Nov. 11-17 is American Education Week
American Education Week is coming up this month. This special week recognizes the contributions of the various people who make up the public education system, from teachers to food service workers and counselors to bus drivers, and everyone in between. Thanks for all you do to make sure our state’s children are receiving the best education!




New DOE directors in place
Colleen O’Neil recently began as director of the department’s Division of Curriculum and Career and Technical Education, and Ann Larsen took over as the new director of the Division of Educational Services and Support. A recent transplant from Greeley, Colo., Colleen is a lifelong educator, having served in numerous positions, including teacher, chief learning officer, assistant principal and chief human resource officer. Ann has been with the department for more than 10 years, most recently serving as special education director.

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Partnership to help struggling college-bound students catch up

A collaborative effort between the Department of Education and Board of Regents will help the state’s college-bound juniors and seniors who may need some assistance to get up to speed before hitting campus for the first time.

The Board of Regents requires students whose ACT sub-scores fall below 20 in math and 18 in English to take remedial courses prior to entry into college-level courses.

The new partnership will allow students to complete remedial coursework before entering one of the Board of Regents’ institutions.

“We’re excited about this partnership and the opportunity it creates for students,” said South Dakota Secretary of Education Dr. Melody Schopp. “This initiative supports our core mission of ensuring students are college-, career- and life-ready when they exit K-12.”

The new program, available through the South Dakota Virtual School, uses a diagnostic assessment to generate online coursework tailored specifically to each student’s needs. The Board of Regents will honor successful completion of the tailored coursework, allowing students who successfully complete the coursework to enter directly into college-level courses.

The online remedial courses are scheduled to be available to students beginning in January 2013, and will be offered in both 10-week and 12-month options. Students must register for the courses through their local school district, similar to other online courses offered through the South Dakota Virtual School. The cost of any coursework would be the responsibility of the student and his or her family.

“Research shows that students who graduate from high school ready for college-level work are more likely to be retained and to successfully graduate from college,” said Jack Warner, the regents’ executive director and CEO. “Not only is this a win for the state, it’s also a win for students and their parents, who save time and several hundred dollars in costs if the student can avoid remedial classes.”

For more information, visit the South Dakota Virtual School website.


Remediation Partnership Overview
Curriculum Specialist Erin Larsen discusses a new remediation partnership with the Board of Regents. Find out how this effort will save students time and money as they transition to postsecondary.