Friday, October 5, 2018

Celebrating Native Americans' Day

A message from South Dakota Indian Education Director Mato Standing High

Native Americans' Day is for all of us. 

Remember, for a lot of South Dakotans, every day is Native Americans' Day. For others, it's an opportunity to remember and respect people who have inhabited this continent since time immemorial. 

As South Dakotans, we are lucky to have a unique history to share--a history that is tied to the land that we all share and respect. When we take time to understand each other, it gives us not only greater understanding, but better perspective--perspective that helps break stereotypes and bridges gaps that were also created by history. 

If you are asking yourself, how? or why? in reading this post, that is exactly why we must make more of an effort to learn about OUR Lakota, Nakota and Dakota neighbors, friends and relatives. 

One resource that is available for this exact purpose is the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings. The Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings are a resource that has been developed over the past several years by numerous Lakota elders for use in the classroom. They can be used at any level of education and should be used in every school in South Dakota. It is not just for our Lakota, Nakota and Dakota people, it is for South Dakota. 

We all share the history and, to some extent, the culture. It is an honor and privilege to have such a unique and rich history as the people of South Dakota. 

Have a great Native Americans' Day!

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Governor proclaims October Dyslexia Awareness Month

October is Dyslexia Awareness Month. The Dyslexia Handbook for Teachers and Parents in South Dakota is available to help parents and educators learn more about dyslexia and includes additional resources for teachers to access if they suspect a student may have dyslexia. Find links to the handbook, a brochure and many other resources on the Department of Education's Dyslexia webpage.

Executive Proclamation

Whereas, Dyslexia is a language-based, neurological specific learning disability characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition, spelling and decoding, and writing. These difficulties typically result from a deficit in the phonological component of language, and secondary consequences of dyslexia may include problems in reading comprehension and reduced reading experience that can impede growth of vocabulary and background knowledge; and,

Whereas, The presence of dyslexia is often unexpected in relation to other cognitive abilities. Dyslexia occurs on a continuum of severity, affecting between 10 and 20 percent of the population according to the National Institutes of Health; and,

Whereas, Parents and educators of students who struggle to overcome dyslexia across South Dakota and the nation have come together to advocate for reforms to support their children, namely a universal definition of dyslexia, teacher training, early screening, evidence-based remediation programs, and access to appropriate assistive technologies; and,

Whereas, South Dakotans and all stakeholders in education across the state of South Dakota will benefit from increased awareness of the nature of dyslexia, the early warning signs of dyslexia, and the value of scientifically-based multisensory structured language interventions and teaching strategies designed to better educate students with dyslexia; and,

Whereas, Greater recognition of dyslexia is necessary to ensure that individuals with dyslexia living in South Dakota are accurately identified and provided with appropriate services so they might learn to read proficiently in order to reach their full potential and contribute to society:

Now, Therefore, I, Dennis Daugaard, Governor of the state of South Dakota, do hereby proclaim October 2018 as 

Dyslexia Awareness Month

in South Dakota.