Thursday, January 28, 2021

Governor proclaims Feb. 1-5 School Counseling Week

Whereas, school counselors are employed in schools to help students reach their full potential; and,

Whereas, school counselors are committed to helping students explore their abilities, strengths, interests, and talents as these traits relate to career awareness and development; and,

Whereas, school counselors partner with parents to further the educational and personal growth of their children; and,

Whereas, school counselors work with teachers and other educators to help students succeed in school and set realistic goals for themselves; and,

Whereas, school counselors identify and utilize community resources that can enhance and complement comprehensive school counseling programs to assist students in becoming productive members of society; and,

Whereas, comprehensive school counseling programs are considered an integral part of the educational process:

Now, Therefore, I, Kristi Noem, Governor of the state of South Dakota, do hereby proclaim

Feb. 1-5, 2021, as

School Counseling Week

in South Dakota.

Friday, October 23, 2020

Winter sessions added to webinar series for K-12 social studies teachers

The Department of Education is facilitating a series of webinars during the 2020-21 school year for South Dakota's K-12 social studies teachers. Some webinars feature national social studies education experts. CEUs are available. Collaborative chats are also offered to continue the conversation and support learning.

Questions? Contact Melinda Johnson with the South Dakota Department of Education.

Find recordings and other information from previous webinars in this Social Studies Google Folder.

Schedule and registration links:

Jan. 28, 2021, 4-5 p.m. CT: Learning About Intellectual Charity with Harvard Fellow Nate Otey
This webinar is open to all K-12 teachers. What is intellectual charity, and why does it matter? When you hear the word “charity,” you might think about donating money or time to a good cause. But there’s another meaning of charity that has to do with how we make arguments. Intellectual charity is a skill. We practice intellectual charity when we listen to and think about other people's arguments with precision and care - especially when we disagree. Being “charitable” in this context means treating other people’s arguments in the same way you want them to treat yours: as intelligent and well-intentioned. Give people the benefit of the doubt and try to assume best intentions. Sounds simple, but this principle is very hard to practice when you disagree strongly.

Why does intellectual charity matter? If you’ve ever been part of a discussion where a point of disagreement turns into a wave of assumptions, faulty evidence, and emotional appeals, you’ve experienced the frustration of arguing without an honest exchange of ideas. This type of miscommunication happens everywhere - social media, classrooms, workspaces, and kitchens. The strain of talking past each other, learning nothing new, and feeling misunderstood often ends the discussion without making any progress.

Join Harvard Fellow Nate Otey to learn a simple, practical set of tools that you can use to improve your students' charity skills so they can discuss current issues with precision and care.


Feb. 2, 2021, 3:30-5:00 p.m. CT: Teaching the Great War with Elementary Students, featuring the National WWI Museum
Think World War I is only a topic for middle and high school students? Think again! Join a National WWI Museum and Memorial educator in this exciting webinar to learn effective teaching techniques for use with elementary school students as they are introduced to World War I. Learn about engaging classroom activities, lessons about alliances, trench warfare, and propaganda and ideas for more in-depth student projects that will develop students’ historical research skills. In addition, we’ll discuss recommended K-5 reading to enrich your lessons. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding WWI and its continued impact and relationship to global situations, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic.

These lessons will address the following South Dakota social studies content standards:

K-12.H.1: Students will analyze how major events are chronologically connected and evaluate their impact on one another.

K-12.H.4: Students will identify and evaluate the causes and effects of past, current, and potential events, issues, and problems.

K-12.H.5: Students will develop historical research skills.


Feb. 4, 2021, 3:30-5:00 p.m. CT: Making Connections with World War I for Middle and High School Students, featuring the National WWI Museum
Need some assistance to help your students recognize the critical importance of World War I history and its relevance to contemporary life, especially with the current pandemic in mind? In this webinar led by a National WWI Museum and Memorial educator, the focus will be on the continued impact made by the Great War on a global scale and how it shaped the 20th and 21st centuries. Webinar attendees will spend time beyond the western front, examining participants from all inhabited continents, how and why they contributed to the war effort, and effects felt from war outcomes.

Content provided will be useful for teachers as they address the following South Dakota social studies content standards:

K-12.H.1: Students will analyze how major events are chronologically connected and evaluate their impact on one another.

K-12.H.4: Students will identify and evaluate the causes and effects of past, current, and potential events, issues, and problems.

9-12.H.4.1: Identify and distinguish between long-term causes and triggering events of WWI

9-12.H.4.7: Evaluate the causes and effects of the First World War on the United States

9-12.H.5.1: Determine the kinds of sources that will be helpful in answering compelling and supporting questions, taking into consideration multiple points of view represented in the sources, the types of sources available, and the potential uses of sources.


Thursday, October 8, 2020

Celebrating South Dakota Teachers


District Teachers of the Year

Aberdeen - Sara Weischedel
Agar-Blunt-Onida - Susie Rilling
Avon - Connie Gretschmann
Belle Fourche - Julie Erskin
Bon Homme - Ashley Armstrong
Brandon Valley - Michael Zerr
Britton-Hecla - Beth Renner
Canistota - Crystall Becker
Canton - Alexis Burwitz
Chamberlain - Kari Toupal
Chester Area - Laura Biagi
Clark - Heather Fuhrmann
Corsica-Stickney - Mike Tuschen
Custer - Karen Karim
De Smet - Jennifer Hojer
Deuel - Karan Domina
Doland - Katy Lyren
Elkton - Georgianna Jensen
Florence - Sarah Spiering
Frederick Area - Caitlin Podoll
Garretson - Matt Schrank
Harrisburg - Tamra Huffman
Henry - Deanna Martens
Herreid - Julie Graczyk
Lead-Deadwood - Shannon Mollman
Lennox - Lisa Muhs
Leola - Nancy Kindelspire
Lyman - Nikki Collins
Madison Central - Kindra Wiese
Milbank - Beth Wagner
Mobridge-Pollock - Ladonna Mielke
Parker - Mindee Birnstiehl
Pierre - Tom Rogers
Plankinton - Michelle Karst
Rapid City Area - Jamie Amundsen
Sanborn Central - Jill Reimer
Sioux Falls - Janelle Revier
Sioux Valley - Don Sutera
Spearfish - Chris Blain
Tea Area - Janice Gilbert
Timber Lake - Theresa Keller
Tri-Valley - Jennifer Even
Vermillion - Kelly Stone
Wall - Ronda Edgar
Watertown - Karen Johnson
Webster Area - Ashley Hanson
Wessington Springs - Julie Bruckner
West Central - Nicole Harmon
Willow Lake - Lindsey Tellinghuisen
Wolsey-Wessington - Jackie Fauth
Yankton - Beth Anderson

Friday, September 18, 2020

Virtual Summit Oct. 7-8: How to Coach Teachers to Teach Almost Anything

The Virtual Coaching Summit was scheduled to be a two-day live event; however, instead of a cancellation due to Jill Jackson’s untimely death in August, Jackson Consulting will provide a pre-recorded Virtual Coaching Summit that will feature Jill Jackson as the facilitator teaching How to Coach Teachers to Teach Almost Anything, a simple, practical plan for knowing how to coach, what to coach, and who to coach on your staff.

When: Oct. 7-8; 8-5 p.m. (local time for your Central/Mountain location will be provided)

Audience: Principals and instructional coaches                  

  •        Districts involved in SPDG and SSIP grants  
  •        MTSS districts
  •        Principal Leadership and Development Program (PLD)
  •        If spots remain, the Coaching Summit will be open to other districts

Highlights of what participants will learn:

  •     How to set a principal’s instructional goal
  •     How to differentiate coaching time, focus, and approach based upon individual teacher needs
  •     How to approach teachers for coaching without feeling awkward or evaluative
  •     How to have a debriefing that results in action that sticks long-term
  •     How to build real trust with teachers without wasting time building buy-in

Participant Information:

  •     No registration fee
  •     Registration deadline: Sept. 25
  •     All participants MUST sign-up at this GoSignMeUp link

o The registration will require a password: Jackson2020

o Registered participants receive a web link and password each day to access pre-recorded sessions.

o There is a maximum capacity of 100 participants for the event, so register early.

  •     All participants will receive the How To Coach Teachers to Teach Almost Anything textbook.

o Textbooks will be mailed to participants’ district location. 

o For more information on contents of the text:

Questions? Email Teresa Berndt.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Governor proclaims September is Suicide Prevention Month

Executive Proclamation
Office of the Governor
State of South Dakota

WHEREAS, suicide is a preventable public health problem. By knowing how to start the conversation, listen and provide support to someone in need, we can save lives; and

WHEREAS, in 2019, South Dakota had the second highest number of suicides ever reported in the state; and

WHEREAS, in 2019, 23.1 percent of high school students in South Dakota reported they had seriously considered suicide; and

WHEREAS, suicide affects everyone, but some groups are at higher risk than others. Men are about four times more likely than women to die from suicide. However, women are more likely to express suicidal thoughts and to make nonfatal attempts than men; and

WHEREAS, individuals are more likely to feel less depressed, less suicidal, less overwhelmed, and more hopeful after speaking to someone who listens without judgment; and

WHEREAS, we all can be the one to help prevent suicide by learning the five action steps: asking the question, keeping them safe, be there, help them connect, and follow-up; and

WHEREAS, hope, help, and healing is possible. Mental health and crisis intervention services are available in South Dakota, including the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1.800.273.TALK (8255) and the Crisis Text Line by text at 741741.

Now, therefore, I, Kristi Noem, Governor of the State of South Dakota, do hereby proclaim September 2020, as

Suicide Prevention Month

in South Dakota.

Monday, September 14, 2020

Time running out to register for CNA Regional Workshops

The South Dakota Department of Education is offering free virtual Comprehensive Needs Assessment Regional Workshops to all South Dakota schools throughout the 2020-21 school year. Limited openings remain in several cohorts (see schedule below). 

Workshops are facilitated by professionals trained and experienced in the South Dakota Comprehensive Needs Assessment. The process is designed to build a school’s capacity in conducting the needs analysis, looking at both qualitative and quantitative data sources.  

The workshops are intended for schools identified for school improvement (targeted support and improvement), Title I schoolwide schools, and any school that would like support conducting a needs analysis.

Title I schoolwide schools are required to conduct a needs assessment aligned to the framework by the end of the 2020-21 school year and once every three years. We would encourage Title I schoolwide schools to participate if they have not. The series consist of five sessions: 

1) Half day: introduction meeting and overview of the process

2) Full day: in-depth session on the four components, brainstorm data sources, crosswalk data sources, engaging stakeholders

3) Two full days: data work, complete summary templates

4) Full day: prioritize needs, root cause analysis

5) Full day: action planning

School teams must commit to attend all five sessions, send a team of 3-5, and complete the homework assigned between sessions.

To register, email Jordan Varilek with the South Dakota Department of Education.

Wagner area cohort

Lemmon area cohort

Aberdeen area cohort

 Huron area cohort

Chamberlain area cohort 

Session 1: SDCNA Overview 

 Sept. 24 (afternoon only)

 Sept. 22 (afternoon only)

 Sept. 21 (afternoon only)

 Sept. 22 (afternoon only)

 Sept. 24 (afternoon only)

 Session 2: Components, data sources, stakeholders

 Oct. 8

 Oct. 8

 Oct. 7

 Oct. 8

 Oct. 9

 Session 3: Data summary templates

 Dec. 14-15

 Dec. 10-11

 Dec. 14-15

 Dec. 17-18

 Dec. 10-11

 Session 4: Prioritize needs, root cause analysis

 Jan. 21, 2021

 Jan. 22, 2021

 Jan. 20, 2021

 Jan. 21, 2021

 Jan. 22, 2021

 Session 5: Action plan






Friday, September 11, 2020

No-cost registration available for Community Response to Child Abuse Conference Sept. 30-Oct. 1

The South Dakota Department of Education is again partnering with the Center for the Prevention of Child Maltreatment to provide no-cost registration opportunities for up to two educators from each school district across the state. A certificate for contact hours will also be available if educators are interested. 

If your district has educators who would like to attend this virtual conference, please contact Shannon Malone with their name(s), email address, job title, school, and district. As soon as the registration link becomes available, they will be provided with the registration code.