Award Year: 2021

Gettysburg Middle School - 03

100 East King Avenue
Gettysburg, SD, 57442-1753

(605) 765-2436

Mrs. Wendy Smith, Principal at time of Nomination

Gettysburg School District 53-1

School Website

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Gettysburg School District will provide students with the education that will allow them to optimize their potential in the global society they will live and work in.

Student Demographics
  • White: 93%
  • Hispanic: 4%
  • Native American: 4%
Students collaboratively working on a team building activity.

Students collaboratively working on a team building activity.

Gettysburg is in the center of South Dakota and minutes away from Lake Oahe. As in many small communities the school is the heartbeat that keeps the community strong. The Gettysburg Middle School was established five years ago when the sixth grade moved from the elementary; a change that provided educational growth for students. Transitioning from a self-contained classroom was a challenge. The SUCCESS class was added to help students with time management and strategies to be successful. GMS holds students to a high standard of learning. The school provides each student the core subject learning, but also includes opportunities in FACS, agriculture, art, physical education, band, and chorus. Prior to COVID, exploration hour exposed students to art, career paths, outdoor activities, and other life skills. This helped build a rapport between the community and school.

A strategy the district implemented to benefit students is ICU, intensive care unit. This is a program utilized by the district to keep students on track academically. ICU is time spent after and before school for students to complete their incomplete work with teachers' assistance. ICU has helped close the achievement gap and proven to be successful in the middle school.

Middle school staff show incredible flexibility and willingness to do what is needed to educate students. This became very evident when COVID changed the way education looked. Online learning took place five days a week, at a level the district felt would limit learning loss while monitoring the well-being of GMS students.