South Dakota Department of Education Tackles Barriers to Success

The South Dakota Department of Education (SD DOE) has in place an aspiration, goals, and strategies for achieving those goals. However, the SD DOE team expressed frustration that progress toward achieving these goals was lagging, which led to the North Central Comprehensive Center's (NCCC) facilitation of a series of meetings to better understand and overcome barriers to success.


On September 11, 2017, a team of approximately 20 SD DOE leaders gathered and identified two key concerns. First, although some infrastructures exist to support the work, the department staff reported that they do not currently gather interim data points to monitor progress toward goals, or responsively adjust the identified strategies to meet goals. Second, unless internal stakeholders are directly involved in the identified strategies, they are unclear on progress or ways to support improvement efforts. This may be a root cause of individuals not understanding each other's work, and duplicating efforts.


NCCC liaison Dr. Adena Miller facilitated another interactive, day-long meeting with the SD DOE team on November 16, 2017. At that meeting, the team identified an existing committee that will modify its membership and take on the role of monitoring the implementation of state strategies. Based on the data they collect, this committee will then ask questions and make recommendations for project changes to ensure the SD DOE's goals are being met in a timely manner. Next steps include conducting a survey and focus groups to better understand internal communication needs and the development of a strategic communication plan. For more information, please contact Adena Miller.

Identifying strategies to meet goals

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