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Sept. 25, 2023
Apply now for National School Lunch Program equipment grants
Qualified schools can apply for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) SY 2023-24 grant funding to purchase new equipment or to renovate existing equipment used in their school food service program. This is a competitive grant process. Grants must be used for equipment purchases of $1,000 or more, and awards will not exceed $25,000 per applicant. Applications are due Oct. 27

Sept. 18, 2023
Science and certain CTE standards under review
The South Dakota Science Standards and the Government & Public Administration Cluster Standards are now under review. Both sets of standards were developed with input from South Dakota educators. They will go through a series of four public hearings hosted by the Board of Education Standards – with the first hearing to be held at the board’s Oct. 20 meeting in Aberdeen. The Department of Education (DOE) is currently taking written public comment on the proposed standards.

Sept. 5, 2023
Addressing Chronic Absenteeism grants available
The Addressing Chronic Absenteeism (Round 2) grant application period is now open. These are competitive grants aimed at eliminating chronic absenteeism by providing students with safe, healthy, and engaging learning environments. Applications are due Sept. 18, 2023. Public school districts that meet the grant's definition of high-need Local Education Agency are eligible to apply. Grant requests may be up to $500,000 and must be obligated prior to June 30, 2026.

Sept. 5, 2023
Apply now for CTE Collaborative Equipment Grants
The Department of Education's Office of Career and Technical Education has announced the application window for CTE Collaborative Equipment Grants is now open. The intent of the grants is to support and modernize career and technical education (CTE) programs across South Dakota for multiple school districts that collaborate to expand CTE opportunities to more students. The grants will provide equipment critical to helping students be prepared for in-demand, high-wage, high-skill careers.

Aug. 31, 2023
Eligible families may apply for free or reduced-price meals for school year 2023-24
Child and Adult Nutrition Services in the South Dakota Department of Education has announced the free and reduced-price policy for free milk or free and reduced-price meals. The policy applies to children unable to pay the full price of meals or milk served under the National School Lunch Program, School Breakfast Program, Special Milk Program, and/or the Child and Adult Care Food Program.

Aug. 23, 2023
Department of Education launches statewide effort to build better readers
"The ability to read is foundational to all learning. Up until about 3rd grade, students are learning to read; after that, they are reading to learn," said Secretary of Education Joseph Graves. "Therefore, it's critical that our students have strong reading skills early in their educational careers."

Aug. 21, 2023
DOE launches teacher recruitment/retention campaign
South Dakota teachers share their stories, focusing on the rewards of the profession, in a new teacher recruitment/retention campaign. The campaign invites young people, and those looking for a career change, to consider the education field - where you can "Make a Future Making Futures."

Aug. 21, 2023
FREE Science of Reading-based professional development offered by DOE
AIM Pathways is an online, interactive professional development that offers training in the Science of Reading teaching practices. Find opportunities for the entire school staff, from paraprofessionals to teachers to administrators.

Aug. 21, 2023
One-stop shop for work-based learning resources now available
The South Dakota Departments of Education and Labor and Regulation have unveiled a new website, designed to be the hub for work-based learning. The new website features learning guides, tools, and resources to help educators, students, parents, and businesses.

Aug. 11, 2023
Seven students receive Hagen-Harvey scholarships
Seven students have received Richard Hagen-Minerva Harvey Memorial Scholarships. The scholarship program provides up to $6,000 over four years for study at an accredited university, college, or technical college located in South Dakota to enrolled members of American Indian tribes.

July 17, 2023
Teachers "hit the road" to discover state history, bring back to classrooms
Approximately 240 elementary and middle school educators began a week-long trek today, to explore the people, places, and events that figure prominently in South Dakota history. One group of teachers departed Sioux Falls for an East River history tour, while another left Rapid City for a West River tour.

July 14, 2023
South Dakota earns JAG's prestigious 6-of-6 National Network Award
South Dakota and three local Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) programs were recognized for achieving the prestigious "6-of-6 Award" at the JAG National Training Seminar in Louisville, Ky., this week.

July 10, 2023
South Dakota again receives highest ratings under IDEA
South Dakota has received the highest rating possible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, for federal fiscal year 2021.

July 10, 2023
Governor Noem announces Teacher Apprenticeship Pathway

Today, Governor Noem announced that more than 90 teachers' aides have been selected to participate in South Dakota's Teacher Apprenticeship Pathway. This pilot program will launch with the 2023-2024 school year and result in these apprentices gaining teacher certifications.

May 31, 2023
Five out-of-school time programs receive funding

Five 21st Century Community Learning Center grants have been awarded to provide funding for academic enrichment opportunities for students. This year's grant recipients join 25 existing grant recipients.

May 31, 2023
Special education reports now available online

Information regarding school districts' performance on improving the educational outcomes of students with disabilities is now available online. The Special Education Report is released annually by June 1.

May 23, 2023
Action postponed on dual credit rules

The Board of Education Standards voted unanimously to postpone action on the proposed dual credit rules until its July meeting.

May 18, 2023
Teacher apprenticeship pilot to launch next fall

The Department of Education, and its partners, announce the new Teacher Apprenticeship Pathway pilot, which will begin in the 2023-24 school year. The program's intent is to take successful para-educators, or teacher aides, and help them pursue certification to become fully accredited teachers.

May 16, 2023
Regional Teachers of the Year announced

Congratulations to the newly announced Regional Teachers of the Year. One of these individuals will be selected as the South Dakota Teacher of the Year later this fall and will represent the state in the national competition.

May 16, 2023
Board to address proposed dual credit rule changes

The Board of Education Standards will consider proposed changes to ARSD 24:43 (Dual Credit) at its May 22 meeting. The effect of the rules will be to require all schools to uniformly transcribe postsecondary credits onto a student's high school transcript. The reason for adopting the proposed rules is to comply with SB 182, which was passed during the 2023 legislative session. Public comment can be made until May 19.

May 8, 2023
Observing Teacher Appreciation Week

The Department of Education (DOE) will be observing Teacher Appreciation Week May 8-12 this year. Our staff will be visiting various locations to recognize South Dakota teachers for their commitment to students and learning. Secretary of Education Joseph Graves shared his thanks in an email to teachers across the state last Friday.

May 8, 2023
May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood. May is Mental Health Awareness Month. The Department of Education makes available a variety of resources for educators on this topic. Check out this one-page summary of resources for educators or visit our Mental Health webpage to learn more.

April 25, 2023
2023 Workforce Education Grant recipients announced

Five South Dakota Workforce Education Grants, totaling $822,250 have been awarded to South Dakota public school districts. In 2013, the South Dakota Legislature established the Workforce Education Fund. Part of that fund was designated to provide grants for career and technical education (CTE) programs in secondary schools.

April 18, 2023
Two new schools to offer Jobs for America's Graduates in 2023-24

Huron High School and St. Francis Indian School will join the ranks of schools offering the Jobs for America's Graduates-South Dakota (JAG-SD) program next year, bringing the total number of programs in South Dakota to 13.

April 11, 2023
State board to meet April 17

The Board of Education Standards will meet Monday, April 17, in Pierre. The agenda includes the 4th and final hearing for proposed Career and Technical Education standards and Social Studies standards. There also will be a public hearing for proposed rule changes related to student teacher permits, and a first reading of proposed rules for transcribing dual credit.

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.

March 3, 2023
2023 Perkins Reserve Grant recipients announced

Four South Dakota school districts have been chosen to receive South Dakota Perkins Reserve Grants, totaling $151,993. These funds will be used to provide major equipment upgrades to career and technical education (CTE) programs.

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 the Week of Work website with printable templates and resources. The website also has a library of virtual career videos that can be used on demand. Email Kristin Larson at DOE your questions about Week of Work.

Feb. 1, 2023
Free, online tutoring available for K-12 students

The Dakota Dreams Online Tutoring Program is back from winter break and prepared to help students succeed academically. Available on-demand or by scheduling in advance, tutoring sessions are a great option for students to access after-school homework help. Tutors (teachers-in-training at Black Hills State and Northern State) are available every day of the week. Tutors find that sessions are most effective when students have specific assignments to work on with their tutor. Teachers can use this tool to send home information about the program to families. Teachers can include information about academic focus, or better yet, provide the student with some homework that could be used to guide the tutoring session. Questions about the program can be directed to

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. 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
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. 14, 2022
General fund cash balance accountability waiver extended
Last week, the Legislature's Joint Committee on Appropriations accepted the School Finance Accountability Board's recommendation to extend the waiver of the general fund cash balance accountability an additional year. This action extends the waiver through the end of FY 2024.

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. 7, 2022
Teacher Feature: 2023 SD Teacher of the Year nominees
Meet South Dakota's Regional Teachers of the Year. One of these outstanding educators will be named 2023 State Teacher of the Year on Oct. 13:

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. 22, 2022
DOE launches Good to Great Teachers mentoring program
We are launching Good to Great Teachers, a mentoring program aimed at empowering teachers in years 3-5 of their career by increasing teacher effectiveness and fostering self-efficacy. Experienced educators will guide small cohorts of participants through reflective practices to increase confidence in four key areas: communication skills, reflective practice, classroom management, and student engagement. Teachers who successfully complete the program will earn three graduate credits. Apply by Oct. 7.

Sept. 22, 2022
Celebrate the 2022 South Dakota Crunch Off
The South Dakota Crunch Off is a statewide event to celebrate local produce and Farm to School by crunching into any South Dakota grown "crunchy" fruit or vegetable. Anyone can participate. Simply register your crunch event and post a photo or video crunching to social media with #SouthDakotaCrunch. South Dakota Crunch Off events may occur anytime between Sept. 26 and Oct. 7, 2022. Learn more and register your event.

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. 23, 2022
K-5 STEM Education Grants available
Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education can play a pivotal role in encouraging students to be active participants in their own learning. The Department of Education is offering K-5 STEM Education Grants designed to support the development of new, and expansion of existing, K-5 STEM programming, materials, and resources. Eligible applicants are nonprofit community-based organizations, education cooperatives, and public school districts.

Aug. 19, 2022
Board of Education Standards meeting postponed
The next meeting of the South Dakota Board of Education Standards has been postponed and a new meeting date will be announced soon. This meeting would have included a public hearing to consider the adoption and amendment of proposed rules. The meeting was previously scheduled for Aug. 22 and is being postponed to review comments that have been submitted.

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
State board to hold public hearing
The South Dakota Board of Education Standards will consider rules designed to prohibit the adoption of academic content standards that promote inherently divisive concepts and to revise language regarding waivers of administrative rules, at its meeting Aug. 22. Public comment is now being accepted via

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.

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.

July 18, 2022
School meal applications required for SY 2022-23
Families that may qualify for free or reduced-price school meals will need to submit an application for SY 2022-23. Waivers that allowed schools to serve universal free meals, due to the pandemic, have expired. Schools should communicate early and often with families about the application process.

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 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. 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
USDA issues transitional nutrition standards for next two school years
The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced school nutrition standards for school years 2022-23 and 2023-24. This rule will provide a transition period by establishing nutrition standards for milk, whole grains, and sodium for the next two school years while USDA works with schools, industry, families, and other partners to develop long-term standards to be in place by SY 2024-25. Learn more on USDA's Building Back Better with School Meals website.

July 1, 2022
Is your school truly PREPaREd to respond to a crisis?
Do you have plans in place to keep your students not only physically safe, but also psychologically safe in the event of a crisis? The state currently has grant funding to make PREPaRE workshops available at no cost to school professionals across South Dakota. Find more information on these workshops. Questions? Email

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.

May 17, 2022
Win $10K Governor Noem announces three West River schools named winners of $300K in fitness equipment
Today, Governor Kristi Noem and fitness icon Jake "Body by Jake" Steinfeld announced the winners of the DON'T QUIT! Fitness Center campaign, awarding three West River schools $300,000 in fitness equipment.