Board Approved May 15, 2006 South Dakota Department of Education

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Board Approved

May 15, 2006

South Dakota Department of Education

The revised social studies standards are a result of the contributions of many educators from across the state. Many hours were devoted to research and thoughtful consideration of issues to ensure that the standards would reflect rigorous social studies teaching and provide opportunities for students to learn important social studies concepts, facts, and processes. The Social Studies Standards Revision Committee members represent the many concerned individuals across the state dedicated to their profession and to high-quality social studies education for all South Dakota students. Without their contributions, the revision of the social studies content standards would not have been possible. The South Dakota Department of Education wishes to express appreciation and gratitude to the individuals and the organizations they represent who contributed expertise and time to the revision of South Dakota’s Social Studies Content Standards.

South Dakota Social Studies Standards Revision Committee Members

(For more information about this distinguished panel, see Appendix A.)

Kim Bierle, 8th Grade American History Teacher, Georgia Morse Middle School, Pierre School District 32-2
Roger Deutsch, Junior High Social Science, Junior High Health, and 9th Grade Civics Teacher, Parker School District 60-4
Kelly Dix, 1st Grade Teacher, St. Joseph’s Elementary School, Pierre, SD
Bob Dorton, 6th and 7th Grade Social Studies/Geography Teacher, Custer School District 16-1
Kristine Dunlap, 5th Grade Teacher, Sioux Falls School District 49-5
Denise Dutenhoffer, 3rd-5th Grade Special Education Teacher, Aberdeen School District 6-1
Melissa Ellenson, 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Aberdeen Public School District 6-1
Tamara Faw, 7th-12th Grade Special Education Teacher, Lower Brule Tribal School
Karin Freiwald, Kindergarten Teacher/1st Grade Team Teacher, Holy Rosary School, Kranzburg, SD
Andrea Q. Frey, 9th-12th Grade American Government and Economics Teacher, Aberdeen Public School District 6-1
Jan Goodrich, 2nd Grade Teacher, Spearfish School District 40-2
Nancy Harder, Middle School Social Studies Teacher, Rapid City School

District 51-4

Vikki Hasche, 4th Grade Teacher, Arlington School District 38-1

Les A. Hinds, High School World History, U.S. History, and Honors U.S. History Teacher, Groton Area School District 6-6
Larry Holland, High School Government and World History Teacher, Guidance Counselor, Howard School District 48-3
Dustin J. Hourigan, 6th-8th Grade Teacher, World History, Geography, and U.S. History, Deuel School District 19-4
James T. Kruse, 8th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Todd County School District 66-1
Skip Kurth, High School Government and Economics Teacher, Pierre School

District 32-2

Erica Larson, 6th-8th Grade Special Education Teacher, Vermillion School District 13-1
Kevin Lein, Education Department Chair, Graduate Program Director, Dakota Wesleyan University, Mitchell, SD
Tina Lippert, 5th Grade Teacher, Sioux Falls School District 49-5
Dr. Rich Lofthus, Professor of History, Mount Marty College, Yankton, SD
Melinda Loy, 9th Grade Geography and Civics and 11th Grade U.S. History Teacher, Stevens High School, Rapid City Schools 51-4


Arthur R. Marmorstein, Professor of History, Northern State University, Aberdeen, SD

Emmett Martin, High School Lakota Studies, Lakota Language, and Indian History Teacher, Todd County School District 66-1
Amy Miller, 6th-8th Grade ELL Social Studies and ELL Math Teacher, Sioux Falls School District 49-5
Becky Mohr, 6th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Brandon Valley School District 49-2
Denise A. Ottenbacher, 7th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Watertown School District 14-4
Kurt F. Permann, 12th Grade American Government Teacher and 7th-12th Grade guidance counselor, Redfield School District 56-4
Kimberly Poppenga-Smith, 5th Grade Teacher, Sioux Falls School District 49-5
Monica Schmidt, 9th and 10th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Stevens High School, Rapid City Area Schools 51-4
Carolyn Schuldies, High School Special Education Teacher, Meade County

School District 46-1

Connie Sheahan, 1st Grade Teacher, West Elementary, Spearfish School District 40-2
Kristin Skogstad, 3rd Grade Teacher, Sioux Falls School District 49-5
Catherine A. Sladky, 6th Grade Teacher, John Paul II Elementary School, Mitchell, SD

Harold Sorknes, Associate Professor of Education, Dakota State University, Madison, SD

Julie Thomas, 1st Grade Teacher, Sioux Falls School, District 49-5
Lynn Tribby, 5th-8th Grade Special Education Teacher, Meade School District 46-1
Kenneth Lance Vander Vorst, 7th-12th Grade Social Studies Teacher, Herreid School District
Carolyn Westby, 2nd and 3rd Grade Teacher and Elementary Principal, Holy Rosary School, Kranzburg, SD
Daniel E. Woodle, 4th Grade Teacher, Brandon Valley School District 49-2



These Social Studies Standards are set forth to ensure graduates of South Dakota’s public schools have the knowledge, skills, and competencies essential to leading productive, fulfilling, and successful lives as they continue their education, enter the workforce, and assume their civic responsibilities.

In 1997, the South Dakota State Legislature passed SB170 that amended South Dakota Codified Law 13-3-48 to address the issue of challenging state content standards. The adopted amendment reads as follows: “The Secretary of the Department of Education and Cultural Affairs [now the Department of Education] shall prepare and submit for approval of the South Dakota Board of Education academic content standards in language arts, mathematics, social studies, and science for grades one through twelve. Each school district shall adopt and implement clearly defined and measurable course guidelines so as to meet the state academic content standards.”
With input from students, parents, teachers, and communities of South Dakota, the Social Studies Standards Revision Committee was charged with revision of the current South Dakota Content Standards and Performance Descriptors. The final document evolved from recent research in best practices in teaching, the No Child Left Behind legislation, experience in classrooms with the existing South Dakota Content Standards, the evolution of published standards from other states, the national standards for social studies, United States history, geography, civics, and economics and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) frameworks and descriptors, numerous professional publications, and lengthy discussions by experienced kindergarten through grade sixteen South Dakota educators. The state standards selected for use as references were those judged to be of the best quality by numerous national organizations. (See Appendix B for specific sources used.)
The content students need to acquire at each grade level is stated explicitly in these standards. With student mastery of this content, South Dakota schools will be competitive with the best educational systems in other states and nations. The standards are comprehensive and specific, they are rigorous, and they represent South Dakota’s commitment to excellence. The standards are firm but not unyielding; they will be modified in future years to reflect new research and scholarship.


The South Dakota Social Studies Standards provide a listing of essential core content to be taught and learned. The standards are designed to guide the planning of instruction and to anchor the assessment of learning from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Performance descriptors bridge the content standards to assessments of the standards, provide information to teachers and students regarding student progress toward mastery of the standards, and specify targets for instruction and learning. The document presents a starting point for informed dialogue among those dedicated and committed to quality education in South Dakota. By providing a common set of goals and expectations for all students in all schools, this dialogue will be strengthened and enhanced.

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