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Administrators News Archive:

July 17, 2023
New teachers should apply now for Statewide Mentoring Program

Applications for new teachers and mentors for the 2023-24 Statewide Mentoring Program are now open. The program provides first- and second-year teachers access to a mentor teacher for a period of two years and participation in a summer academy. Mentors and new teachers who complete the program meet the credit requirements to renew their teaching certificate. Applications are due Sept. 1.

May 16, 2023
Grants to support homeless youth now available

The Department of Education is seeking public school districts to apply for McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth discretionary funds for the 2023-24 school year. These federal grants are to be used for facilitating the enrollment, attendance, and academic success of homeless children. Interested districts must submit a Notice of Intent to Apply by June 2.

May 8, 2023
New competitive grants for addressing chronic absenteeism available

A new competitive grant, Addressing Chronic Absenteeism, is now open, and applications are due June 16. Public school districts that meet the grant's definition of high-need local education agency (LEA) are eligible to apply. Grant awards will range from $100,000 to $1,500,000 and must be obligated prior to June 30, 2026.

April 11, 2023
Apply now for 21st Century School Library Award

The South Dakota State Library formally and annually recognizes schools with libraries that meet the characteristics of a 21st century school library through place, professionalism, and programming. Libraries that complete this voluntary process are recognized as Effective, Enhanced, or Exemplary based on the South Dakota School Library Guidelines. Deadline to apply is May 1.

April 11, 2023
Extraordinary Cost Fund application now open

The Extraordinary Cost Fund (ECF) is a fund set aside to assist school districts with extraordinary expenses incurred in providing special education programs or services to one or more children with disabilities. A district must meet certain eligibility requirements before accessing this funding. For any school district that is eligible and interested in applying for funds for SY 2022-23, the application is open through April 28.

April 4, 2023
Review administrative rule waivers

It's that time of year for school leaders to review any waivers from administrative rule they have received from the Department of Education. Waivers typically expire on June 30 of the year stated in the waiver. For more information and to access the waiver application, visit our Waivers: Administrative Rule webpage.

April 4, 2023
Start a JAG program to support graduation

Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) is a program that has proven to help students persist through graduation. The model achieves results - routinely boasting a 100 percent graduation rate during its implementation in South Dakota. Consider a program for your school. Deadline to sign up is April 28.

April 4, 2023
Updated Social Studies standards available

An updated version of the proposed Social Studies standards (titled "Revised Proposed 3/30/23") has been posted on the department's website. The document reflects changes made since the board's last meeting, including adding Juneteenth to kindergarten standard K.SS.4. The final public hearing on these standards takes place April 17 in Pierre.

March 20, 2023
Taking public comment on proposed rule changes related to student teachers

The Board of Education Standards will hold a public hearing on proposed changes to ARSD 24:28:09 (Educator Permit Requirements) at its April 17 meeting in Pierre.

March 13, 2023
Testing window extended

Due to the amount of snow days experienced this year, the department has decided to extend the testing window for the math, English language arts, science, and science-alternate assessments by one week. The online testing window will now close on Friday, May 12.

March 8, 2023
Apply for Out-of-School Time Expansion Grants

Existing out-of-school time (OST) programs in South Dakota have the opportunity to apply for $50,000 to $200,000 grants to expand their existing programs. Applicants must be local education agencies, educational cooperatives, or nonprofit community-based organizations that support the academic school day during out-of-school time programs.

Feb. 15, 2023
State Historical Society looking for SD's History Teacher of the Year

Nominations are being accepted until Feb. 28 (deadline extended) for the 2023 South Dakota History Teacher of the Year, one of the Governor's Awards for History, coordinated by the South Dakota State Historical Society. Nominees may be an elementary or secondary teacher of history or social studies in public or private schools in South Dakota. They must be teaching at least half time during a school year and have a minimum of three years teaching experience in history, social studies, or a related field. Nomination forms can be found on the State Historical Society's website (click the History Awards link). Once history teachers are nominated, they need to complete and return an application by March 17. Questions? Email Kevin Larsen or call 605-773-6000. The winner will be announced at this year's State Historical Society History Conference, being held April 21-22 in Pierre.

Feb. 15, 2023
Listening sessions focusing on preschool services scheduled statewide in March

The South Dakota departments of Education and Social Services are conducting a study to assist the state in understanding the current landscape of preschool education (for children ages 3-5) in South Dakota. Parents, preschool teachers, administrators, business partners, and community members with information to share about preschool where they live are invited to participate in listening sessions. Sessions will be held in Brookings, Aberdeen, Rapid City, Sioux Falls, Chamberlain, and online. These flyers in English and Spanish can be shared widely to help promote this opportunity. Questions? Please contact Carrie Germeroth with Marzano Research.

Feb. 6, 2023
Save the date for South Dakota Week of Work

The 2023 South Dakota Week of Work is set for April 3-7. This timeline is intended to help you prepare your school and community. This week is the perfect time to host interactive opportunities connecting students with local businesses. It's also an opportunity to publicly celebrate the wonderful things your school does for work-based learning all year long. There will be a celebration kit coming soon to with printable templates and resources. The website also has a library of virtual career videos that can be used on demand. Questions about Week of Work? Email Kristin Larson at DOE.

Jan. 24, 2023
Schools receive $260,000 in School Nutrition Program grants

The department recently announced 16 school systems across South Dakota have been granted more than $260,000 in grants available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The grants are to purchase new equipment or to renovate/replace existing equipment in School Nutrition Programs. Read the press release.

Jan. 17, 2023
Submit Mentoring Summer Academy session proposals by Feb. 10

DOE is now taking breakout session proposals for the South Dakota Mentoring Program Summer Academy. This event is a time for new teachers and their mentors, participating in the Statewide Mentoring Program, to gather for reflection, professional development, and celebration. This year, there will be an academy on each side of the state: Sioux Falls, May 31-June 1, and Rapid City, June 6-7.

Jan. 17, 2023
Revised version of proposed social studies standards now available

A revised version of the proposed academic content standards for social studies - primarily addressing geography standards and certain translations - is now available. The revised proposal, along with a summary of changes, is available on DOE's website. Department staff will outline the revisions at the next public hearing for the standards, which is set for Feb. 10 in Rapid City.

Jan. 9, 2023
Graves appointed Secretary of Education

Gov. Kristi Noem has appointed Mitchell Superintendent Joe Graves as Secretary of Education. Dr. Graves has served as superintendent of the Mitchell School District since 2000. Before that he served as superintendent of several school districts in Iowa between 1991 and 2000. He began teaching in 1986. His appointment will be effective Jan. 10. Congratulations, Secretary Graves.

Jan. 9, 2023
DLR awards apprenticeship grant to DSU

As previously shared, the department is working with partners in the field to explore and pursue development of a teacher apprenticeship pathway program in South Dakota. Recently, the Department of Labor and Regulation awarded an apprenticeship grant to Dakota State University. This fits into the broader vision of the work currently being undertaken. We will share updates about the emerging program as appropriate.

Jan. 9, 2023
Telemental health services in schools

Through a partnership with the Department of Social Services (DSS), schools have the opportunity to support students in receiving mental health services at no charge to the school. This partnership will provide schools with additional support in helping students and their families access available mental health services as well as an understanding of when/how to refer students for mental health services. Visit our Mental Health webpage (Telemental Health in Schools heading) or contact Rebecca Cain for more information.

Jan. 9, 2023
Sharing resources related to epilepsy

House Concurrent Resolution 6007 passed in early 2020 and was quickly overshadowed by events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. The resolution sought to support students and other persons afflicted by epilepsy and raise awareness of the disease. In the spirit of the intent of that resolution, the Epilepsy Foundation offers education and training on this topic.

Jan. 3, 2023
Legislative session starts Jan. 10

The 2023 legislative session will kick off on Tuesday, Jan. 10, with Governor Noem's State of the State address. Visit the Legislative Research Council's website to follow all of the action, including links to livestreamed meetings.

Jan. 3, 2023
Board of Education Standards meeting dates set for 2023

The Board of Education Standards meeting dates for 2023 have been posted at Meeting dates/locations/times may be subject to change. Agendas are typically posted a week in advance.

Jan. 3, 2023
State-level COVID relief funding activities

As part of the American Rescue Plan Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ARP ESSER) funding, state Departments of Education were required to reserve 10 percent of the state's allocation to manage state-level activities designed to address the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students. DOE has launched a webpage highlighting the supports we are providing in South Dakota.

Jan. 3, 2023
New templates available for schools using Food Service Management Companies

The state templates for the Request for Proposal (RFP) and fixed price contract used with Food Service Management Companies (FSMCs) have been updated for use in school year 2023-24 contracts. Appropriate school personnel are invited to join the Child and Adult Nutrition Services (CANS) staff for a walk-through of the new RFP template and to address common questions via Zoom on Jan. 11, 2:30-3:30 p.m. CT.

Jan. 3, 2023
Complete teacher/principal evaluation crosswalks
For school districts not using the state model for teacher or principal evaluation, crosswalks for school year 2023-24 are due Jan. 31. Find appropriate applications and crosswalks on the department's Principal Effectiveness and Teacher Effectiveness webpages under the "Using an Alternative System (Crosswalk)" headings.

Jan. 3, 2023
Seeking public comment: Proposed changes to accountability for SY 2022-23

The Department of Education is seeking public comment on an amendment to its State Plan required under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as revised by the Every Student Succeeds Act. If approved, the amendment would impact accountability for the 2022-23 school year (Report Card issued fall 2023). Learn more on our Every Student Succeeds Act webpage. Public comment will be accepted until Jan. 13.

Dec. 22, 2022
Time to submit Notice of Intent to Apply for 21CCLC grant funding

Now is the time for schools and other organizations interested in 21st Century Community Learning Centers, or 21CCLC, grants to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply. The learning centers are intended to assist students from high-poverty and low-performing schools by providing academic enrichment opportunities and activities designed to complement regular school instruction. Locations that provide care for students outside of the normal school day are encouraged to apply.

Dec. 22, 2022
South Dakota dual credit program featured in national report

The Education Commission of the States recently published a report that delves into funding models for dual enrollment programs. South Dakota's dual credit and concurrent enrollment programs are included as one of four state case studies. Along with Alabama, North Carolina, and Rhode Island, the states represent distribution in terms of geography, size, and urbanicity. Read State Approaches to Funding Dual Enrollment Programs.

Dec. 1, 2022
School districts receive $3M in Innovative Equipment Grants
Seventeen South Dakota school districts will receive over $3 million in Career and Technical Education (CTE) Innovative Equipment Grants to implement emerging technology and modern equipment in CTE programs.

Nov. 30, 2022
Safe2Say South Dakota now active
Safe2Say South Dakota is a statewide tip line that allows South Dakota students, school staff, and community members to safely and anonymously report sensitive information that concerns their safety or the safety of others, including mental health concerns. Safe2Say South Dakota operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Anyone with information about a potentially dangerous situation can call the toll-free number at 1-844-3SD-SAFE (1-844-373-7233), make a web report by clicking the Submit a Tip Online button, or by downloading the mobile app and making a report from a smartphone or digital device. Questions? Contact the SD School Safety Center.

Nov. 30, 2022
Preschool survey open until Dec. 16
The South Dakota Departments of Education and Social Services are conducting a survey to assist the state in understanding the current landscape of preschool education (for children ages 3-5) in South Dakota. This is the first step in a statewide study to capture valuable information about the preschool opportunities currently available to families across the state. The survey is targeted to families, teachers, and administrators. The survey will close Dec. 16.

Nov. 30, 2022
Bev Petersen receives Governor's Award for Outstanding Transition Services
Congratulations to Bev Petersen, a liaison with the Transition Services Liaison Project (TSLP) in Sioux Falls since 2001. She was presented with the Governor's Award for Outstanding Transition Services for her extraordinary contributions to developing and providing a program to assist students with disabilities as they transition from school to adult life. In her role as liaison, Petersen provides technical assistance to individuals, families, schools, teachers, and providers, working with staff and students from 48 different schools. To assist students in their transition out of high school, Petersen developed two events - the Let's Talk Work event and the Meet and Greet event at Yankton High School. She has also provided significant contributions to numerous other transition activities.

Nov. 8, 2022
School Nutrition Program equipment grants available
National School Lunch Program equipment grants are now available for school year 2022-23. More than $250,000 in U.S. Department of Agriculture funding was received, which is more than four times the amount typically awarded. Find more information and the application on the Child and Adult Nutrition Services School Nutrition Program webpage under the "Equipment Grants" heading. Applications are due by mail, not email, and must be postmarked by Nov. 30, 2022.

Oct. 27, 2022
Coming in early 2023: SD Educator Certification Portal
The South Dakota Educator Certification Portal will be a one-stop shop for educators and schools that integrates the certification application system with Teacher 411 and the Personnel Record Form. This new system is designed with the user and customer service in mind. More information to come.

Oct. 24, 2022
Nation's Report Card released: South Dakota performing well compared to nation
Results of the 2022 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) were released earlier today. While some states experienced double-digit declines in average test scores, South Dakota scores stayed above the national average and experienced less volatility than other states.

Oct. 13, 2022
South Dakota public schools weather pandemic well
The Department of Education published the 2021-22 Report Card today. The online resource provides a wealth of data to help parents, educators, and community and state leaders understand how their public schools perform on select metrics.

Oct. 12, 2022
South Dakota outperforms nation on ACT
South Dakota's graduating class of 2022 earned an average ACT composite score of 21.5, which is above the national average of 19.8 and the highest among neighboring states. Considering the state's public school test-takers only, the average composite score was 21.6. The ACT is used to gain admission into colleges and universities throughout the country and for scholarship consideration.

Oct. 11, 2022
South Dakota schools recognized as 2022 National ESEA Distinguished Schools
The South Dakota Department of Education is pleased to announce that Lake Preston Elementary and Whitewood Elementary (Meade School District) have been named 2022 National ESEA (Elementary and Secondary Education Act) Distinguished Schools. They will be honored at the National ESEA Conference to be held in February 2023.

Oct. 6, 2022
Free, online tutoring available for K-12 students
South Dakota students and families can access a new, online tutoring program, staffed by college students who are preparing to become teachers. The Dakota Dreams Online Tutoring Program offers FREE online tutoring to K-12 students. One-on-one tutoring sessions can help students with their homework, tackle specific trouble areas, and address broader educational concepts. Families must first register their students to access the service.

Sept. 19, 2022
Congratulations to South Dakota's newest National Blue Ribbon Schools
Ethan Elementary, Holy Spirit Elementary (Bishop O'Gorman Catholic Schools), Sonia Sotomayor Elementary (Sioux Falls), and Timber Lake Elementary have been named 2022 National Blue Ribbon Schools. Across the country, 297 schools received this prestigious honor. National Blue Ribbon Schools serve as models of effective school practices for state and district educators and other schools throughout the nation.

Sept. 19, 2022
September is Suicide Prevention Month
Suicide is the leading cause of death among youth aged 10-19. Educators have the power to make a difference. Reach out to Becky Cain in our Office of Student Wellness and Supports if you need ideas about where to start. As of July 16, 988 is the national three-digit phone number for all mental health, substance use, and suicide crises. Materials are available for schools to order to help promote 988 and BeThe1SD.

Sept. 19, 2022
Connect students with career possibilities
The Future Workforce Finder is an online matching system that gives students and businesses across South Dakota a new way to connect. The goal of the Future Workforce Finder is two-fold: attract potential employees for business and industry and allow students to explore careers available in their home state. South Dakota businesses have begun to register and showcase student opportunities like internships, job shadows, tours, and classroom visits. Educators can now create accounts and start exploring opportunities. Educators are also encouraged to share this resource with businesses in their community and encourage them to sign up if they haven't done so already. This employer engagement resource for schools offers tips for deepening connections with businesses in your community.

Aug. 15, 2022
Proposed Social Studies, CTE standards released
Proposed standards for Social Studies and several Career and Technical Education (CTE) areas have been released. Members of the public are invited to read the standards and provide public comment.

Aug. 8, 2022
CTE Innovative Equipment Grants now available
DOE's Office of Career and Technical Education is now accepting applications for CTE Innovative Equipment Grants. Entities may apply as a single district or as a consortium for award amounts of $100,000 to $250,000. Applications are due Nov. 1.

Aug. 8, 2022
New leadership opportunity targets teachers
Applications are open for the new Dakota Dreams Teacher Leadership Academy. This FREE academy offers South Dakota teachers an experience-based learning opportunity to develop their leadership skills and explore administrative roles and responsibilities in schools. This opportunity is being offered by the Board of Regents and Department of Education.

July 28, 2022
Submit directory information by Sept. 1
The annual submission of school directory information for the 2022-23 school year must be completed by Sept. 1, 2022. School directory information includes the names, titles, and contact information for administrative positions within your school(s) and district. If you are new to the district or need a password reset, please send an email requesting password information to

July 11, 2022
South Dakota receives highest IDEA ratings
South Dakota has received the highest rating possible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, for Parts B and C for federal fiscal year 2020. The state is one of only 15 across the country to meet the requirements of IDEA under both Parts B and C, according to information released recently from the U.S. Department of Education.

July 8, 2022
Educator evaluation system available at no cost
All South Dakota public school districts can receive state-paid licenses to use an employee evaluation management system through Frontline Education, which houses evaluation rubrics and forms, provides an electronic platform to gather and store evidence, and more. Frontline Professional Growth matches the state recommended Teacher Effectiveness Model and the recommended Evaluation and Professional Growth Process. Information about school year 2022-23 trainings can be found on the department's Frontline Education webpage, under the Employee Evaluation Management heading.

July 1, 2022
Applications open for Statewide Mentoring Program
The Statewide Mentoring Program provides a first-year teacher access to a mentor teacher for a period of two years and participation in a summer academy following the first and second year of employment. Applications for the 2022-23 school year are now open. Please share this information with your first-year teachers. Mentors and new teachers who complete the mentoring program meet the credit requirements to renew their teaching certificate. Visit the Statewide Mentoring Program webpage for applications and more information.

July 1, 2022
Improve student learning through assessment and data literacy
The Department of Education is recruiting regional coaches, school/district practitioners, and university faculty to participate in a Classroom Assessment and Data Literacy Initiative throughout school year 2022-23. The goal of the initiative is to cultivate assessment and data literacy among educators, school/district leaders, and pre-service teachers in order to improve student learning. Participants will attend a series of meetings and complete professional learning modules, independent practice activities, follow-up discussions and coaching, and strategic planning for scaling and sustaining the work. Interested individuals should complete this survey before Aug. 31. Questions? Email Matt Gill in DOE's Office of Assessment and Accountability.

July 1, 2022
Changes to accountability rules proposed
The department is proposing changes to ARSD 24:55 Public School Accountability System. The Board of Education Standards will take up the proposal July 18 in Pierre. The proposed rules will revise criteria pertaining to attendance, coursework readiness, exiting the English learner program, and comprehensive and targeted support designation calculations. Visit to learn more. Follow the Department of Education link, then look for "ARSD 24:55 (Public School Accountability)." Click the comment deadline date to provide public comment.