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SD Department of Education Sept. 2015  

New science standards focus of Systems Change workshop

Sam Shaw with the Department of Education will deliver a pre-conference workshop (http://systemschange.midwestmaple.org/preconf.htm) on South Dakota’s new science standards at the Systems Change conference (http://systemschange.midwestmaple.org/default.htm) in October. Breakout sessions (http://systemschange.midwestmaple.org/breakouts.htm) during the conference will cover upcoming online training opportunities and recommended science course pathways.

2016 SD Teacher of the Year nominees

Article revised Sept. 15 , 2015

The 2016 South Dakota Teacher of the Year will be named Oct. 15 in Chamberlain at the Systems Change Conference. This month, we feature the nominees. Congratulations to these outstanding educators!

Kim Davidson – Rosholt School District

View interview with Kim Davidson
View video at https://youtu.be/JLtDLdHmHvk?list=PLkUH7Q9xWfE8kcpzhSg9dH0bOs708Aw1h

The Rosholt School District has been working to better address the needs of students not planning to attend four-year colleges. New options include online coursework, opportunities for on-the-job training, and career and technical education courses.

Kim Davidson, Rosholt’s 7-12 English language arts teacher, works with students to design assignments they can connect to their future, whatever their path may be.

In her class, students might write resumes and cover letters, investigate careers, set up visits to technical institutes and practice for the ACT. They talk about current events. A novel by Native American writer Sherman Alexie resonated with one group of students because they could identify with the issues of racism it addresses.

Davidson says, “Through it all, I involve students in making choices, expressing what they feel is relevant.”

Tailoring instruction in this manner is regular practice in Davidson’s classroom for all students. “What happens when every bit of planning involved for every single student is tailored to individual abilities and needs?” she asks. “I’ll be honest. What happens is messy, unruly at times, and exhausting to say the least. What happens is education: authentic, true and meaningful.”

Heidi Holforty – Huron School District

View interview with Heidi Holforty
View video at https://youtu.be/kYXxOSO3pi8?list=PLkUH7Q9xWfE8kcpzhSg9dH0bOs708Aw1h

Heidi Holforty teaches 9-12 German in the Huron School District, home to South Dakota’s second largest population of English language learners. While meeting the needs of these students can be a challenge for the district, Holforty sees how all educators and students benefit from the growth in diversity. As it turns out, what’s good for English language learners is just as effective for German language learners:

“The new techniques and strategies which best meet the needs of ELL students are also meeting the diverse needs of all of our students,” Holforty says. “Teachers are learning, embracing and sharing ideas and strategies such as building background, modeling, creating cooperative learning activities and incorporating hands-on activities and visuals.”

Whether a student of the German language or not, meet Holforty in the halls of Huron High School and you’re bound to receive a warm greeting in German. With an early love for teaching, a mother who grew up in Germany and a German teacher who had a great impact on her, Holforty seemed destined to go into foreign language education.

Sarah Lutz – Stanley County School District

View interview with Sarah Lutz
View video at https://youtu.be/M2_aHIgYWLs?list=PLkUH7Q9xWfE8kcpzhSg9dH0bOs708Aw1h

Sarah Lutz has been differentiating instruction since she was a child. She would notice that sometimes her twin sister didn’t pick up on a concept in the same way she did. So Lutz would work to find different ways to help her.

Now a 3rd grade teacher for the Stanley County School District, Lutz says, “This experience has always stuck with me and influenced my love for seeking out a variety of resources, activities and methods to teach a concept.”

And a couple of the best resources around? Community and family. The Stanley County Reading Buddy program in 3rd grade brings community members into Lutz's classroom to read to students for 30 minutes a week.

In recent years, Lutz has also led development of math/literacy family nights, featuring activity stations highlighting things families can do at home to promote learning. These events’ popularity is perhaps best summed up in the words of a 5th grader whose mother asked if they were going to attend: “Yes, we are going. EVERYONE is going to be there.”

Lutz says she wants to make learning fun for her students. She seems to be succeeding.

Shelly Mikkelson – Belle Fourche School District

View interview with Shelly Mikkelson
View video at https://youtu.be/5zKT8V-tLuI?list=PLkUH7Q9xWfE8kcpzhSg9dH0bOs708Aw1h

Shelly Mikkelson says her passion for teaching begins with children, but it extends to helping pre-service teachers and her colleagues become the best teachers they can be. Mikkelson teaches 2nd grade at South Park Elementary in Belle Fourche.

She has a strong relationship with Black Hills State University and regularly serves as a cooperating teacher for college sophomores, juniors and student teachers. Every semester, a class of methods students visits her classroom to observe and ask questions.

To assist early career elementary teachers at South Park, Mikkelson has set up a Dropbox folder containing files and templates ranging from rubrics to newsletters to units. “I remember all too well feeling like a fish swimming upstream my first few years of teaching,” Mikkelson says.

Sometimes Mikkelson knows it’s her students who feel like the struggling fish. Early in her career in Belle Fourche, she recognized the traditional method of teaching math wasn’t making sense to some of her students. To combat this problem, with her principal’s approval, she piloted an inquiry-based math program. That inquiry-based approach is now used districtwide in Belle Fourche.

Kaye Wickard – Ipswich Public School District

View interview with Kaye Wickard
View video at https://youtu.be/VIcTLcxodF0?list=PLkUH7Q9xWfE8kcpzhSg9dH0bOs708Aw1h

Not every student starts the school day ready to learn. Sometimes other needs must be met first. When Kaye Wickard noticed some of her students were coming to school hungry, she started bringing in banana muffins and was an early proponent of the district’s school breakfast program. Other students have energy to burn—she lets them sit on balance balls instead of chairs, so they can move and read.

Wickard is the Ipswich Elementary Title I reading teacher. She also coordinates the school’s Response to Intervention program, a multi-tier approach to supporting students at all reading achievement levels. Her work with RtI has made the school a model, attracting the attention of several surrounding districts.

Several years ago, Ipswich educators began noticing some students were struggling to complete their homework. Wickard recognized another need, and as the district’s National Honor Society advisor, she knew she had the resources to help: honor students. She worked with them to develop the Tiger Paw tutoring program. Now from 8-8:30 every morning and 3:30-4:30 every day after school, she and her honor students offer homework help to Ipswich’s K-12 students.

Leslie Fylling – Tea Area School District

Leslie Fylling Leslie Fylling was contemplating retiring and was therefore not eligible to compete for State Teacher of the Year. We congratulate her as a Regional Teacher of the Year.

Fylling has taught music for more than 30 years in the Chancellor, Tea, Worthing and Lennox areas. In addition to her work in the school setting, she has shared her love of music through many years of piano lessons and 10 years as the music director for children’s summer theatre workshop productions at the Olde Towne Dinner Theatre in Worthing.

“The rewards after 32 years of teaching music are many,” Fylling says. “When former students tell me they remember learning to waltz, jitterbug, or line dance in my class years ago, and they’re still dancing, it makes me smile. When parents tell me their child’s favorite class is music, because he/she shares so much music info in great detail at home, that makes me smile too. Recently a parent told me her son loved my class and wants to be a music teacher someday…yes!”

South Dakota Indian Eduation Summit 2015
Sign up today!
Indian Education Summit coming up in November

The Indian Education Summit will be held Nov. 1-3 in Pierre. This year’s schedule features a pre-conference session on the WoLakota Project. Keynote speakers will be Donald Montileaux and Joseph Marshall III. Visit http://indianeducation.sd.gov/summit.aspx for more information and to register.

How SD’s new social studies standards address early U.S. history

The South Dakota Board of Education has adopted new social studies content standards (http://doe.sd.gov/ContentStandards/documents/SocialStd.pdf), and there has been some confusion about how the standards address early U.S. history (1776-1876), particularly at the high school level.

It is important to note that in both the previous standards (http://doe.sd.gov/ContentStandards/documents/Full_Social Studies.pdf) and the new standards (http://doe.sd.gov/ContentStandards/documents/SocialStd.pdf), early U.S. history is covered in 8th grade. The state’s previous standards did not include early U.S. history at the high school level at all.

During the final meetings of the workgroup who revised the state’s social studies standards, it became apparent that the group was divided about whether history standards at the high school level should be made comprehensive—covering all of U.S. history, or if they should continue to cover only modern U.S. history (1877-present), as occurred with the previous standards. Because the workgroup was nearly evenly divided on the issue, members surveyed South Dakota’s U.S history teachers. These teachers were nearly evenly divided on the matter as well. A survey of school district superintendents also found an almost even split of opinions.

Thus, a compromise was reached. The new standards were written to include optional standards at the high school level that address early U.S. history. This allows school districts to decide at the local level whether they will offer a comprehensive or modern U.S. history course. What this ultimately means is that the new standards contain more early U.S. history than did the previous set of standards.

Contact Sam Shaw, Department of Education, at (605) 773-5229 or sam.shaw@state.sd.us with questions.

Nominate students for U.S. Presidential Scholars program

Nominate academically outstanding 12th graders for this distinct recognition by Sept. 27. This year South Dakota can nominate up to 10 male and 10 female students in the traditional Scholars program. Additionally, up to five CTE students can be nominated. Here’s a nomination checklist (http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/zebra/news/15/sept/documents/PS-checklist.pdf). Learn more and submit nominations at http://www.sdmylife.com/educators/presidentialscholar/.

Encourage students to be part of the legislative process

The Legislative Research Council is looking for high school students interested in being a page during the 2016 legislative session.

Students must be juniors or seniors (seniors are given preference). Students must be sponsored by a legislator and be in good academic standing (3.0 GPA or higher is encouraged). They must also receive approval from a parent/guardian and from their principal or superintendent. They must be able to serve during one of the following terms and may select a preference:

       Term 1: Jan. 11-22
       Term 2: Jan. 24-Feb. 5
       Term 3: Feb. 7-19
       Term 4: Feb. 21-March 3
       Term 5: March 6-11 (one-week term)

Applications should be submitted to the Legislative Research Council, 500 E. Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501. Applications must be postmarked no later than Monday, Nov. 16, 2015.

Information on the Page Program is also available on the Legislative Research Council’s website (http://legis.sd.gov/Students_Page/Page/default.aspx).

Attention, government teachers! If you would like a legislator from your district to speak to your government class, please contact the legislator or the Legislative Research Council at (605) 773-3251.

The LRC appreciates your continued support of this worthwhile opportunity for students.

Don’t “bee” late! Enroll today in Scripps National Spelling Bee program

The University of South Dakota provides students in grades 1-8 the opportunity to participate in the Scripps National Spelling Bee program. For students to participate in the USD Scripps spelling bee program (http://www.usd.edu/spellingbee), or any of South Dakota’s six regional spelling bees, your school must enroll with the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Early bird enrollment ends Sept. 30.

Enroll and pay the $136 fee by Sept. 30, and in addition to the benefits from Scripps, USD will send your school an early-bird enrollment pack filled with items for your students to use at recess or gym class and a few items for the classroom. Late enrollment is Oct. 16-Dec. 11 with a fee of $211.

If needed, there are options available to assist schools with the fee.

USD sponsors the Scripps Spelling Bee for South Dakota in partnership with Rotary International Clubs of South Dakota. The USD Scripps Spelling Bee (http://www.usd.edu/spellingbee) will be held Saturday, March 19, 2016, on the USD campus.

For more information or assistance, contact Cheryl Havermann, director of the Scripps Spelling Bee for South Dakota, at (605) 658-6212.

Enroll at www.spellingbee.com/enrollment.

Blue Ribbon task force begins developing recommendations

The Blue Ribbon Task Force met Sept. 9 and heard about South Dakota trends in educator preparation and employment. Task force members also began initial work on developing formal recommendations. Meeting materials and audio (http://blueribbon.sd.gov/materials.aspx) are available on the task force website. The group’s next meeting is Oct. 1.

Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/.

IEP Process in Action
Sept. 17-Oct. 2, various locations statewide

This training is designed to provide an overview of criteria used in the special education process. Participants will review the special education process to think about how the whole team can be involved in the IEP process. Participants should bring a hard copy or a downloaded copy of the current IEP Technical Assistance Guide. Registration is limited to 50 participants.

Register at http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/. Search by course title. Contact Arlene Maxfield at the South Dakota Department of Education, (605) 773-3678 or Arlene.Maxfield@state.sd.us, with questions.

Board of Education
Sept. 21, Watertown

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet at Lake Area Technical Institute, 1201 Arrow Ave. NE, in Watertown, at 10 a.m. CDT. An agenda is posted on the State of South Dakota's Boards and Commissions portal (http://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Template.aspx?id=32).

IEP Back to Basics
Sept. 24, Rapid City

This training is designed for teachers with less than three years of special education experience wanting to learn more about special education referral to placement. During this training, participants will review all of the forms as they follow the special education process from referral through consent, evaluation, eligibility, IEP development and parental prior written notice. Participants should bring a hard copy or a downloaded copy of the current IEP Technical Assistance Guide. Registration is limited to 50 participants.

Register at http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/. Search by course title. Contact Arlene Maxfield at the South Dakota Department of Education, (605) 773-3678 or Arlene.Maxfield@state.sd.us, with questions.

SPED Teacher Effectiveness Training
Sept. 30-Oct. 9, various locations statewide

Special education teachers and administrators who evaluate them are invited to attend this training, which will provide clarification on Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) and dig deeper into the South Dakota Framework for Teaching. Educators will learn how the framework and SLOs work together, along with how to write differentiated SLO goals, which is recommended practice. In addition, they will break down the framework and the different special education scenarios.

Register at http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/. Search by course title. Contact Matt Gill at the South Dakota Department of Education, (605) 773-8193 or Matthew.Gill@state.sd.us, with questions.

16th Annual Systems Change Conference
Oct. 14-16, Chamberlain

This year’s Systems Change Conference (http://www.systemschange.midwestmaple.org/default.htm) will be held at the Cedar Shore Resort in Chamberlain. This is one of the region’s premier professional development events for educators. On the evening of Oct. 15, the 2016 South Dakota Teacher of the Year will be announced during a special recognition banquet. Graduate credit and DOE contact hours are available.

For more information and to register, visit http://www.systemschange.midwestmaple.org/default.htm.

Healthy Schools Summit: Activating a Healthier Generation
Oct. 20, Pierre

Schools won’t want to miss this opportunity to learn about the latest strategies and resources for enhancing the learning environment by improving nutrition and physical activity. Through demonstration and participation, participants will learn how to take wellness to the next level and activate children’s healthy behaviors where they live, learn and play.

Participants will be energized by Carol Chong, MA/RDN/LDN, National Nutrition Advisor; and Reagan Spomer, Youth Ambassador with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation; along with other great presenters, including National Healthy School Award winners from South Dakota.

Learn more with this sharable flyer about the event (http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/zebra/news/15/Sept/documents/SchHealth.pdf). Registration information will be coming soon.

Contact: Kari Senger, Healthy Schools Program Manager, Alliance for a Healthier Generation - Kari.senger@healthiergeneration.org or (605) 280-7671. Karen Keyser, Department of Education - karen.keyser@state.sd.us.

Project WET & Leopold Educator Workshop
Oct. 21, Rapid City

South Dakota State University Extension is hosting an educational workshop. Both projects will be presented by Anne Lewis from the South Dakota Discovery Center. The Project WET workshops provide training to educators at all levels, formal and non-formal, on diverse water topics so those educators can reach children with objective, experiential, science-based water education. The Leopold Education Project (LEP) is an innovative, interdisciplinary conservation and environmental education curriculum based on the essays in “A Sand County Almanac.”

Find more information on SDSU Extension’s iGrow website (http://igrow.org/events/project-wet-training-aldo-leopold-workshops/).

2015 Indian Education Summit
Nov. 1-3, Pierre

More information at http://indianeducation.sd.gov/summit.aspx.

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