Breakout Sessions

Download descriptions of Breakout Sessions by subject here, by room here and by day and time here. Download the full Convention schedule here.

Student Achievement

How School Districts can Address English Language Learner (ELL) Challenges with the Help of South Dakota State University

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. in rooms 8, 9 & 10

Presenter(s): Elkton School Board Member and SDSU Assistant Professor Dr. Jennifer Kampmann, Elkton Superintendent Brian Jandahl and Elkton K-12 Principal Kelly Neill

Elkton School District data showed staff desire to better meet the needs of an increasing ELL population. The school board and administration, along with South Dakota State University, developed a hybrid delivery model that allowed 17 staff members to obtain ELL Endorsement through a cohort model, which can be replicated in other districts throughout the state. This session will share information on how the finance, development and support of such a model was possible between Elkton and SDSU and how staff were incentivized to participate.

When Inquiry Doesn’t Work…..Why Explicit Instruction?

Thursday, 11:30 a.m. in rooms 11 & 12

Presenter(s): Northwest Area Schools Statewide MTSS Initiative Pat Bruinsma and Pat Hubert 

It would be ideal if all students could flourish in an inquiry-based environment, but in most classrooms there are students  developmentally ready to think abstractly and problem solve for discovery and others needing more explicit instruction to develop these skills. Inquiry AND explicit instruction are both needed and effective. This session will discuss why and how explicit/direct instruction can support struggling students.

eSchool Health

Thursday, 11:30 a.m. in room 2

Presenter(s): eSchool Health Director Avera eCARE Sheila Freed, BSN, RN and Sioux Falls School District Health Services Supervisor Molly Satter, MSN, RN  

The virtual classroom is not a new concept; however Virtual School Health is just emerging in the education world as a way to keep kids healthy, in school and learning, as well as supporting school staff. This session will explore how leveraging technology can solve school nurse access issues in rural areas and extend resources in urban areas and will also explore options for the future, such as eSpeech Therapy and eBehavioral Health.

Customized Learning Panel Discussion

Thursday, 3:00 p.m. in rooms 8, 9 & 10

Presenter(s): TIE Director Dr. Julie Mathiesen, TIE Director Emeritus Dr. James Perry and panelists 

TIE was awarded a grant from the Bush Foundation in 2015 to support customized learning in South Dakota schools. Currently, 19 schools are  involved in those efforts.  As a learner-centered approach, Customized Learning challenges the familiar and comfortable paradigm of traditional schools. This session will focus on emerging successes and challenges in engaging students in customized learning experiences, as well as share highlights from an interim report about the impact of the work.

The Behavior in our School is Making Us Crazy!

Thursday, 3:00 p.m. in rooms 11 & 12

Presenter(s): Northwest Area Schools Statewide MTSS Initiative Pat Hubert and Pat Bruinsma

More and more schools are reporting that student behavior is the biggest challenge for student success and teacher retention. This session will discuss how school-wide behavior expectations, rules, reinforcement and the collection of data can make school a more structured, and safe environment for students and teachers.

Mass Customized Learning in a Small School Setting

Thursday, 4:00 p.m. in rooms 8, 9 & 10

Presenter(s): Deuel High School Principal Eric Bass,  Deuel High School Business Teacher Scott Mitchell and Deuel Middle School Social Studies Teacher Dusty Hourigan

This session will discuss Deuel’s implementation of the customized learning in their Middle and High School classrooms and the tools used, the issues faced and success experienced in their path to customized learning.

Using SD-STARS as a resource for data-driven decisions

Thursday, 4:00 p.m. in rooms 11 & 12

Presenter(s): South Dakota Department of Education SD STARS Support Lead Brad Steckelberg

A contributing measure of successful schools and districts is often educators’ access to and use of student data to inform instruction, curriculum and continuous improvement. Student data helps identify gaps in learning, patterns in attendance, readiness for the next academic step and more. During this session, participants will learn about SD-STARS and how to use its reports and resources to help answer important questions that come up through the school year.

Juvenile Justice Mandates Update

Friday, 8:30 a.m. in rooms 8, 9 & 10

Presenter(s): Policy Advisor for Office of the Gov. Daugaard Patrick Weber, General Counsel to Gov.Daugaard AJ Franken and UJS State Court Administrator Greg Sattizahn

The South Dakota Juvenile Justice model continues to evolve and is difficult to keep up with the changes. School Board members and administrators will want to hear from the Governor’s Office and the Unified Judicial System on the most recent changes and best practices that will help them work more effectively with at-risk students and the courts in their school districts.

Five Levers to Improve Learning

Friday, 8:30 a.m. in rooms 11 & 12

Presenter(s): TIE Evaluation Services Coordinator John Swanson and TIE Deputy Director Amelia Rose Meyer

As schools make changes, they sometimes don’t get the results they were hoping for. Join this session to learn more about a series of “levers” which can help prioritize efforts and resources to directly benefit students. Based on the book, Five Levers to Improve Learning, this session will examine the five levers:  structure (schedules and logistics), sample (grouping practices), standards (expectations for quality), strategies (teaching methods) and self (what students believe about themselves as learners).

SASD Preschool Breakout session

Friday, 10:30 a.m. in rooms 8, 9 & 10

Presenter(s): SASD Executive Director Rob Monson, South Central Child Development, Inc. Director Rick Thaler, USD Head Start Director Carmen Stewart and Beresford Elementary Principal Kevin Nelson

SASD believes preschool is an important part of the education process and a committee recently took on the challenge of putting together a compilation of standards they believe make up quality preschools. The session presenters will talk about the pilot project, as well as the next steps for the program.

Governance & Policy

Like a Fine Wine or Cold Beer; a Taste of ASBSD

Thursday, 10: 30 a.m. in rooms 13 & 14

Presenter(s): ASBSD President Todd Thoelke, First Vice President Tom Farrell, Past President Anita Peterson, Board of Director Eric Stroeder and Executive Director Dr. Wade Pogany

Come get a “taste” of the programs and services your state school board association – ASBSD – has to offer and meet the staff and board members who are here to help bring solutions to your boardroom. ASBSD officers will discuss the opportunities school boards have when they partner with ASBSD and board members will learn about the amazing people and resources they have at their fingertips to help them be effective board members. Door prizes will be given.

Rainbows and Unicorns: Ways to Develop a Positive Culture and Climate in Your School

Thursday, 11:30 a.m. in rooms 8, 9 & 10

Presenter(s): Simmons Elementary Principal Kim Aman and Mike Miller Elementary Principal Nicole Schutter

This session will share ideas implemented in their schools that have helped develop a positive climate and culture among students, staff and parents.

Every Student Succeeds Act Update

Thursday, 11:30 a.m. in rooms 6 & 7

Presenter(s): South Dakota Department of Education Office of Accreditation Administrator Laura Scheibe and Director of Accountability Systems Abby Javurek-Humig 

For the last year, the South Dakota Department of Education has been meeting with stakeholders to help draft recommendations for the state’s plan to meet the Every Student Succeeds Act’s accountability provisions, effective for the 2017-18 school year. This session will cover highlights of the state’s plan to meet the new federal requirements and will discuss timelines for implementation.

Social Media and its Effects Inside and Outside of your School

Thursday, 3:00 p.m. in rooms 6 & 7

Presenter(s): Representatives from ASBSD  and Great American

Smart phones might be getting the green light in more schools around the country, but social networking is still getting the yellow in many schools. Parents are worried about bullying and teacher-student online relationships are questioned. Learn how social media can benefit K-12 schools and districts.

2018 Contract Negotiations: It’s Not Too Early To Start Preparing

Thursday, 3:00 p.m. in room 3

Presenter(s): Churchill, Manolis, Freeman, Kludt, Shelton and Burns, LLC Attorney Rodney Freeman, Jr.

This session is designed for school board members and administrators with little or no experience in collective bargaining contract negotiations and will cover the laws and requirements related to public employee union negotiations. The session will also include practical steps on what can be done and should be done now in preparation for the contract negotiations next spring.

What’s New in D.C.?

Friday, 8:30 a.m. in room 3

Presenter(s): National School Boards Association Office of General Counsel Senior Staff Attorney Tammy T. Carter and National School Boards Association Western Region Director and Mitchell School Board Member Neil Putnam

Come listen to a Senior Staff Attorney for the National School Boards Association share what is happening in D.C. related to education, with topics including NSBA Advocacy, ESSA, vouchers, the Trump administration, agency actions affecting education, U.S. DOE Secretary DeVos and education-related litigation.

Oversight or Overstepping? What is your Board Doing?

Friday, 10:30 a.m. in rooms 11 & 12

Presenter(s): ASBSD Leadership Development Director Randall Royer

When does oversight turn into micro-managing? This session will examine the school board’s role in providing guidance and direction to the superintendent and the district, but making sure they do not overstep the bounds of that role. Topics of school governance, school management, and power and authority within the school district will be addressed, different scenarios will be examined and time for questions will be included.

Finance & Legal

A Roadmap for South Dakota’s School Districts in Title IX Disputes

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. in rooms 11 & 12

Presenter(s): Swier Law Firm, Prof. LLC Attorney Scott R. Swier

Title IX lawsuits based on claims of sexual harassment/assault have received heightened attention over the past several years. Title IX liability for public school districts for student claims of sexual harassment/assault has been, and continues to be, a hotly litigated area of education law. With the focus being given to these issues by the media, school districts will see more Title IX lawsuits by students alleging student-on-student and staff-on-student sexual harassment and violence. This session will provide a roadmap for defending Title IX disputes, specifically related to claims for sexual harassment/assault.

Compliance Matters

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. in room 2

Presenter(s): outh Dakota Department of Legislative Audit (DLA) Director of Local Government Assistance Rod Fortin

This session will concentrate on important compliance related items directly related to school administrators and school board members. Compliance issues include annual reports, audits, proper use of Funds, transfer of funds, bids, surplus property, conflict of interest and other important state and federal compliance issues.

The New Conflict of Interest Law

Thursday, 11:30 a.m. in rooms 13 & 14

Presenter(s): ASBSD Director of Policy and Legal Services Gerry Kaufman and Leadership Development Director Randall Royer

The 2017 Legislature made significant changes in the conflict of interest law enacted in 2016. Learn what the changes are, including to whom the law applies, when disclosure to the school board of a conflict of interest is required and what the school board must do after it receives a conflict of interest disclosure. This session will also share information about the legal consequences for failure to comply with the disclosure requirements.

Open Meeting Laws – Part 1:  What School Board Members and School Administrators Need to Know

Thursday, 3:00 p.m. in rooms 13 & 14

Presenter(s): ASBSD Director of Policy and Legal Services Gerry Kaufman and Leadership Development Director Randall Royer

South Dakota laws related to open meetings are continually changing and this session will focus on open meetings requirements and provide school board members and administrators with the knowledge necessary to comply with the open meetings laws. Decisions of the Open Meetings Commission will also be discussed in order to show various issues that come before the Open Meetings Commission, and how and why the Open Meetings Commission made the decisions it did.

Open Meeting Laws – Part 2:  Executive Session

Thursday, 4:00 p.m. in rooms 13 & 14

Presenter(s): ASBSD Director of Policy and Legal Services Gerry Kaufman and Leadership Development Director Randall Royer

There are very specific laws and rules related to executive sessions, which are closed to the public. This session will focus on those laws and rules, including what is required to go into executive session, the topics which can be discussed in executive session, decisions made in executive session, note taking in executive session, who is permitted in executive session and executive session confidentiality requirements. Decisions of the Open Meetings Commission will also be discussed in order to show various executive session issues which come before the Open Meetings Commission, and how and why the Open Meetings Commission made the decisions it did.

Evaluating your District to Avoid the Dreaded Liability and Workers’ Compensation Claims

Friday, 8:30 a.m. in rooms 6 & 7

Presenter(s): Representatives from ASBSD and Safety National

Whether walking down the sidewalk, through the parking lot, in the school or elsewhere on your property there may be hazardous conditions you may not be aware of. Learn measures to take from the experts at Safety National to avoid slip and falls and other accidents.

Importance of Employee Benefits Eligibility

Friday, 10:30 a.m. in rooms 6 & 7

Presenter(s): Representatives from ASBSD and McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC LLO Partner Joan M. Cannon

Learn the importance of employee benefits eligibility and how to keep your school district from facing financial exposure for not following those requirements.

The Roles and Responsibilities of the School Attorney

Friday, 10:30 a.m. in room 3

Presenter(s): ASBSD Director of Policy and Legal Services Gerry Kaufman and National School Boards Association Office of General Counsel Senior Staff Attorney Tammy T. Carter

Why do school districts need lawyers? School boards and district staff must deal with legal issues daily and a school district attorney helps district board members and administrators follow the web of state and federal laws and regulations affecting schools. When litigation is necessary, a school attorney advocates for the school board before courts and administrative bodies. A school district lawyer wears many hats, their job duties include offering advice on legal and policy matters, researching legal issues, and representing the school district in litigation matters. Good school lawyers use independent judgment and avoid conflicts of interest, they are adept at preventive law and  focus on controlling legal issues whenever possible and anticipating problems and legal solutions before litigation happens. They are up-to-date on current school law trends and recent court decisions, and they are members of NSBA’s Council of School Attorneys.


Col. Athens Breakout Session

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. in rooms 6 & 7

Presenter(s): Col. Arthur J. Athens

Col. Athens will expound on the topics discussed in his keynote address.

School Bus Safety

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. in room 3

Presenter(s): Representatives from ASBSD and Alliant

School buses are one of the safest forms of transportation in the United States. Every year, approximately 450,000 public school buses transport 23.5 million children to and from school and school-related activities. Yet, on average, every year, six school-aged children die in school bus crashes as passengers. Learn how your school can make your students safer by following these important steps.

Preventing Sexual Abuse in your Schools: A Five Step Approach

Thursday, 11:30 a.m. in room 3

Presenter(s): Representatives from ASBSD and ScholarRe

This session will help board members and administrators understanding the dynamics of abuse in schools, including the risks, scope of the problem, and effects, how incidents occur in youth-to-adult and youth-to-youth situations, as well as false allegations and the need for a prevention framework, common challenges and industry trends. Attendees will also learn how to manage the risks with a prevention strategy of implement and standardize policies, screen for abuse risk, deliver the right training at the right time, monitor and supervise for safety and implement systems for reporting and responding. The session will also cover why leadership matters and how to maintain commitment and questions board members should be asking.

Building Bridges Between K-12 Leaders and Higher Education Leaders: Listening to our K-12 Partners Throughout South Dakota

Thursday, 3:00 p.m. in room 2

Presenter(s): South Dakota State University Professor and Department Head of Teaching, Learning, & Leadership Dr. Andrew Stremmel, Brookings High School Dr. Paul von Fischer and University of South Dakota Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership Dr. David De Jong

This session’s presenters want to hear from the school leaders throughout South Dakota! Come to participate in a group discussion about the skills and competencies needed for principals and superintendents in today’s schools and share thoughts, ideas and experiences.

Deescalating Violent Situations in a School Setting

Thursday, 4:00 p.m. in rooms 6 & 7

Presenter(s): Representatives from ASBSD and Safety National

Since virtually any professional working in schools might at some point find themselves needing to talk down a student, who presents as emotionally upset, all educators should know the basics of how to deescalate the agitated student. Learn from this session’s experts about how to manage the behaviors of students who show patterns of escalating, potentially violent behaviors.

Using Frontline for Teacher and Principal Evaluations

Friday, 8:30 a.m. in rooms 13 & 14

Presenter(s): Harrisburg K-5 Curriculum Director  Tanya Rasmussen and South Dakota Department of Education State Educator Support Specialist Matt Gill

School principals will gain a deeper understanding of how to use the Frontline platform to manage the process of evaluating teachers and other staff, as this session will cover everything from setting up teacher accounts to using the walk-through, observation and student learning objective tools within the system. For superintendents, the session will provide the basics related to principal evaluation, including setting up accounts and using the observation and artifact tools within the system.

Interactive Educational Leadership Simulation: A Video-based “Choose your Own Ending” Story of a Leadership Scenario

Friday, 8:30 a.m. in room 2

Presenter(s): University of South Dakota Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership Dr. David De Jong, Associate Professor of Educational Leadership Dr. Susan Curtin and Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership Dr. Derrick Robinson

Come and immerse yourself in a first person, multimedia simulation of a practical school leadership scenario. This hands-on simulation stops at points where attendees will choose from options on how to respond and depending on the group’s choices, the simulation will lead to different videos (similar to those “choose your own ending” books that we read as kids). Time will be provided to share the experiences that shape how decisions are made.

What’s New with Teacher & Administrator Certification?

Friday, 10:30 a.m. in rooms 13 & 14

Presenter(s): South Dakota Department of Education Office of Certification Administrator Carla Leingang

The South Dakota Department of Education is rolling out a new system for teacher and administrator certification in South Dakota. The system has been designed to maintain rigor, while removing barriers that did not make sense for our state. Embedded in the system are new flexibilities that offer schools opportunities to place teachers in areas of high need. Come learn about the changes to the system that went into effect July 1, 2017, as well as those changes that will be phased in over the next two years.

Trash Talk: Chemical Waste Disposal Options

Friday, 10:30 a.m. in room 2

Presenter(s): Avon High School Science Teacher Paul Kuhlman

Are you tired of looking at those old chemicals in your storeroom? This is the year to do something about it! There is help available and this session will give you some ideas of how to safely go about it.


Your School Can Help Your Community Become a Healthy Hometown

Thursday, 10:30 a.m. in room 1

Presenter(s): Director of Community Health Improvement at Wellmark Mary Lawyer, Administrator of the Office of Chronic Disease Prevention & Health Promotion Kiley Hump and School Health and Physical Education Specialist with South Dakota Department of Health Karen Keyser

Community and school policies, resources and overall built environment can have a significant impact on the health of its residents and students. Healthy Hometown (SM) Powered by Wellmark, delivered in collaboration with Good & Healthy South Dakota, offers evidence based tactics to make the healthy choice easy and improve overall well-being through built environment and policies changes. At this session, learn how your school can implement Healthy Hometown and help students eat well, move more and feel better.

Selecting a 3D Printer your District Staff will use

Thursday, 11:30 a.m. in room 1

Presenter(s): Mid-West 3D Solutions Larry Lucas and MarkerBot 3D Printers Warren Dunton

The presentation will cover user friendly 3D printing technology that adapts to multiple users, reliable 3D printers without costly repairs, integrated curriculum, preparing students for post-secondary programs and economical means of maintaining/replacing supplies.

Facility Improvement Funding with Redirected Savings

Thursday, 3:00 p.m. in room 3

Presenter(s): CTS Group Account Executive Tim York, Managing Partner Bob Bennett and Education Advisor Bob Briggs

Learn how k-12 districts are leveraging special financing options and savings to help fund much needed facility and infrastructure improvements.  The results are modernized, comfortable and healthy learning environments with reduced energy and operational costs.  We will discuss the wide variety of possible improvements and energy savings measures as well as funding mechanisms which makes this an attractive solution for districts.

Planning for Technology in New Construction or Building Remodeling

Thursday, 3:00 p.m. AND 4:00 p.m. in room 1

Presenter(s): K-12 Technology Specialist Eric Eisenbraun

If your school is currently involved in or anticipating a building project, this is the session for you. Come for a review of common technology items that K-12 schools often overlook during remodeling and new construction, tips on valuable information that will help guide technology implementations in building projects and additional topics with information on video surveillance, building access control and classroom technology

Streamlining Governance: Board Management Solutions Offer Robust Benefits For Board Members

Friday, 8:30 a.m. in room 1

Presenter(s): McLaughlin Superintendent Scott Lepke and Board President Ira Taken Alive

For school board members, board management services offer intuitive, easy-to-navigate features to provide instant access to important documents on any device; features such as a private note-taking tool and meta search options of thousands of governance and policy issues help to maximize efficiency. This session will demonstrate how boards are using low-cost technology to prepare for meetings and seamlessly review and approve agenda items and show how enhanced goal tracking and strategic plan management tools help boards propel their district’s success for years to come. Come see the many benefits of a board management solution first-hand.

School Security: Video and Lockdown Technology

Friday, 10:30 a.m. in room 1

Presenter(s): Axis Communications Shannon Neubauer, Integrated Technology & Security James Straatmeyer and Milestone Systems Mike Tice 

At this session you’ll learn about the latest video, access control and lockdown technology and how it is affecting the industry and take part  in discussion on how technology can best respond to a school security event. Attendees will  also learn how new technology betters student safety and lowers the total cost of ownership. There will be a live demonstration on how live video and lockdown information can be sent to staff, students and law enforcement when seconds matter.