Education

A Makerspace In The Middle School

22 hours ago
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

When you picture a normal middle school, you probably envision kids in rows of desks listening to a teacher drone on and on at the front of the room. But a makerspace is no typical classroom. The concept lets kids master concepts using whatever tools make the most sense for them. While some philosophies come and go, some educators say the makerspace trend is part of a culture – not a buzzword – and teachers say their students can prove it.

Crazy Horse School is receiving a federal grant worth $107,631 to help students cope with suicide on the Pine Ridge Reservation. This is the third grant from the US Department of Education to Pine Ridge schools after tribal leaders declared a state of emergency following a string of suicides.

Project SERV grants target schools where kids experience significant violent or traumatic events. The latest funding adds two counselors at Crazy Horse School in Wanblee to help restore the learning environment.

Secretary John King leads the US Department of Education.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Three people connected to the GEAR UP program and Mid-Central Education Cooperative have been arraigned on accusations of fraud and financial crimes. Stacy Phelps, Dan Guericke, and Stephanie Hubers each pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Lake Andes.

Marty Jackley is South Dakota’s Attorney General.

Dakota Political Junkies Seth Tupper and Denise Ross join us for a rundown of the state’s political stories of the week. This week we focus on the presidential race through the lens of South Dakota politics. From the potential candidate visits to the state, to how George McGovern might cast his vote, the Junkies offer intelligent insight into the topics of the week.

Seth Tupper is a Rapid City Journal enterprise reporter. Denise Ross is an editor at Black Hills Knowledge Network / South Dakota Dashboard.

Lakota Student Film Project Nears Completion

Apr 27, 2016
Courtesy Red Cloud School

Students taking part in a months-long community film project on the Pine Ridge Reservation have reached the editing portion in their production. We visit with two of those interviewed for the student-lead documentary project “Our Community Story” .

The Red Cloud Heritage Center’s “Our Community Story” project involves student   interviews of Lakota elders, artists and adults from various professions.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota School Districts are deciding how to dole out more money for teacher pay. State lawmakers passed a tax increase to raise educator salaries. Now school leaders must choose how to distribute the money in their districts. In Sioux Falls, the board has unanimously approved a 6.8 percent increase for teachers.

Education Students Weigh In On Teacher Pay

Apr 25, 2016

This year state lawmakers gave South Dakota teachers a pay raise. Part of the goal is to attract and retain top young teachers. Many of those aspiring teachers gathered for an SDEA conference in Vermillion recently.

What does the increase in teacher pay mean for South Dakota college students who are studying education? Here are answers from three of them.

“I think it’s good, teachers deserve to get paid more," says Callie Jarmen.

The GEAR UP program in South Dakota is now operating from Black Hills State University. The education effort aims to prepare Native American students for college. Most recently GEAR UP is tied to accusations of wrongdoing as former leaders face criminal charges. Despite the challenges, the program is under new leadership and moving forward.

Incoming high school students from schools participating in GEAR UP are eligible to apply for a three-week program promoting college readiness and culture.

Advocates in Sioux Falls this week aim to empower people with disabilities and encourage others to embrace the talents they offer. Service providers, educators, employers and people with disabilities are collaborating to promote inclusion.

South Dakota advocates are celebrating the fact that the state has the highest rate of employment for people with disabilities in the nation. Wendy Parent-Johnson is executive director for the Center for Disabilities.

Teachers from around South Dakota are collaborating to find new ways to engage students in problem solving. A conference on Technology and Innovation in Education wrapped up this week. One of the dozens of sessions focused on helping students break into a box by thinking outside of it.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A grand jury has indicted three people for felony crimes related to a Native American education program. State leaders say people within GEAR UP and Mid-Central Education Cooperative used the programs to steal more than one million dollars. Two of them died in a murder-suicide in September. Authorities announced charges against three other leaders last month.  

Dakota Digest for April 8, 2016

Apr 8, 2016

On this week's edition of Dakota Digest, we look at education and technology. Also, Palestinian artwork is on display in South Dakota - find out where. Plus, there's a new rule from the US Department of Labor. All of this and more on this week's Dakota Digest.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

First-year medical students are tapping into new technologies that support health providers in rural areas. Avera’s eCare facility provides live video access to specialists and emergency physicians to support providers in different circumstances. Some students say it makes them more confident in pursuing work in rural medicine. 

Medical students in short white coats surround a mannequin. Three volunteers in blue paper gowns take direction from a physician on a TV screen who walks them through life-saving techniques.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The attorney for one of the people charged with felonies related to the Mid Central Education Cooperative in Platte says the state is using his client as a scapegoat. The investigation involves crimes connected to Mid Central and a program called GEAR UP.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Three people involved with an education cooperative that contracted with state government face criminal charges. South Dakota’s attorney general announced charges of falsifying evidence, conspiracy, and grand theft related to Mid Central Education Cooperative.

Mid Central Education Cooperative gained statewide attention in September when one of its leaders died violently. An investigation revealed that Scott Westerhuis killed his wife and four children before lighting the family home on fire and shooting himself.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A school safety plan at a southeast South Dakota district includes allowing people who are not law enforcement access to firearms on school property. The Tri-Valley school board Monday approved the first reading of a sentinel program.

Nearly 900 students in kindergarten through the 12th grade attend Tri-Valley school in Colton. The building sits outside of town across from a field.

March is National Reading Awareness Month. Teresa Berndt and Jasmine Rockwell discuss reading initiatives across the state and how to help kids overcome not only the "summer slide" but the "winter slump" in order to become happier and more successful readers.

Governor Dennis Daugaard is waiting to hear from the South Dakota Supreme Court before deciding how to act on two bills passed by the legislature.

SDPB

State Lawmakers have finished the main part of their work for the 2016 legislative session.

Statehouse Podcast: Education Bills Signed, Final Budget Passed

Mar 11, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for March 11th, 2016 includes coverage of South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard signing education reform bills into law and the passage of the final budget bill in the state legislature. 

Governor Signs Education Funding Bills

Mar 11, 2016
SD Governor's Office

A sales tax hike to benefit education and property tax relief is becoming law along with a major shift in the way South Dakota funds public schools. The changes are part of a three-piece legislative package that overhauls education funding.

Governor Dennis Daugaard has signed sweeping education funding changes into law. He and Republican State Senator Deb Soholt say it’s critical that the new laws increase the sales tax for a boost in teacher pay.

The Statehouse Podcast for March 10, 2015 includes coverage of education reforms passed in Pierre and the final bills of the session.

 

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre support two programs aimed at Native American education. One measure seeks to help people who want to finish college courses so they can teach in Native American schools. The other sets up a pilot program to combine innovative cultural teachings with standard subjects.

As the 2016 legislative session enters its final days, the Dakota Political Junkies weigh in on last minute wrangling in Pierre, an assessment of the education overhaul, and the high stakes of medical marijuana legislation. We wrap it up with a nod to the difficult life and emotional toll of workign as a public servant in state politics.

Statehouse Podcast: Education Reforms Advance, Medical Marijuana Dies

Mar 8, 2016
Melissa Hamersma Sievers / SDPB

The Statehouse Podcast for March, 8th 2016 includes coverage of legislation on education, medical marijuana, changes in law for services like Uber, and more.

 

Jenifer Jones

Lawmakers in the House of Representatives passed the last major piece of this session’s education funding package. Tuesday afternoon they made changes and eventually approved a version of Senate Bill 131.  

State Senators and Representatives support a bill that overhauls the way South Dakota funds public education. It restructures the funding formula and sets a target average teacher salary at $48,500.

Statehouse Podcast: Abortion And Education Among Final Bills

Mar 7, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for March 7th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on abortion, education, and confined animal feedlots.

DWU Plans $1 Million Theater Project

Mar 3, 2016

After dedicating a new sports and wellness center this past month, Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell is now focusing on the arts. The school is planning a $1 million project to build a new theater.

Plans for a new Dakota Wesleyan facility include a black box theater, classrooms, and faculty offices. Lori Essig is the vice president of marketing and communications at Dakota Wesleyan. She says the new theater will replace one of the oldest buildings on campus.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Lawmakers have had lengthy battles this session over teacher pay, South Dakota’s funding formula, and a sales tax hike for education. Most of the money lawmakers are considering for public schools are mandated for teacher salaries, but a sliver of it is dedicated to increasing eLearning. If lawmakers approve the governor’s plan, the E-learning program could receive a $1 million infusion.

Statehouse Podcast: Abortion, Education, Vehicular Homicide

Mar 2, 2016

The Statehouse Podcast for March 2nd, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on abortion, education, vehicular homicide, elder abuse, CAFOs, and Medicaid expansion. 

Pages