math is necessary throughout a student’s academic career, because concepts build upon one another and become increasingly complex. Research clearly indicates a correlation between taking higher-level math courses and success at the postsecondary level. One study found that students who had taken Algebra II in high school were twice as likely to earn a bachelor’s degree as those who had not.

To learn more, see “Pre-algebra and Algebra Enrollment and Achievement.”

Outcome #3: The gap for Native American students is eliminated.
In South Dakota, there is a 28-point difference between how our Native American and white students perform on the National Assessment of Educational Progress – Reading at 4th grade. The gap widens to 29 points at 8th grade. Furthermore, students living in poverty are three times more likely to drop out of high school or fail to graduate on time. And students who are poor readers and live in poverty are the hardest hit; they are six times at a greater risk to drop out than their proficient counterparts.

See Double Jeopardy report referenced above.

Outcome #4: Students graduate high school ready for postsecondary or the workforce.
Nationwide, surveys show that many high school graduates do not meet employers’ standards in a variety of academic areas, as well as in employability skills such as attendance, teamwork and collaboration, and work habits. In South Dakota, 28 percent of students who enter our public universities need to complete some sort of remedial work prior to taking college-level courses in English and math. State-level focus can connect the secondary school experience with postsecondary, both two-year and four-year institutions, as well as the world of work.

To learn more about this critical transition, see the Board of Regents’ 2011 “South Dakota High School to College Transition Report.”

Ten South Dakota teachers earn profession’s top honor

Ten South Dakota classroom teachers are among the nearly 4,980 elementary and secondary school teachers nationwide to achieve National Board Certification in 2012. The achievement raises the number of National Board Certified Teachers in South Dakota to 99.

South Dakota’s 2012 recipients include:
• Katie Anderson, Science/Early Adolescence, Rapid City Area School District
• Lindsey Brewer, Mathematics/Adolescence and Young Adulthood, Huron School District
• Sandra Dalton, Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood, Todd County School District
• Amy Engel, Exceptional Needs Specialist/Early Childhood through Young Adulthood, Todd County School District
• Denise Farley, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood, Todd County School District
• Lee Ann Fischer, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood, Shannon County School District
• Katey Lee-Swank, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood, Rapid City Area School District
• Stacy Otten, Career and Technical Education/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood, Andes Central School District
• Jennifer Roberts, Art/Early Adolescence through Young Adulthood, Belle Fourche School District
• Anne Zoellner, Literacy: Reading-Language Arts/Early and Middle Childhood, Groton School District

National Board Certification is achieved through a rigorous, performance-based, peer-reviewed assessment of a teacher's pedagogical skills and content knowledge. The certification process takes one to three years to complete. While licensing standards set the basic requirements to teach in a state, National Board Certified teachers demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge, skills and practices similar to the certifications earned by experts in law and medicine.

For more information about National Board Certification, contact Lanette.Johnston@state.sd.us.

Nominations sought for Outstanding Biology Teacher Award

Nominations are now being accepted for the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award, which honors teachers of the life sciences. They do not need to have a majority of their class load in the life sciences; however they just have to have consistently taught and currently teach life sciences.

Criteria for Selection
1. Candidates must be presently teaching biology/life science and must have devoted a significant
portion of his/her career to the teaching of biology/life science.
2. Candidates from public, private, and parochial schools are eligible.
3. A minimum of three years of teaching experience is mandatory before applying for the award.
4. Candidates need not be members of National Association of Biology Teachers.
5. Unsuccessful candidates may be re-nominated from year to year.
6. Candidates may receive the award more than once, after 10 years.

A Selection Committee consisting of college biologists, school administrators, high school life science teachers, and possibly scientists from industry or government will help choose the state winner.

To nominate a teacher, email the following information to South Dakota Science Teachers Association President elect Julie Olson at Julie.olson@k12.sd.us. 1. Name of nominee and school where he/she teaches
2. Email address and phone number of nominee
3. Your (nominator’s) name and email address or other contact information

The nominee will get an email detailing the guidelines to apply. Award applications must be completed by March 15. Last year's recipient was Jan Palmer of Aberdeen High School.

Let the Prairie Bud and Prairie Pasque voting begin

South Dakota’s Prairie Bud/Prairie Pasque Book Award Contest voting survey is now open. All South Dakota students in grades K-5 who have read or have had read to them at least five of the titles on the list appropriate for their grade level are eligible to vote. Online only voting concludes March 31; winning titles will be announced during National Library Week in April.

Go to: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2012-13PBudPPasqueVote to submit all Prairie Bud/Prairie Pasque votes.

Youth in the garden webinars scheduled for this spring

Earlier this month, SDSU Extension launched its second season of informative webinars for those working with educational teaching gardens. School teachers, afterschool and summer garden program leaders and helpers are all encouraged to participate in the ‘Youth in the Garden Webinars.’ Webinars are scheduled for the second Wednesday of the month, from 10 to 10:30 a.m. CST.

The March webinar will focus on “Getting Those Seeds and Plants in the Ground Correctly,” presented by Mary Roduner. April’s webinar topic will be “Selecting Appropriate Varieties for the Garden,” presented by Amanda Bachmann. Both women are SDSU Extension Horticulture Field Specialists.

To receive more information on trainings and funding opportunities related to youth gardening programs or to exchanging questions and ideas with others involved in similar projects, email Christina.Zdorovtsov@sdstate.edu to be added to the SDSU Youth Gardening LISTSERV.

Go to: http://igrow.org/events/online-training-for-youth-school-garden-programs to participate in either of the webinars. Participants are encouraged to log in within 15 minutes of the specified time. (If it’s your first time, try 30 minutes so we can help you if you are having technical issues.)

Two South Dakota students selected for U.S. Senate Youth Program

Congratulations to Samantha Beck of Pierre and Elizabeth Renner of Crooks, who were chosen to be part of the group of 104 student delegates who will attend the United States Senate Youth Program’s 51st annual Washington Week, March 9 -16.

The USSYP was created by Senate Resolution 324 in 1962 and has been fully funded by The Hearst Foundations since inception. The impetus for the program as stated in Senate testimony was “to increase young Americans’ understanding of the interrelationships of the three branches of government, the caliber and responsibilities of federally elected and appointed officials, and the vital importance of democratic decision making not only for America but for people around the world.”

While in Washington the student delegates will attend meetings and briefings with Senators and Congressional staff, the President, a Justice of the Supreme Court, leaders of cabinet agencies, an Ambassador to the United States and top members of the national media. The students will also tour many of the national monuments and several museums and they will stay at the historic Mayflower Hotel in downtown Washington, D.C.

In addition to outstanding leadership abilities and a strong commitment to volunteer work, the student delegates rank academically in the top one percent of their states among high school juniors and seniors. Now more than 5,000 strong, alumni of the program continue to excel and develop impressive qualities that are often directed toward public service.

Chosen as alternates to the 2013 program were David Day, a resident of Vermillion, who attends Vermillion High School and Stetson Heirigs, a resident of Aberdeen, who attends Aberdeen Central High School.

Go to: http://www.hearstfdn.org/ussyp/ for more information.

Nominations sought for School Resource Officer of the Year

Nominations are now being accepted for this year’s School Resource Officer of the Year Award. The South Dakota Association of School Resource Officers, or SDASRO, is glad to support this annual award, in its 5th consecutive year.

SDASRO, which began in 2007, strives for great working relationships between school officers and school personnel. The officer picked for this award should display professionalism, dedication and commitment to their respective school or district.

The SDASRO Executive Board will make the selection from those nominated, and may call the prospective recipient’s school district and/ or employer to get supervisor appraisals. The nominees will be announced at the annual conference.

Nominations must be postmarked by March 8 in order to be considered and must include a letter of recommendation of no more than 400 words in length.


Professionals – Challenging Behaviors: Helping all children be successful
Feb. 26 – March 1, Various locations statewide

Why do some children “lose it” over seemingly insignificant issues? What do you do when they won’t listen and even cover their ears? What do you do when everyday activities turn into battles no one wins? Challenging behaviors are about feelings and needs and the physical reactions they generate within the body. Recognizing the “physiology” of behavior and working with the resulting emotions is the key to stopping those behaviors before they ever start. Sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs, five contact hours will be available to attendees.

Join Dr. Mary Sheedy Kurcinka to discover:
• The link between physiology and behavior
• How to build a relationship that keeps children working with you, even during tough times
• The REAL culprits behind challenging behaviors
• Effective strategies to help kids keep their cool and work cooperatively with others
• The pleasure of helping EVERY child be successful

Go to: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dFFpekxRZEcwdUxhZEpiQmNyRnR6aXc6MA to register, or contact Wendy.Jarvis@state.sd.us for more information.

SDMyLife: Middle School Focus
March 5, Sioux Falls

Participants will learn to navigate and incorporate the features of SDMyLife that are best suited to middle school students. Included in this three-hour hands-on session will be the basics of accessing and utilizing middle school specific SDMyLife content, as well as lesson plans, instructional strategies, and implementation ideas ideal for middle school counselors, teachers, and career exploration classes. Continuing education units are available.

Go to: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e6r5btkme050ea5d&llr=eviduvhab to register, or contact alyssa.krogstrand@state.sd.us for more information.

SDMyLife: Customizing to fit your school
March 5 in Sioux Falls OR March 25 in Mobridge

Spend a morning with DOE’s Career Development team to find out ways to you can make SDMyLife work at your school. We encourage districts to send teams of two or three individuals. Create a plan for how SDMyLife can be incorporated in different classrooms and become a shared responsibility. For example, one teacher can facilitate the Career Matchmaker and another can start Personal Learning Plans. Take away some plans and activities as well as network and share your plans and ideas with other SDMyLife educators. Continuing education units are available.

Go to: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e6r5bt3fa729932e&llr=eviduvhab to register, or contact alyssa.krogstrand@state.sd.us for more information.

SDMyLife Network: Connecting students to the workforce
March 25, Mobridge

To help students identify their career path, transition successfully into postsecondary education and careers, and prepare to be productive citizens of the community, it is important for them to understand what the workforce demands. And who better knows the needs of employers than the employers themselves? You will learn how to leverage the expertise of employers to provide your students the information, advice, and encouragement they need. We will demonstrate how you can implement activities in the classroom to facilitate discussion forums between your students and career coaches in their careers of interest. Continuing education units are available.

Go to: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?oeidk=a07e6r5cp3pbc7b9a22&llr=eviduvhab to register, or contact alyssa.krogstrand@state.sd.us for more information.

TIE Conference
April 21-23, Rapid City

This year’s annual TIE Conference will be held at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center, and will feature Adam Bellow and Richard Byrne as keynote speakers. Find more information at conference.tie.net.

2013 Middle/High School (6-12) Science Academies
June 12 – July 11, Various locations statewide

South Dakota teachers will model three-dimensional instruction (Three Dimensions: Scientific and Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts from the Framework for K-12 Science Education and NGSS) through activities and provide video evidence of this instruction occurring in South Dakota classrooms. The video footage is based on model lessons that have been aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and South Dakota Science Standards.

Teachers will leave with three-dimensional lessons that can be immediately implemented and will gain an understanding of the vision for science education in South Dakota. Teachers also will leave the training with knowledge of the three-dimensional lesson-building process, which they can use to advance their curriculum.

This is a two-day regional training for middle school and high school science teachers. There are 10 locations with two trainings occurring per location. At each location, one training will be for middle school and one training will be for high school. Up to 60 teachers will be accommodated at each location, with 30 at each training. Stipends of $125/day, available through the Investing in Teachers effort, will be paid to each attending science teacher, for no more than two days of training. Therefore, teachers should only sign up for one training. A minimum of 20 teachers will be required to host a training.

Graduate credit will be available. More information will be sent out, post-registration, including what to bring, graduate credit information, specific location details, etc.

Go to: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFF2dHJoZXhmUDE3S3pfVUZyTHNMY0E6MA TO REGISTER Note: Registration closes April 26.

A complete calendar of Science Academy training dates is listed below:
June 12-13 – Aberdeen
June 12-13 – Rapid City
June 12-13 – Sioux Falls
June 19-20 – Mitchell
June 19-20 – Mobridge
June 19-20 – Pierre
June 26-27 – Watertown
June 26-27 – Yankton
July 10-11 – Rapid City
July 10-11 – Sioux Falls

For more details, visit "http://doe.sd.gov/secretary/investinginteachers.aspx or contact sam.shaw@state.sd.us.


Groton elementary teacher taps into student potential through creativity

After only a few years in the profession, Anne Zoellner decided she was ready to take her teaching to the next level with a new challenge. The second grade teacher at Groton Elementary is among the latest group of South Dakota teachers to obtain National Board Certification. Her certification was accepted late last year.

“My cooperating teacher was in the middle of Board Certification when I was student teaching,” Zoellner said. “She had a lot of good things to say about it, especially the opportunity to become a more reflective teacher and engage students in that cognitive shift.”

Only in her fifth year as a teacher – all of them in Groton – Zoellner has tried to incorporate more collaborative work with her students since obtaining National Board Certification. She also has eliminated a lot of the worksheets she had previously had students doing.

“Some of those assignments weren’t as resourceful as other activities,” Zoellner said. “The process of getting certified really makes you look at why you’re doing the things you’re doing in your teaching, and you think more about what the students are gaining.”

Zoellner also spends less time doing the talking herself and instead lets the students engage in dialogue about the concepts at hand – putting their learning in their own words – which really makes them think about and remember what they’re doing. The shift in thinking also has helped her begin the transition to the Common Core standards.

“Common Core relates a lot to how students are thinking,” Zoellner said. “It’s more about discovery and how to get there: How do you get 2+2 instead of just memorizing the answer? It’s more student-driven.”

Zoellner has her students do several projects throughout the year to incorporate some of those concepts. Her students sell candy canes before the holidays. They have to count the money up, make bar graphs and evaluate their success.

“We talk about the business aspect and then give the money to some kind of charitable cause, one year it was the backpack program,” Zoellner said.

To help build their writing skills, Zoellner has her students interview a resident at the local nursing home then write a creative biography about that person.

“That’s the kind of project where everyone wins,” Zoellner said. “Both the kids and the residents love it. And the kids don’t even realize how much they’re gaining.”