Simplified: Superintendent Jane Stavem wants Sioux Falls schools to be the best in the nation. Here's what she and other district officials are prioritizing this coming year.

Why it matters

  • The priorities outlined both at Monday's school board meeting and Tuesday's State of the District address will guide decisions teachers and administrators make in the coming year.
  • They also set a framework for where schools are spending money when it comes to teacher training, student well-being and academic programs.
  • In the past, the Sioux Falls School District has looked at a five-year strategic plan. Stavem is mixing things up by looking at goals one year at a time.
"These are pretty ambitious goals," she told board members Monday.

What are the district's priorities?

There are five main pillars to the plan. Here's a summary. You can find the full 25-page breakdown here.

Academic success

Stavem noted the importance of using data to determine the types of academic interventions students might need.

She also mentioned the importance of students being ready for college or future careers with programming starting as early as middle school when kids are exploring different types of classes.


The school district is continuing its tiered approach to managing student behavior issues, meaning students in each tier get increasingly targeted and specific support.

The goal is also to make sure teachers have the training they need to provide that support.

"We want to make sure that we have safe and inclusive environments for our students," Stavem said. "We want to nurture their learning."

Community engagement

Sioux Falls schools will also prioritize community partnerships both by adding more and working to strengthen those that already exist.

Staff excellence

One key here is making sure the people who come to work for the district stay, Stavem said.

The district is also looking at ways to make sure teachers have a chance to get professional development and training that's relevant to what they're being asked to do in the classroom.

Effective use of resources

Here's where some of the more miscellaneous goals fit, including:

  • Looking at future facility needs
  • Evaluating transportation needs and how they affect which students are able to participate in after-school activities
  • Improving child nutrition by encouraging more kids to eat breakfast at school
  • And general fiscal responsibility.