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SD Department of Education Feb. 2016  
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Photo of Joe Dalton, SD CTE Teacher of the Year
How many ways can students use this?

South Dakota CTE Teacher of the Year Joe Dalton is an explorer. A graduate of Lake Area Technical Institute, he was a maintenance operator for the City of Watertown for 12 years. As his family grew, he frequently found himself volunteer coaching and discovered he liked working with kids. Curious and ready for a change in his work life, he took a couple education classes at the local Mount Marty campus.

Dalton had found his new frontier: teaching. He eventually took a job with Northeast Technical High School, a multidistrict school in Watertown. And to call it a 'frontier' is no exaggeration. The exploratory CTE program he was to lead didn't yet exist. "We teach 16 career clusters at Northeast," Dalton says. "School administrators gave me a sheet of paper with one idea behind each cluster and said, 'After that, you can come up with what you want.'"

That was seven years ago. Dalton headed to a cabin in northern Minnesota for a working family vacation of fishing and planning. The result was four classes aimed at freshmen and sophomores: Careers that Build, Working with People, Science Technology and Business Technology.

As part of the education and training unit, students in Dalton's Working with People class are preparing to teach lessons to 6th graders. He uses his own experience to encourage their creativity, explaining that the plan he developed that first summer was about the size of a magazine. Now it's more like a novel. "You build on it every year," he says. "You find a technique that works better and get rid of what you started with. You're always adapting and trying to find something new or better."

Last fall, Dalton tried something new with his Business Technology class by having students participate in the BIG Idea Competition in which they developed businesses, complete with marketing plans, logos and more.

As the weather warms, Dalton looks forward to getting Careers that Build students outside for their architecture/construction unit. Every year students build a garden shed and sell it for the cost of materials. They also take requests. This year, they'll build a chicken coop for a member of the community, and a variety of houses for birds at the Bramble Park Zoo.

In Science Technology, Dalton turns the traditional egg drop into a 10-level gauntlet. Students create containers using no metal, no glass, and weighing no more than four pounds. The containers must withstand everything from a toss in the air, to the swing of a baseball bat, to the smash of a cinder block and finally, level 10: a blow from a sledgehammer.

If the egg activity piques students' interest, the learning experience comes full circle when a Watertown engineer who has helped design Honda four-wheeler frames talks to the class, helping them see engineering at work. Speakers and business tours are vital components of Dalton's courses. "Any time you call business people in the community, they’re more than happy to give their time," he says. "They were a kid at one time, and they know how beneficial it is for their community."

Most educators have heard the exasperated question, When am I ever gonna use this? Dalton turns the question into opportunity: How many ways can students use this?

stock photo of work group

DOE seeking individuals to serve on standards work groups

Beginning this summer, South Dakota will review standards in several content areas, including math, English language arts, and several CTE career clusters. The South Dakota Department of Education is seeking individuals from across the state to participate in this process.


CTE logo - Learning that works for South Dakota

Celebrate CTE Month

February is Career and Technical Education Month. Check out the Department of Education's CTE Month webpage throughout the month for stories about CTE teachers and other fun updates. The department is also hosting weekly webinars about great things happening in CTE.


Not using the Digital Library yet? You’re missing out!

South Dakota educators working on the Smarter Balanced Digital Library

Myth: The Smarter Balanced Digital Library [http://www.smarterbalanced.org/k-12-education/teachers/] is only for teachers whose students take the Smarter Balanced statewide assessment, so it's no help to me if I don't teach math or English language arts in grades 3-8 or 11.

Fact: The Digital Library [http://www.smarterbalanced.org/k-12-education/teachers/] is part of the Smarter Balanced Assessment System. Smarter Balanced is more than the statewide summative assessment. The Digital Library is an online collection of formative assessment resources available at no cost to South Dakota K-12 educators. It contains resources for all K-12 educators, not just those who teach tested subjects and grade levels.

digital library resources screenshot

Most South Dakota educators already have access to the Digital Library. Any teacher unsure of his/her username and password is encouraged to check with his/her school's assessment coordinator.

The Digital Library contains 2,700 high quality instructional and professional learning resources contributed by educators for educators, and it's growing. Resources are sortable by standard, grade, subject area and a number of other parameters. All resources are strictly vetted by trained members of a State Network of Educators (SNEs) across the country. A checkmark in the top right corner of a resource card (pictured above) indicates a resource has been posted with distinction, meaning it received the highest recommendation from all SNEs.

In January, seven South Dakota educators who are trained members of the State Network of Educators traveled to Portland, Ore., for a three-day workshop where they worked with educators from across the country. They submitted and reviewed resources for the Digital Library and were involved in creating playlists that will be available soon. Smarter Balanced is continually working to make the Digital Library more user friendly. Users can provide feedback on resources and navigability of the library.

"The Digital Library is loaded with instructional resources in ELA and math, but other content areas are also available," says Jonathan Nesladek with the South Dakota Department of Education's Division of Assessment and Accountability. "Smarter Balanced continues to expand the Digital Library to include more items for social studies, science, world languages, physical education and other areas. 'Illustrative Mathematics' and 'Supporting Students with Disabilities' series are also available for use with students with disabilities and English language learners."

Any South Dakota educator interested in learning how to submit and review items is invited to contact Jonathan Nesladek at jonathan.nesladek@state.sd.us or (605) 773-3426. Smarter Balanced provides training and plans to host two national workshops annually, like the one held recently in Portland, Ore.

graphic of stepping up to lightbulb

DOE providing SLO Refresher workshops statewide March through June

SLO Refresher workshops are for all teachers, whether or not they’ve attended an SLO training in the past. Participants will discover the power of analyzing baseline data and how this frequently missed step can drive creation of a truly meaningful SLO.


Video Thumbnail of Teacher of the Year and Milken Educator award Winners

Teacher of the Year and Milken Educator honored during legislative session

South Dakota Teacher of the Year Sarah Lutz and Milken Educator Award winner Gina Benz were recognized in both houses of the state legislature in January. We sat down to talk with them.


Career and Technical Student Organizations' Legislative Shadow Day

Pierre celebrates CTSO Legislative Shadow Day

As part of the Career and Technical Education Month celebration, nearly 40 student leaders came to Pierre Feb. 10-11, for the South Dakota Career and Technical Student Organizations' Legislative Shadow Day.


stock image of clock on calendar

CTE program applications for SY 2016-17 due March 1

Applications are available now for districts interested in adding or expanding approved Career and Technical Education programs in the 2016-17 school year.

Establishing approved CTE programs offers students coursework that allows them to seek meaningful and robust Personal Learning Plans. In addition, students can use the courses to meet requirements for both graduation and the South Dakota Opportunity Scholarship. Approved CTE programs that seek to continually improve and support the aims of Career and Technical Education/Perkins are also eligible for the following:

  • Perkins funds
  • State and federal grants (when available)
  • Student organization membership (DECA, FBLA, FCCLA, FFA, SkillsUSA)
  • Technical support and professional development

Applications [https://apps.sd.gov/DP42LaunchPad/Logon.aspx] for approved CTE programs must be submitted to the Department of Education by March 1. Contact your Regional CTE Specialist with any questions and to obtain application logon information. Click here [http://doe.sd.gov/octe/perkins.aspx] for more details, including directions for completing applications.

S D R S P logo

Scholarship available from SD Retired School Personnel

South Dakota Retired School Personnel (formerly SD Retired Teachers Association) offer scholarships to South Dakota teachers seeking advanced degrees or national certification. Find more information on the SDRSP website: http://www.sdrta.net/scholarship.html. The deadline to apply is April 5.


How to REACH those you TEACH
Webinars for general educators

Feb. 29: Behaviors and Behavior Plans
March 14: Autism Spectrum Disorder

In South Dakota, 70% of students with disabilityies spend 80% or more of their day in the general classroom

The Office of Special Education is excited to offer webinars specifically designed for general educators to help them reach all the students in their classrooms. Over the past year the office received a number of requests from teachers and administrators asking for professional development in assisting with students with disabilities who are integrated in the general classroom. Participants will learn tips, tricks and the basics of special education.

Registration is closed; however, educators can still view webinars without being registered. (Note: Participants will not receive the two contact hours unless they registered prior to, and attended the Jan. 11 webinar.)

Webinars begin at 3:30 p.m. CST. A computer with Internet access and a phone line will be needed. Find more information at GoSignMeUp [https://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/public/calendar]. Contact Wendy Trujillo [wendy.trujillo@state.sd.us], South Dakota Department of Education, at (605) 773-8071 with questions.

Disability Training and Differentiated Instruction webinars have already been held, and recordings can be found on the Department of Education website [http://www.doe.sd.gov/oess/SPED-webinars.aspx]. Future "How to REACH those you TEACH" webinar recordings will be posted within one week after the training.

SLO Refresher Trainings for Teachers
March-June, various locations statewide

SLO Refresher Trainings are for all teachers, whether or not they’ve attended an SLO training in the past. Learn about updates and SLO best practices from trainers who have worked with SLOs for several years and have assisted hundreds of teachers across South Dakota in developing, revising and editing SLOs in all content areas and grade levels.

Participants will discover the power of analyzing baseline data and how this frequently missed step can drive creation of a truly meaningful SLO. Trainers will share strategies and best practices for SLO goal setting, which can be one of the most challenging parts of the SLO. Participants are encouraged to bring a current SLO or other materials and assessments to get a jump start on developing a great SLO for 2016-17.


Board of Education
March 14, Rapid City

The South Dakota Board of Education will meet at 9 a.m. MDT in the Dakota Hall Lecture Room at Western Dakota Technical Institute, 800 Mickelson Drive, in Rapid City. The third of four public hearings will be held on proposed career and technical education standards in several career clusters. An agenda will be posted on the Boards and Commissions portal [http://boardsandcommissions.sd.gov/Meetings.aspx?BoardID=32] at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting.

TIE Conference
April 10-12, Sioux Falls

Don't miss the 30th Annual TIE Conference!

Over the past 29 years, TIE has evolved from being the forerunner in sharing technology innovation with educators to meeting the current needs of technology integration, curriculum mandates, improved student achievement and effective assessment and evaluation.

Find registration information and more at www.conference.tie.net.

Save the Date! 2016 Summer Education Conference
June 28-29, Chamberlain

This year's conference will focus on explicit instruction with keynote speaker Dr. Anita Archer. Read more about Dr. Archer on this shareable flyer [http://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/zebra/news/16/Feb/2016-SummerEdConf.pdf].

Registration will open in March. More information will be available on the Department of Education's Multi-Tiered Systems of Support webpage [http://doe.sd.gov/oess/mtss.aspx].

Top 20 Training
July 18-19, Rapid City
July 20-21, Sioux Falls

Top 20 Training is back in South Dakota, and it’s free. This is a one-of-a-kind professional development opportunity that will be a difference maker for educators and students. Top 20 Training is geared to help educators, no matter the grade level of their students. Concepts help teachers and students build better relationships and experiences in the classroom.

Find more information at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/]. Search by course title.

A complete listing of events is available at GoSignMeUp [http://southdakota.gosignmeup.com/].

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