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SD Department of Education
Feb. 2020  
  TEACHER FEATURE: Preparing students to be “good at life”

Nelson Frankie Nelson was recently named New Professional of the Year by the National Association of Teachers of Family and Consumer Sciences. She teaches in the Bridgewater-Emery School District.

Growing up, Nelson admired her own family and consumer sciences teacher and FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) advisor, Joan Anderson, as a woman who was “just good at life” who subsequently taught her students to be “good at life.” Now Nelson strives to do the same.

Over the course of a year, Nelson typically teaches classes addressing human development, nutrition and wellness, employability, relationships across the lifespan (she titles this class 21st Century Communication Skills, which she finds better resonates with her students), leadership and service, personal finance, teaching and training as a profession, and middle school exploratory courses. She is also the district’s FCCLA advisor.

Budgeting is engaging
Among the most popular projects Nelson assigns her students is budgeting. It’s part of her personal finance course, which is usually made up mostly of seniors. “I think they embrace the relevance because they’re so close to graduation that they understand this topic will directly impact their lives very soon,” Nelson says. “This year’s group happens to have rather expensive tastes, so they’re discovering the challenges of aligning their financial reality with some of their pricier aspirations.”

Based on student questionnaire responses, Nelson creates an imaginary profile for each student, outlining things like salary, student loan debt, savings account balance, credit card limit, etc. Students then use their profile to learn about payroll taxes, establish a budget, and search for an apartment.

Learning to cook
At a time when convenience food seems to reign, Nelson often finds students are surprised at how simple home cooking can be. She says some of this year’s students were excited to discover, “Homemade tacos are easy!”

Nelson seeks to introduce some unfamiliar foods and recipes or take novel approaches to familiar recipes, like a chicken/rice/broccoli bake that replaces rice with quinoa. Among students’ favorite recipes are tofu fruit smoothies, homemade chicken nuggets, caramel rolls, and tossed fruit salads.

Caring for others
Learning about becoming independent is important, but of course, so are students’ relationships with others. Nelson’s classes cover those too: from navigating safe and healthy dating relationships to parenting to teaching.

A popular project in this area is the 50 Ways to Show Love project, which Nelson learned from her student teaching supervisor, Naome Poppe in the Brandon Valley School District. Students come up with 50 ways a dating partner could show love (not to include intercourse). Students have gotten creative with how they present their 50 ways, from a “Deal or No Deal”-inspired posterboard filled with lift-up suitcase lids to a collection of 50 QR codes.

And students in Nelson’s Human Development course look forward to their week of parenthood. For five days, Nelson assigns each student a Real Care infant simulator, an electronic doll that mimics the needs of a real infant. The dolls cry and need to be fed, burped, changed, and rocked. Students are required to arrive at school 15 minutes early each day of that week, in order to drop off their baby at “daycare,” which is Nelson’s classroom. They pick up the child again at the end of each school day.

Nelson assigns students parenting-related projects, including a cost analysis of one month of infant care. She also has students create a baby book of their time with their infant. While students enjoy the project, Nelson says that around Wednesday of their parenting week, the “honeymoon” is over. Students are generally tired after a couple nights of poor sleep and come to the realization that parenthood and high school is a difficult combination.

Additionally, Nelson offers the Teaching and Training as a Profession course as needed. She is a strong proponent for the teaching profession and is especially joyful when a student considers going into FACS teaching.

Teens as Teachers
Bridgewater-Emery student (standing), who has participated in the Teens as Teachers program for three years. As the “veteran” Teen Teacher, she shared tips and tricks at the 2019-20 Teens as Teachers training. This program is made possible by the SD Youth Foundation.

FCCLA leads to a calling
Since she was in seventh grade, Nelson has loved participating in FCCLA activities. She traveled to the organization’s national competition for the first time when she was in eighth grade and spent a summer in Japan through the organization’s exchange program. When she graduated, she wondered to herself, how could I become an FCCLA advisor for a living?

“Why don’t you study to become a family and consumer sciences teacher?” That simple question from Julie Bell, a former state advisor for FCCLA, set Nelson on the path to her dream job.

Now she enjoys helping students in Bridgewater-Emery’s FCCLA chapter facilitate such projects as trick-or-treating to benefit the Bridgewater Food Pantry and a Teen Teachers program through which her students teach Healthy YOUth or Character Counts curriculum to elementary students. Her students also complete a variety of individual service projects every year.

“As an educator, it’s valuable to have ready-made rubrics from FCCLA to use in my classroom that are already aligned to standards,” Nelson says. “I try to incorporate specific FCCLA projects into my classes, and I try to incorporate projects into classes that FCCLA members can use for their competitive events.”

Bridgewater-Emery FCCLA members assemble and label cookie-in-a-jar mixes to donate to the Bridgewater Food Pantry.


Student leaders visit Capitol as part of CTE Month celebrations

It’s National Career and Technical Education Month. As part of the celebration, 37 student leaders came to Pierre Feb. 4-5, for the South Dakota Career and Technical Student Organizations’ Legislative Shadow Day. Activities included a social for students, legislators, cabinet members, and state agency staff. Students also attended committee meetings and observed House and Senate floor sessions.

Read more at https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2020/0206-CTSO.pdf.

Public comment window open for Perkins V State Plan

South Dakota’s proposed State Plan for the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (Perkins V) is now open for public comment. Perkins V is the federal law overseeing funding of career and technical education. View the proposed State Plan on the department’s Perkins V webpage [https://doe.sd.gov/cte/perkinsv.aspx]. Look for the State Plan Draft for Public Comment link.

Public comment can be submitted in two ways: via email to DOECTE@state.sd.us or via regular mail to South Dakota Department of Education, Attention: Laura Scheibe, 800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501. The deadline to submit public comment on the State Plan is March 5, 5 p.m. CT.

The public comment window for Accountability Indicators related to the State Plan is also open.

Since January 2019, the South Dakota Department of Education has been gathering input and holding targeted school and stakeholder discussions to develop the State Plan.

Apply Now Need to renew your certificate this year? Applications due July 1

Educators whose certificates expire July 1 of this year are strongly encouraged to submit their renewal applications as soon as possible. Early application ensures optimal processing. Processing time is typically eight weeks, but during the summer months, may exceed 10 weeks. By waiting too long, teachers risk not having their certificate updated before the start of the school year. Credits for your next renewal cannot be earned until your certificate has been issued.

  • Tips for completing renewal applications [https://doe.sd.gov/certification/WhichApp2.aspx]
State regulations require teachers, administrators, and education specialists whose certificates have become invalid to obtain six university-transcripted credits to renew.

The Teacher 411 system at http://teacher411.sd.gov lists information from teachers' certification records, including the expiration date and teaching assignments that teachers are qualified to accept. For more information or to apply online, visit the Department of Education's Educator Certification webpage [https://doe.sd.gov/certification/]. Questions can be directed to certification@state.sd.us.

Office of Educator Certification hours of operation (Monday through Friday):

  • Certification staff processes applications daily from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Central
  • Certification staff responds to emails and phone calls daily from 8 – 10 a.m. and 3 – 5 p.m. Central

SD Suicide Prevention New Statewide Suicide Prevention Plan released

DOE is a partner agency in creating a statewide suicide prevention plan with an aim to prevent, intervene, and respond to crises related to suicide. The Suicide Prevention Plan [http://sdsuicideprevention.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/SD_SuicidePreventionPlan_2020-2025-1.pdf], Priority Strategies [http://sdsuicideprevention.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/SD_SuicidePrevention_2020Strategies.pdf] and Call to Action [http://sdsuicideprevention.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/SD_SuicidePrevention_CallToAction.pdf] are posted on the state’s Suicide Prevention website [http://sdsuicideprevention.org/]. A top-priority education-related item is providing a model crisis policy [https://afsp.org/our-work/education/model-school-policy-suicide-prevention/]. Find more information on DOE’s Mental Health webpage [https://doe.sd.gov/mentalhealth/].


Mentoring Summer Academy presentation proposals due Feb. 28

The Department of Education is seeking proposals for breakout sessions at the 2020 Mentoring Summer Academy. More than 850 new teachers and mentors who are participating in the statewide mentoring program will attend this event scheduled for June 3-4 in Sioux Falls.

The purpose of the Mentoring Summer Academy is to provide a time of celebration, reflection, and professional development. Presenters will be reimbursed travel expenses and will receive $150 per session for their work. The Mentoring Summer Academy will be held in Sioux Falls at the Denny Sanford Premier Center June 3-4, with the breakout sessions on June 4.

Proposals are due by Feb. 28. Find more information on the Proposal Application page [https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sdSummerAcademy20].

History Teacher of the Year
2019 History Teacher of the Year Scott Beehler (right)
State Historical Society looking for SD’s History Teacher of the Year

Nominations are being accepted for the 2020 South Dakota K-12 History Teacher of the Year, one of the Governor's Awards for History coordinated by the South Dakota State Historical Society. The society seeks to pay tribute to a teacher who excels in teaching the history of South Dakota. All elementary and secondary teachers are eligible.

Nominations need to be submitted on an official nomination form, which can be found on the State Historical Society’s Events & Educational Opportunities webpage [https://history.sd.gov/aboutus/eventsanded.aspx] by clicking on “Nomination Form.” Completed nominations must be received by Feb. 24. Nominated teachers will be asked to fill out an application form that needs to be returned by March 19.

The Governor's Awards for History will be presented Saturday, April 25, during the awards luncheon at the State Historical Society’s annual history conference in Pierre.

If you have questions, please contact Jeff Mammenga, awards coordinator, at Jeff.Mammenga@state.sd.us or 605-773-6000.

Gov. Noem appoints Heineman and Westra to Board of Education Standards

Governor Kristi Noem has appointed Phyllis Heineman and Julie Westra, both of Sioux Falls, to the South Dakota Board of Education Standards. Heineman is a former teacher, who served in the state legislature from 1999-2008 and from 2011-2016. Westra served three years on the Sioux Falls School Board and has also served on the South Dakota Professional Administrators Practices and Standards Commission.

Read more at https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2020/0122-BOES.pdf.

SD State Historical Society State Historical Society holding essay contest for fourth graders

The State Historic Preservation Office of the South Dakota State Historical Society in Pierre is holding an essay contest for fourth-grade students. Prizes will be awarded to the top three essays during Archaeology and Historic Preservation Month, which is celebrated in May.

The essay contest aims to expose students to an appreciation of their state’s historic places, the stories they tell, and why they should be preserved for future generations, according to Jay D. Vogt, director of the State Historical Society.

With the theme of “This Place Matters,” students are asked to write a 100-400 word essay about any South Dakota location that is at least 50 years old, why it is a favorite place for them, and why it should be preserved. It does not need to be a historic site and writing a history of the location is not necessary.

“We look forward to sponsoring this contest and seeing what places and stories students tell us about,” said Vogt. “Our goal is for students to achieve a better understanding of their history and culture.”

The contest entry deadline is Friday, March 13. Entries will be judged on quality of writing, content and theme, and originality of thought. Prizes will be awarded for first, second, and third places.

The first-place winner will receive a $100 cash prize and a one-year family membership to the South Dakota State Historical Society (a $50 value). The second-place winner will receive a $75 cash prize and a one-year family membership to the society. The third-place winner will receive a $50 cash prize and a one-year family membership to the society.

The winning entries will be posted on the society’s website at history.sd.gov/preservation during the month of May. Winners from 2019 are currently featured.

Additional information, including complete guidelines and an entry form, are posted on the website. Questions may be directed to Cindy Snow at 605-773-2907 or Cindy.Snow@state.sd.us.

Watch Video
Build Dakota Scholarship applications open until April 15

Build Dakota Scholarship applications are open until April 15. This scholarship covers tuition and fees, books, equipment, and other related program expenses in high-need workforce programs at South Dakota’s four technical institutes. Scholarship recipients must commit to stay in South Dakota to work in their field of study for three years following graduation. Learn more at builddakotascholarships.com.

Presidential Awards Nominate a great math or science teacher for Presidential honor

The Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching program was established in 1983 by the White House and is sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The award is the nation’s highest honor for math and science (including computer science) teachers. The program identifies outstanding math and science teachers in all 50 states and four U.S. jurisdictions.

Awardees each receive a $10,000 award, a paid trip for two to Washington, D.C., to attend a week-long series of networking opportunities and recognition events, and a special citation signed by the President of the United States.

This year’s cycle will recognize outstanding teachers in grades K-6. Please take the time to nominate an outstanding math and/or science (including computer science) teacher for this prestigious award. Nominations can be completed online at www.paemst.org. Submit your nomination by March 1, 2020.

Nominees then have until May 1 to complete their applications.

In addition, applicants can earn three CEUs at the same time. To be eligible, a PAEMST candidate must complete all components of the application process and submit a scorable application that can be sent on to the state selection committee. All applicants submitting a scorable application will earn credit, not just the state finalists whose materials get sent on to a national selection panel.

The PAEMST application consists of three components: Administrative, Narrative, and Video. The components allow the applicant to provide evidence of deep content knowledge and exemplary pedagogical skills that result in improved student learning. After eligibility is confirmed and technical specifications are met, each application will be evaluated using the following five Dimensions of Outstanding Teaching:

  • Mastery of math or science content appropriate for the grade level taught
  • Use of instructional methods and strategies that are appropriate for students in the class and that support student learning
  • Effective use of student assessments to evaluate, monitor, and improve student learning
  • Reflective practice and lifelong learning to improve teaching and student learning
  • Leadership in education outside the classroom
Questions? Please contact:
  • Allen Hogie, SD PAEMST Mathematics Coordinator, Allen.Hogie@k12.sd.us
  • Jennifer Fowler, SD PAEMST Science Coordinator, Jennifer.Fowler@k12.sd.us

SD State Fair Deadline extended: State Fair invites teachers to submit student work by June 1

Teachers are invited to highlight their students’ best work in art, literature, and photography at the 2020 South Dakota State Fair. The work must be from the 2019-20 school year, and entries must be submitted by June 1 accompanied by this entry form [http://www.sdstatefair.com/assets/docs/uploads/2020-Books-and-Entry-Forms/2020-ed-entry-form.pdf]. This deadline was previously April 16.

"South Dakota’s Largest Classroom" will again be part of the State Fair in 2020. Learn more about this program on the State Fair website [http://www.sdstatefair.com/special-events/all/sds-largest-classroom].

More information on all of these educational opportunities is available in the 2020 South Dakota State Fair Education Book [http://www.sdstatefair.com/assets/docs/uploads/2020-Books-and-Entry-Forms/education-book-2020.pdf]. There is also a waiver in the Education book that must be signed by the parent if entering work from a child on an Individual Education Plan.

Upcoming Events

Except where otherwise noted, details on the following events are available at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/].

Spring 2020 Book Studies via South Dakota Statewide Title III & Migrant Consortia
Registration open until March 15

Title Programs webinars
3:30-4:30 p.m. CT
Feb. 27 – Executive Dysfunction
March 10 – Build It and They Will Come K-12
March 26 – Mindfulness
April 6 – How to Prevent Summer Slide K-5
April 23 – STEM in a Bag

Introduction to the School Library Standards course
March 1-April 1

SDMyLife Grade Level Lesson & Series Wrap Up webinar
March 11, 10-11 a.m. CT
March 11, 3-4 p.m. CT

See It In Action! Day – Rural CTE Programs
March 11, Webster

Board of Education Standards
March 16, Mitchell [https://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Meetings.aspx?BoardID=32]

Strengthening relationships with all families with an emphasis on EL/Migrant families
March 17, Sioux Falls

TIE Conference
April 19-21, Sioux Falls

South Dakota Early Childhood Education Conference
April 23-25, Sioux Falls

Looking Back on South Dakota History with 20/20 Vision
State Historical Society History Conference
April 24-25, Pierre

SD Education Conference
May 27-28, Oacoma

Save the Date: Top 20 Training
July 28-30, Chamberlain

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

Save the Date: Indian Education Summit & Conference
Oct. 15-17, Pierre

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