Sioux Falls School District

Jackie Hendry

Less than a year after Sioux Falls voters approved a $190-million bond for three new schools, the district breaks ground on its new high school. Thomas Jefferson High School is set to open in time for the 2021 school year. City and district leaders say the occasion marks growth not just for Sioux Falls, but for the entire state. 

USD School of Education

During his time as dean of the University of South Dakota's School of Education, Donald Easton-Brooks formed a partnership with the Sioux Falls School District to launch the Teacher Pathway Program, which seeks to recruit a diverse pool of future teachers from its own student body. Easton-Brooks is a scholar of education policy and culturally responsive teaching. His book Ethnic Matching: Success of Students of Color was released earlier this year. 

USD School of Education

Many school districts focus on recruiting the best teachers for their classrooms, and they struggle to bring in a diverse pool of candidates. Even when they’re successful, some can’t retain the teachers they’ve hired. Donald Easton-Brooks, the Dean of USD’s School of Education, says the challenge is about more than money. 

Before Donald Easton-Brooks pursued a career in education, he was a counselor at a residential treatment facility in Denver. He says something about the job didn’t feel right.

Jackie Hendry

After overwhelming approval from voters, the Sioux Falls School District is moving forward with plans funded by a $190 million dollar bond. Those plans include building new facilities and improving existing ones. 

Sioux Falls School District

Sioux Falls voters overwhelmingly approve a bond that will fund construction of three new schools. The $190 million bond will also fund security and other improvements on the district’s other campuses. 

The Sioux Falls School District needed at least 60% affirmative votes to pass the bond. In the end, nearly 85% of voters support funding the construction of new facilities.  

Sioux Falls School District

Sioux Falls School District Superintendent Brian Maher is calling Thursday’s threat against Roosevelt High School an act of “cyber-terrorism.”  An e-mail sent to local businesses alluded to a shooting at the high school, prompting law enforcement to post additional officers in the area. Officials are calling the threat a hoax. 

Superintendent Maher says he was attending a meeting at Roosevelt High School when law enforcement alerted school officials of the threat. He says investigators now believe students were not in immediate danger.

The legislative rules review committee approves changes to South Dakota’s high school graduation requirements with a four to two vote. The changes include three possible endorsements that allow students to tailor their high school classes to their post-high school plans.

Jackie Hendry

Many public and private schools start their fall semester this week. In Sioux Falls, a growing population means an increase in traffic when school is in session. The Sioux Falls school district is partnering with AAA and local law enforcement for the School’s Open, Drive Carefully campaign. 

Superintendent Brian Maher says Sioux Falls schools now have nearly 24,000 students and 3,400 employees. With that many people traveling around the same time each day, he says traffic is bound to be slower.

Robots In The Classroom

Dec 8, 2017

Jason Whiting teaches information and communication technology and career and technical education at Patrick Henry Middle School in Sioux Falls.

He received a grant from the Sioux Falls Education Foundation to purchase a humanoid robot. He joins Innovation host Cara Hetland for a conversation about rethinking classroom interactions.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The International Coding Competition in Rapid City and recent international hacking events have prompt people to consider coding. It provides the scaffold for computers and smartphones and apps. Educators must decide how kids can learn code, what they should understand, and when they should start.

Take a peek inside this coding classroom. The room is warm. It’s afternoon. The school year draws to a close, and sixth-grader Adysen Moet plays a video game.

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... April 17, 2017 Show 073 Hour 1

We begin the hour with a conversation with Superintendent Brian Maher of the Sioux Falls School District. We'll talk about efforts the district is making to increase diversity in teaching staff district wide.

Erika Oppenheimer is a college test prep coach and author of "Acing It! A Mindful Guide to Maximum Results on Your College Admissions Test." We talk with her about the second edition of her book and her Test Prep for the Whole Person methodology. 

Lori Walsh

In The Moment ... March 14, 2017 Show 049 Hour 2

SDPB Podcaster Hugh Weber joins us to talk about the extraordinary power of the tangible. Today we meet PunkPost founder Alexis (Lex) Monson. PunkPost allows users to text a message through the app to a scriptist who then hand scripts onto a letter-pressed card and send it in the mail.

 

http://www.spartanburg2.k12.sc.us/StuServices/attendance.html

In The Moment... February 22, 2017 Show 035 Hour 2

This week’s Dakota Political Junkies are Madison Daily Leader publisher Jon Hunter and Rapid City Journal enterprise reporter Seth Tupper. 

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

In The Moment ... February 13, 2017 Show 029 Hour 2

South Dakota Republican Party elected Dan Lederman of Dakota Dunes has been elected by the South Dakota Republican Party to lead the SDGOP for the next two years. Chair Lederman will begin his term immediately and has called a Special Central Committee Meeting to be held at the end of February to adopt a budget and goals for 2017.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls middle schoolers are playing music with a world-renowned rock orchestra violinist. Mark Wood is in town to perform Saturday night. More than 2,700 students are set to accompany him.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

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.

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.

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.

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.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

South Dakota’s senior US Senator says he supports the Republican nominee for president – regardless of which man wins the race. Senator John Thune notes the election process is far from over. He explained his position on the 2016 election to a group of teenagers.

At New Technology high school in Sioux Falls, government students pepper Thune with questions about foreign policy, terrorism, regulation, and politics. That includes this one about the campaign for president of the United States: is there any candidate that you necessarily support or endorse in this current election?

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Each legislative session, some major issues seem to take the spotlight in Pierre – and education is dominating this year’s conversation. Much of SDPB’s coverage relates to funding schools and teachers, because lawmakers are trying to find ways to fairly and adequately fund education. Despite a goal to provide the same opportunity for all kids by doling out the matching funding for students, children walk into classes facing a wide range of challenges. A visit to one Sioux Falls school reveals some of those differences.

SF School Leader Optimistic About Edu. Plan

Jan 11, 2016
Kealey Bultena / SDPB

The leader of the state’s largest school district says South Dakota has an opportunity to restore value to careers in education. Governor Dennis Daugaard is set to reveal his vision for school funding during Tuesday afternoon's State of the State address. One education leader says the Governor’s proposal is more than a spending plan.

A library in Sioux Falls is partnering with Feeding South Dakota to provide after-school snacks for elementary students.

At 3 o'clock on a school day, students at Anne Sullivan Middle School walk across the street to Oak View Library while they wait to get picked up. Director of Siouxland Libraries  Mary Johns says staff had the idea of asking Feeding South Dakota if the two groups could partner to provide a snack for students who stay late in the evening waiting for parents.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A Sioux Falls teacher is a recipient of a prestigious education honor. Teachers can’t apply for the Milken Educator Award; the foundation identifies candidates and selects them without letting the teacher know – that is, until this week at a surprise assembly.  

Hundreds of students at Sioux Falls Roosevelt High School stomp up bleachers in the gym. The band plays as they fill the stands and spill out onto the hardwood floor.

After introductions, Jane Foley with the Milken Family Foundation tells students one teacher can positively influence thousands of lives.

SF High Schoolers Construct Affordable Housing

Sep 14, 2015
Erin Mairose

This week a house built by high school students is moving to a permanent home. The home is traveling down 12th street in Sioux Falls – and for a cause.

Wayne Wagner is the housing development director for Affordable Housing Solutions in Sioux Falls. The group helps low income families find cost-efficient housing while helping revitalize deteriorating neighborhoods. Wagner says a partnership with the Sioux Falls School District supports the community.

Erin Mairose

A class of high school carpentry students at the Career and Technical Education Academy is learning skills for future careers. 

Sitting in Bill Pulford’s classroom at the CTE Academy is a house.

From framing, to insulation and cabinetry, this class built the three bedroom home. Pulford says soon moving trucks are relocating the house to a permit location in Sioux Falls.  

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Preschool teachers in Sioux Falls are learning about a program that helps students recognize gender differences and build relationships. It’s called the Sanford Harmony Program, and its champion says it started when he read the famous book Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. Tuesday the project’s namesake talks with teachers in Sioux Falls on their first day of Harmony training.

Sioux Falls School District

Tuesday is the last day on the job for Sioux Falls superintendent Pam Homan. She’s retiring after 11 years leading the district. Kearney, Nebraska public schools superintendent Brian Maher replaces her in July.

Sioux Falls police have arrested two teenagers in connection with a vandalism Wednesday at a Sioux Falls High School. Police say staff members recognized Addison Park, 18 and Alex Engel, 18  in surveillance video. They both face 3rd degree burglary charges, and Park faces petty theft for stealing backpacks. 

The Sioux Falls School District is working with police after people broke into Lincoln High School. Officer Sam Clemens says a custodian noticed the damage sometime after 5:00 a.m.; police think it happened between midnight and 3:00 a.m.

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