COVID-19 has closed indoor exploration spaces at some of South Dakota’s family-friendly learning destinations, like the Children’s Museum of South Dakota in Brookings and South Dakota Discovery Center in Pierre. However, these child-centric institutions have found innovative ways to provide creative and fun learning opportunities to children and families.

The SDPB Early Learning Initiative

Oct 19, 2020

In The Moment … October 19, 2020 Show 923 Hour 1

For nearly a century, SDPB has fed the imaginations of children by utilizing various resources and our airwaves to get them ready for success. The SDPB Early Learning Initiative is a program designed to get children ready for kindergarten. Kevin Nelson is the director of the program. Kevin's experience as a teacher and former school administrator puts him in a good position for the job. He joins us now with more.


State lawmakers are considering ways remaining CARES Act money could help education. They’re suggesting financial support for educational cooperatives and for families who chose to keep their children out of the classroom.

The joint education committee heard public comment before making its recommendations for the appropriations committee. Rob Monson with the School Administrators of South Dakota notes educational co-ops have been left out of funding relief so far.

"Back to School 2020" in South Dakota

Aug 27, 2020

Many say that the safe and effective reopening of schools in South Dakota is critical, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. 


We've has spent the last month trying to understand what back to school in 2020 means. You'll hear from healthcare professionals, parents, educators and more in this In the Moment podcast.


Back To School 2020: SD Superintendents

Aug 26, 2020

In The Moment … August 26, 2020 Show 889 Hour 1

As South Dakota school districts across the state report positive COVID-19 cases, we check in with superintendents about Back to School 2020. We'll talk with superintendents from Lemmon and Beresford in a moment. But first, Terry Nebelsick. He is the superintendent of the Huron School District.

Now we head to northwest South Dakota and check in with the Lemmon School District superintendent Steve Bucks.

We now head to the Beresford School District and its superintendent Brian Field is with us.



In The Moment ... August 20, 2020 Show 885 Hour 1

Fellow 2020 South Dakota Hall of Fame inductee Senator Larry Pressler appointed Mike Cartney to the US Air Force Academy. Once he retired, Cartney came back to South Dakota and for the past 3 decades has helped transform the state’s technical college system. He is currently President of Lake Area Technical College in Watertown and on September 12 he is to be virtually enshrined into the South Dakota Hall of Fame. For more information visit


In The Moment ... August 20, 2020 Show 885 Hour 1

When South Dakota schools closed five months ago, teachers had to make an emergency move to online or distance learning. Now, as students head back to the classroom in these strange times, many teachers are considering new ways to learn.

Two of those teachers join us today. First, we welcome Erica Boomsma. She teaches 4th grade at the Washington 4-5 Center in the Huron School District. Welcome back ...

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The South Dakota Virtual School is a collection of online classes from different vendors. The state Department of Education approves each course, and school districts can use them to offer their students more flexibility. The Wessington Springs District has done it for years. Now, it’s seeing increased interest due to the pandemic.

Charlotte Mohling facilitates the Wessington Springs Cyber School. She says it started in 2013 with a student’s passion for rodeo.

Reliable Sources With Mary Francis

Jul 17, 2020

In The Moment … July 17, 2020 Show 861 Hour 1

Before you hit like or share or retweet on the latest news story or medical research, have you checked to see if what you are endorsing is solid research? Good resources are vital each and every day but figuring out what those are is the real challenge. Mary Francis is the reference and instruction librarian at Dakota State University in Madison. She joins us today to assist in making these decisions.

President Trump is encouraging public schools to reopen in the fall after many closed during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week on Twitter he threatened removing federal funding from districts that don’t resume face-to-face instruction. Monday, one of the president’s economic advisors told FOX Business he’d consider additional funding for districts that do reopen.

Neutrino Day With Constance Walter

Jul 6, 2020

In The Moment … July 6, 2020 Show 852 Hour 1

This week the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead presents "Neutrino Day: A Matter of Mystery" only this year, it's virtual. You can expect speakers, live chats with scientists, hands-on activities, Native American games, Science Steve, contests and facility tours, and even a science comedian. Constance Walter, the facilities communications director, joins us with more.

Rachel Headley & Meg Manke

Apr 20, 2020

In The Moment ... April 20, 2020 Show 799 Hour 1

Business leaders have rapidly become COVID-19 business leaders -- leaders during a time of massive transition, chaos, uncertainty, and grief. Many are seeking to build skills for the days ahead. Project management and organizational psychology experts Rachel Headley and Meg Manke are leading an upcoming business education series, online of course.  Rachel Headley, CEO of Rose Group International. Meg Manke, is COO and Head of Training. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

All K-12 schools will remain closed for the rest of the school year. Governor Kristi Noem says it doesn’t make sense to bring students back to their classrooms in light of current projections of COVID-19 infections.

The governor says the state Department of Education will continue working with school administrators on distance learning through the end of the year. 

SDPB Educational Resources

Apr 2, 2020

In The Moment ... April 2, 2020 Show 787 Hour 1

At South Dakota Public Broadcasting, education is central to who we are. With so many South Dakota students' education disrupted due to the closure of school buildings and the abrupt shift to at-home learning, we wanted to let you know about a variety of SDPB's learning resources. 

Governor Says Schools Should Stay Closed Until May

Mar 24, 2020

Governor Noem recommends that all k-12 school districts remain closed until early May. She says that course of action offers consistency in the approach to educating South Dakota students during the pandemic. 

The governor says she’s open to reevaluate school closings in May. But until then, schools are closed.

The shift to on-line learning for the nation’s K-12 students presents new challenges for educators. But some tribal schools are struggling with the transition for different reasons. Their technology infrastructure and internet access aren’t strong enough to connect isolated students.



In The Moment ... March 17, 2020 Show 775 Hour 2

The South Dakota Board of Regents has announced all public universities will move to online learning for at least the next two weeks in light of public health concerns regarding coronavirus.  Professor Elizabeth Racz, Ph.D., MPH, is an epidemiologist and public health expert at South Dakota Mines & Technology. She teaches in the pre-health and biology program on campus.   

Education and Healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health of Rapid City

School bond elections in South Dakota would have to be conducted in June or November if pending legislation becomes law. 

The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Tim Goodwin, R-Rapid City, said the bill is motivated by the timing of Rapid City’s recent school bond election. 


A bill allowing for the creation of community-based schools centered on Native American cultural curriculum passes the Senate unanimously.

Senate Bill 66 allows for schools centered on the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings. They deal with language, treaty rights, sovereignty, and other topics.

On the floor, Senator Wayne Steinhauer explains this isn’t just about separate schools for Native Americans.


The Senate Education Committee unanimously passes a bill to allow for the creation of community-based schools centered on Native American language and culture curriculum.

The approval comes after a lengthy amendment process to bring the Governor’s office and Department of Education on board.

When Ryan Maher looks at the administration of the two state universities in the Black Hills, he sees costly duplication. 


Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... January 16, 2020 Show 735 Hour 1

Ben Jones is South Dakota's secretary of education. He joins us in Pierre with a look into his top priorities, and his view of the future of education in South Dakota.

Education and Healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Monument Health of Rapid City

South Dakota's technical schools are retaining students at a higher rate than the national average. The state's four tech schools are keeping 78% of their students. The national average is 62%. 

Nick Wendell is the executive director of the South Dakota Board of Technical Education. He credits the high retention rates to transition initiatives that help students handle their first year. Wendell also says they've focused on resources for veterans and other non-traditional students. 

News: Nov 9 - 15

Nov 15, 2019

State tourism officials say it’s been a challenging summer for the state’s number two industry.

Education majors at Augustana University have the opportunity to experience cutting-edge classroom tools through Makerspace workshops. 

A second tribe in South Dakota has adopted hate crime protections for LGBT people.

We ask USD’s Mike Allgrunn Ph.D., “What's the economic impact of giving?”

Breast cancer survivors who’ve undergone mastectomies have a new, crafty option in artificial breasts.

Jackie Hendry

Education majors at Augustana University have the opportunity to experience cutting-edge classroom tools through Makerspace workshops. Robots, iPads and circuit boards help students of any level engage with a variety of subjects in a way that feels like play.

The three Makerspace workshops this semester are financed with the Oliver Innovation Fund through Augustana to encourage creativity throughout the university. Assistant Professor of education Michelle Powers applied for the grant to help future teachers learn to incorporate Makerspace in their classrooms.

Chris Laughery

In The Moment ... October 30, 2019 Show 690 Hour 1

Former South Dakota legislator Dan Ahlers has announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate. His platform focuses on the economy, education, and healthcare. Ahlers joins In The Moment from the Kirby Family Studio in Sioux Falls.


In The Moment ... October 2, 2019 Show 671 Hour 1

The South Dakota Department of Education has released its annual report card. Education Department Secretary Ben Jones discusses the results.

Education and healthcare reporting on SDPB is supported by Regional Health, helping patients and communities live well

South Dakota Board of Regents

Fall enrollment for full-time equivalent students at South Dakota’s six public universities is down three percent. That’s nearly a full percentage point lower than last fall. This is the fifth year in a row fall enrollment has shown a decrease in full-time students. 

The Board of Regents is the governing body over the state’s public universities. BOR Executive Director and CEO Paul Beran says the decline in students signals a strong job market that encourages some students to choose the workforce over education.

An estimate from the Sioux Falls School District shows about 350 children per year exceed federal poverty limits to attend Head Start, but preschool is too expensive for their families. The Sioux Falls Hope Coalition is a non-profit that partners with pre-schools and local businesses to provide that opportunity. With 150 students enrolled in pre-k in its third year, the Coalition’s leadership believes it won’t be long before it can give all Sioux Falls students a chance to prepare for kindergarten.

Office of Governor Kristi Noem

Governor Kristi Noem is encouraging South Dakota businesses to register for the state’s first Week of Work in April of 2020. The week is a chance for high schoolers to experience local job opportunities through job shadowing and industry tours.