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SD Department of Education
March 2021  
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Tiffany Sanderson SECRETARY’S COLUMN:
Help re-imagine education in South Dakota

The South Dakota Department of Education seeks 30 school leadership teams to join a three-year colloquium to help re-imagine education in South Dakota. Hear from Secretary Sanderson about this great opportunity.

State assessment window opens March 8

The testing window for ELA, math, science, and science alternate is March 8-May 7. The testing window for ELA and math alternate is March 15-April 30. South Dakota has applied for a waiver to NOT test science this year; however, that waiver has not yet been approved by the U.S. Department of Education. Therefore, districts need to proceed with preparing to administer these assessments. If anything changes regarding the science assessment, the department will alert schools ASAP.

605 Strong offering mental health sessions for educators in March

605 Strong is a partnership of the South Dakota Department of Social Services, Department of Health, Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota, and the 211 Helpline Center. Throughout March, the program is offering virtual mental health sessions specifically for educators.

Apply for Workforce Education Grants by March 31

Workforce Education Grants provide school districts and private, nonprofit entities who provide specialized training in South Dakota the opportunity to make transformative change in career and technical education programs. Grant applications are due March 31.

Plan for students to participate in SD Week of Work

The South Dakota Week of Work will take place April 19-23, with many activities being held virtually, including live panel discussions with business and industry leaders from across the state. Resources are now available on the Schools page of the Week of Work website to help educators and 10th and 11th grade students prepare for an engaging week of activities aimed at exploring career opportunities.

Governor and Teachers

Award-winning SD teachers honored in Pierre

2021 South Dakota Teacher of the Year Amanda Hargreaves and Regional Teacher of the Year winners Luke Erfman, Lisa Weier, Spencer Cody, and Marissa Whipple were in Pierre Feb. 5. They had an opportunity to visit with the Governor and be recognized by both the House and Senate chambers for their work. Kudos to these outstanding teachers!

Taking public comment until March 3: ESEA fiscal waiver
The South Dakota Department of Education is taking public comment on a fiscal waiver related to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Find more information on the Department of Education’s Title Programs webpage. The deadline to submit public comment is March 3, 2021, 5 p.m. CT.
Apply Now Apply for social studies standards revision workgroup by March 31

South Dakota K-12 educators are invited to apply to participate in this summer’s K-12 social studies content standards review and revision. South Dakota core content standards are reviewed and revised every seven years.


Resources supporting OSEU instruction being released weekly
The Department of Education has begun to distribute new resources for K-12 teachers to support instruction of the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards. Resources are released weekly, organized by OSEU standard. These resources are housed on the South Dakota Office of Indian Education website.
SDPB Early Learning Initiative to help prepare children for kindergarten

The South Dakota Public Broadcasting Early Learning Initiative is intended to help prepare children for kindergarten. Each week PBS is sharing activities that are aligned with the South Dakota Early Learning Guidelines. These include activities in social and emotional development, language, math, science, the arts, and health and physical development.

Arlington and Cedar Grove Colony elementary schools honored at national conference

Arlington Elementary and Cedar Grove Colony Elementary (Platte) are among 57 U.S. schools named 2020 National ESEA Distinguished Schools. They were recently honored at the National ESEA Conference held virtually this year. Congratulations to these outstanding schools!

Carson Block offering library technology trainings March 25, 26

Carson Block of Carson Block Consulting, Inc. will provide library technology trainings March 25 and March 26 at the State Library (and virtually). The training on March 26 will focus on Native American schools and reservation issues concerning bandwidth as well as Native American student access to the internet via area libraries and branches.

Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

Family Engagement Toolkit Course
Self-paced, online

How to Use Your Summative ELA or Math Data
March 2, 1-2 p.m. CT
March 4, 10-11 a.m. CT

Social Emotional Learning Series (elementary)
March 4, March 11, March 18

Social Emotional Learning Series (middle and high school)
March 8, March 15

Functional Behavior Assessments to Behavior Support Planning
March 9, April 7, April 21

Supporting Student Mental Health through Social Emotional Learning
March 10, April 13, April 30

South Dakota Special Education Conference
March 16-17

SD-STARS training – Special education communities menu
March 23

Board of Education Standards
March 26

2021 SD Driver Education Instructor Training Conference
March 26-27, Pierre

SDDOE Spring User Group Training
March 30

South Dakota Early Childhood Education Conference
April 8-10

TIE Conference
April 18-19, online

Save the Date: SD Education Conference
May 24-28, online

Save the Date: Multi-tiered System of Supports Summer Education Conference
June 29-30

ExCITE for school librarians
July, online (asynchronous and synchronous sessions throughout the month)

Save the Date: CTE Conference
July 25-27, Watertown

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