New School Board Member to Join in July

DellRapidsHighSchoolThe Dell Rapids School Board will have a new member join in July.  The school board held an election on Tuesday, April 9th for two open positions.  Three cadidates, incumbent Matthew Weiland, Lee Bollock, and Denise Cavigielli, petitioned to fill the two open spots.

Weiland unofficially finished with 127 votes and will return the school board for another term.  Bollock will join the board after compiling 117 votes.  Cavigielli finished with 78 votes.

Bollock will take over for current member Jody Schumaker, whose term expires in July.


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Dell Rapids Adds Built-in Snow Days to 2019-2020 Calendar

DellRapidsHighSchoolThe Dell Rapids School Board approved changes to the 2019-2020 calendar during their regular meeting on Monday, April 8th.  The changes to the calendar are to have built-in snow days to help alleviate adding more days to the end of the school year.

The school sent out a survey asking parents if they would be in favor of having built-in snow days in the school calendar, and if so, what days would be the best for built-in snow days.

“I have to be honest though, those who are against it are against it.  I get it.  People want to know what days they have off, staff and parents, but it was an overwhelming majority that did say please look at using built-in student contact days for making up snow days,” said Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz.  She noted that 86% of those that submitted the survey were in favor for built-in snow days.

After a discussion about a plan, school board member Troy Randall made a motion to forgive the first snow day of the year, and then have February 17th, March 19th, and April 13th of 2020 be the built-in make-up days given there is at least one week’s notice prior to needing to use one of those days as a make-up day.

One of the biggest items discussed about the motion was if one week’s time was enough notice for parents when deciding to use one of the built-in snow days.

“We could get a lot of heat.  We could get a lot of complaints, and next year at this time we make it two weeks,” said Dr. Schultz.

“I guess we won’t know until we try it,” added school board member Jacque LeBrun in response to Dr. Schultz.

“There could be complaints about this, there could be complains if we have days at the end (of the school year).  Inevitably it’s not perfect for everybody,” said school board member Jeff Traill.

Jody Schumaker then seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously.

Dr. Schultz mentioned during the meeting that this could be tried for the 2019-2020 school calendar and then revisited for the 2020-2021 to determine if it’s worth continuing.


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City Council Election Canceled, School Board Election to be Held

DellRapidsTowerThe Dell Rapids City Council will not need an election on Tuesday, April 9th.  This announcement came during the council’s regular meeting held on Monday, March 4th.

All four of the open seats will be filled by the incumbent council members.  Each of the four wards had an open seat up for election, but the only petitions submitted to fill those seats were filed by the incumbent council members.  Gary Haak in Ward 1, Mark Crisp in Ward 2, Mike Geraets in Ward 3, and James Borchert in Ward 4 will all serve another three-year term on the Dell Rapids City Council.

The Dell Rapids School Board will still continue to have their election on April 9th as three petitions have been filed for two open spots.  Matthew Weiland, Denise Cavigielli, and Lee Bollock will be up for election.

Polls will be open from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.  All precincts will vote at the Lutheran Church located at 701 North Orleans Avenue in Dell Rapids.  

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Workforce Education Could Be Coming to Dell Rapids

Workforce education, or apprenticeships, could be part of the education curriculum at Dell Rapids as early as next year.  Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz gave a brief update on the goal of the school to have workforce education to the Dell Rapids School Board during their regular meeting on Monday, December 10th.

“We have got to figure out a way to get more work-based opportunities for our high school kids.  The state is telling us we have flexibility to give credit those apprenticeships, job shadowing, and things like that.  The state is saying you can give these alternate pathways to kids for credit,” said Dr. Schultz.

Dr. Schultz also mentioned that it’s hard to do that right now.  She is meeting with the Dell Rapids Chamber of Commerce and city administration over the winter months to discuss specifics of the plan and will have a more formal, detailed announcement out to the public at a later time.  Dr. Schultz is also currently looking for businesses around Dell Rapids that are wanting to do apprenticeships or job shadowing to try to get this goal going for next school year.

“When we figure out of every 100 kids that start college in South Dakota, 23 finish with a degree.  Clearly we are missing the boat for a lot of kids, and we’re not sending them down the right path.  I’m not saying we don’t want every kid to be college ready and college prepared, but if that isn’t their path and that’s not where they want to go, maybe we should provide some opportunities for them in other places also,” said Dr. Schultz.  She also mentioned these opportunities would also benefit students that do want to go to college in helping them figure out a course of study.

Dr. Schultz urged the members of the board if they know of any businesses in the area that are willing to provide these opportunities to please let her know.  Administration is looking to build those alliances now for the next school year.



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Dell Rapids School Board Recognizes Jeff Schmidt

Photo from Dell Rapids HS website

Photo from Dell Rapids HS website

Jeff Schmidt, the bus coordinator for Dell Rapids High School, was recognized for a job well done by the Dell Rapids School Board during their regular meeting held on Monday, November 12th.

The school recently had an unannounced inspection of buses by the South Dakota Department of Transportation and South Dakota Highway Patrol.  This inspection was a random inspection on top of the annual inspections that are done.  The bus fleet passed the inspection with a minimal five point clearance light deduction.  Schmidt noted that it takes 25 points to fail a bus.  Schmidt also mentioned that the DOT and Highway Patrol were happy with how the inspection went.

“I think it’s really good for our community and our parents to know how much work is going into keeping those buses up, and to make sure that you know that we appreciate you Jeff,” said Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz.

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LeBrun Officially Joins Dell Rapids School Board

NewDRLogoNewly elected school board member Jacque LeBrun officially began her three-year term at the school board’s regular meeting on Monday, July 9th..  The regular meeting also marked the end of service for Steve Stofferahn.

LeBrun and Troy Randall were elected to three-year terms on April 10th.  Three total candidates were vying for two open spots on the board due to the end of terms fro Stofferahn and Randall.

Also during the school board meeting, the board elected a president and vice president and assigned members to committees.  Matt Weiland was elected as the board president for another year.  Randall was re-elected as the board’s vice president.

Jody Schumaker and LeBrun will serve on the Technology Planning and Wellness/Insurance committees.  Jeff Traill and Schumaker will be on the Facilities and Policy committees.  Weiland and Randall will serve on the Transportation and Negotiations/Personnel committees.  Randall and Traill will head the Budget/Finance committee.  LeBrun and Weiland will serve on the Teacher Leadership committee.

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Dell Rapids School Board Honors DR 5th Grade Class

LivingHistoryFair2018The Dell Rapids School Board recognized the Dell Rapids fifth grade students and teachers for the work that they did at the Living History Fair on Friday, March 23rd.  Ms. Eggers,  Ms. Gruneich, Joshua Fletcher, Mylie Anderson, and Gavin Benson attended the school board meeting on Monday, May 14th to represent the fifth grade class.

The students were given an historical figure to portray during the event.  They researched their person putting together a report, creating a costume, and creating a visual board about their historical figure.  The student had coin cans at their stations, and when visitors put coins in the jars, the students “came to life” and acted out their report about the life of the person they were portraying.

The fifth grade class raised $1,000 during the event.  The students decided to donate all of those funds to the local food pantry in Dell Rapids.  For that act of generosity, the school board recognized the fifth grade class.

“That’s awesome.  Thanks for doing that.  We just wanted to recognize your hard work and thank you for doing it,” said School Board President Matthew Weiland

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Dell Rapids School Board Approves Free Meals

NewDRLogoThe Dell Rapids School Board approved free meals for the final days of school during their regular meeting on Monday, May 14th.  The free meals on May 18th through May 23rd will be the reimbursable student breakfast meals and reimbursable student lunch meals.  A la carte items and seconds will still be charged at the usual price.  Students must have money in their accounts or pay cash for those items.  Staff meals will also be charged.

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Randall and LeBrun Win School Board Election

NewDRLogoThe Dell Rapids School Board will have a new member when the new board is formally introduced later this summer.  Jacque LeBrun along with incumbent Troy Randall were voted to three-year teams for the Dell Rapids School Board on Tuesday, April 10th.

Randall’s current term along with Steve Stofferahn’s term were up for election this year as they both expire in July.

Randall, LeBrun, and Denise Cavigielli were all vying for the two open positions.  There was a 10.6% voter turnout for the election.  Randall received 276 votes, LeBrun had 222 votes, and Cavigielli received 174 votes.

Stofferahn did not seek re-election, and he will come off the Dell Rapids School Board when his term ends after serving since 2012.  Randall and LeBrun will join current board members Matthew Weiland, Jody Schumaker, and Jeff Traill.

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School Board Finalizes Calendar and Sets Election Date

NewDRLogoThe Dell Rapids School Board held their latest regular meeting on Monday, March 12th.  Among other items discussed, the board finalized the school calendar for the remainder of this year as well as set the date for the school board election.

The Dell Rapids school district has had only one full day of school missed due to the weather this year.

Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz said, “You have two choices really…make up the day with staff and students, or make up the day with just staff.”

After discussion the board voted to leave the last day of school for students as Wednesday, May 23rd.  The missed day will be made up by the staff on Friday, May 25th as an in-service day.  This was also the recommendation from Dr. Schultz.

The school board also set the school board election for Tuesday, April 10th.  All precincts will be voting at the Dell Rapids Lutheran Church.  The public will be voting on two school board openings.  The City of Dell Rapids did not have to hold an election this year as all open city council ward spots only had one candidate petition filed per ward.

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