Dear Sioux Falls School District Team,
As the summer winds down and the start of a new school year approaches, it’s time to come together to cultivate a future filled with growth and opportunity. Like the seasons and yearly crops, the world constantly changes. As educators and support staff, we change with it to prepare our students for the challenges and possibilities that lie ahead.
This year, we will continue our commitment to embracing emerging technologies and fostering a supportive community that values the education and well-being of our children. In our ever-evolving digital landscape, we have the remarkable opportunity to cultivate a generation of learners equipped with the skills to navigate a rapidly changing world. This year, we begin using our new Learning Management System - Canvas. This platform puts lessons and learning in one space, allowing staff, parents, and students a more consistent and collaborative digital experience.
Technology developments such as Chat GPT and artificial intelligence (AI) present endless possibilities for enhanced learning for everyone. By incorporating these innovative tools into our classrooms with intention, we can be sure curiosity is nurtured, critical thinking is honed, and problem-solving becomes second nature. Our students will have the resources to explore new frontiers of knowledge and develop a deeper understanding of the world around them.
Of course, education is not solely about the tools we use. It is about cultivating curiosity and a passion for learning while helping students discover their unique talents and interests. By offering diverse programs like ag, aviation, and endless extracurricular activities, we can create an environment where every student feels empowered to pursue their passions and uncover their true potential. Whether it’s on the court, the stage, a STEM classroom, or in service to our community, we are committed to nurturing a sense of belonging and purpose.
This year more than ever, we are focusing on regular school attendance. This is a shared responsibility. Educators, families, and the community must work together to emphasize its importance - for now, and for life. Together, we can provide support and resources to ensure every student is present and engaged in their educational journey. Through parent-teacher organizations, community and school events, and online platforms, we can build a solid network of support to share experiences, exchange ideas, and collectively contribute to the success of our children.
The Community Learning Center (CLC) after-school model launching this fall means our schools will serve as hubs for community engagement and learning. We will collaborate with local organizations, businesses, and community members to offer a safe and supervised space for tutoring, mentoring, and various enrichment activities. This format helps reinforce what our students learn in the classroom and provides opportunities for them to explore new interests, develop important life skills, and build meaningful relationships with caring adults.
We are blessed to be part of a community that understands the value of education and cares deeply about the well-being of our staff and students. Businesses, non-profits, and faith partners are eager to walk alongside us to grow the future generation. Working together, we can create a nurturing environment where our children can thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. As we embark on a new school year together, let us cultivate a thriving educational community where our students can flourish and reach their full potential.
Wishing you all a wonderful academic year filled with new growth.
Jane Stavem, Superintendent
Sioux Falls School District