Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Service Obligation Website

As many of you already know, the website for the payback information for the Office of Special Ed was revamped within the past year. The site used to be referred to as the "National Center for Service Obligation" and is now called the "Personnel Development Program Data Collection Center" (DCC).

To visit the site, go to the link below and enter your information: 

It is important for you to do this as you are all in positions that meet the service obligation requirement. You need to get credit for it so you can fulfill your service (payback) obligation and be done with it.

Even if you logged in and set up your information in the past, you have to re-do it again on this new site.

Happy fall!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

An Ending or a Great Beginning?

The grant project that we've all come to know and love over the past almost six years has come to an end. The Sweet Grass Project officially ended on December 31st, or should I say it ended as far as the U.S. Department of Education is concerned.

But we know otherwise. The "Sweet Grass" participants, who kind of felt like their own secret society, are just beginning their careers as people who will have a significant impact on the future of many, many children and their families in Indian Country and beyond. Some are currently teaching, and are licensed as professional educators; some are working in other capacities in schools (assistant principal, center director, curriculum specialist, etc.); and some are in graduate school.

It's been fun getting to know you and we will continue to stay in touch. I have a few extra gray hairs from some of our experiences over the years but I wouldn't trade any of them for anything. Continue to stay in touch with us. And you are a member of a society, although it's certainly not secret. You are the "Seventh Generation" and will carry out the inherent responsibilities of this prophecy in your role with children and their families. You are a member of the group of education professionals to graduate on the United Tribes Technical College campus when our baccalaureate degree was approved, for the first time, by the state of North Dakota. It doesn't matter if you are technically a graduate of Sinte Gleska, our sister institution to the south, or United Tribes. You were among the first and will always be some of the best. You set the bar high for those to follow, and there will be many, and that's a good thing.

Remember us when you see a dragon fly. Take your dragon fly medallion out that you were given at graduation every so often and look at it. And know that you have our support and utmost confidence until the end of our time, no matter where life takes you.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Connect with Cindy Balliet

Cindy Balliet stopped by my office a couple of weeks ago. She likes to keep in touch with things here, particularly with those of you who were in her classes the last few years before she retired. Cindy always felt a special bond with you and has been really interested in your progress as you move into the next phase of your educational careers.

Cindy asked if I would share her email address with you so that if you wanted, you could keep in touch with her through email. She is not on Facebook or any other type of social media and I can't imagine she will bombard you with emails.

If you would like to connect with her, her email address is It would mean a lot to her!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Primary Classrooms that "Tweet"

I found this resource I wanted to share with you. The spreadsheet found at the link below contains the contact information for classroom, and their teachers, who use Twitter for communication purposes. The ages/grades of the children are from Kindergarten on up.

Primary Classrooms That Tweet

Check it out!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Smithsonian Institute IV - July 28 - August 1

The second Smithsonian Institute for the summer will begin on Monday, July 28th, and conclude Friday, August 1. I was able to arrange for a $500 stipend for you to attend, if you attend the full week. This is for the Sweet Grass graduates only and is considered "mentoring support".

Please be sure to confirm with Leah that you will be able to attend so I know who to have checks made out for in advance.

Leah wanted me to let you know that on Tuesday, July 29th, we will be leaving at 8 AM sharp from the Barden Center for our field trip to Medora, in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park. We will return to campus at 5 PM that same day so make sure you make arrangements for the full day. Lunch will be provided, as well as drinking water. If you want to purchase soda/pop or other drinks, you will have to purchase those on your own.

See you Monday, July 28th, at 8:30 AM at the Barden Center. If you have any questions, please let Leah know.

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Message from Leah Regarding the Smithsonian Institute beginning on Monday

Hello all!
Please read the following information closely regarding next week’s “Using Arts in the Classroom” Smithsonian workshop.  The information will include: Monday’s morning schedule, materials that you need to collect and bring in Monday, and dress requirements for Monday.

The workshop will be held in the lower level conference room in the Jack Barden Center during the week of June 23rd to June 27th.

All participants will receive a printed copy of the week’s agenda – however; I am including Monday morning’s schedule for your information.

Day One:  Monday, June 23rd

8:30-9:00 am                           Registration/ Check-in

9:00-9:20 am                           Opening Prayer                                                                                                                                
9:20-9:30 am                           Welcome
Wally Mertes

9:30-10:30 am                         Native Peoples of the Americas: An Introduction
When Christopher Columbus reached the Americas in 1492, he met people unknown to Europeans. Thinking he had reached the Indies, he called them Indians. This is only one of the many mistakes, misunderstandings, and misconceptions that continue to plague America's native peoples. Dr. Herman Viola, anthropologist and curator emeritus at the National Museum of Natural History, A fundamental mistake that persists to this day is to speak about "the" American Indians as though they are one people. Despite their small numbers, the Indian peoples of North America were as dissimilar from each other as were the peoples of Europe. In terms of language, clothes, lifestyles, militancy, and religion the tribes in different parts of North America differed greatly from each other. These differences are considered "cultural" and the regions are known as “culture areas.” The North American culture areas are the Arctic, Subarctic, Southwest, Northwest Coast, California, Plateau, Plains, Northeast, and Southeast.

10:30-12:00 pm                      Large Format Abstract Painting
Karen O. Brown, visual artist, will lead a session on large format abstract painting on Tyvek and heavier paper that will be used to create an Eastern landscape wall installation as well as small puppets.  She will demonstrate techniques of layering abstract designs.
12:00-12:30 pm                      Lunch (on your own)

Materials you will need to gather and bring with you for Monday.   Please, if you can bring extras of any of these items, it would be very much appreciated.

1)  an empty cereal box,
2)  a plastic container with a lid (from sour cream, large-ish yogurt, cottage cheese or  take out), and
3) some recyclable materials for art projects (bottle caps, water bottles, tea boxes, cracker boxes, more cereal boxes, whatever you may find interesting).

Monday’s attire – each participant will be involved in creating materials that require acrylic paint.  Please, either wear or bring a t-shirt that you don’t mind getting paint on. 

See you on Monday!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

New Info About Teaching License Endorsements

I received a letter from Janet Welk at ND ESPB this past week that detailed changes to the existing ND teaching licensure requirements. It particularly affects those of you who are required to get endorsements for your specific teaching areas. I called ESPB this morning and spoke with Amy. She confirmed this information.

Effective July 1, 2014, if you have been a licensed teacher in the state of North Dakota for 2 years, you will be able to take a Praxis test to become qualified to teach in another area besides the one you were originally licensed for. For example, if you have a ND Professional Educator license to teach elementary education, and have been licensed for a minimum of two years, you can take the Praxis test for Early Childhood Content (code 5022) and have your Kindergarten endorsement. You do not have to take additional courses for the endorsement. If you meet the cut score (passing score) for the Praxis test for that area, it fulfills the requirement and you will be awarded the Kindergarten endorsement.

This applies to all areas, Gifted and Talented, Middle School, Special Education, and so on.

Once you have successfully passed the Praxis test for the new content area, you can apply for a Praxis endorsement using the ND Teach online application.

If you have any questions, especially for the specific Praxis code for an area you may be interested in, please contact I confirmed the Kindergarten endorsement code mentioned above but if you have other areas, you might want to contact them first.

Best wishes!