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SD Department of Education
May 2020  

TEACHER FEATURE: Congratulations to District and Regional Teachers of the Year!
Districts were invited to submit the names of their Teachers of the Year to the South Dakota Department of Education. Those teachers could then apply for Regional Teacher of the Year, one of whom will be named State Teacher of the Year in the fall. Congratulations to all District and Regional Teachers of the Year!
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Wookiye First cohort of Wóokiye teachers selected

The first cohort of participants in the Wóokiye Project has been announced. Beginning this summer, this initiative, supported through a Bush Foundation grant, will be an opportunity for these South Dakota educators to create and implement a network of support that will help, aid, and assist them as they become proficient in using the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards.
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Knebel Special education staff honored

Congratulations to Basil Knebel, Langford Area School District, who has received the Outstanding Special Education Staff Award! Nine other individuals were also nominated by parents for Special Education Staff of the Year.
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Robert Cordts Cordts named History Teacher of the Year

Congratulations to Madison High School history teacher Robert Cordts! The South Dakota State Historical Society has named Cordts the 2020 History Teacher of the Year. This honor is one of the annual Governor’s Awards for History.

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SDPB SDPB features distinguished educators’ tips for flex learning

Several of South Dakota’s award-winning teachers recently appeared on South Dakota Public Broadcasting’s “In the Moment” with Lori Walsh to share their insight on how parents can help their students with learning at home. Kudos to Amanda Harris, Erica Boomsma, and Lori Wagner for sharing this useful information!

Fuccello Fuccello named 2020 SD Outstanding Biology Teacher

Congratulations to Brandon Valley High School teacher Lisa Fuccello on being named South Dakota’s 2020 Outstanding Biology Teacher! Lisa is one of the founders of the Brandon Valley HOSA – Future Health Professionals and was awarded the 2018 Outstanding HOSA Advisor.
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Cody among winners of President’s Innovation Award for Environmental Educators

Edmunds Central School District teacher Spencer Cody is one of only seven educators across the country to receive a 2020 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators. The award honors outstanding teachers who integrate environmental and place-based, experiential learning into school curricula. Congratulations, Spencer!
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view video Tools for Teachers preview launching in June

Smarter Balanced will launch a preview of Tools for Teachers in June. South Dakota educators will have access to this brand new, higher quality suite of tools and supports that were carefully crafted to save teachers time, streamline lesson planning, and help students learn. The resources in Tools for Teachers will be available at no cost. Please also be aware that the Digital Library will be decommissioned May 28.
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Prairie Awards Prairie Awards winners announced

The 2019-20 South Dakota Children's Book Award winners have been announced. This year’s voting deadline was extended one month due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Librarians and teachers stepped up to help students in casting their votes, and more than 1,500 votes were submitted during the month of April alone. Thank you for all your hard work in making this year’s awards successful!

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Still time to sign up for mentoring program

The Statewide Mentoring Program provides a first-year teacher access to a mentor teacher for a period of two years and participation in a summer academy following the first and second year of employment. Applications for the 2020-21 school year are now open.
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Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

Please note: Due to the fluid nature of COVID-19 concerns, face-to-face meetings are subject to cancelation, postponement, or shifting to an online platform. Confirm with event organizers before making plans to attend.

English Learner Handbook Workshop
May 19, online

Diversity and the School Library
June 1-July 1

Student Sense-Making in Science
June 8-July 31, online

Introduction to IEPQ
June 16, online

The Fundamentals of Using Data for Educators
June dates TBD

Advanced Data Use Skills for Educators
June 29-Aug. 16, online

SD EPSCoR virtual PD for K-12 science teachers
June and July three-day workshops

An Introduction to the 2019 SD School Library Standards
July 1-Aug. 1

Applying the SD Science Translations
July 8, Rapid City
July 22, Sioux Falls
July 23, Watertown
July 29, Pierre

Book study kick-off sessions: Taking Action: Implementing Effective Mathematics Teaching Practices

Board of Education Standards
July 13

Foundational Mathematics Workshop
July 20-21, Pierre

Top 20 Training
July 28-30, Online

Foundational Reading Workshops
Grades 4-8: July 29-30, Pierre
Grades K-3: Aug. 3-5, Pierre

Virtual Math Coaching Kick Off
July 30, Pierre

Indian Education Summit – rescheduled and going virtual!
Aug. 10

CANCELED: ExCITE! (formerly School Library Boot Camp)
Sept. 30, Aberdeen, and online through October

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