Award Year: 2020

Canistota Elementary School - 02

431 4th Avenue
Canistota, SD, 57012-0008

(605) 296-3458

Mrs. Sonja Ortman, Principal at time of Nomination

Choice School

Canistota School District 43-1

School Website

School FaceBook


Our mission is to prepare students to be successful in society by providing a high-quality education enriched with opportunities for all students.

Student Demographics
  • Black/African American: 1%
  • White: 88%
  • Hispanic: 6%
  • Native American: 2%
  • Two or more races: 1%
Canistota Kindergarteners recite the Pledge of Allegiance

Canistota Kindergarteners recite the Pledge of Allegiance

Canistota School District is situated in a quaint, rural town with a population of approximately 650 residents. Canistota Elementary is located thirty miles west of South Dakota's largest city, Sioux Falls. Our school is very special and unique in many ways; it is a focal point of the community. Our supportive parents and stakeholders are one of the reasons we have been successful. Facilitating an open system of communication with stakeholders helps build the relationships we have come to rely on. Parents eagerly volunteer in classrooms and at events; they support our school and stay involved in many ways. For example, our parents reinforce concepts at home that are introduced at school. Parents of students at Canistota Elementary partner with our school to make the learning experience for their child a positive and personalized one.

Aside from embracing a healthy relationship with our stakeholders, teachers and staff members are committed to differentiating instruction based on each student's needs. Literacy instruction has been a focus at Canistota Elementary for the last five years; we believe it is the foundation of all learning. We have found that early reading intervention has made a difference in students being able to grow and achieve academically. With the help of our Title I teacher and a customizable online reading instructional tool, our elementary school continues to see sizable gains in achievement in all areas of learning.