Vermillion Partnership Paves Way for Professional Development Opportunity

A partnership paving the way for professional development for teachers was established in Southeast South Dakota.

Vermillion’s Jolley Elementary School and the University of South Dakota are using grants from the Bush Foundation and USD School of Education to develop new teaching methods to adapt to student strengths.

Jolley Elementary received a $100,000 Teacher Effectiveness Initiative grant through the Bush Foundation, which invests in quality K-12 field experiences in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and 23 native nations, and a $50,000 contribution from USD’s School of Education to create a strength-based professional development school (PDS).

The PDS will help teachers and students identify and use their strengths and talents in teaching and learning for customized instruction for individual students.

The school will follow national accreditation standards and focus on professional preparation of student teachers, faculty and teacher development, improving teaching practices and increasing K-12 student achievement.

“The strength-based classroom will provide a more personal, more relevant approach to education that empowers all students to discover their talents and believe the impossible,” Jolley Principal Sue Galvin said.