New Tech High School

February 2021 Newsletter

Mission: Empower students for success in a global society by cultivating leaders who exemplify 21st century skills and Trust, Respect, Responsibility, and Excellence.

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Message from Mrs. Anderson

Greetings Titan families,

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I cannot believe we are already a couple weeks into 2nd semester. Your student should have brought home their 1st semester report card on Friday January 22nd. Of course, you can always see their 1st semester grades in Infinite Campus and you can see their current grades in live time on Echo. If you need assistance logging into either Infinite Campus or Echo please call our office, we would be happy to help!

With the new year comes a new celebration for our school! As some of you will recall, last school year our Graphic Design students worked on a rebranding project for New Tech. The idea to rebrand our school came from staff and students, we know that our New Tech name while connected to the New Tech Network was often confusing to the outside world. People wondered what our school and model were really about and thought that students had to be ultra tech savvy to be at New Tech. We were also often confused with the Career Tech Education Academy (CTE) as well. Our thought was to come up with a name that spoke to what we do and where we were located. The result of the rebranding project and the work it produced is that starting next fall when we move into our new wing at Jefferson HS, we will be called the Jefferson HS Project Based Learning Academy!! We are excited for this next iteration of project-based learning in Sioux Falls. Our new wing will allow us to expand since it is bigger than our current facility and being a part of Jefferson HS will allow the PBL Academy students the opportunity to do all their sports, fine arts, and clubs at Jefferson HS. What an exciting time for Project Based Learning in the Sioux Falls School District!

As we roll into 2nd semester, here are a few events to mark on your calendars. Parent/ Teacher conferences will be held virtually again this semester from 4-7:30pm on Feb. 8th and 9th. You should have received an email including sign-up genius links for our teachers where you can schedule your virtual conferences which will be utilizing the Google meet platform or could also be a phone call if you let the teacher know that is what you prefer. This email was sent to all New Tech households on Friday January 29th. If you did not receive that email, please contact our office and we will make certain you receive the information. At New Tech we prefer our conferences to be student led, so when scheduling your conferences please also talk with your student about being a part of the virtual conference to speak about what they are learning. It is a great time to have a conversation about what is going well and what needs help or improvement.2

President’s Day break will be Monday February 15th and Tuesday February 16th. In March we will hold our Spring Fling week from March 9th-13th, our student council will look at planning pandemic safe activities since we are not able to have a Spring Fling dance this year. March 12th is a no school day in the district. April 2nd -5th is Spring break. We are still waiting to hear if we will be able to hold a Senior Prom, this is dependent on the pandemic. If we can hold one it will be on Saturday April 24th from 9-midnight with the grand march at 8:30pm. Our 2021 graduation ceremony will be held at the Sioux Falls Arena on Sunday May 30th at 11am.

We have started the registration process for the 2021-22 school year. As we look ahead to course offerings and the schedule for next school year, now would be a great time to talk with your student about courses that they wish to take during the 2021-22 school year. Below you will fine the link to the online HS course book for your review. As you look through the HS courses you will see that Project Based Learning Courses that will be offered in the Jefferson Project Based Learning Academy are noted as in the following example.



MAAN3011/3012 PBL Academy at Jefferson

Online Course Book--

Thank you all for your continued support of New Tech. If you have any questions we encourage you to reach us at 367-5850.


Dolly Anderson, Principal

Important Dates


2nd Ground Hog’s Day

3rd—Serve and Learn Student Association (SALSA) meeting during lunches

8-9th--Spring Virtual Parent/Teacher Conferences—4-7:30pm both nights

14th—Happy Valentine’s Day

15-16th--No School (President’s Day Break)

17th—School Resumes


3rd-- Serve and Learn Student Association (SALSA) meeting during lunches

12th—No School—teacher compensatory day

Seniors and Graduation Information

Important Senior Dates

  • Spring Fling Week - March 15-19; Dance on 3/19/21 @ 8:00--depending on the pandemic
  • Prom - 4/24/21: Doors open at 8:00; Grand March at 8:30; Dance at 9:00--dependent on the pandemic
  • Caps and Gowns Delivered - 5/14/21
  • Senior Graduation Meeting - MANDATORY - 5/14/21 @10:30; Senior Cookout @11:40
  • Seniors need to have Community Service Hours completed and forms turned in by 5/14/21
  • Seniors turn in final transcript requests to Jane by 5/14/21
  • Seniors turn in Chromebooks on 5/21/21 @ 9:00 a.m.
  • Graduation - 5/30/21; graduates report at 10:15 - ceremony at 11:00 a.m.
  • 6/01-6/03/21 - Diplomas available for pickup at New Tech from 9:00 - 3:00
  • New Tech office closed 6/04/21 - 8/6/21; office opens again 8/09/21
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High school graduation is an honorable and important milestone in any young person’s life. Likewise, the commencement ceremony held to honor this achievement is one of celebration and dignity.


  • Commencement will be held on Sunday, May 30, at 11:00 a.m., at the Sioux Falls Arena. Graduates to report at 10:15 a.m. Doors open at 10:00 a.m.



  • LADIES: A dress is appropriate for this occasion; however, a dressy pantsuit is also acceptable. NO SHORTS and NO JEANS may be worn. We also ask that you do not wear a corsage.

  • GENTLEMEN: A shirt and tie is appropriate for this occasion. We ask that you remove your sport coat (you may leave it with a parent and put it on after the ceremony). NO T-SHIRTS and NO JEANS or SHORTS may be worn.
  • Dress shoes must be worn. NO flip-flop sandals, tennis shoes, slippers, or bare feet.
  • Caps should be worn flat, not tipped at any angle. Nothing is to be pinned or attached to the cap or gown, with the exception of eagle feathers worn as part of the Native American tradition and the district approved pins
  • Tassels will be worn on the left side of the cap before receiving your diploma. As you walk off the stage, you may move the tassel to the right hand side.


  • All patrons will pass through the metal detectors upon entry and bags will be searched. This is standard operating procedure for events at The Arena. It is recommended that you bring in only the essentials, like car keys and cell phones. Weapons of any type, including chains, knives, firearms, and spiked jewelry are prohibited. Please inform family and friends and encourage them to also limit items they bring with them, in order that we may expedite the process.
  • All seniors need to be at the Arena by 10:15 a.m., ready to line up. SENIORS will meet on the following sides of the Arena.
WEST SIDE: Class officers; Last names starting “A” through “J”

EAST SIDE: Graduation speaker; Last names beginning “K” through “Z”

  • Students are to follow the directions of the staff members lining up students in alphabetical order. Once students are in line, it is IMPERATIVE that students stay in line. HAVE ALL PICTURES DONE BEFORE ARRIVING AT THE ARENA.
  • Purses, wallets, cameras, etc. should be left with parents or friends. Do not carry anything with you during the processional into the arena.
  • NO “TOYS” or cell phones are to be brought into the arena.
  • Conceal the program in your sleeve during the processional and leave it on your chair during the diploma presentation.
  • There will be an area at the bottom of the ramp at the Arena where parents may stand to capture pictures of students coming down the ramp with their diploma cover. There will be no official graduation photographer.
  • Students are to follow the directions of the staff leading you into the arena and seating you.
  • Your entire row needs to stand up and sit down as a group when indicated to do so by the ushers.
  • You will be USHERED OUT during the recessional. STAY IN LINE until you are out of the ceremony area.


  • No diplomas are distributed at the Arena. You will only receive your diploma cover at the Arena. Diplomas will be available for pick up at the New Tech office from June 1st through June 3rd during the hours from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. The New Tech office is closed for the summer beginning June 4th. You will not be able to pick up diplomas or request final transcripts until the office reopens in August. Students can request ONE final transcript be sent to an institution of choice post-graduation. Every post-graduation transcript request after the first free one comes with a $5.00 fee. SENIORS WHO DO NOT ADHERE TO THESE GUIDELINES WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO GO THROUGH THE COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at or call 605.367.5850.

College Admissions Tests—Understanding the ACT and SAT

Colleges and Universities often use college admissions tests (ACT or SAT) to determine if a student can be admitted to their university. Because every college has a different standard for entrance, students should familiarize themselves with the admissions requirements for each university they are interested in attending. Universities will accept scores from either the ACT or SAT for entrance. Although the tests have slight differences and are produced by different companies, they function with the same goal in mind: assessing a student’s understanding of academic concepts. Students can take either test, or both. Since the ACT is produced by the ACT company in Iowa, it is a more popular option for Midwest students.

The best time to start taking the tests are during the Junior year. Students can register online for the ACT @ or for the SAT @ The best way to prepare for the exam is to take a rigorous course-load throughout high school. Many test prep opportunities are available online for FREE at both ACT and SAT’s websites.

If you have more questions about the ACT, please contact Mrs. Donohoe at 367-5850.

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Students and Staff of the Month

January Community Partners

Matt Keiper, Treasury Services Analyst - First Premier Bank (Personal Finance)

Kelly Carlson, Director - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Kim Lynde, Clerical Supervisor - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Lynnette Coolidge, Infusion Pharmacist - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Dr. Michelle Janania Martinez, Medical Oncologist - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Lisa Ehrman, Lung Nurse Navigator - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Roxy Sorensen, Triage Nurse - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Kim Niemann, Nurse Practitioner - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Sue Halbritter, Nurse Practitioner - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Dr. Steven Powell, Medical Oncologist - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Joe Weber, Infusion Pharmacist - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Gwen Reker, Gastrointestinal Nurse Navigator - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Shauna Jacobs, Nurse Practitioner - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Heather Casper-McLay, Nurse Practitioner - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Dr. Christopher Sumey, Medical Oncologist - Sanford Oncology & Palliative Care (BioLit)

Dylan Jacobson - Comic Creator/Artist - Champions the Comic Book

Brad Hempstead - Yearbook Specialist - Walsworth Yearbooks

CTE Academy

We have new formula at the CTE Academy: Engineering + Computer Hardware and Software + Audio/Visual Production = a very talented student < Abigail Bushee. The senior from New Tech High School has taken a total of six CTE classes in her high school career. She started with Robotics as a freshmen, took two engineering classes, one computer class and is finishing her senior year with two digital media classes. Abigail, known as Abby, is a busy and a productive student. Abby says that the skills she has learned at the CTE Academy have taught her what she wants in a career and the experiences she is looking for in the creative world of work. Her A/V teacher, Mr. Hoffman says, “Abby is very creative and is always striving to make her digital projects perfect. Abby arrives early and is immediately engaged in her latest creation.” Abby is planning to attend Dakota State University next year and wants “to do something with video.” Abby, we see another formula: a productive, driven young lady + a great combination classes in your education + creativity = a rising star in the broad spectrum of careers in digital presentation. Abigail Bushee – Congratulations! You are a winner of a “See The Vision” award at the CTE Academy!
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Additional CTE Award Winners

The Last New Tech Yearbook. On Sale Now!

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The Truth About Tests

By Dr. Jane Stavem, Superintendent

At the start of the 2020-21 school year, no one knew exactly what learning would look like. Could students stay focused enough to learn or would they be distracted by masks? How could instructional groups be formed to meet the needs of learners with social distancing in place? How much learning was lost from going remote last spring?

Now, solidly in the middle of third quarter and with vaccinations becoming more readily available in our community, there is a strong possibility that, with continued hard work and diligence, we will make it through the entire year with students in our classrooms. As we navigate some of the challenges that may still come this year, our focus is now shifting to the needs that may linger long past the pandemic into the future. What are the lasting effects we need to plan for as we look ahead to next year and beyond?

For many months now, educational leaders across the nation have been talking about how the pandemic’s ripple will be felt in the future. Our own staff also recognize those realities, along with the “regular” challenges of any school year. It almost feels like we are now on a train track instead of a highway – the regular school year and the COVID track that runs parallel to it.

The academic benchmarks our students and schools strived to achieve not long ago are now viewed through the lens of a pandemic, and the gaps that exist will need to be filled over time. We can take some comfort in knowing this is not just a Sioux Falls problem or a South Dakota problem, but rather a world-wide problem. The good news is that Sioux Falls Public Schools has persevered through the pandemic and continues to stand ready to provide the support our students need.

Teachers use many tools to assess student learning. Conversations, daily work, journal entries, and exams help us determine success. This year, those tools are more important than ever. In March and April, Sioux Falls students in grades 3 through 8 and 11 will complete the South Dakota Assessments. Teachers use the information to make decisions about the individual support or acceleration needed for each student. They refine and refocus instruction so targeted supports can be used when working one-on-one or in a small group with your child.

As a District, we look at the results through multiple lenses – district, level, school, and grade levels, analyzing trends, allocating our resources to match the needs, and determining the effectiveness of our programs.

While few people really love taking tests, it is important to understand the connection between results that drive instruction and the ability to help students achieve more. Teachers can be more effective, our District is more successful, and our community ultimately benefits when our future workforce has the skills needed to conquer any challenge that comes their way.

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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.
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