Education

www.sd.gov

Governor Dennis Daugaard joins Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to preview his FY18 budget address and the upcoming legislate session, and answer questions about Medicaid expansion, education reform, and budget shortfalls.

Black Hills State University

Dr. Parthasarathi Nag, professor of mathematics at Black Hills State University, discusses the "History of the Theory of Everything." From Einstein's special theory of relativity to comparisons between the universe and a violin, Nag talks about mathematics, physics, and the future of science education that capitalizes on collaboration and imagination. Nag was a recent "Geek Speak" lecturer at BHSU in Spearfish.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A panel of community members can soon weigh in on work happening in Rapid City Schools. People can apply to be part of a community advisory council. The group will meet once a month to discuss issues related to education in a broad context.

Rapid City Area Schools superintendent Lori Simon says she’s been talking about a community advisory board since she interviewed for the district’s top job. Simon says people who live and work in the community have ideas and perspectives to contribute.

SF Parents Surveyed On School Start Date

Nov 15, 2016
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Thousands of parents in Sioux Falls are getting a survey about the school start date. This is the second year public schools in Sioux Falls started after Labor Day. As decision-makers look to the fall of 2018, they want to know the range of start dates stakeholders prefer.

Sioux Falls School District leaders are assessing what the school calendar should look like two years from now. Brian Maher is superintendent.

Charles Michael Ray / SDPB

The superintendent of Rapid City Area Schools says the district needs a strong strategic plan. Lori Simon says education leaders are working to develop the plan to give direction and establish the district’s priorities.

"It gets everybody in the district working on the same page toward common goals," Simon says. "A strong strategic plan that you keep alive and working really guides decision-making as well as drives the alignment of actions and resources across the district."

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Some people are ready for this election to be over. They’re tired of hearing about candidates and ballot measures. They want the political ads to cease, they want campaign signs torn down, and they want the whole thing to go away. But a few local high school students say voters shouldn’t rush the process - and they aren't even old enough to vote. 

She can count the number of days until the 2016 election on one hand, and Kaitlyn Friedrich recoils at the idea that some voters are disinterested in politics.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Lakota man is celebrating three decades teaching life lessons to elementary school students through Native American dance. Dallas Chief Eagle started working as an artist-in-residence for schools in the mid-1980s. Today he’s still sharing Lakota culture with school children across the state.

In his performance, Dallas Chief Eagle rapidly moves his feet as he glides across a gym floor, picking up plastic hoops. He links them together in a long line. Chief Eagle tosses the chain into the air, and spins the hoops over the heads of screaming elementary school students.

Courtesy Cheyenne River Youth Project

The Cheyenne River Youth Project has announced the graduation of 184 tribal members from its “Center of Life” teen internship program. Internships focus on sustainable agriculture, social enterprise, wellness and art along with instilling a sense of economic responsibility.

Over the past 3 years the Cheyenne River Youth Project has provided instruction, mentorship, workshops, certifications, real-life job experience and wages to teenaged tribal members.

New Rapid City Superintendent Of Schools Dr. Lori Simon

Sep 29, 2016
Charles Michael Ray

Dr. Lori Simon Rapid City’s Superintendent of Schools is finishing up her first 100 days in her new position.   Simon took part in the Morning Fill Up conversation with Matt Ehlman at the Garage in Rapid City on Thursday.  SDPB captured audio of the conversation.  You can hear it by clicking play below.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Political parties court different demographics, and one crucial group of voters includes young people. Many have the chance to vote in their first presidential election this year. College students studying media at the University of Sioux Falls are watching the presidential race, and they’re learning to balance their journalism training with their Constitutional rights. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Educators in Sioux Falls say they want computer science classes to equip kids with technology skills and context in the digital community. The Sioux Falls School District implemented a new curriculum one year ago; that move ended keyboarding classes for students in the 6th, 7th, and 8th grades.

Middle school curriculum coordinator Sandy Henry says in the spring the district assessed 1,140 sixth graders. She says the average they could type was 23 words per minute.

Jewel Cave Library Lectures Begin With...Bats

Sep 20, 2016
Courtesy National Park Service

Jewel Cave National Monument begins a series of after-school lectures this month at nearby libraries. The goal is to establish as many connections with children as possible in order to preserve the future of Jewel Cave and other National Park Service sites.

If you like bats…and you’re a student…then September is the time to be at the Custer County Library for the first of 10 monthly presentations by a Jewel Cave National Monument ranger.

Jewel Cave spokesperson Riley Hays explains.

FRONTLINE first examined the story of for-profit colleges in 2010, investigating allegations of fraud and predatory behavior. Now correspondent Martin Smith continues his work with by turning the lens on Corinthian Colleges and others.

Smith joins Dakota Midday to discuss "A Subprime Education."

Courtesy The Club For Boys

Rapid City’s The Club for Boys is holding a special ceremony tonight to acknowledge 50 years of service by one of its earliest members. As we report Dave Oyler may have transitioned to working part-time but he has no plans of leaving what’s become his second home anytime soon.

It was the basketball court that first attracted Dave Oyler to The Club For Boys. But 9 months after joining the club the high school student was offered a pert-time job.

On December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook elementary school teacher Kaitlin Roig began her morning by encouraging first graders to get excited for the day.

Moments later she was stuffing her students into a tiny bathroom, sheltering them while a gunman outside her classroom opened fire. She and her students lived to endure the aftermath of violence, but 20 other students and six teachers did not.

Courtesy Melody Schopp

South Dakota’s Secretary of Education is reflecting on a recent trip to Africa. Melody Schopp is set to be the next president of the Council of Chief State School Officers, and she went to Malawi last week through the US Department of State.

Schopp says students in Malawi learn in huge classes or groups outside, and they don’t have bright, colorful classrooms like she sees in South Dakota. She says she saw this while touring African schools.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Many teachers spend their summers preparing for class by attending seminars, plotting lesson plans, and incorporating technology into coursework. Yet one instructor in Sioux Falls goes dumpster diving. Meet a longtime woods teacher who is not afraid to plunge into his work.

Bob Darkow’s classroom is so typical it’s borderline boring. He has scrawled the classes he teaches in black marker on a white board attached to a beige cinderblock wall. Dark blue plastic chairs rest under school desks grouped in pods of four. A shiny, wooden rectangular box sits on one surface.

Representative Shawn Bordeaux joins Dakota Midday to discuss the the naming of Black Elk Peak, and how we can get beyond conversations about race and on to conversations about making lives better in South Dakota.

Charles Michael Ray

Rapid City Stevens High School opens a new science wing this school year. It features eight state of the art science classrooms with chemical resistant floors and countertops. The space has separate teaching and lab areas. SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray toured the new wing and spoke with Rapid City Schools Facilities Manager Kumar Veluswamy. 

Matthew Sandusky
Erin Mairose

Matthew Sandusky is an advocate and survivor of childhood sexual abuse. Between the ages of eight and 17, he suffered abuse at the hands of his adopted father Jerry Sandusky. The former Penn State football coach was convicted in 2011 on rape and abuse charges.

Matthew Sandusky was the keynote speaker at a child sexual assault conference in Sioux Falls August 18th.   He says community members need to become figures of empowerment to prevent childhood sexual assault.

Morningside College

Heath Weber is camp director for the Ambassadors of Excellence at the University of South Dakota. He serves as Dean of the College of Performing Arts at Morningside College, and grew up with South Dakota's gifted education program. He joins Dakota Midday to discuss how gifted students think, and the implications of a gifted education mandate in the state.

ASBSD/SASD
Erin Mairose

Some education officials are calling for clean-up legislation following last year’s teacher pay raises.  

Educators from across the state gathered Thursday in Sioux Falls at the ­­­­Associated School Boards and School Administrators Convention

Joy Smolnisky is with the South Dakota Budget and Policy Institute. She says now that the half cent sales tax to raise teacher salaries is signed into law, the legislation needs to be adjusted to clarify how the pay increase is implemented.  

The State Moves Toward Greater Child Well-Being

Jun 29, 2016

South Dakota ranks 14 in child well-being. That's up from last year according to the annual Kids Count survey. One expert suggests improvements in areas that the state is lagging behind.

Like other Midwest states, South Dakota ranks high in overall measures released by the Annie E. Casey Foundation to compare well-being across states over time. The survey looks at areas of economy, education, health and community.

Governor Daugaard Voices Support Of Amendment R

Jun 28, 2016
Erin Mairose

Governor Dennis Daugaard is supporting a constitutional  amendment to separate technical schools from the k-12 education system. Amendment R also changes the state’s constitution allowing technical schools to be governed apart from the Board of Regents.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says Amendment R updates the state constitution to meet the demand for technical workers. 

Department of Heath

This fall kids entering 6th grade are required to get a vaccine to protect against meningitis. The change in vaccine requirements for 6th graders results from a bill passed by the 2016 legislature.

Report Finds Gap In Pay For Pre-K Teachers

Jun 16, 2016
US Department of Education

  A report from the US Department of Education shows that preschool teachers earn significantly less than kindergarten and elementary educators—even in states that provide funding for early childhood programs. 

In South Dakota the median preschool teacher earnings are about $10,000 less than the wages of kindergarten teachers. The report found that even with the same level of education, the wages of preschool teachers fluctuate depending on their work setting.

Kenzie Wagner / SDPB

The Rapid City Board of Education met Monday evening to impose a teacher’s salary contract.  The move comes following a disagreement between the school board and the teacher’s union.  But teachers decided to forgo mediation and move forward.  

The Rapid City School Board plans to use the new half penny sales tax increase to boost the salaries of new teachers.  The plan includes smaller increases for veteran or higher degree holding teachers.

One Architect Of Teacher Pay Increase Falls In Primary

Jun 8, 2016

A key state lawmaker who helped draft the plan to increase teacher pay in South Dakota is not going back to Pierre next session.

Republican State Representative Jacqueline Sly failed to achieve enough votes in the primary race against incumbent State Senator Phil Jensen.

Sly was a co-chair of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force and a key supporter of the half cent sales tax increase passed last year by lawmakers.   Jensen is among 10 state senators who voted against the final passage of the bill.

Rapid City School District Grapples With Teacher Pay

Jun 1, 2016
Kenzie Wagner / SDPB

The Rapid City Board of Education is deciding how to spend the extra one half cent sales tax revenue state lawmakers allocated to school districts.  The board held a special meeting Wednesday after the local teachers union rejected its initial contract offer. 

Officials with the Rapid City teachers union say they’re frustrated after the Rapid City Board of Education’s vote on teacher salary.

A Makerspace In The Middle School

May 26, 2016
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.

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