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SD Department of Education
Oct. 2020  
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Dr. Jones SECRETARY’S COLUMN: K-12 Connect program launches
Face-to-face learning is best, but when distance learning is necessary, access is crucial. I hope you will help us spread the word about the K-12 Connect program, which provides free internet service to those students whose families cannot afford internet connectivity in their homes.

Governor Noem announces K-12 Connect
Governor Kristi Noem has announced the launch of K-12 Connect, a program to provide internet service at no cost to eligible K-12 students in their homes for the remainder of the 2020-21 school year.

Applications now open: Teaching Online Certificate
One teacher – with administrator approval and letter of reference – from each attendance center in every accredited K-12 school system (public, non-public, tribal/BIE) may now apply for the opportunity to take coursework to earn the Quality Matters© Teaching Online Certificate. Cohorts will begin January 2021.

Call for nominations: U.S. Presidential Scholars
The South Dakota Department of Education is seeking candidates for the state’s nominations for U.S. Presidential Scholars. The program was established by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964, and since that time, has honored more than 7,600 outstanding high school seniors. Nomination deadline: Nov. 2.
Teacher of the Year Hargreaves selected as 2021 South Dakota Teacher of the Year
Amanda Hargreaves, a sixth-grade teacher at Mitchell Middle School, has been named the 2021 South Dakota Teacher of the Year. Secretary of Education Ben Jones made the announcement recently at a special virtual event.
Blue Ribbon Three SD schools named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020
Across the country, 317 public schools and 50 private schools have been named National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020. The recognition is based on a school’s overall academic performance or progress in closing achievement gaps among student subgroups. Honorees will be celebrated at a virtual awards ceremony on Nov. 12-13. Congratulations to these South Dakota honorees!
  • Canistota Elementary
  • Timber Lake Middle School
  • Webster Area Elementary
2019-20 Report Card released

The 2019-20 Report Card has launched. One highlight was an increase in the College and Career Readiness indicator. Seventy-three percent of students hit the Coursework Readiness mark, compared to 68 percent last year. The High School Completion rate was up three percentage points (to 93 percent). Graduation Rate stayed steady at 84 percent. No indicators that rely on assessment data were available this year.
Congratulations to 21st Century School Library awardees

The South Dakota State Library celebrates the 2020 recipients of the 21st Century School Library Award! The 21st Century School Library Award recognizes school libraries as Effective, Enhanced, or Exemplary, based on performance in three areas: place, which refers to the learning environment (both physical and online), programming, and the professional. Award status is valid for a three-year period.

Bossman State Librarian Daria Bossman honored

Congratulations to State Librarian Daria Bossman! The South Dakota Humanities Council recently honored Bossman with the 2020 Distinguished Achievement Award. Bossman also received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Emporia State University.

resources/needs October is Dyslexia Awareness Month

The Dyslexia Handbook for Teachers and Parents in South Dakota is available to help parents and educators learn more about dyslexia and includes additional resources for teachers to access if they suspect a student may have dyslexia. Visit our Dyslexia webpage for the dyslexia handbook, a brochure, and many other dyslexia resources.
E-rate trainings being held virtually

E-rate trainings are being presented in two-hour modules through mid-December. Each module corresponds to a particular step of the E-rate application cycle. Trainings are differentiated for novice, veteran, and general audiences. Sessions begin with a presentation followed by Q&A. Session recordings will be posted on DOE’s E-rate webpage. Please register via this Survey Monkey link.

  Nominate outstanding biology teachers

Congratulations to last year’s Outstanding Biology Teacher Award recipient Lisa Fuccello (Brandon Valley High School)! Nominate a great science teacher in your district for the Outstanding Biology Teacher Award. The award is sponsored by the National Association of Biology Teachers and honors teachers of the life sciences. Nominees will have until March 31 to complete their application for the award.

Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

SD-STARS training – Exploring Attendance Data
Oct. 27, online

Top 20 online session: Following our North Star
Nov. 10

Board of Education Standards
Nov. 16, Sioux Falls

SD-STARS training – Analyzing Quantitative Student Data
Nov. 18, online

Special Education – Legal Issues Related to Bullying, Restraint and Seclusion
Nov. 18, online

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