Sandy Klarenbeek, health educator in the College of Education at Black Hills State University, attended MegaSCASS: Learning for the 21st Century and presented at the Health Education Assessment Project (HEAP) meeting in New Orleans.

MegaSCASS is a biennial gathering of all the State Collaborative on Assessment and Student Standards (SCASS) projects with the goal of sharing ideas and information, engaging in professional and leadership development, and exploring and enhancing connections across their projects. The conference provided the opportunity to enhance understanding and knowledge of balanced assessment, including formative assessment, in support of standard-based reform and learning for the 21st century in the areas of research, policy, implementation, and professional development and technology, according to Klarenbeek.

This was the first face-to-face meeting and professional development since Klarenbeek was appointed vice-chair of HEAP beginning January 2007. She presented at the HEAP meeting and training. Her presentation highlighted the BHSU pilot project, “Aligning Health and Reading with a HEAP of Books”. This is a new research-based resource developed by HEAP which was made available in April, 2006.

Klarenbeek has collaborated with Dr. Joanna Jones, assistant professor in the College of Education at BHSU, to team-teach elementary education majors how to use reading to teach health education standards. Klarenbeek shared how the team approach has been successful, and how the enthusiasm and creative strategies of two different disciplines can result in students developing health literacy and improved reading skills. As a result of this effort, a summer workshop for practicing teachers will be held on campus in June.

Klarenbeek’s leadership with HEAP provides an opportunity for BHSU students to use cutting-edge research, teaching and learning materials, professional development and networking opportunities.

Klarenbeek earned her bachelor’s degree in home economics from Westmar College and her master’s in home economics from South Dakota State University. She joined the BHSU faculty in 2001.