Black Hills Knowledge Netowork

Three candidates have been selected to be interviewed for the superintendent position at the Meade County School District, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. Charlene Crosswait of Menno, Charles Hanson of Hill City, and Jeff Simmons of Aberdeen will be interviewed at the end of March.

An outside consultant, McPherson & Jacobson, LLC, assisted the Meade County School District in their search. After careful review, the consultant group submitted 18 applicants to the Board of Education for consideration from which the three aforementioned candidates were selected. Once a new superindentent has been hired, the consultants will help oversee a workshop held between the board and superintendent to create performance objectives for the position.

To read more news from Meade County, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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In 2017, the Western South Dakota Juvenile Services Center handled 51 cases of minors using methamphetamine, reports KOTA News. The center serves Butte, Custer, Fall River, Lawrence and Harding Counties. 2017 marks a substantial increase from 34 cases handled in 2015.

Western South Dakota Juvenile Services Center partners with Regional West for short-term treatment programs. However, Butte County State’s Attorney Cassie Wendt noted a need for long-term programs in western South Dakota, as the only program currently available is in Yankton. The great distance makes it difficult to transport clients and impedes potential support from friends and family members of those seeking treatment.

For more information on children and youth, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Following the filing of a federal lawsuit which involved Pennington County’s adherence to the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA), there has been an increase in kinship placements of Native American Children in foster care. As reported by KOTA News, kinship placement is foster care with either relatives or other tribal members and is a key component of ICWA.

Prior to the lawsuit, only 9% of Native American children in state custody were placed in kinship care. By 2013, when the lawsuit was filed, 21% of children were placed in kinship care. The percentage of Native American children in Pennington County placed in kinship care has remained over 20% since the lawsuit’s filing, with a record 29% set in 2014.

While the lawsuit did not address kinship placement, both attorney Dana Hanna, representing the tribal parties, as well as Pennington County state’s attorney Mark Vargo agreed that the lawsuit address and improve upon the care received by Native American children in Pennington County.  

To read more news from Pennington County, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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On February 9th, 1992, while driving to the South Dakota Miss Basketball banquet to accept an award, SuAnne Big Crow perished in a car accident. Big Crow, who hailed from the Pine Ridge Reservation, was known as a remarkable basketball player as well as her advocacy for Lakota history and culture.

Big Crow’s advocacy and sportsmanship were not forgotten, either. Seven years following Big Crow’s untimely death, President Bill Clinton visited the Pine Ridge Reservation. Following his visit, President Clinton called both Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo to discuss the creation of a youth center in Pine Ridge.

In August 2000, the youth center became a reality with the dedication of the SuAnne Big Crow Youth Wellness and Opportunity Center, a Boys and Girls Club of America. The building aimed to meet the dreams of SuAnne Big Crow by providing area youth with a drug- and alcohol-free environment.

While the facility is no longer a member of the Boys and Girls Club, it remains committed to serving youth in Pine Ridge. In 2016, the facility offered health-related services to adults on a fee basis, including water aerobics courses.

In addition to the facility bearing her name, Big Crow was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame on March 25, 2017.

To read more about the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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Last year, Feeding South Dakota provided over 60,000 backpacks filled with food to children in need, reports KOTA News. The backpacks are filled with foods that are easy to prepare for children to eat during weekends and holidays. Feeding South Dakota staff have noted that attendance at schools increases on Fridays due to the backpack program.

Feeding South Dakota intends to reach even more children in 2018 to ensure fewer children go hungry during the school year.

To read more about children and youth in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The Oglala Lakota County School District is envisioning the creation of a vocational-technical high school in the Pine Ridge Reservation, according to KOTA News. The school would be the first public high school within the reservation. The cost of building such a school is estimated at $20 million.  

Currently, the reservation hosts four high school which all have a traditional focus on college preparation. With just 23 percent of eighth graders completing high school, Oglala Lakota County School Board Members are looking for a way to prepare students for careers that require technical training. Training in information technology, agriculture and hospitality would be included in the curriculum.

To learn more about education and training in the Pine Ridge Reservation, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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The Belle Fourche School District is weighing the benefits of a new teaching method known as Mass Customized Learning (MCL). According to the Black Hills Pioneer, other school districts in South Dakota have begun implementing aspects of MCL. MCL aims to take students’ individual learning needs and paces into consideration.

Learning plans are tailored to specific students, and school districts can implement MCL in a variety of ways to assist their students’ needs. MCL often places students of different ages and abilities into the same classroom. Learning stations of varying levels can be set up for students to visit, regardless of their grade level.

To read more about education and training in the Black Hills region, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive or issue hub page.

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Rapid City schools are preparing students how to react in the event that an active killer enters the building. According to KOTA News, the students will receive ALICE (Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter and Evacuate) Training. A meeting was held to help inform parents about the training and its techniques which would be taught to their children. The training is anticipated to begin in November 2017.

To learn more about Rapid City Area Schools, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Teachers in the Rapid City Area School District received a salary increase of more than nine percent last year, as reported by KOTA News. This increase is slightly over the statewide average salary increase for teachers of eight percent. Officials with the Rapid City Area School District noted that they were able to offer base salaries of $40,000.

To learn more about education and training in the Black Hills region, visit the Education and Training issue hub on the Black Hills Knowledge Network.

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The Lead-Deadwood School District has seen a slight uptick in enrollment this school year, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The district has seen an increase of 32 students across the middle and high schools, while enrollment at the middle school has remained flat.

This year, enrollment at the elementary school is 337. The middle school hosts 175 students while enrollment at the high school is 216.

For more information on the Lead-Deadwood School District, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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Monday, 21 August 2017 15:45

Mobile Dental Clinic Visits Belle Fourche

The Delta Dental/Ronald McDonald Care Mobile dental clinic will visit Belle Fourche from August 21-15, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The mobile clinic aims to decrease the occurrence of dental disease in children and youth. Individuals who are between the ages of 0 and 21 who haven’t visited a dentist in more than two years are eligible to receive services from the clinic at no cost.

The dental clinic is hosted in Belle Fourche biannually and is funded by Pioneer Bank and Trust, the Clarkson Family Foundation, FIrst Interstate Bank Foundation, Shopko, Black Hills Power and Light, and the Banner Fund. Local dentist and dental technicians provide the services at the clinic.

To read more about Belle Fourche, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile or online news archive.  

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Two years ago, the South Dakota State Legislature passed a law requiring all incoming sixth grade students to get the T-Dap and meningitis vaccines. According to KOTA News, last year approximately 90 percent of incoming sixth graders had not received the vaccines on the first day of school.

This year, the school district has partnered with Regional Health to create an awareness campaign. District officials believe the number of students who did not have the vaccine in time last year was due to lack of awareness of the new requirement. Through the campaign, the two groups hope to promote awareness and increase vaccination rates.

To read more health and wellness news from the Black Hills, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The Fiscal Year 2018 Budget for the Spearfish School District was recently approved by the Spearfish School Board, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The FY18 general fund contribution increased slightly to $14.8 million from the previous year’s $14.6 million. The increased budget is a reflection of 83 new students to the district.

The capital outlay allocation also increased this year, at $4.1 million, over $3.2 million the previous year. Capital outlay funds are largely used for building maintenance. Special education increased to $3.1 million from the previous year’s $3.1 million.

To read more about education and training in Spearfish, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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Through its first fundraising campaign, Founding 50, the Children’s Museum of the Black Hills raised $50,000 in a month. The group is continuing its fundraising efforts to raise $200,000 in order to open their first location to provide a hands-on learning experience to children and families in the Black Hills region, reports KOTA News.

Individuals wishing to contribute to the museum’s efforts can do so through their website Facebook page.

Read more about education and training and children and youth on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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Several improvement projects are taking place at Lead-Deadwood schools this summer, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The total cost of the renovation projects totals approximately $213,000.

The Lead-Deadwood High School received a private donation from an alum which funded a sandstone project for $21,000. The sandstone had deteriorated over time due to contact with salt. A special coating was placed on the sandstone to help protect the surface. Cracks and tuckpointing were also sealed during the renovation.

Additional renovations for the high school include stair replacement for an estimated $67,000, fire alarm replacement for $48,000 and recarpeting the business office for $4,500.

Learn more about education in Lead and Deadwood at the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile.

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High school students in the Lead-Deadwood School District can now take an ACT preparation course at a reduced rate, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The reduced rate is offered by Chapter Y of the Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO) in Deadwood, which strives to encourage educational endeavors in the region.

The prep course will be offered for just $25—one-hundred dollars less than the normal rate for the course. The course will review ACT test sections including math and monitoring time effectively during the test. The prep test will be offered at the Smart Center in the Historic Homestake Opera House in Lead from 2-5p.m., August 14-17. Students interested in the prep course can apply at Lotus Up, Lead-Deadwood High School, and the Hearst Library in Lead.  Individuals with questions may email [email protected] or call 269-1600.

To learn more about Lead and Deadwood, visit the community profiles on the Black Hills Knowledge Network. Read news about education and training in the Black Hills region on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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After a rough start to the Summer Nights series due to numerous incidents involving unsupervised teens and after issuing an appeal to parents to check on their children, the Rapid City Journal reports that RCPD officers have noted a dramatic decline in juvenile issues. Additional law enforcement agencies are also helping ensure that incidents remain low. The Summer Nights series continues the rest of the month and officials are hopeful that the trend will continue.

To read up on past and current news articles related to Summer NIghts, click on this Black Hills Knowledge Network online news archive link.

For more information on Summer Nights, be sure to check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network Issue Hub page.

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The cost of breakfast and lunch at Lead-Deadwood Schools are slated to increase by 10 to 20 cents for the upcoming school year, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The cost of reduced meal prices will hold steady into the new school year.

Full-price breakfast for students will be $1.80 in the 2017-2018 school year, up 10 cents over the previous year. Adults will pay $2.50 for breakfast, marking a 15 cent increase. Full-price lunches will cost $2.60 for kindergarten through grade five and 2.85 for grades six through twelve, each up 10 cents from last year. Adult lunches will cost $3.60, reflecting a 20 cent increase.

Last year, the district served 52,403 free or reduced meals, marking a decrease from the 2015-2016 school year in which 57,765 free or reduced meals were served to students.

To read more about the Lead-Deadwood School District, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s community profile. Learn more about Lead and Deadwood on the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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The Rapid City Area School Board has approved its budget for the coming school year, a sum of nearly $190 million. According to the Rapid City Journal, tor the first time in several years, the Board will dip into reserve funds and other monetary streams typically earmarked for building projects. This is being done to help balance the budget so that the district can pay all its bills, though not all Board members support taking money from the reserves for this purpose.

To read up on past and current news articles related to education in Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network's online news archive.

For more information on the education and training of the area, check out this Black Hills Knowledge Network Community Profiles page.

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The United Way of the Black Hills has distributed over 4,300 books to children in the Black Hills, reports KOTA News. The books are being donated through a program called Imagination Library, which was established by country singer Dolly Parton.

Children must be under the age of five in order to receive books through the program and can be signed up on the Imagination Library website.

To read more news from Rapid City, visit the Black Hills Knowledge Network’s online news archive.

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