Rough Rider Times

January 2021

Contact us

Main Office: (605) 362-2860

Activity Office: (605) 362-2866

Counselors: (605) 362-2868

Attendance: (605) 362-2885

Fax: (605) 362-2883

Rider Remarks

Happy New Year! I am certain that it has never felt better to use that greeting. We are not quite finished with the first semester, but the recent break from school served as a benchmark for this school year. Everyone has had to adapt and change while dealing with all types of adversity. The strength, adaptability, character, and determination that our students and staff have shown throughout this year has been uplifting and a promise of hope for a better year ahead. We are looking ahead and charging forward in this new year together as a community of learners.

We know that we are facing even more changes in the upcoming year as we transition to having our fourth high school in our district. That will bring another change for many people in the RHS community. Some of our current students will go to the new school and we wish them the best! However, with change comes opportunity and have named that the “RHS Re-Charge”. The general idea is that in many ways we are going to be a new school as well because we will have several students joining our community who previously attended or had thought they were attending other schools. A school is nothing but brick and mortar without the human element of the people who are learning, relating, grieving, and celebrating together. At RHS, we are going to charge forward and embrace all the upcoming changes with hope and belief that we will continue to improve while welcoming all the people who will be joining us. We are excited about building an even stronger learning community that will continue to charge forward with hope and enthusiasm for the future.

Lucky for us we still have this year to finish together. As we begin the process of registering for next year, there will likely be several questions that come up. We will do our best to communicate with you throughout the process, but please feel free to ask and reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns. We also have semester tests coming up next week. Students will test on Wednesday the 13th and 14th. There is no school Friday the 15th for a teacher workday or on Monday the 18th for teacher in-service. We have done very well to get to this point and the cooperation following the safety protocols has been outstanding. Thank you all very much for the continued support and encouragement. Although we are all ready for the need for precautions to be over, we will need to continue with them throughout this school so that we can continue have school in person every day. We will do this together. We are Roosevelt! We Are One!

Mentoring Matters

By Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent

A quick search of the internet reveals no shortage of inspiring quotes about the value of a quality mentoring relationship. Leaders, past and present, recognize the power of walking along side someone to share in the learning and growth for ourselves and others.

· “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” - Director/Producer Steven Spielberg

· “Our chief want in life is somebody who will make us do what we can.” – Poet and Philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson

· “If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, resdiscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.” – Scientist and Ecologist Rachel Carson

· “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember involve me and I learn.” – Inventor and Founding Father of the United States Benjamin Franklin

Positive mentoring relationships exist throughout business and industry, on the fields and courts of sports activities, and perhaps most importantly, in the classrooms and hallways of our public schools.

The Sioux Falls School District is better because our seasoned teachers support new teachers leading a classroom for the first time. Veteran principals guide aspiring administrators, and thanks to established programs like Lutheran Social Services School-Based Mentoring and TeamMates, community volunteers build meaningful relationships with students through regular mentoring opportunities.

While COVID-19 has limited in-person meetings between mentors and mentees at schools this year, those who understand the value of mentoring relationships have been working hard to overcome challenges for second semester.

With the support of the Sioux Falls Downtown Rotary Club, which is championing Mayor Paul Ten Haken’s “Sioux 52 Initiative,” virtual mentoring will be piloted in a few schools during the second semester. This means students will be able to re-connect with their mentor to continue to learn and grow with the support of another caring adult. I could not be more pleased with the way in which our community has responded to finding a way to make mentoring happen, even amidst the pandemic.

In my short time in Sioux Falls, not only have I been impressed with the community’s philanthropic support for our public schools, I have also been impressed by the fortitude of the many genuinely caring individuals who recognize that time continues to be a valuable gift for those most in need. Where there is a will, there is a way!

January is National Mentoring Month, and as a long-time mentor myself, I encourage you to consider being a mentor. If you have time to listen, share your own personal experiences, appreciate honest conversations, and want to make a difference in the life of a child, you will be a great mentor! Contact one of our schools to get started.

The immediate rewards are smiles, laughter, and friendship, and the real return on investment is the kind of personal growth that is hard to learn from a book.

Superintendent Message

Click here to view the latest Superintendent's Column.

Important Dates

January 4 - Classes Resume

January 13-14 - Semester Tests

January 15 & 18 - No School

District Parent Calendar

View the Sioux Falls School District Parent Calendars.

January Students of the Month

9th - Sadie Hunter & Tyler Olson

10th - Kaylee Bell & Andrew Noble

11th - Sydnee Kramer & Michael Karvelas

12th - Makenzi Stluka & Collin Strobel

2021-22 Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for the 2021-2022 School year is now open!

All applications, both online and in person, will be accepted in date and timestamp order. Applications will be accepted at the Instructional Planning Center, 201 E 38th St. or click the link below to apply online.

Winter Weather Information

School Related Cancellations and Postponements

It is important to be prepared for the winter storms and extreme cold that every South Dakota winter brings. Please read the following information so you are aware of the procedures for school related cancellations and postponements.

District leaders rely on experts from the National Weather Service and city/county officials when we make decisions on school cancellations, late starts or early dismissals.

Cancelling School/Late Start

When a severe storm hits the area, or is forecast, we start contacting local officials as early as 3:00 a.m. We communicate with our Operational Services Department, the Weather Bureau, the City Street Department, Sioux Falls Transit, and our transportation contractors. It is our goal to decide whether or not to cancel school by 5 a.m. to allow time for parking lots and sidewalks to be cleared, food services to prepare meals and the bus company to begin operations. In the event that school needs to be cancelled or delayed, families will be alerted via a ParentLink phone call. These calls will generally be sent between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6:30 a.m. to accommodate families whose children are picked up by buses at 6:45 a.m. Announcements are also made on the District’s website, Sioux Falls School District social media sites (Facebook: and Twitter: ) the SFSD app, and over the local radio and television stations.

Because the public schools have a limited rural area, it is often possible for Sioux Falls to have school when nearby towns may not.

Early Dismissal

Storms occasionally move in during the day, making it necessary to assess whether or not to dismiss school early. We choose early dismissal only under the most extreme circumstances. In most cases, it is safer for students to remain at school due to the need for transportation and proper supervision. In the rare instances when schools are dismissed early, families will receive a ParentLink phone call and the information will appear on the District’s website at, and our Sioux Falls School District social media sites (Facebook: and Twitter: ). Announcements are also made over the local radio and television stations.

Notifications refer to dismissal “one hour early” or “two hours early” because of the number of different building schedules. In addition to noting the early dismissal, announcements about evening activities are normally included.

It is very important that every family has a plan for early dismissal. Be sure your student knows where to go in case no one is at home. Parents/Guardians are urged to talk with their student about his/her safety during winter weather emergencies.

Be Safe This Winter

The school system offers these suggestions concerning cold weather and

emergency situations:

1. Listen for a ParentLink phone call regarding school closings, late starts, or early dismissals. Check the District’s website at for updated information. Follow us on our Sioux Falls School District social media sites (Facebook: and Twitter: ) for updated information. Announcements will also be made on local radio and television stations. (Please avoid calling schools or the Instructional Planning Center. Phone lines are needed for emergency communications.)

2. Make sure students are properly dressed for predicted weather conditions so they are prepared for walking or waiting for a bus in the cold or for being delayed on a bus in a weather-related situation.

3. Students should not arrive at school until the scheduled time for outdoor staff supervision or the breakfast program begins.

4. Develop a plan and inform your student about where your student will go if school is dismissed early.

5. School officials will use their best judgment about school closings, late starts, or early dismissals, but please remember that a parent has the right to keep children home or to pick them up from school early if they feel weather conditions require this action.

It's Cold Outside!!

As the weather gets colder please remember that students are not allowed in the building before 8:00am. Breakfast is served at 7:50am Monday-Friday.

If a student needs to make up a test with a teacher, please have them check in at the Welcome Window.

Thank you for your cooperation!

Semester Test Day Schedule

The Sioux Falls School Board approved a plan to eliminate the early start/early dismissal schedule on semester test days.

This means January 13 & 14 will follow the normal start of the day and end of the day times.

Semester Grading

High Schools - Grading Scale & Semester Grading

During the 2019-2020 school year, the SFSD put together a committee of teachers, administrators, college and university representatives and parents to review the grading policy which included the current grading scale. The committee learned through research and feedback from area universities that Sioux Falls students may be at a disadvantage when competing against students from other school districts that use a 10 pt scale as compared to the SFSD 7 pt scale. Therefore, it was determined to move to a 10-point grading scale to level the playing field for our students to earn more college scholarships. The 10-point scale is also a common scale in many colleges and school districts across the nation.

The 10-point scale is:










59.9 and below

The committee also looked at quarter and semester grading. Semester grading, as opposed to quarter grading mimics many colleges and school districts across our state and nation. In the quarter system, quarters were weighted equally but the content and work between quarters was not always equal due to snow days, testing, curriculum, etc. Semester grading alleviates that problem. Semester grading also allows students to demonstrate proficiency throughout the semester. Therefore, the decision was made to move to semester grades. Each semester will now be 85% of the final grade and the semester test will remain 15% of the final grade.

Teachers will still post grades through infinite campus to continue to provide real time grades. Grades will be posted at midterm and at the end of each semester. Students and parents will see the following grades at the end of each semester:



Semester Test

Final Grade

As always, frequent feedback for students and their parents/guardians remains vital.

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

RHS Library

In a challenging 2020, books have played an important role in getting many people through some difficult, lonely moments. The RHS library has new books that promise to be amazing and popular books that have entertained readers for many years.

Listed below are some of the new books in the RHS Library. Encourage your teen to stop in and check one out or to access a book through the Sora app on the library webpage.

Seasons Greetings and Happy Reading!

Being Toffee – Sarah Crossan

The Companion – Katie Alender

A Deadly Education – Naomi Novik

Don’t Look for Me -- Wendy Walker

Find Layla – Meg Elison

The Girl with the Louding Voice – Abi Daré

The Girls Weekend – Jody Gehrman

A Heart in a Body in the World – Deb Caletti

The Inheritance Games – Jennifer Lynn Barnes

The Jewel Thief – Jeannie Mobley

Punching the Air – Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

The Return – Nicolas Sparks

Surrender Your Sons – Adam Sass

The Thursday Murder Club – Richard Osman

War and Speech – Don Zolidis

What I Want You to See – Catherine Linka


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 on the night of May 30, 2021.

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