Learning

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

As educators incorporate best practices, utilize new projects in certain subjects, and incorporate innovative techniques into their lessons, one constant remains: you can’t teach students who don’t attend. Truancy is an evolving issue in South Dakota’s schools. State lawmakers are working to pass legislation to change state law regarding penalties for being out of school, and school leaders are using every tool they can find to convince kids to class.

Brett Bradfield Named USF President

Jan 31, 2017
SDPB

After a seven month search the University of Sioux Falls announced Brett Bradfield as its 23rd president.

 

Bradfield has worked at the university for 16 years and in 2007 became the university’s provost and vice president for academic affairs.

Bradfield says he recognizes the challenges higher education institutes face but is hopeful the University of Sioux falls will stay strong into the future.

The scene was festive in the student commons. Students, faculty, staff and trustees mingled in anticipation of the announcement.

SDPB

Supporters of a bill in South Dakota’s Statehouse say it maximizes academic freedom in the classroom, and its opponents say the measure is anti-science. Senate Bill 55 has passed two of the four hurdles to Governor Dennis Daugaard’s desk.

The bill is one sentence long. It says, “No teacher may be prohibited from helping students understand, analyze, critique, or review in an objective scientific manner the strengths and weaknesses of scientific information presented in courses being taught which are aligned with the content standards established pursuant to § 13-3-48.”

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

State lawmakers say they want to adjust parts of last year’s education overhaul. The governor says the current reform is working, because a sales tax for teacher pay is pushing average educator salaries up.  

One piece of vast K-12 education reform from 2016’s legislative session involves declining enrollment. Schools now must use the final number of students enrolled in the fall to determine their share of state dollars. Before they could average the previous two years to ease into lower funding.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Mitchell teacher has won a prestigious national award that comes with $25,000. An assembly this week surprised the fourth grade educator with the honor.  

Local and state leaders gather at Longfellow Elementary in Mitchell to recognize a teacher. Students and staff attend the assembly under false pretenses before they find out the real reason they gather. Greg Gallagher with the Milken Family Foundation announces that one of the educators in the gym is set to receive a celebrated award.

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

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.

Dakota Midday: "School Of The Future"

Sep 14, 2016
Stanford Graduate School of Education

Once the envy of the world, American schools are now in trouble. Test scores show American children lag far behind their peers in other industrialized countries. How can our schools help students of all backgrounds meet the challenges of tomorrow? Wednesday at 8:00 p.m. Central, NOVA explores how the science of learning and technological innovations are transforming the way we teach and learn.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Jenifer Jones

Lawmakers in the State Senate approve of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s proposal to change the way the state funds public education. Senate Bill 131 includes significant shifts in school funding. Most state senators endorse the plan, but some have reservations about the overhaul.

Jenifer Jones / SDPB

Lawmakers in Pierre support the first element of Governor Dennis Daugaard’s proposal to infuse more money into schools for teacher pay. House Bill 1182 is one of three bills that compose the K-12 education funding plan. The bill authorizes a sales and use tax increase of one half of one percent.  

Jenifer Jones

A state Senate panel is endorsing education plans that focus on supporting Native American students. One of those measures funds programs that focus on incorporating Indian culture and language into standard subjects. 


SDPB

Higher education leaders are working to get students on track for college-level courses without adding to their years in school. Not all students are prepared for college or tech programs after high school. Now educators are offering them opportunities to catch up while taking normal class loads.

Representatives from the Board of Regents and South Dakota’s technical institutes are talking to lawmakers about retaining students – especially when their skills are shy of normal requirements. State colleges and tech schools now have versions of co-remediation.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Some local lawmakers from both political parties say they support Governor Dennis Daugaard’s plan to increase money for education. Two members of the Blue Ribbon Task Force say the governor is making adequately funding schools a priority. Both lawmakers still anticipate some changes to the governor’s initial plan.

While people brave Black Friday on the hunt for deals, an expert says toy shoppers should make sure their great buys are appropriate for particular kids. Not all toys are made for children of different ages. Plus some choices offer kids a better opportunity to learn and grow.

Amy Hiesinger is a family life educator with Sanford Health. She says people should consider a child’s age and capabilities when shopping for gifts. Hiesinger says little children respond well to interactive gifts.

Patty Buechler

Mental health care providers working in schools receive recognition this week. Governor Dennis Daugaard has declared School Psychology Week in South Dakota to acknowledge their impact on learning. School psychologists focus on removing challenges so students can succeed in the classroom.

First Graduates Of New Technology High School

May 16, 2014

New Technology High School graduates its first class of students this weekend.  Innovation host Cara Hetland spent an hour visiting with students and faculty about the past four years and the new style of teaching.  Guests included Principal Dolly Ellwein, counselor Vickie Donohoe, Spanish 1 teacher Chris Coughlin, administrative intern Heidi Jorgenson and seniors Leah Bernard, Wes Rasmusson, Max Rysdon and Mina Big Eagle.

EducationUSA Forum 2013

Jul 1, 2013

Jacy Fry and Colleen Ryan of Dakota State University just returned from the 4th annual EducationUSA Forum on internationalizing U.S. college campuses. Fry is the Coordinator of International Programs at DSU. Ryan serves as Dakota English Language Institute Coordinator at DSU. Sponsored by the U.S.

New DWU President

May 15, 2013
Dakota Wesleyan University

Amy Novak will become the first female president of Dakota Wesleyan University in Mitchell when she assumes her new role on June 1.  She joined Dakota Midday to talk about new projects at the school and things she'd like to accomplish as DWU president.

Biomaterials Day

May 3, 2013

University of South Dakota student AnneMarie Gallo discussed Biomaterials Day (May 8).  The USD Chapter of the Society for Biomaterials was awarded a $5,000 grant from the national Society for Biomaterials to host the event.  The day-long conference includes speakers from academia, research and industry.

Changes At Harrisburg High School

Jan 29, 2013

Beginning with next year's freshman class, Harrisburg High School is transitioning to personalized learning plans for every student, along with a much more flexible schedule for students to pursue their interests and get one-on-one help from teachers.  Harrisburg High School Principal Kevin Lein described the changes on Tuesday's Dakota Midday.

Higher Education - Preparing Future Teachers

Oct 12, 2012

Greg Francom, Assistant Professor of E-Learning at Northern State University, and Mark Geary, Assistant Professor of Technology and Literacy at Dakota State University, talk about the future for incoming teachers and how they can adapt to the new technology in their schools.