August 2021

Longfellow Elementary

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Welcome Back

We are so excited to see all of our lions again!!! We can't wait to hear about what everyone did this summer and see how our lions have grown.

Each month, you will be emailed a link to the Longfellow newsletter. It is important that you make sure your child's teacher as well as the office, always have an updated email address so you can receive the link. This newsletter is a way for you to find out about what is happening in the halls of Longfellow as well as upcoming dates you will need to be aware of.

This month's newsletter is full of information but future newsletters will include dates to know, copies of forms you might need as well as photos from our hallways and classrooms.

Return to School Protocols for MSD

Please click this link to see the district's return to school protocols concerning COVID. Be aware that things may change with little notice. Text YES to 87569 to receive text updates regarding this and other school related notifications.

Can I get your number?

It is VERY important that the office has your most updated phone numbers and address. If your child becomes ill while at school, we need to make sure we can get ahold of you right away.

If your phone number or address changes throughout the year, just give us a call at 995-3092 to update.

Also, please keep your emergency contact info updated as well. If you are unsure of what info we currently have, just call us to confirm. Some of these numbers or names may have been entered into the system when your child started kindergarten and probably needs to be updated.

Add me please!!!

We have a new phone system in the district. Our number has changed so PLEASE fix this in your phone. The number you may have used in the past will get phased out so make sure you switch our contact info. You can now reach us at 605-995-3092

Meet the staff of Longfellow

Keep watching the monthly newsletter as we highlight the faces in the halls of Longfellow.

Staff Directory

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Welcome new staff!

We are so exicted to add a few new members to our pride at Longfellow.

Cade Bruna - Music Teacher

Mika Faulhaber - 4/5 multi-age Classroom

Charlene Hilkemeier - Paraeducator

Kayla Petersen - Paraeducator

*Student Teachers*

Courtney Roth - Special Education with Mrs. Lambert

Kara Hannasch - 2nd grade with Mrs McPeek & Special Education with Miss Sandhoff

Jessica Huber - 5th grade with Mrs Abts

Teach Me!!! What are Dens?

Lonfgellow Elementary offers a unique and innovative learning environment, allowing our lions to learn math and reading at their own pace, setting them up for success and limiting frustration.

How does this work?

Starting in 2nd grade, we introduce Den learning to our students.

This is a very simplified overview. Our lions are in their own classrooms, working with peers for most of the day. However, during math and reading flex times, they break out and move to different rooms, allowing them to work at the pace that best suits them. While challenges are a part of learning, frustration doesn't need to be. Maybe a learner struggles with decimals, and needs more time to 'get it'. There's no need to move them on until they are ready. Since subjects like math build on what they know, it's important to have each layer be nice and solid before we add another one. They will use "I Learn", "We Practice", and "I Prove" to move through each standard. The classroom teacher works with each student, monitoring their progress, helping them through those difficult tasks, moving them on after they can prove they're ready.

Dens create a sense of family and belonging. Students move on from 2nd, to 3rd, 4th and 5th grades over the years but they stay in the same den, getting to know the teachers before they even enter the classroom. They also work with students in other grades, allowing our younger students to learn from the olders and the older students to be mentors and role models to our youngers.

Watch future newsletters to see which classrooms are in which den.

What's the code?

I'll let you in on a little secret. We use code names for our classrooms. Ok, so maybe not a huge secret but if you're new around here, you may not be familiar with how we refer to our classes. Here's a little helper for you.

  • BK-Begindergarten
  • KDH-Mrs Heckenlaible's kindergarten (Yes, we now have 2 Mrs. Heckenlaibles. This could get confusing.)
  • KH-Mrs. Hauck's kindergarten
  • KR-Mrs. Rehorst's kindergarten
  • 1H-Mrs. Hofer's 1st grade
  • 1S-Mrs. Schnabel's 1st grade
  • 1V-Ms. VerSteeg's 1st grade
  • 2B-Mrs. Borgan's 2nd grade
  • 2J-Miss Jira's 2nd grade
  • 2M-Mrs. McPeek's 2nd grade
  • 3B-Mrs. Bakhtiari's 3rd grade
  • 3G-Mrs. Gunnare's 3rd grade
  • 3K-Mrs. Kristensen's 3rd grade
  • 4N-Miss Nelson's 4th grade
  • 4S-Mrs. Sarne's 4th grade
  • 4/5F-Mrs. Faulhaber's 4/5 multiage
  • 5A-Mrs. Abts's 5th grade
  • 5M-Miss Merten's 5th grade

School Picture Day

Wednesday, Sep. 8th, 8am

110 North Mentzer Street

Mitchell, SD

It's school photo day! Even if you do not plan on purchasing pictures, your child's photo will still be taken as we want to include it in the class composite as well as the yearbook.

Picture packets will be sent home closer to Sept. 9th. On that picture envelope, you will also find the link to order your photos online.

We look forward to seeing every sweet smile!

How do I......

  • ...get headphones? - Bring $5 to the office. Feel free to bring your own if you'd rather.
  • ...add lunch money? - While lunches and breakfasts will continue to be free, at least for the time being, getting seconds is not free. You can log on to to deposit money OR cash/checks can be dropped off at the office.
  • ...handle attendance? - Being on time and in school each day is very important. However, if your child will be late or missing for ANY reason (oversleeping, Dr. appt, illness, etc.) please call the office at 605-995-3092 by 8:30 am to let us know. If the OFFICE is not contacted, you will receive a phone call from us.
  • ...handle doctor appointments? - If you need to take your child during the day for an appt, please let us know ahead of time. You will need to come in to sign our child in/out. Your doctor/dentist office will be happy to give you a note to get their absence excused from school, just ask them. They can also fax those to 605-995-3084.
  • ...know if school is late or cancelled due to weather? Text YES to 87569 to receive text updates regarding weather related cancellations as well as other important information.

Give a hug, ladybug. Take care, polar bear!

Thank you, parents, for keeping your "good-bye" and "have a good day" outside our front doors. Thank you for encouraging independence in your children.

We ask that you wait outside for pick up as well. This will eliminate congestion inside the building. Our youngest lions will be brought out by their teachers and the older learners will come out to find their rides.

We also thank you for picking your students up promptly at the end of their day.

Welcome back teachers!!!

Our teachers have been back in the building, getting ready to meet all of you again! A huge thank you to Caribou Coffee for the coffee and bagels. It was a great way to start out a day of meetings and classroom prep.
Before we welcome all of you, our teachers have days of meetings and

Walk this way

We ask that you model good habits by using crosswalks during pick-up and drop-off and insist your children do the same. We cannot have parents signaling for their kids to run across the street on their own. The safety of every student, parent, and driver is more important than saving 30 seconds.

There is a bicycle rack on the north end of the front of the building. Please WALK your bike while crossing the street and while on Longfellow school grounds. Our sidewalks are too congested to have bikes zipping around as well.

The Wheels on the Bus...

Should you decide to have your child ride the bus, you are responsible to set that up. Palace Transit (small white bus) or Foreman Bus Service (large yellow bus) are the two options in Mitchell.

You are also responsible to contact the bus if your child is not riding that day, for any reason.

Palace Transit - 995-8440

Foreman Bus Service - 800-310-2708

The Caring Closet Information

The Caring Closet is a wonderful resource for those needing a little help. Please click on the links below to read more and see how you can help or receive the help you may need right now.

Student Accident Insurance/Dental Insurance

Student Accident InsuranceWe wish to emphasize that the school district does not provide any type of health or accident insurance for injuries incurred by your child at school or in activities. The Board of Education has approved a student insurance program at your expense if you desire. You may enroll, starting August 1, at the Student Assurance Services


Delta Dental InsuranceDelta Dental of South Dakota will be offering the Dental Accident Plan. Applications will be available online at the Delta Dental of South Dakota website:


Our Parent/Teacher organization meets the 1st Tuesday of each month. We have tried meeting during the supper hour to accomodate as many parents as possible. It's always a struggle for busy parents to attend these meetings. This year, we will try 3:30 pm the 1st Tuesday of each month. Our meetings last 30-45 minutes.

In the past, our PTO has hosted fun family events such as The Decade Disco, movie nights, Culver's night, Pizza Ranch night, etc. All of these great events help us provide things like water bottles, new student gift bags or even playground equipment for the students of Longfellow!

Get involved! Meet other parents! Help our students!

5th Grade Band Night

Thursday, Sep. 9th, 6:30pm

821 North Capital Street

Mitchell, SD

Please plan on attending if your child is interested in joining band!

Contact Mrs. Krell for more information. or 995-7510

Get the Kernel Spirit!

Coud you use some more Kernel spiritwear. You are in luck! FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) is selling shirts: short-sleeve t-shirts, long-sleeve t-shirts, and hoodies. Just click on the link below to easily order online. Shirts will be delivered to the schools once they are ready. Youth sizes are also available if you have young family members. Orders are due by Monday August 30th. Thank you in advance for supporting FBLA.

Order deadline is Monday, August 30th.
Payments will be processed at that time.

Orders will be available to pick up at your child's school approximately 2 weeks after the store closes.

August Lunch Menu

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Contact Us

Please contact the office if your student will be absent, leaving early, or coming late for any reason. Please include a doctor's slip if your child has a doctor's appointment.

Lisa Heckenlaible - Longfellow Principal

Noel Ahlers - Administrative Assistant