Free Meals at Dell Rapids Approved for End of the Year

PizzaLunchStudents at Dell Rapids will be receiving free breakfast and lunch during the last four days of school thanks to the Dell Rapids School Board.  The school board approved the free meals for the final days of school on May 18th, 19th, 22nd, and 23rd.

“I think it’s a great way to give back.  Obviously the food must be better,” said board member Steve Stofferahn.

“We are happy we still have the ability to do it with the big changes that do cost more, and we hope it produces some interest in that breakfast program,” superintendent Dr. Schultz mentioned.

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.


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Dell Rapids School Board Updates

NewDRLogoThe Dell Rapids School Board will have a new member starting in July.  Jeff Traill won an election for the position being vacated by Tom Morris.  Traill received 185 votes in the April 11th election, while his opponent Kevin Mattern received 76 votes.  There was a 6.5% voter turnout for the school board position election.

The Dell Rapids School Board also heard or took action on the following items during their last regular board meeting on Monday, April 10th:

  • The school board approved the health insurance, vision insurance, and worker’s compensation insurance renewals.
  • School board also approved the school-sponsored summer camp fees and stipends for the 2017 summer season.
  • Activities Director Jeff Dvorak gave a report to the school board about some potential changes to athletic rules pending vote by the South Dakota High School Activities Association.  Some of those potential changes include region re-alignment, a moratorium during the Christmas break starting the 2018-2019 school year, and changes to the amount of full-contact practices in football.
  • The school board also accepted the resignations of Nathan Korn (facility/grounds manager effective April 3rd), Lori Morris (teacher at the end of the 2016-2017 school year), and JoAnn Borns (paraprofessional at the end of the 2016-2017 school year).  They approved the hire of Jordan Huska as a teacher effective for the 2017-2018 school year.
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Dell Rapids School Board March 2017 Update

NewDRLogoThe Dell Rapids School Board held their last regular meeting on Monday, March 13th, at the Dell Rapids High School library.  The school board made decisions on the following items, among others:

The school board approved unanimously to approved the amended girls’ soccer cooperative agreement with the Garretson School District.  The proposed cooperative will now go to the South Dakota High School Activities Association for final approval in hopes of being in place for the fall 2017 season.

A slightly amended 2016-2017 school calendar was approved unanimously.  With only one day of school that has been cancelled due to weather, which happened in November, the approved proposal was to not make that day up for students, and to have staff make the day up at the end of the year.  Barring any more snow days, the last day of school will remain as scheduled on May 23rd.  Teachers and staff will make the day up as part of an in-service day on May 25th.

The fee for summer drivers’ education will remain the same for this year.  Students inside the school district will be charged $160.00.  Students outside of the district will be charged $200.00.  Instructors will receive $20.00 per hour for instructional time up to 35 hours, and $90.00 per hour for instructional driving time.

The school board also accepted a request for early retirement from Dale Solberg.  Resignations were also accepted from Mary Trumbo (effective Feb 28th), Mara Wilde (effective Mar 31st), Erin Turner (effective at end of 2016-2017 school year), and Kimberly Kludt (effective Jun 15th).  The hiring of Drew Bunkers as high school principal was accepted effective August 1st.

The full minutes of the meeting can be found by clicking here.

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2017-2018 School Calendar Set

The Dell Rapids School Board approved the 2017-2018 school calendar during their last regular meeting on Monday, January 9th.

Dell Rapids High School Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz presented the calendar to the school board that includes two three-day weekend spring breaks.

“This upcoming calendar would be the second year of doing the two spring breaks instead of a longer spring break, and I just thought we should wait that out and then make a decision that we’re going to do a multi year with a spring break or spring breaks, make sure that that’s what we like,” said Schultz.

Schultz also mentioned, “Other things that we’ve implemented seem to be working.  People seem to really like those four day breaks after conferences.  The day before Thanksgiving has been popular.”

School will begin on Thursday, August 24th, 2017.  The last day of school is scheduled for Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018.  Thanksgiving break will be November 22nd – 24th.  Christmas break will run from December 21st – January 2nd.  March will have breaks on March 9th and March 16th for spring break, and then March 30th for Good Friday.

“I did not put an early out in for staff development that month (March) just because I felt like the three Fridays chopped it up too much,” commented Schultz.

“I guess from my standpoint, the comments I’ve heard, the feedback, has been positive too,” said Dell Rapids School Board President Tom Morris.

The school board will still make decisions on make-up days for snow days in a meeting prior to the end of the school year.


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DR School Board Approves Planning for New HS Trip

The Dell Rapids School Board approved authorization of plans to move forward with a new trip planned for high school students to Washington, D.C. during their regular meeting on Monday, April 11th.  The trip idea was proposed by teachers Mr. Shriver and Mr. Welbig.

High School Principal Dr. Kludt mentioned to the board that the trip would occur every four years starting in the spring of 2017 and would be open to all high school students who participate in a U.S. History course.  Dr. Kludt also said that the difference between this trip and the 8th grade trip is that the students have studied more history and would be more interested in learning more of the finer points.  The anticipation is that more juniors and seniors will be interested in this trip.

Students would have to pay for the trip, but fundraisers would be held as much as possible to help the students fund the trip.

The travel company being used for the trip is World Strides.

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Dell Rapids School Board Adds Two Days to 2015-2016 Calendar

DRElementarySchoolThe Dell Rapids School Board added two more days to the current 2015-2016 school calendar as a make-up for missed days to this point in the year.  This decision came during the school board’s regular meeting on Monday, March 14th.  Currently Dell Rapids has had school cancelled because of three emergency weather-related days and two days of school closing for the girls state basketball tournament.

School board member Matthew Weiland said, “As a parent of a student and as a taxpayer, either these hours are important for our students, or they’re not important.  So what are we saying?  Are we saying that these days are unnecessary and in a winter we have no snow days, they are going three unnecessary days to school?  Or are we saying they are necessary and we should make them up?”

The school board has added days to the end of the calendar in the past according to Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz and School Board President Tom Morris, but it was mentioned during the meeting that not all of the school days missed have been made up in years past.

“I think that’s because of the difference between an emergency day and a school closing.  Because some of those were in a different quarter, a different semester.  It’s unfortunate because they’re emergency days, and they don’t get that day of school.  But it’s not necessarily that you can make up that particular day and what needed to be done on that day later in May.  It can be a completely different class they’re in.  That’s the hard part making it apples to apples, ” said Dr. Schultz.

School board member Steve Stofferahn said, “If we missed a day in November, that’s the second quarter.  Those classes are all done and gone.  Making our fourth quarter longer is not doing anything extra for those kids.  We’re probably not going to miss any days in the fourth quarter for snow days.  We should have adjusted those quarters in what we should have done.”

Stofferahn also mentioned, “Going into next year’s calendar, we’ve already set the position that we’re not going to take days off for the basketball tournaments.  We have two days built in.  We won’t have those issues.  It will just be snow days.  I don’t think it will be quite as big of an adjustment in future years.”

After a bit more discussion, Stofferahn motioned to move the final day of school from Wednesday, May 25th to Friday, May 27th, and to adjust the third quarter end date to March 24th.  The motion was seconded by Schumaker, and the motion passed.

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2016-2017 Dell Rapids School Calendar Approved

The Dell Rapids School Board approved the proposed calendar for the 2016-2017 school year during their regular meeting on Monday, February 8th, but made a couple of changes to the calendar that was proposed.

“It’s very similar to last year,” said Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz.  “It’s gone through Superintendent’s cabinet.  There were just a couple of areas that I wanted to make sure I got input on, and I got it.  That was on the idea of spring break and the idea of in-service.  Spring break is a tough one because April 14th and 17th is Easter.  I asked a couple of choices.”

Dr. Schultz then presented the proposed calendar that had a start date of August 25th, Christmas break from December 22nd-January 4th, and a spring break March 23-24.

The board then had discussions regarding the scenario of a possible bad winter and having to continue school after Memorial Day to make up for snow days.

Another topic of conversation brought up around the calendar was taking days off for state tournaments.  “I feel, this is just my recommendation, that for all sports, if students want to go and parents want to excuse them, that is fine.  But it’s hard for me to justify, with a school of 1,000 kids almost, to shut down when any of our teams make it to the state tournament.  There’s such a big chunk of kid that are not going to those.  Staff that are not going.  I’m not saying that in a negative way.  It’s just that a majority of people don’t go.  I would recommend we try moving forward that we don’t just have a mass cancellation,” said Dr. Schultz.

After discussions about snow days and taking days off for state tournaments, the school board made slight changes to the proposed calendar.  They asked that the start of school be moved to August 24th, students come back from Christmas break on January 3rd, and instead of a four-day spring break in March, two back-to-back Fridays will be no-school days.  The final day of school will be Tuesday, May 23rd.  The day earlier start to school and the earlier day back from Christmas break allows for a couple of extra days for snow days without having to bring students back after Memorial Day.

The change from a four-day spring break weekend to two Fridays off of sch0ol in March is the compromise for no more days off of school for state tournaments.  The two Fridays that will have no school are March 10th and March 17th with coincide with the girls and boys state tournaments.  School will be in session on the Thursdays of the state tournament.

The school board approved the calendar with their suggested changes along with not taking any additional days off for state tournaments starting with the 2016-2017 school year.  The vote passed 4-1 with Matthew Weiland voting nay.

DRHS School Calenar 16-17


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Election Day Set for April 12

VoteThe City of Dell Rapids and the Dell Rapids School District will have a joint election on Tuesday, April 12th.  The election will take place at the Dell Rapids Lutheran Church.

The Dell Rapids School District election will be for three vacancies on the Dell Rapids School Board that will come open this summer.  The Dell Rapids City Council election will be for five vacancies.  Ward 1 will have one open spot, Ward 2 will fill two open spots.  Wards 3 and 4 will also each have an open spot.  Circulation of nominating petitions for City Council may begin on January 29th.  Petitions must be filed at City Hall no later than February 26th.

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DRHS School Project Being Rebid

NewDRLogoA plan by the Dell Rapids High School to make improvements to the building will be going out for rebid in December.  Mark Aspaas of Architecture, Inc presented revised plans to the Dell Rapids School Board during their regular meeting on Monday, September 14th.

The improvement plans for the school include adding a science room addition, moving the office area location to near the front door where the current distance learning room is located, and renovating the locker rooms.  The plan was estimated to cost about $1.5 million and was put out for bids in June.  The bids came back at over $2 million.  The school board decided to reject the bids at that time and re-evaluate the plans.

Aspaas presented the board with updated plans that included $100,000 of savings from the original plan.  He also mentioned to the board that comparable projects in the area coming back with lower bids than earlier in the year.

The specifications of the project are expected to be completed in October for December bidding.  If the project moves forward after bidding, construction could potentially start in the spring.

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Dell Rapids School Amends End of School Date

EndofSchool-2015The Dell Rapids School Board amended the last day of school for the 2014-2015 school year during their regular meeting on Monday, April 13th.  The original last day of school was scheduled for Thursday, May 21st, at 1:00 p.m.  However, the school district lost three days of school time during the year, one to weather and two due to state tournaments.

Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz made the recommendation to make up a day and a half of the three days missed.  Her proposal was to have the last day of school be amended to Friday, May 22nd, at 3:18 p.m.  She said, “Have the kids come a full day on Thursday and Friday, instead of having the half day early release.  And then only have staff make up the contract days that following Tuesday and Wednesday after Memorial Day, so you would only be losing a day and a half of student time.  Then teachers would fulfill their contract.  We would be able to use some of our nine state training days we have coming to us with the lack of days for in-service.  We haven’t been able to use many of those.”

Schultz also told the school board that the state does not make the district count the days/hours missed due to early release because of weather emergencies.

“So your recommendation is of the three days, we make up a day and a half, which would run us up to the end of the day, full day on Friday, the 22nd, right before the Memorial Day weekend and not bring the students back after Memorial Day. I think that’s probably the most logical based on the calendar that we have, rather than trying to bring them back on Tuesday or Wednesday whether it be for a day or day and a half,” board president Tom Morris said.

The proposal passed by a 3-1 vote.

The final day of school will now be Friday, May 22nd, at 3:18 p.m.

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