South Dakota public schools weather pandemic well

Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 3:38 PM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - The 2021-22 Report Card published on Thursday shows that more than 75% of school districts stayed at the same level or improved proficiency rates in English and math, compared to student performance in the 2018-19 school year. According the Department of Education’s report, 88% of districts saw stable or slightly improved, on-time graduation rates.

The online resource provides a wealth of data to help parents, educators, and community and state leaders understand how their public schools perform on select metrics.

“This year’s Report Card shows a pattern of holding steady through turbulent times,” said Secretary of Education Tiffany Sanderson. “That’s remarkable, considering the challenges schools have faced these last two years, and it’s a reflection of South Dakota’s commitment to prioritize face to face learning.”

Attendance is one of the key metrics on the Report Card and an area for concern. Prior to the pandemic, South Dakota’s statewide attendance rate was 92 percent. In 2021-22, it was 86 percent. Fifty-five percent of districts experienced attendance rates in 2021-22 that were lower than their pre-pandemic rates.

“It’s pretty simple: Kids can’t learn if they are not at school,” Sanderson said. One effort the state is making to combat absenteeism is a public awareness campaign. The campaign advises students and their families on the long-term benefits of regular school attendance.

To supplement local efforts to improve student learning coming out of the pandemic, the Department of Education and Board of Regents recently launched the Dakota Dreams Online Tutoring Program. The free service provides K-12 students with individualized support outside of the school day.