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SD Department of Education May 2015  
 

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TEACHER FEATURE: LaKisha Jordan

Jordan combines passions for teaching and cooking

Six years ago, LaKisha Jordan was finishing her undergraduate education at Texas Women's University in Denton, Texas, when she was offered a job teaching family and consumer sciences in the McIntosh and Lemmon school districts.

Having grown up as a self-described “Army Brat,” Jordan attended elementary school in Hawaii, high school in Virginia and says she considers herself “all East Coast” at heart. But she says she accepted the job offer in rural South Dakota and hasn’t looked back since: “I like the small town and knowing my kids pretty well. I have small classes, so I really get to know their personalities.”

Bringing ProStart to McIntosh and Lemmon

When Jordan arrived, she saw potential for a career and technical education program called ProStart (http://www.nraef.org/ProStart). ProStart, a program of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, combines hands-on learning with mentored work experience and provides education in culinary skills, safety, inventory, cost controls, customer service, business math and other business management skills.

To bring ProStart to McIntosh and Lemmon, Jordan obtained a Perkins Reserve grant from the South Dakota Department of Education to commercialize the schools’ kitchens with convection ovens, stainless steel prep tables, restaurant-grade equipment, supplies and more.

Heading to National ProStart Invitational

In 2014, Jordan earned an Educator Excellence Award (http://www.nraef.org/Build-Talent/Industry-Awards/Educator-Excellence-Awards) from ProStart. This year, some of her students earned a trip to the National ProStart Invitational (http://www.nraef.org/ProStart/Invitational) in Anaheim, Calif. McIntosh students represented South Dakota in the culinary competition. The culinary competition requires students to cook a three-course meal in 60 minutes, using only two butane burners, no electricity and no running water. One of the McIntosh team’s featured dishes was a spaetzle made from scratch and mixed with butterkäse and sausage for a sort of German macaroni and cheese.

Brookings students also attended the national competition and participated in the management category, which requires teams to develop and pitch a restaurant concept, including layout, menu and pricing details.

Varsity Muse Bistro and Bakeshop

Access to a restaurant setting is limited in McIntosh and Lemmon, so Jordan and her students improvise, running a restaurant of their own, the Varsity Muse Bistro (http://varsitymuse.wix.com/varsitymuse), in the McIntosh City Hall one night a year. This year’s menu featured chicken cordon bleu and a salad that has become a community favorite: the Varsity Muse (wild field greens, candied walnuts, julienne pears and homemade raspberry balsamic vinaigrette). On Valentine’s Day, students ran the Varsity Muse Bakeshop (http://varsitymuse.wix.com/varsitymuse#!bakery/c11rf) at McIntosh High School, a fundraiser featuring specialty cakes, candies, mini cheesecakes and a coffee bar.

Jordan recently earned her Master of Science in Merchandising and wants to pursue American Culinary Federation certification. So while it’s hard to predict exactly what McIntosh and Lemmon ProStart students will be cooking next year, no doubt it will be creative with Jordan in charge.



Educators encouraged to participate in Blue Ribbon Task Force meetings


Beginning in June, the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Teachers and Students will hold public meetings across the state, and educators are strongly encouraged to participate. Find meeting dates on the task force’s website: http://blueribbon.sd.gov. The website also includes a form for submitting feedback, information on the task force process and resources.




DOE seeking feedback on SLO process


The South Dakota Department of Education would like teachers’ feedback regarding Student Learning Objectives. Please go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/GH82ZRD to access a survey about your experience with SLOs during the 2014-15 school year. Department staff will take your responses into consideration for future trainings, support and development of best practices.



Certificate renewal applications due July 1

Educators whose certificates expire July 1 of this year need to submit their renewal applications as soon as possible. Processing time is around 10 weeks. By waiting too long, educators risk not having their certificate updated before the start of the school year.

The Teacher 411 system at teacher411.sd.gov lists information from educators’ certification records, including the expiration date and core content teaching assignments that teachers are qualified to accept. Go to http://www.doe.sd.gov/oatq/teachercert.aspx for more information or to apply online.



CTL discusses group mission and teacher certification

The Commission on Teaching and Learning met April 24-25 in Pierre. This group is composed of teachers, administrators and higher education representatives from across the state. With work on educator effectiveness handbooks coming to a close, a subcommittee met to discuss the mission, vision and structure of the group moving forward. Discussion on these topics will continue at the group’s next meeting.

“When the CTL began, we worked so tirelessly on the educator effectiveness system that we hadn't had the opportunity to really define who we were. The collaboration that took place among all the different stakeholders in that process was really the first of its kind,” said Jared Baumann, a teacher at Patrick Henry Middle School in Sioux Falls. “We felt like it was time to step back and define the mission and vision that will guide the CTL in the future and also establish a structure that will maintain the integrity of this group. My hope is the CTL will continue advancing excellence in teaching and learning for South Dakota students for years to come.”

The group also continued examining South Dakota’s teacher certification requirements by reviewing categories of certification: K-8, K-12, high school (9-12), PK-3 and “other.” The group reviewed various items, including required Praxis tests, noting apparent inconsistencies, requirements that seem too cumbersome, or conversely, requirements that do not seem sufficiently rigorous. Members also made recommendations for additional or different requirements or groupings. This work will form the basis for next steps in the process.

Encourage students to participate in SD Game, Fish and Parks poster contest

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks is holding a poster contest to raise awareness of aquatic invasive species Asian carp, zebra and quagga mussels. Winning posters will be featured in a future South Dakota Conservation Digest and two students will win Cabela’s prize packages.

Read more at http://sdleastwanted.com/contact/posterchallenge.aspx.

New Praxis practice tests added to Learning Express Library

Praxis Core® practice tests were recently added to the Learning Express Library, an online academic and career success platform containing more than 300 practice tests.

Each user must create his or her own account to use the program, which is provided at no charge to schools by the State Library.

Learning Express and other e-resources are available from Online Resources (http://library.sd.gov/LIB/ERD/onlineresources.aspx) on the State Library website. They are directly available within the library and on school and academic campuses and are available from home with barcode and password. Contact Julie Erickson (julie.erickson@state.sd.us) or Jane Healy (Jane.Healy@state.sd.us), State Library Electronic Services Coordinators, for more information.

Upcoming Events

For a complete listing of events, go to http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/.



Good & Healthy South Dakota Schools webinar series
Available online until June 10

The School Health Program in the South Dakota Departments of Education and Health announces this free webinar series. The target audiences for these recorded webinars are those responsible for physical education curriculum and instruction in South Dakota schools.

Each of the three webinars is approximately 50-60 minutes in length and is available through June 10, 2015. The webinars must be viewed in their entirety and in the recommended sequence. For a description of each of the webinars, go to http://doe.sd.gov/schoolhealth/newsletter/2015/documents/WebinarDe.pdf .

Participants who complete the webinar series and submit the participant feedback form and the necessary reimbursement forms will be eligible for a $75 rebate. The link to the webinars will be emailed to participants at the email address provided in the online registration. Hard copies of the featured resources, the participant feedback form and the reimbursement forms will be mailed to participants.

Go to https://apps.sd.gov/Applications/DE49TrnTracker/Secure/AvailableClasses.aspx to register.

For more information, contact Karen Keyser at Karen.keyser@state.sd.us or (605) 220-6453.


Board of Education meeting
May 18, Aberdeen

The South Dakota Board of Education will hold its regularly scheduled meeting at 8:30 a.m. CDT at Northern State University in Aberdeen. Public hearings will be held related to content standards adoption in the areas of science, social studies, fine arts and K-12 educational technology. A proposed agenda is available at http://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Template.aspx?id=32.


South Dakota State Historical Society 2015 History Conference
Prairie to Pines: People and Their Environment in South Dakota

May 29-30, Pierre

The environment is more than a backdrop. Our interactions with plants, animals, soil, water and air have helped shape our state's history. At this year’s conference, speakers will be providing insights into the impact our forefathers had on transforming the land and communities--from the farms and industry East River, to the ranches, mines and timber operations West River. This is a unique opportunity for historians, teachers, students and the general public to learn more about the unique environment of our state in a historical context.

Teachers can receive continuing education contact hours for attending. The cost for registration and continuing education contact hours is $145, with a reduced cost of $135 for members of the South Dakota State Historical Society.

Go to http://history.sd.gov/aboutus/HistoryConference/PrairieToPines/default.aspx for more information and to register.

Questions? Contact Jeff Mammenga, South Dakota State Historical Society, at (605) 773-6000 or jeff.mammenga@state.sd.us.


State Library E-Resources Challenge Lite
June 1-Aug. 3, online

The South Dakota State Library is offering the E-Resources Challenge Lite beginning June 1. Earn free continuing education contact hours as you learn about online journals, encyclopedias, practice tests and other resources.

The challenge is a self-paced learning opportunity that guides participants in exploring content and features in the library’s statewide subscription electronic resources provided free to all schools. Learn new ways to integrate technology into lessons and how these resources can be used in conjunction with the Common Core State Standards.

Choose from these course options: Basic, Advanced and Common Core Connections.

The lite version does not require creating a blog. Participants will post discoveries in an online form. All lessons will be available June 1, allowing you to work at your own pace. Lessons must be completed by Aug. 3 to earn continuing education units.

Go to http://sdlibrarychallenge.blogspot.com for more information and to register. Participants will receive an e-mail when the lessons are posted.

Contact Julie Erickson (julie.erickson@state.sd.us) or Jane Healy (Jane.Healy@state.sd.us), State Library Electronic Services Coordinators, with questions.


Transition Institute
June 1-2, Pierre

Transition Institute provides information on evidence-based strategies to prepare students with disabilities to meet their postsecondary goals. The summer institute will focus on identifying factors and predictors that prepare youth in transition for employment. Information provided in this training will be relevant to new and experienced high school teachers. Graduate credit will be available.

To register, go to https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/calendar.


Advanced Data Use Skills for Educators
June 1-July 15, online

Advanced Data Use Skills for Educators, a new online course available this summer, will build upon skills taught in the prerequisite course, Fundamentals of Using Data for Educators. Participants will apply fundamental skills to an individual project using data.

Course requirements include readings, participation in online discussions and completion of a data project, with the goal of using data to answer important questions to drive positive change in a district, school or classroom.

The course is scheduled for June 1-July 15, with the data project due July 15. Participation is free. Two credits are available through the University of South Dakota for $40/credit.

Register at https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com. Search by course title. For those wishing to receive credit, there will be an additional link on this website where participants can register with USD.


2015 Summer Education Conference: Multi-Tiered System of Supports
June 3-4, Pierre

This conference is open to all schools, with a reduced registration rate available for educators from MTSS schools. Graduate credit is available.

The first day of the conference will focus on teaching students to think critically about text. School-wide Positive Behavior Supports will be the main topic of day two. Keynote speakers will be Jill Jackson and Dr. George Sugai.

Go to http://doe.sd.gov/oess/documents/15ConfMTS.pdf for more information and to register.

Questions? Contact Becky Cain, South Dakota Department of Education, at rebecca.cain@state.sd.us or (605) 280-3568.


Save the Date: 2015 Indian Education Summit
Nov. 1-3, Pierre

Details at http://indianeducation.sd.gov/summit.aspx
   
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