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SD Department of Education
May 2020  
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SECRETARY’S COLUMN: Looking ahead to starting well

As I would in any other May, I want to commend you for your hard work and dedication to students as the school year comes to a close.

Of course, this isn’t just any May. We’re in the midst of a crisis that won’t afford you the rest and relaxation you deserve heading into the summer months. But please know that we at the South Dakota Department of Education continue to stand ready to support you, as you think about what the next school year can look like.

We are developing guidance to assist you in this planning process. We will provide the leadership you need while also staying out of your way, so that you can do what only you can do best: respond well to your students’ unique needs and circumstances.

The unknowns we all face as we move forward can feel overwhelming, but the leadership and capability I have witnessed over these past few months give me great confidence that you will continue to meet all the challenges before you.

This summer will be stressful and hectic, but like every summer that has come before, it will also include a great deal of sunshine and warm weather. If you haven’t already, please take the time to develop a strong self-care plan that gives you time to enjoy the opportunities summer provides. It will hold you in good stead as you continue to lead your students in the coming school year.

The questions are many, but the answers continue to be grounded in what is best for students. I know that is what will guide us all.


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