Special Education School

We take pride in our specialty school, which includes residential and day students through age 21. Each classroom at LifeScape is staffed by certified special education teachers and teaching assistants.

Evidence-Based Instruction

We use the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) in our daily instruction and support. Our small staff-to-student ratios ensure personal attention. We use the "Essential for Living" curriculum, which measures and tracks progress in communication, behavior, and functional skills for each student. 

Approved by the South Dakota Department of Education

We tailor each student’s learning plan, in education we refer to this as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), to his or her own needs and abilities, using sound scientific principles of instruction. The standards of learning are based on the South Dakota Department of Education Common Core Content Standards.

Extended School Year Program

Every summer, LifeScape has the privilege of serving many additional students from the statewide area in our Extended School Year program (ESY). Click HERE for more information about our ESY program. Our application materials are available HERE.

Interdisciplinary Approach

Each student has an interdisciplinary team to support and develop a specific plan of instruction that meets his or her social, behavioral, and academic needs.

Besides certified teachers, the team may include a school psychologist, music therapist, adapted physical education teacher, computer/technology teacher, speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist, behavior therapist/analyst, social worker, dietitian, nurse, and orthotist. 

The Greatest Expertise in the Region

The school has special education teachers who specialize in teaching children with vision challenges and hearing impairments.

Our staff--administrators, teachers, behavior analysts, psychologists, and therapists--are all certififed in their disciplines.  Many are certified in more than one discipline. 

Community-Based Experiences

Beyond classroom instruction, LifeScape provides many community learning experiences. Students gain functional and social skills for more independent adulthoods.

For information and referrals, contact admissions at 605-444-9550.

Parent Handbooks

Our Education Staff

Vicki Isler, Ed.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Principal/Director of Education, Children’s Residential, and Behavioral Services
605-444-9632       

Tammi Waltjer-Haverly, MA 
Special Education Coordinator       
605-444-9644

Erin Stabnow, Ed.D., BCBA-D, LBA
Curriculum and Assessment Director/Behavior Analyst
605-444-9503

Darcie Knight, Ed.S., BCBA, LBA
Education Behavior Coordinator/School Psychologist
605-444-9503

Michelle Bohy, MA
Education Program Specialist
605-444-9627

Ebony Shephard, LSW, MS
Social Worker
605-444-9560

Jamie Richardson, BS
Project Coordinator/LifeScape Center for the Arts
605-444-9631

Heidi Bakke
Exceptional Services Facilitator
605-444-9645

Ronae Foster
Education Administrative Assistant
605-444-9643

Katie Busser, B.Ed. - Teacher   
605-444-9486

Christy Chitwood, MA, TCVI - Teacher   
605-444-9492

Doug Cordell - Behavior Specialist
605-444-9558

Christi Dwyer, RN - School Nurse
605-444-9690

Kathleen Fitch, BA - Teacher   
605-444-9491

Matt Fjerkenstad, BS, Ed. - Teacher
605-444-9483

Dustin Groen - Teacher Associate   
605-444-9484

Brandy Johanson-Sebera, MA - Teacher
605-444-9494

Annalesha Kalis, BS, Ed. - Teacher
605-444-9481

Derek Kazemba, BA - Behavior Specialist
605-444-9503

Tina Miller, M Ed. - Computer Coordinator
605-444-9495

Cherie Ortman, MT-BC - Music Therapist
605-444-9493

Katie Pudwill, MA - Pathways to Life Teacher
605-444-9886

Heather Rieger, MA - Teacher   
605-444-9487

Hazel Shuck, BS - Teacher   
605-444-9489

Brittany Sirovy, BS Ed. - Teacher   
605-444-9482

Jen Vis, BS Ed. - Adaptive Physical Education Teacher
605-444-9647

Michael Vos, BA - Behavior Specialist
605-444-9483

Karin Wiese, BS.Ed. - Teacher  
605-444-9499

Jessica Willprecht, RN BSN - School Nurse
605-444-9691

Kim Winckler, RN - School Nurse
605-444-9691

Anna Winfrey, BS, Ed. - Teacher
605-444-9485

Victoria Zuhlsdorf, BS - Teacher
605-444-9481

School Calendars

Vocational Training PAES Lab

LifeScape’s PAES (Practical Assessment Exploration System) Lab is a complete program to help older students identify areas of work they may like, and provides training for certain jobs. LifeScape was the first school in South Dakota to invest in this program.

Five Career Areas
The hands-on, simulated work environment provides training in work readiness skills in almost every type of career.  PAES helps students find their interests in five broad areas – Business/Marketing, Construction/Industrial, Consumer/Service, Processing/Production, and Computer/Technology.

Teaching Positive Work Behaviors
PAES also assesses behavioral barriers to successful learning and helps create positive work behaviors that will help students be successful in future work environments.  Through the hands-on learning experience, PAES provides the student knowledge of what they can do well and what they enjoy.
 
Money Management Training
To complement the PAES lab, LifeScape has purchased two additional curriculums – JOB TALK, a work readiness program, and MoneyManager, which teaches the basics of money management. MoneyManager is used in conjunction with PAES to pay students for their work.
 
Research-Based
The PAES Lab is a research-based curriculum.  It helps prepare our students for transition to adulthood and meaningful employment.

Weather & Wellness Policies, Comprehensive Plan, & FERPA