Rough Rider Times

April 2021

Contact us

Attendance: (605) 362-2885

Main Office: (605) 362-2860

Activity Office: (605) 362-2866

Counselors: (605) 362-2868

Fax: (605) 362-2883

Rider Remarks

April is the time when we all seem to get recharged, and the energy of Spring is something you can feel in the hallways of RHS. In many ways this year has been a long one and somehow it is hard to believe we are down to the last couple of months of the school already! What everyone has done to ensure that we have been able to have school in person this year is much appreciated, and we will continue to take precautions to see this year through until the end. Thanks for all you have done so far, and we will continue to do what we can to ensure a successful end to our school year.

This month we get our Spring activities going and we take time to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of many of our students. We will be celebrating student achievement by having Honors Fest on Wednesday April 21st. This year’s event will be live for our seniors with limited guests and will be streamed to the classrooms where the underclassmen will be in smaller groups viewing and receiving awards. We are also hosting a Grand March in lieu of Prom that will be at 3:00 on Saturday April 24th. It is a big month for events at RHS! Please watch your email.

We are looking forward to a great Spring season at RHS and want it to be a special time for all our students and staff who have gone above and beyond what is done in a normal year! We will be in communication about all that is coming up this month and for the rest of the year. Thanks again for all the support and please reach out if you have any questions or concerns . Have a wonderful April!!

150 Years: Celebrating Public Education in Sioux Falls

by Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent

ses·qui·cen·ten·ni·al - /ˌseskwəsenˈtenēəl/


1. relating to the one-hundred-and-fiftieth anniversary of a significant event.

If the Sioux Falls School District was holding a spelling bee in 2021, a good word to

stump even a few of our best spellers might be “sesquicentennial.” A common practice at spelling bees is for the announcer to say the word, define it, and then use it in a sentence. That sentence might be “The Sioux Falls School District is celebrating its sesquicentennial in the 2021-22 school year.”

The Sioux Falls School District was formally established on July 3, 1871. Old records indicate the first school opened in 1870 in the Government Barracks under the direction of teacher Mary A. Benton who trained 17 pupils. However, it was the summer of 1871 when newly elected Minnehaha County Superintendent John Bippus divided the county into seven school districts as one of his first official acts. District #1 was comprised of the entire Sioux Falls township. Still, it took another two years for its first school board to be established with elected members being A. Gale, Director; R.F. Pettigrew, Clerk; and D.S. Goodyear, Treasurer.

It is humbling to think about the exponential value public education has brought to the community through the students who have graduated with a Sioux Falls School District diploma over the past 150 years. We have launched so many successful people who fill every career and job title currently and previously needed and known. We believe this is a feat worth celebrating!

A Planning Committee made up of parents and community members has been meeting since February to determine a fitting theme, and design memorable activities that can be embraced by all stakeholders.

Before school starts again in the fall, we will launch our plan for activities and events to be held throughout the 2021-2022 school year. The theme is “Rooted in Our Past ~ Reaching for Our Future.” The committee is hoping to engage with former staff members, alumni, community members, current parents, students, and employees to highlight all we have achieved in the previous 150 years and to establish new and exciting goals to launch us into the next 150 years. If your path took you through SFSD, dig out your old photos and memorabilia. We are setting up a digital time capsule by decade.

The launch of the District 150th Anniversary celebration will also include the unveiling of new strategic priorities to guide our work as we aspire to be the best school district in the nation. This is a lofty goal, but who better to achieve it than a school district that has 150 years of success in its rearview mirror and one that is committed to continuous improvement for the next century and beyond.

Sesquicentennial isn’t an easy word to say or to spell. But, paraphrasing the great Theodore Roosevelt, we believe nothing worth doing comes easy. We look forward to celebrating this milestone in our history with all of you!

Superintendent Message

Click here to view the Superintendent's Columns.

Important Dates

April 7 - Junior Testing

April 24 - Grand March 3:00pm

May 26 - Last Day of School

May 30 - Graduation 7:00pm Sioux Falls Arena

District Parent Calendar

View the Sioux Falls School District Parent Calendars.

March Students of the Month

9th - Ava Silvernail & Jason Starovoytov

10th - Naima Musa & David Grabow

11th - Brooke VanDenHoek & Max Bour

12th - Neka Watson & Payton Crandall

2021 Senior Information

Graduation Cap & Gown

Josten’s will be delivering graduation caps and gowns on Thursday, April 15. You can pick yours up before and after school at their table just outside the Auditorium. If you have not ordered your cap or gown, please go to the website to order. If you cannot afford to purchase a graduation cap and gown – please talk to Pam in the Counselor’s office and she will ensure that you get one.

Grand March

Grand March is scheduled on April 24th starting at 3:00pm. Seniors and their dates will need to sign up beforehand during lunch hours in the commons or before / after school at the front entrance window. During which time each senior will receive 2 spectator tickets for any friends and family that would like to attend. Seniors can bring a date that is currently attending any of the Sioux Falls Public high schools. Dates that do not attend a Sioux Falls Public high school will not be allowed to proceed through Grand March.

Seniors and their dates will park and use the auditorium entrance and are required to show their school ID or driver’s license. Spectators will come through the main entrance of the school. They must have their spectator’s ticket and pay $5 in order to enter. Due to COVID-19 protocols we are limiting the number of people in the spectator areas and require that everyone wears a mask while in the building.

Graduation Speakers

Any senior who is interested in being a speaker at Graduation will need to submit a copy of their speech electronically to Mrs. Agar ( Seniors will audition their speech in front of a panel of teachers and principals where two will be chosen to speak at graduation. The deadline to submit a graduation speech is April 30th.

Graduation Ceremony

Commencement will be held on Sunday, May 30th, 2021, at 7:00pm at the Sioux Falls Arena. This is a prestigious event and we ask that graduates dress appropriately. Graduates must wear the appropriate graduation cap and gown with dark or neutral colored dress shoes (no flip-flops, tennis shoes, slippers, or bare feet). We ask that graduates dress up for the occasion and please do not wear t-shirts, jeans, or shorts. Nothing is to be pinned or attached to your cap or gown.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, each graduate may invite up to six guests to attend in-person. Tickets will not be required on the day of the event, however, we ask each graduate to ONLY bring six or fewer guests so that all students and their families can share in this celebration. The graduation ceremony will be live streamed so other family members will have the opportunity to watch and celebrate. Hand sanitizing stations will be available and masks are expected to be worn throughout the ceremony.

More detailed information will be coming out on the graduation ceremony, the procedures, and picking up your diploma. If you have any questions, please feel free to call the school 605-362-2860 or email Mrs. Agar at – Thank you for your support and excitement in safely celebrating your senior year.

RHS Summer Camps

RHS 2021 Summer Camps

RHS Nationalist

Check out the latest edition.


Yearbooks for the 2020-21 School year are being sold ONLINE ONLY. Yearbooks will be delivered in the fall of 2021.


The end of the school year is fast approaching, but there is still time to read a great book! The RHS library has many new books to fit a variety of interests. Many of those new titles are listed below.

Game Changer – Neal Shusterman

Girls I’ve Been – Tess Sharpe

Ground Zero – Alan Gratz

The Lucky One – Lori Rader-Day

All These Monsters – Amy Tintera

Muted – Tami Charles

Night Divided – Jennifer Nielsen

Shot at Normal – Marisa Reichardt

Sometimes I Lie – Alice Feeney

White Rose – Kip Wilson

In the Shadow of Dora: a Novel of the Holocaust and the Apollo Program – Patrick Hicks

Watching You – Lisa Jewell

The Invisible Life of Addie Larue – Victoria Schwab

Golden Arm – Carl Deuker

The Father of Glacier National Park: Discoveries and Explanations in His Own Words – George Bird Grinnell

Many books are also on the app called SORA, which can be accessed through Classlink. On SORA, students have e-book and audio book options. Additionally, all students now have access to the Siouxland Library e-books and audio books (thousands of titles) through their SORA app. There are a few steps to enable this feature. The directions are included below, but if your student has any problems with set up, we can help.

Happy Reading!


ACT is requiring all examinees to bring & wear a face covering. Test center staff will not allow examinees to enter the testing facility without a mask unless an examinee objects due to a medical condition, mental health condition, or disability.

HS Tripper Bus Routes

Boarding the Bus:

Do not wave down the Yellow school buses. Simply be standing at the stop location and the bus will come to you. If nobody is standing at a stop location, the bus will not come to a complete stop at that location. It will drive on past. However, we will not leave a bus stop before it’s listed loading time.

Discipline Statement:

The School District’s “Rules of Student Conduct and Discipline” apply to bus Stops and on school Buses. Students need to remain seated while in route.

The HS Tripper route buses will be equipped with camera’s to monitor activity on these buses. Students removed from the bus for discipline issues will not receive refunds for their bus pass. For a full list of Sioux Falls School District Policies.

The high school “Tripper” bus routes will be done by School Bus Inc. High School students riding the “Tripper” buses will load/unload on YELLOW school buses. Stop locations have changed as well.

Any student who purchases a HS “Tripper” routes bus pass at the schools each month, can use that same bus pass to ride any City SAM bus the same month. However, SAM city bus passes will not work on HS Tripper routes.

“Tripper bus” tickets can only be purchased from the Parking Lot Attendant at your school.

Bus Pass Pricing:

Bus Passes will be sold by the month. After and including the 15th of each month, Bus Passes will be sold at half price.

$6.00 for students who qualify for free lunch.

$12.00 for students who qualify for reduced lunch.

$30.00 full price ticket.

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Senior Class Party

Hey Seniors & Senior Parents! Planning for the Senior Class Party has begun. Don’t to miss out on a fun night of games, hypnotist, magician and food.

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