Data Information

Achieving our mission, to educate and prepare each student to succeed in a changing world, hinges on our ability to continually improve the effectiveness of our schools. Multiple factors impact student achievement and serve as indicators of effective schools. This Data Profile Directory is prepared to provide parents, educators, and the community with a data profile of various school effectiveness indicators. The directory should be used as one source of data for identifying a school's present status, assessing overall student progress, and planning for continual school improvement.

 

Each year the South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE) releases a report card showing the performance of schools across the state. The report card includes information about academic achievement, student attendance for grades K-8, the graduation rate for high schools, and professional staff qualifications. These criteria are used to determine the school’s performance index or SPI.

Although the federal and state governments require building and district-level accountability measures, the District closely monitors the individual progress of each student to ensure that each student is being prepared to succeed in a changing world. By reviewing their student’s quarterly report cards, attending Parent-Teacher Conferences in the fall and spring, and contacting teachers with questions or concerns parents will have the best picture of how their children are progressing.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, state assessments were not administered, and therefore data for student performance, student progress, and school environment are not available for the 2019-2020 school year.

Based upon South Dakota's waiver approved by the U.S. Department of Education, the overall score was not calculated for schools for the 2019-2020 report cards, and the school support status is based upon school performance results from the 2018-2019 academic year.

 

All schools in the District are submitting their School Improvement Plan to the Board for approval prior to submitting them to the State. The Plans, developed by a team of parents, community members, and staff, serve as a roadmap for future planning and professional development and measure student achievement.

Each school has a building leadership team that meets regularly throughout the year to guide the development, implementation, and evaluation of the School Improvement Plan. Building leadership teams divide the larger plan into smaller segments with the following focuses: staff roles, goals, meetings summary, data processes, priorities and strategies, and the professional development plan.

This document guides the work in order to meet the District’s mission, priority statements from the Strategic Plan, and the achievement goals set by the South Dakota Department of Education.

 

Fall Enrollment

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The core curriculum

The core of the curriculum focuses on meeting state content standards while not limiting student learning to specific grade-level standards. Teachers differentiate the curriculum in content, process, and products.

To provide content differentiation, teachers:

  • Pre-test students to determine the correct level of subject difficulty.
  • Compact curriculum to eliminate concepts previously mastered.
  • Relate content to broad-based issues, themes, and /or problems.
  • Integrate content into other curriculum areas.
  • Provide for varied learning styles.
  • Allow for in-depth study of given topics.

To provide for process differentiation, teachers:

  • Develop students’ independent or self-directed study skills.
  • Develop students’ complex, abstract, and/or higher-level thinking skills.
  • Focus on open-ended questions and tasks.
  • Integrate basic skills into basic themes.

To provide product differentiation, teachers design assignments that ask students to:

  • Use new techniques, materials, and forms.
  • Develop self-understanding.

Show evidence based upon criteria of creating products that match expectations.

  • Experience and choose format options, including oral, visual, written, and kinesthetic presentations.
  • Analyze existing ideas and produce new ideas.

Mathematics instruction is based on readiness and performance grouping across the grades. Number sense and problem-solving are at the core of the math curriculum. Although students are allowed to accelerate, enrichment allows students to develop a broader base of mathematical understanding.

Students are given opportunities to investigate science through the FOSS (Full Option Science Systems) curriculum. This program stresses the scientific process of inquiry, development of a hypothesis, and an investigation to evaluate the hypothesis. Informational texts are incorporated to develop skills required to read nonfiction, investigate areas of interest, and present individual research.

Social studies instruction relies on interactive lessons that allow students to analyze, apply, and demonstrate their learning. A basic social studies text, nonfiction literature, teacher-developed units, and research are also used to allow for differentiated instruction.

Spanish is taught at each grade level as enrichment. The four basic skills of listening comprehension, speaking, reading, and writing in the Spanish language are introduced. Emphasis is placed on pronunciation, vocabulary acquisition, and basic grammatical concepts to allow the students to function in communicative situations.

Students have art, music, and physical education twice a week. Art instruction is often tied to instruction in the classroom. As with other areas of the curriculum, both art and music are accelerated and enriched. Students may start orchestra in fourth grade and band in fifth grade. Many Challenge Center students are skilled musicians and often take both band and orchestra.

Interims were begun when the Challenge Center began. They are focused units of study which extend beyond the core curriculum and are multi-disciplinary in nature. They provide students the opportunity to learn about a broad topic of interest and are generally planned and coordinated by parents with the support of Challenge Center teachers. They may be a week-long focus or may extend over a longer period of time. Field trips and guest speakers are woven into most interims, moving the learning outside the walls of the school.

Welcome to The Challenge Center

The Challenge Center, located at Robert Frost Elementary, is a program for highly gifted 2nd-5th grade students.

This is a unique school within the Sioux Falls School District that was developed to meet the needs of high ability students from across the district by providing an accelerated and enriched curriculum in an inclusive, full day program. Modified, advanced curriculum keeps students engaged, while they develop a growth mindset and get prepared for the options of the Middle School Honors Program and advanced classes there.

Our mission is to challenge the high ability students we serve to become well-rounded independent learners. We have established a flexible curriculum based on state standards, best research-based practice, gifted education standards of the National Association of Gifted Children, and student interests.

Students who qualify for Challenge Center and Elementary Gifted Program (EGP) services can apply for admission to the Challenge Center. (Your child's gifted program teacher would/will communicate this qualification to you upon completion of testing) Entrance is granted on a first-come, first admitted basis. Applications for the 2021-22 school year will begin 1/1/2021.

If you have questions please contact Holli Bialas.

Lead Clerical
(605) 367-6170

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