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SD Department of Education
March 2021  

TEACHER FEATURE: Dell Rapids mentoring pair weathers tough year together
Applications are open for the Statewide Mentoring Program for the 2021-22 school year. Dell Rapids Elementary teachers Sherry Koopman and Kennedy Clark are nearing the conclusion of their formal mentoring relationship. They’ve learned a lot from each other over the past two years.

Vaccine K-12 teachers and staff now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination

The South Dakota Department of Health has begun using its state allocation to vaccinate the “Teachers and Other School Staff” group. According to DOH, K-12 teachers/staff are now eligible to be vaccinated by the state’s health care partners, in addition to the pharmacies that participate in the federal retail pharmacies program.

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 Governor Noem and be recognized by both the House and Senate chambers for their work. Kudos to these outstanding teachers!

Olson and Preheim named Grosvenor Teacher Fellows
South Dakota teachers Julie Olson and Kelly Preheim are among only 50 teachers from across the U.S. and Canada to be chosen as Grosvenor Teacher Fellows. Once travel conditions allow, they will take a Lindblad Expeditions’ voyage to experience natural wonders with an expedition team including marine biologists, geologists, undersea specialists, National Geographic photographers, and more.

Jennifer Fowler DOE’s science specialist receives SDSTA Distinguished Service Award

Jennifer Fowler, the South Dakota Department of Education’s science specialist, has received the Distinguished Service Award from the South Dakota Science Teachers Association. Congratulations, Jennifer! Thank you for all you do for teachers and students in our state.

Educators awarded SD Space Grant Consortium grants

Several South Dakota math and science teachers have been awarded Kelly Lane Earth and Space Science Grants and Daniel Swets Robotics Materials Awards. Congratulations to these innovative educators who were recognized at the SDSTA Virtual Science Day event in February!

SD Week of Work Register now for SD Week of Work

Registration information is now available on the 2021 Schedule page of the South Dakota Week of Work website. The 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.

apply now Seeking participants for CTE standards revision and unpacking this summer

Our Division of Career & Technical Education is inviting educators and community members to participate in content standards revision and unpacking workgroups in June. Each workgroup will include approximately 20 members, and applicants will be selected to ensure a broad representation on each workgroup. Application deadline: March 31.

Early Learning Crosswalk between early learning guidelines and kindergarten standards now available

The recently released crosswalk between the South Dakota Early Learning Guidelines and Kindergarten Content Standards is intended to improve daily instruction for those children exiting a pre-kindergarten program and entering a kindergarten program by aligning and coordinating standards across the continuum.

Globe Free virtual learning series aims to help educators support multilingual learners

WIDA Professional Learning is offering a five-part series of 30-minute on-demand learning opportunities to help educators navigate some of the nuances of teaching and supporting multilingual students this school year. South Dakota is part of the WIDA consortium, a group of states dedicated to the design and implementation of high standards and equitable educational opportunities for English learners.

Apply by May 3 to help Smarter Balanced with item development

The Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium seeks educators to participate in content development activities beginning in summer 2021. This process involves educators, researchers, policymakers, and community groups in a transparent consensus-driven process. Apply by May 3.

More resources supporting OSEU instruction now available

The Department of Education continues 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.

SFEC starts Fam Jam podcast

The South Dakota Statewide Family Engagement Center started The Fam Jam podcast to bring together schools, families, and community members to discuss tricky topics in supporting students. Some tricky topics include the importance of attendance, mental wellness, and communication. Listen via the Fam Jam podcast webpage and follow SFEC on Facebook and on Twitter.

Upcoming Events

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp.

Family Engagement Toolkit Course
Self-paced, online

K-12 social studies webinar series:

Social Emotional Learning Series (elementary)
March 18

ESL teacher webinars
March 22: Let’s Talk Collaboration
April 26: Let’s Talk SEL

Effective Instruction Series

  • Nonlinguistic Representations
    March 26
  • Growth Mindset, Effort, and Perseverance
    April 9

Board of Education Standards
March 26

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

South Dakota Early Childhood Education Conference
April 8-10

TIE Conference
April 18-19, online

2021 South Dakota History Conference
April 23-24, online

C3 Framework webinars for K-12 social studies teachers
Session 1: Using C3 Standards, Inquiry, and State Standards to Develop Curriculum
April 27 (elementary)
April 29 (middle/high school)

Session 2: Informed Action and End Products
May 4 (elementary)
May 6 (middle/high school)

Session 3: How to Create Compelling and Supporting Questions
May 11 (elementary)
May 13 (middle/high school)

Session 4: Applying and Assessing Disciplinary Concepts and Skills
May 18 (elementary)
May 20 (middle/high school)

Session 5: Finding Credible Sources and Integrating Them into Inquiry-Based Lesson Plans
May 25 (elementary)
May 27 (middle/high school)

Registration open now! SD Education Conference
May 24-28, online

Multi-tiered System of Supports Summer Education Conference
June 29-30

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

Foundational Mathematics for grades K-5
July 19-20, Fort Pierre

Best Practices in Teaching the SD Math Standards
July 21, Fort Pierre

CTE Conference
July 25-27, Watertown

Foundational Reading Sessions for grades 4-8
July 28-29, Fort Pierre

Foundational Reading Sessions for grades K-3
Aug. 3-5, Fort Pierre

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