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Innovation Grants Fund Teacher Training, Customized Learning


Eighteen education grants are being awarded to school districts in the state for innovation in education. The grants total almost a million dollars.

The education package passed in the 2016 legislature, provided some funding for classroom innovation grants.

The grants fund teacher training, and improved access to virtual learning. They also provide customized tools for creative teaching projects.

Mary Stadick Smith is with the South Dakota Department of Education.

“One of the things a number of schools are looking at, it’s called customized learning models. Really it’s about students sort of driving the educational experience and teachers acting as the facilitators of that process.  So under the customized learning model students are still required to meet all of the standards that are in the place, the South Dakota state standards, but it might look a little bit different for each student for to as how they get there based on their unique needs and interests,” says Smith.

Smith says other school grant projects focus more on Science Technology Engineering and Math, or STEM subjects and hands-on learning along with creating online curriculum.