New on our YouTube channel
Deputy Secretary Mary Stadick Smith gives a brief synopsis of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s proposals for education funding in FY14.


South Dakota represented on Nutrition Association’s National Board of Directors
South Dakota now has representation on the School Nutrition Association’s National Board of Directors. Brandon Valley School District Food Services Director Gay Anderson was voted in as the board’s Education Committee Chair during SNA’s 2012 elections. For more information, visit the School Nutrition Association website.






Rapid City teacher presented with $25,000 Milken Award
Congratulations to Alayna Siemonsma! The fourth-grade teacher and literacy leader at South Park Elementary School in Rapid City received the surprise of a lifetime last month when she was presented with a Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award. The award, which comes with an unrestricted cash prize of $25,000, was bestowed upon her during a school assembly.
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Upcoming Events




Differentiating Workshop for ELL teachers
Dec. 11 in Fort Pierre OR Dec. 13 in Brookings

The South Dakota Department of Education, along with WIDA, will hold face to face workshops Dec. 11 in Ft. Pierre at the AmericInn and Dec. 13 in Brookings at the Days Inn.

This workshop, The More, the Merrier in Differentiating for English Language Learners, is designed as an introductory level training for content and ESL teachers in meeting the needs of ELLs. It will provide teachers opportunities to explore academic language differentiation during content instruction and assessment. Participants will explore the use of WIDA’s English language proficiency data and the CAN DO Descriptors.

Sessions begin each day at 8:30 a.m., with registration at 8 a.m., and will run until 4 p.m. There will be an hour break for lunch on your own.

Attendees should bring their ACCESS 2012 Student Roster Reports and/or Teacher Reports and an assignment or task recently used with their mainstream students in a content class. Teachers should also download the CAN DO Descriptors for the grade levels of their ELLs prior to attending. (Click here to download.)

Click here to register for either workshop.



Common Core and School Libraries
Dec. 11 in Watertown, Dec. 12 in Brookings OR Dec. 13 in Sioux Falls

The South Dakota State Library, in conjunction with the South Dakota Library Association, will be holding regional meetings at six locations for certified-teacher librarians, paraprofessional librarians, district librarians, library aides, and administrators who wish to learn more about the Common Core State Standards, and specifically the “4th R” – Research, as they relate to school libraries.

The regional meetings will be held from 1-4 p.m. as follows:
Tuesday, Dec. 11 – Watertown High School Library, Watertown
Wednesday, Dec. 12 – Brookings Middle School Library, Brookings
Thursday, Dec. 13 – Roosevelt High School Library, Sioux Falls

The meetings came about after a group of library professionals met for a School Library Summit in Pierre in August to discuss current services within the state’s school libraries. As one of four goals set by the summit group, regional meetings were indicated as a way to provide training on the Common Core, as well as to provide a time for networking and collaboration for school librarians around the state.

Click here to register for this free event.

Please contact Mary G. Johnson at (605) 295-3173 if you have questions or need further information.



2012 Regional Transition Forums
Dec. 14, Rapid City

Transition Forums are informal, interactive meetings to discuss collaboration between agencies, schools, and families so students with disabilities can receive appropriate services and supports during the transition to adulthood process. Check out the DOE Calendar of Events for start time and exact location. For more information, contact Melissa Flor.



Work-Based Learning Opportunities Training
Jan. 22, 2013, Pierre

Come and learn all about Entrepreneurship Experience, Senior Experience, Service Learning and Youth Internship, strategies for implementation and resources to get started. This training is designed for those who are new to work-based learning or those who would like to revise their current program to meet high school graduation requirements.

This training is designed for the teams of educators that will be implementing Capstone experiences or Service Learning. Plan to bring individuals that will be involved locally – teachers, administrators, counselors and/or community partners. All team members should bring a laptop to the training.

Beginning in school year 2013-14, schools must offer a Capstone Experience (Senior Experience, Youth Internship or Entrepreneurship Experience) OR Service Learning. Not all of the options have to be offered, though a school could choose to offer them all if they wish.

Check out the DOE Calendar of Events for more information.