Zebra Homepage

DOE Blog

SD Department of Education
Feb. 2019  

Photo of Bailey Coats TEACHER FEATURE:
Doland ag program thriving under Coats’ leadership

Doland High School students who aren’t part of the district’s ag program are sort of “the exception to the rule.” “In my classroom, I see almost every student in our high school each day,” says agriculture teacher Bailey Coats.

The Doland program is FFA-affiliated, meaning that any student who takes an ag class is automatically an FFA member.

“I tell my students, ‘You’re automatically an FFA member, but it’s up to you whether you choose to take advantage of it,’” Coats says. “I have some students who say they just want the class, and by the time they’re seniors, they’re some of my most active FFA members. They see what their friends are learning and doing, and before they know it, they’re in a blue jacket with everybody else.”

Coats is excited about the number of female students drawn to her classes and the fact that many of them don’t have an ag connection at home: “They may live in the country,” she says. “But they’re not seeing farming or ranching or production on a day-to-day basis, so I’m proud that we’re creating that interest.”

Before working in Doland, Coats taught at Lake Area Technical Institute for a year, an experience she finds valuable in helping prepare students for what to expect at the postsecondary level.

Strong support from alumni and community
During Coats’ first year with the district, a Doland alumnus surprised her with a $500 donation to purchase new FFA jackets for students. Over the past couple years, the district’s FFA alumni program has been growing.

“That’s probably something we’re most proud of as an FFA chapter, is the development of our alumni program,” Coats says. “They’ve been awesome as far as helping me get some different tools and grants to bring new equipment and items into our classroom.”

Among alumni activities is the prime rib dinner and auction, held the Saturday before FFA Week. In its first year, the event raised $30,000.

Other community support is also strong. With a grant from a local feedlot, Doland High School recently purchased a complete artificial insemination kit. Coats invited a guest from the feedlot to her animal science class to teach students how to do AI. The grant also covered the cost of a haybale probe so that students can learn to test the moisture level of feed.

“When it comes to animal science, kids seem to be most interested in nutrition and digestive and reproductive systems,” Coats says.

A Doland student learning about artificial insemination works with a cow uterus brought in by a guest speaker from a local feedlot.

A growing program
More and more opportunities await students who take full advantage of Doland’s ag program, which started up again in 2013, after having closed in the early 2000s.

For instance, Coats has teamed up with Melissa Knox, the high school science teacher, who runs the school’s science fair. Knox already requires students to complete a science fair project, so Coats has built on that and encouraged students to also take their projects to the FFA Agriscience Fair.

This past fall, two Doland students qualified for the National FFA Agriscience Fair in Indianapolis, Ind., with their plant science project, in which they grew soybeans and studied the impact of various natural additives on the plants’ growth.

Coats with Doland students at the National FFA Agriscience Fair in Indianapolis, Ind., fall 2018.

Another of Coats’ students was recently named a state-level finalist for this year’s FFA Star Farmer Award.

Doland offers a wide range of ag-related courses, including intro to ag, animal science, horticulture, wildlife and fisheries, ag structures (woodworking), welding, ag mechanics (plumbing and electrical), ag business and ag communications.

During the 2016-17 school year, Coats’ first year with the district, she taught ag at both the elementary and 7-12 level. It’s something the district hopes to pick up again, so that elementary students would have an ag “special,” just like they have music, P.E. and library. Coats also takes the ag program on the road, teaching classes at Hillside Colony High School.

Coats’ original career goal was to go into communications. Really, she’s done just that: a South Dakota “farm kid” who grew up outside Raymond, she’s communicating her love of agriculture and passing it on to the next generation.

Last spring, ag structures students toured a sawmill outside Sioux Falls and purchased hardwoods to construct cutting boards.

Doland FFA students organize an FFA Market twice a year at which elementary students “shop” for free, taking home fruits, vegetables and dairy products courtesy of the chapter.

Now Later 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.

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 [http://www.doe.sd.gov/oatq/teachercert.aspx]. 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

2019 CTSOs with Gov. Noem

Celebrate CTE Month

  • New! On the DOE Blog: A message from SD’s director of career and technical education [http://sddoe.blogspot.com/2019/02/celebrating-cte-month.html]
  • Students visit Pierre for CTSO Legislative Shadow Day [https://doe.sd.gov/pressroom/documents/2019/0206-CTSOs.pdf]

Educators know the importance of preparing students for college and careers. February is CTE Month, a time to celebrate career and technical education, which seeks to equip students with academic, employability and technical skills.

There are many ways to celebrate and raise awareness of CTE within schools and communities. Consider the following:

  • Share facts about CTE with this easy-to-share fact sheet [https://doe.sd.gov/cte/documents/CTE-facts.pdf]
  • Invite visitors (parents and other community members) to see your CTE program
  • Promote your CTE student organizations with a membership drive
  • Make an official proclamation recognizing February as CTE Month in your school
  • Create infographics or short videos to promote your CTE programs throughout your school

State History
Photos courtesy South Dakota State Historical Society

Learn how to bring history to life for your students

The South Dakota State Historical Society’s annual History Conference will be held April 26-27 at the Ramkota Conference Center in Pierre. This year’s theme, “New Insights Into Old Stories,” focuses on innovative historical research projects across the state. The way we discover, use and share history is continually changing. Conference attendees will hear how modern tools, techniques and resources transform our understanding of South Dakota’s history.

Check out these conference highlights:

  • Keynote address from Deborah Thomas, with the Library of Congress
  • Taylor Hamblin, an eighth grade history teacher at Georgia Morse Middle School in Pierre, will present on teaching the next generation of historians and researchers, and what it takes to get them excited about history, with examples of student projects
  • Special showing of the recently digitized “Governors’ Centennial Salute” film
  • Presentations on family history research, historical landscape modeling, digital humanities and “what lies beneath” Harvey Dunn’s famous paintings
There will also be a special History Day student poster session, where local students will have the opportunity to showcase their History Day projects and answer questions.

This annual conference draws 100 - 200 history lovers from across the state, including business professionals, educators, undergraduate and graduate students, archivists, authors and librarians. Teachers can obtain up to one renewal credit or 15 contact hours for attending. Find more information and register on the History Conference website [http://history.sd.gov/aboutus/HistoryConference].

Early registration ends March 29.


Presentation proposals for Mentoring Summer Academy
due Feb. 28

The Department of Education is seeking proposals for breakout sessions at the 2019 Mentoring Summer Academy. More than 700 new teachers and mentors who are participating in the statewide mentor program will attend this event scheduled for June 5-6 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 5-6, with the breakout sessions on June 6.

Proposals are due by Feb. 28. Find more information on the Proposal Application page [https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/SDSummerAcademy19].

english Educators invited to see English learner content instruction in action March 25

K-12 classroom teachers, content teachers, ESL teachers and administrators are invited to site visits in Huron middle and high schools and a Sioux Falls elementary school on March 25. Attendees will learn about how to engage English learners in the classroom for content and language instruction. This event is sponsored by the SD State-Wide Title III & Migrant Consortia. Choose from three locations and grade levels. Learn more and register on the Consortia website [https://www.eventbrite.com/o/sd-state-wide-title-iii-amp-migrant-consortia-11100444974].

South Dakota State Fair State Fair invites teachers to submit student work by April 16

Teachers are invited to highlight their students’ best work in art, literature and photography at the 2019 South Dakota State Fair. The work must be from the 2018-19 school year, and entries must be submitted no later than April 16, accompanied by this entry form [http://www.sdstatefair.com/assets/docs/uploads/2019-Premium-Books/2019-ed-entry-form.pdf].

In addition, students in first through sixth grade may enter an essay contest. This year’s topic is “Living the Life in South Dakota! What’s great about our state?” Students in fifth through eighth grade may enter poetry in the Prairie Winds Competition. Winners will have their work submitted for publication in the Prairie Winds magazine.

“South Dakota’s Largest Classroom” will again be part of the State Fair in 2019. In 2018, schools from across the state participated, with approximately 600 students and teachers attending. 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 2019 South Dakota State Fair Education Book [http://www.sdstatefair.com/assets/docs/uploads/2019-Premium-Books/education-book-2019.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.

SD Associated School Resource Officers
Nominate outstanding school resource officers by March 15

Nominations are being accepted for the 2019 School Officer of the Year Award. The South Dakota Association of School Resource Officers supports this annual award, which is now in its 11th year. Nominees should display professionalism, dedication and commitment to their respective school and/or district. Nominations [http://stage.doe.sd.gov/pressroom/zebra/news/19/feb/documents/ASO.doc] must be postmarked by March 15.

Upcoming Events

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

SDMyLife Overview
Feb. 19, webinar
Feb. 20, webinar
Feb. 26, Rapid City
Feb. 27, Sioux Falls

Board of Education Standards
March 18, Rapid City [http://doe.sd.gov/board/]

2019 South Dakota Special Education Conference
March 19-20, Deadwood [https://2019sdsped.wordpress.com/]

English Learner Chats
March 19
April 16

Formative Language Assessment
March 26-27, Aberdeen

SD School Library EdCamp
April 6, Rapid City and Sioux Falls

TIE Conference
April 7-9, Rapid City

State Historical Society History Conference
April 26-27, Pierre

SD Dept. of Education Annual Conference
May 29-30, Pierre

Save the Date! Indian Education Summit
Sept. 22-24, Pierre

State Home Page | Disclaimer | Accessibility | Privacy Policy
© 2019 S.D. Department of Education, 800 Governors Drive, Pierre, SD 57501 - (605) 773-3134