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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Local Students to Learn About Ethics from Top Leaders

JuniorAchievementLogoDell Rapids, SD- Misusing company time, abusive behavior, and employee theft are among the most frequently observed unethical behaviors in the U.S. workplace (according to a survey conducted by the Washington, D.C. based Ethics Resource Center, January 2015). In an effort to stop this trend, Junior Achievement is striving to educate students about the importance of ethical decisions while they are still in school. Through the JA Excelling through Ethics program, over 9,300 South Dakota middle and high school students from 32 communities will learn from executive level volunteers the importance of ethics.

Junior Achievement partners with nearly 500 local business executives across the state to share their personal experience with ethical decision-making and to provide each student an opportunity to think critically about ethical dilemmas they may face. Along with the foundation of ethics, they challenge students to consider their own integrity, reliability, values, and character.

On Wednesday, December 5, over 75 Dell Rapids students will participate in the program. The JA Ethics volunteers will conduct activities, lead discussions, and share real-life ethical decisions they have faced and how they responded. Through these discussions, students will gain a better understanding of their responsibility to society and of the role ethics and integrity play in the workplace and in life.

Kayla Eitreim, President of Junior Achievement of South Dakota, stated, “Today’s students are tomorrow’s future leaders, and Junior Achievement is proud to have the opportunity to help ensure our students are prepared for the workplace. JA volunteers help students develop their soft skills and encourage them to take time to think about the implications of tough decisions while at work and in their personal lives.

Junior Achievement of South Dakota, founded in 1968, inspires and prepares young people to succeed in a global economy. For more information about the JA Excelling through Ethics program, please contact our state office at 800-871-7007 or visit

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My School Bucks Fee to be Paid by Dell Rapids School District

MySchoolBucksDuring their last regular board meeting on Monday, October 8th, the Dell Rapids School Board approved a change to the Heartland Payment Solutions agreement to have the My School Bucks service charges be paid by the district instead of parents.

When the feature for online lunch payments was introduced, the district knew that someone had to pay the $2.49 fee to have the service.  Up until this point in time, the charge has been passed to the families using the online payment option.  However, the district has been trying to brainstorm ideas of how to change that.  Just recently the district was told by the state that the school can use food service fund dollars to pay that service charge.

“Because our food service fund has a good balance, I just recommend that we give this a try, see how it works, see if it helps with negative lunch accounts, but no matter what, our families are going to go ‘Thank you’,” said Dell Rapids Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz.

Not only will this change help take the burden off of families to pay the service fee, Dr. Schultz is also hoping it will save time and burden on secretaries to handle lunch money checks and help save time on administration of negative lunch account balances.

“We’ve made so many good changes to the food service, this is that last one where it does cost us a little bit, but it just helps the program overall,” Dr. Schultz also said.

The motion to make the change was approved unanimously by the school board.

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Dell Rapids Students Participate in Community Service Day


Students from Dell Rapids participated in a community service day during the afternoon of


Friday, May 18th. Students were bused out into the community and then picked up trash as they walked back towards the school. Some students also helped do landscaping projects around the Dell Rapids High School building.

A large number of trash bags were filled from the community clean-up.

Students also painted inside of the train car in the park and played bingo at the nursing home.


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Dell Rapids School District Student Numbers Increase

SummerSchultzPreliminary numbers for the 2017-2018 school year shows an increase in students from last year at the Dell Rapids School District.  Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz reported the preliminary numbers to the Dell Rapids School Board during their regular meeting on Monday, September 11th.

“We have preliminary enrollment numbers, which until that last Friday in September I don’t ever like to put anything on paper just because it’s not official yet.  But between crossover on lunch and what we’ve ran on Infinite Campus, it looks like we’re up approximately 19 students from what we’ve budgeted.  That’s a great thing,” said Schultz.  She noted that during the October meeting the board will receive the final official numbers.

Dr. Schultz also reported to the board that both the elementary and middle school staff are now starting to get into the Positive Action curriculum.

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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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Dell Rapids School District Free Developmental Screening

Dell Rapids School District will be offering FREE developmental screenings for children ages 3 through age 5 that live within the school district boundaries.

September 26, 2016

If you are interested in learning more about your child’s current level of development or have concerns in the areas of personal-social, fine and gross motor, cognitive, and communication skills, we encourage you to participate in this screening opportunity.

Registration deadline is September 23, 2016

Register online at the Dell Rapids School website or by calling the school at 428.5473 option 6.


What is screening?

  • A screening is a series of short tasks and observations in various developmental areas. The purpose is to let us know if we need to complete further evaluation of the child’s development. We usually screen 2 to 3 children during the same time period.

What age children get screened?

  • The early childhood screening is for children ages 3 to 5 who have not entered kindergarten/kindergarten-prep.

What developmental areas are covered?

  • At early childhood screening, we screen the areas of speech and language, concept development, motor coordination (fine and gross), and social development. The screening is adjusted for your child’s age.

Who screens my child?

  • Early Childhood team consists of early childhood teachers, staff, and speech language pathologists. There will be highly qualified educators available to answer questions and explain screening results.

How long does the screening take?

  • The screening usually takes about an hour, but plan on somewhat longer. If your child needs some “warm-up time”, the screening may take a little longer.

What should I tell my child before we come?

  • We suggest that you tell your child that they will be playing some games that will help everyone learn more about him or her. Try to avoid the word “test” and, more importantly, try to convey to the child that it will be fun.

Will the screening be stressful for my child?

  • Rarely. Most children enjoy the screening activities. At times, a child may need more time to warm up and be comfortable. On some occasions, a child is not able to complete all the tasks. If this happens we will talk with you to determine what to do next.

Is it okay to bring guests or siblings?

  • We encourage families to avoid bringing siblings to the screening. Young children will benefit from a quiet, relaxed environment during the screening process.

What is expected of the parent concerning the screening?

  • There is a screening questionnaire to fill out about your child when you arrive.  Also, please bring copies of any reports from individuals or agencies (such as speech therapists, physicians, occupational therapists, etc…) that you feel might be helpful to us.
  • When all screening activities have been completed, your child will be allowed to play in the toy area while we discuss the results with you. At that time, you will also have an opportunity to discuss any concerns you may have about your child’s development.

When will I receive the results of the screening?

  • The professionals who have screened your child will discuss their observations with you at the screening. There will be information available describing activities for your child in all areas of development.

What are the possible outcomes of the screening?

  • If your child’s performance falls within age appropriate limits no further follow-up will be suggested. If a child has some difficulty in one or more areas, we may give you ideas of things to do at home. We will sometimes suggest that we check in with you at a later date to monitor progress. If your child has greater difficulty in one or more areas, further evaluation may be expected. If further evaluation is recommended, it can be completed by our team. As with the screening, there is no charge for this. The purpose of the evaluation would be to determine if your child would be eligible to receive school district services at no cost.

Will the screening results tell me if my child is advanced?

  • The purpose of our screening is to identify areas of possible concern. The screening is not designed to identify advanced skills.

We hope that you have found this information helpful, and that your experience with early childhood screening is a positive and enjoyable one. We look forward to meeting you and your child.

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Dell Rapids Superintendent Happy HB1182 Passes House on Second Attempt

DRElementarySchoolOn Thursday, February 18, 2016, HB1182 failed to pass on a 46-27 vote with one absent; it needed a two-thirds majority to pass. The bill, which increases teacher’s pay along with other tax measures by increasing state sales tax by half a percent, was proposed by the Governor’s Office.

Dell Rapids School District Superintendent Dr. Summer Schultz told Big Sioux Media, “I would like to thank our legislators for their time and commitment to the state of South Dakota.  I want to remind them that I will not always agree with their decisions, but I appreciate the time they have given me to share information about Dell Rapids Public School.”

Opponents to HB1182 have stated there are other ways to fund teacher pay.  Schultz said that she is open to listening to those options, but said, “Look at school finances more carefully.  If there is a plan substantial and creditable, show administrators, teachers, and the public. Until than, move forward with 1182.”

She explained when opponents bring up the surplus in school districts they are not seeing the whole picture.  If using money from reserves is to fund increases in teacher pay, it is a one-year stopgap.

“Every school district needs to put together a Capital Outlay Plan for five years.  The money from the Capital Outlay is spent on textbooks, technology upgrades, and things like when a bus goes down and needs to be replaced.  If we take that money and use it for teacher pay, it affects those areas in the school district,” said Schultz.

Another proposal is to find money in the state budget. “I question what part of the Governor’s proposed budget will be cut to make this happen.  The current plan calls for an additional $65 million which is an approximate 6% cut from somewhere else,” Schultz said.

“The Blue Ribbon task force pointed out that there is a large discrepancy among states.  (In Dell Rapids) there have been candidates from other states that have looked in the area but it is hard for them to take that kind of pay decrease, so when competing for a teacher looking at positions between two neighboring states, it is difficult to compete pay wise.  We, Dell Rapids School District, continue to see the number of applicants decrease, and the fear is that the pool will continue to get lower,” added Schultz.

HB1182 received reconsideration after a 44-21 vote on Friday, February 19th, to revisit the bill.  HB1182 was added to the agenda for Monday, February 22nd.  This time HB1182 passed by a 47-21 vote with two excused.  The bill will now head to the State Senate.

Schultz was very happy with the turnout of the reconsideration.  “I am elated for the teachers of Dell Rapids and all of South Dakota! This is a pivotal point in the session, and I’m hopeful the Senate will also move the bill through.  We will watch closely the Senate Bills that contain the meat of the formula and how it will all come together for SD districts,” she said.

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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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Two Suspects Arrested in Dell Rapids in Connection to SF Shooting

SchoolLockdown1The Dell Rapids schools were requested to execute a secure perimeter by the request of local law enforcement on Tuesday, December 3rd.  The order requested by law enforcement was strictly precautionary as they searched for suspects in connection to a fatal shooting in Sioux Falls on Monday, December 2nd.  Reports indicate that the suspects knew the 20-year-old victim in the fatal shooting.  One suspect, Kevin Rice, 20, was taken into custody by law enforcement at Autotrend, located south of Dell Rapids.  Authorities continued their search for the second suspect in the Garfield Ave. / 9th St. area of Dell Rapids before moving east of Dell Rapids on Jasper St.  The second suspect, Douglas Scholten, 20, was taken into custody by authorities on a farmstead located around Jasper St and 481st Ave.  The Dell Rapids schools lifted the secure perimeter around 11:15 Tuesday morning.

Both Rice and Scholten face charges of burglary, robbery, and assault, but Sioux Falls Officer Sam Clemens said in a press conference that neither of them were in the house at the time of the shooting.  Clemens also indicated in the press conference that there is no reason to think the public is any danger because the suspects targeted the victim’s home.  The Sioux Falls police are continuing their investigation and are continuing to look for who is responsible for the homicide of 20-year-old Jordan Duane Lebeau of Sioux Falls.







Initial Story
The Dell Rapids schools were requested to execute a secure perimeter by the request of local law enforcement.  Law enforcement are searching for a suspect or suspects in Dell Rapids.  This is strictly a precautionary measure and law enforcement has stressed to the schools that there is no immediate danger at this time.  Students’ day will proceed as normal.  However, at this time, no one will be allowed in or out of the buildings.  School officials have requested that no unnecessary phone calls are made into the school so that communication lines can remain open with law enforcement.

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