Herd It Here

November 2021

Ben Reifel Middle School Mission Statement

Within the Ben Reifel family circle, we foster growth of academic, social, and emotional

skills to positively impact our lives and the community beyond our walls.

Ben Reifel Middle School Motto

For the strength of the herd is the BISON and the strength of the bison is the HERD.


November 4 - School Dance (See below)

November 5 - Early Dismissal. School gets out at 2pm

November 11 - Veterans Day. No School

November 15 - PTO Meeting (See below)

November 23 - Second Picture Retake Day (See below)

November 24-26 - Thanksgiving Break. No School

From the Principal's Desk

Students and families, thank you for taking the time to attend conferences and meet with your teachers and student’s teachers. Open lines of communication are an essential component to a student’s learning and success. When parents, students, and teachers work together, great things can happen. As a building, we had 63% of our parents/students attend conferences either in person, virtually, or they chose not to have a conference at this time. The turnout rate is a tribute to the parents being invested in their student’s academic success. We would love to improve on the turnout rate, so if you have suggestions for the format of conferences, please feel free to contact me.

Conferences can be a great time to connect with your student’s teachers; however, please know that conferences don’t have to be the only time to connect with staff. Parents are always welcome to come in, email, and/or call. We invite you to be part of what's going on at Ben Reifel and with your student’s education. Please know that we are all working together to ensure that all our students are safe, supported, and are learning in a highly motivated environment in which to succeed. If you have concerns or questions regarding your student’s social, academic, or emotional needs, please feel free to contact a teacher, counselor, or administrator to get your concerns and/or questions addressed.

A special thank you to Bison PTO and all the volunteers that provided the meals for our staff on both evenings’ conferences. We are very appreciative of the continued support that the PTO gives the Bison community and our staff.

Please continue to support your student’s teachers in their effort to provide the best learning environment possible. I know with teamwork between the home and school, we can ensure that all students will succeed. Our staff is committed to ensure that through teamwork, hard work, and dedication, as well as our love for children as our compass, we can meet the needs of all our students, and we will have a successful year.

Vaping/juuling continues to be a concerning topic and national epidemic among young adolescents and young adults. As we learn more about the impact of e-cigarettes and the impact on young people, we need to unite as a FAMILY to fight this epidemic. This past year, several young people from SD were diagnosed with lung disease related to vaping, and nationwide, 68 people have died (February 2020, CDC). This trend is very concerning, and we want to ensure we continue to educate our students, parents, and staff.

There are several things that you can do as parents/guardians to help fight this epidemic. First, please know the facts about e-cigarettes and the impact they have on our children. Having knowledge is the most powerful weapon to fight the misinformation that is out there. Please find additional information about e-cigarettes and the impacts on our children at E-cigarettes.SurgeonGeneral.gov. There are also additional resources within this newsletter. Secondly, have the conversation with your student. Being proactive is much easier than being reactive; however, if there is a need to react, there is no better time than the present to respond to the situation. Ultimately, they are looking to you for guidance, role modeling, and boundaries. Lastly, keep the conversation going. Continue to have an open dialogue with your child about new information, trends that both of you are hearing about, what they are seeing in school, what they are learning about in their health classes, etc. Connect with the school, other parents, the medical field, etc. to give you and your child the support they need. The open lines of communication and continued conversation is the key.

We are all part of the Bison Family, and we all have the same dream for our students. That dream is to educate and prepare each student to succeed in a changing world. Our primary role as educators is focused on academics; however, we are also here to help our children and families have the information so they can make safe and healthy choices, so that all their dreams come true. We help our children achieve their dreams by working together to ensure that our students are successful and healthy each day and throughout their lives.

From my family and the Bison Family, we are wishing the best for your family this fall season! Take care!

Office Tips...

Winter weather is upon us, so please make sure that students are dressing appropriately. With the unpredictability of buses running late, it is especially important that students come to school dressed and prepared for the colder weather.

Please report any absence to the office at SFSDBRMSOffice@k12.sd.us or call 605-371-4155 before 8:45am.

If a student is leaving school early, please have them stop in the office before school starts to pick up their dismissal pass for the day.

Order Bison Spirit Wear Here

Ordering closes on November 14th at 11:59 PM

Picture Retake Day #2

Students will have one more opportunity for picture retakes on November 23rd.

Students should bring their picture packets back to school on November 23rd to give to the photographer when they go to get their picture taken.

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Counseling Center

Click here for more Counseling Center info

Superintendent's Column

Click here to read Dr. Stavem's latest message.

September Student of the Month

6th Grade

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7th Grade

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8th Grade

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Ben Reifel Middle School PTO

The PTO is thankful for the many parents and families who helped with meals for BRMS staff during conferences. We are grateful for the awesome BRMS staff, and the meals made them smile.

We're kicking off a new fundraising opportunity with students on Wednesday, November 10th. We're working with Club's Choice fundraising, and they have some really great items including gift wrap, gifts, food, and more. Items will be delivered on December 16th, so this is a good opportunity for holiday shopping. The kids also have some opportunities to win some pretty cool prizes. Our hope is that this fundraiser can help us to fund some special activities for all grade levels and students at BRMS. The kids and staff at BRMS have some awesome ideas for the school in 2021-2022, and we just need the funds to make it happen.

Our next meeting is November 15, 2021 at 6pm in the Library. We'd really love to chat with more of you about ways you might want to plug in with the PTO. It is so fun and meaningful to connect with your child by positively impacting the school. We won't have a meeting in December.

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Ben Reifel Garden Club

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Student sign up

GARDEN CLUB students sign up here!

Parent Sign up

GARDEN CLUB parents sign up here!

Greetings from Student Council!

Greetings from Ben Reifel Middle School Student Council! We have hit the ground running and are busy making plans for the upcoming school year. We planned our first dress-up day, which took place October 29th. Teams were assigned a color to wear as much of (black, orange and purple) that day, bringing a fun atmosphere to our building.

In the month of November, representatives will be selling Gobblegrams for $1, which are a treat purchased to be given to a friend or staff member with a short note. It is a fun way to bring some kindness into our lives. Reps will be visiting PRO-Times the week of November 8th and delivering them the week of November 22nd.

During the week of November 8th, we will be working alongside Special Olympics to promote National Kindness Week, which is officially on November 13th. Postcards of Kindness (see below) will be composed during PRO-Time and shared with students throughout the week. We are excited to be a part of this awesome event.

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Welcome to Ben Reifel Choir Department

Reifel Rock - BRMS School Dance

Thursday, November 4, 2021 the BRMS music department will be sponsoring an all-school dance from 4:00-6:00. Wristbands will be sold in advance from Mrs. Spencer and Ms. Green in the choir room (B110) before and after school November 1, 2, 3 and November 4 before school. Wristband purchase will include entry to the dance, one piece of pizza, and a glass of pop. Advance sales will be $5.00 and wristbands sold at the door will be $6.00. Additional pizza will be available for $1.00 per slice.

Regional Honor Choirs
Congratulations to the following students who were selected for Regional Honor Choirs: Yar Awuol, Harper Fonder, Elizabeth Morgans ~ Treble Honor Choir, and Easton Arbach, lMiddle Level Changed/Changing Voice Choir (Grades 6-9). These students were selected from students from South Dakota, North Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio. The Honor Choirs will take place in Chicago February 16-19, 2022.

All Choirs Skyforce singing opportunity
All Ben Reifel Middle School choir members are invited for a fun, family-friendly night at the Skyforce game on Tuesday, January 18. We will sing the Star Spangled Banner and then stay to watch the Skyforce take on the South Bay Lakers from Los Angeles. Game time is 6:30 p.m. Students who choose to sing the Star Spangled Banner will get free admission to the game. Friends and family will have the opportunity to purchase discounted tickets. Specifics about how to order tickets, report time, attire, and a sign-up for students interested in singing will be included in the December newsletter.

Concert dates for 2021-2022 - all choirs
Winter Concert – December 14, 2021; 6th grade – 5:30pm; 7th grade – 6:30pm; 8th grade – 7:30pm
Spring Concert – April 26, 2022; 6th grade – 5:30pm; 7th grade – 6:30pm; 8th grade – 7:30pm

Concert attendance is mandatory. Absences due to non-school activities of any kind will not be excused. Choir is a graded class, and performances are our main form of assessment. In addition, it is vital to the success of our program that students honor the commitment made to the BRMS choirs.

We ask that the students wear nice clothes and we do not specify colors. If they have black and white for other events or concerts that's fine, but we do not specify. Ideally, student performers would wear nice pants (not jeans) with a nice shirt. We know that for some families, purchasing new outfits for concerts could cause hardship, especially around the holidays, so we leave it fairly open-ended. If there are questions or more specific clarification is needed, please e-mail Jennifer.Spencer@k12.sd.us or Pamela.Green@k12.sd.us.

More specific information about what time to report will be sent via e-mail as the event date gets closer.

As always, if there are any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Mrs. Spencer at Jennifer.Spencer@k12.sd.us or Ms. Green at Pamela.Green@k12.sd.us.

Band at BRMS!

WHS & LHS Indoor Marching Band Show!

Indoor show matinee for all 7th & 8th grade band students: Wednesday, November 3rd, 1:30pm in WHS Auditorium (students will be bussed)

8th Graders to Perform With High School Bands

All 8th Grade Band members will have the opportunity to perform with the Symphonic Band at WHS & LHS!

Future Washington Warrior Band Members:

Concert -- Tuesday, Nov. 16

7:30p.m. Concert

6:30p.m. Rehearsal

*Students should wear black to the concert

Rehearsal at 7:30.A.M. that morning. - Parent is responsible for getting their child to rehearsal. A bus will drive the students to BRMS after the rehearsal.

Thank you for getting your child to this performance! We look forward to a great concert!

Middle School All-State Band Auditions

Some of our BRMS Band Members have been busy preparing for the South Dakota Middle School All-State Band auditions. These auditions involve practicing and performing selected scales and etudes specific to their instrument. The auditions are recorded at BRMS (in most cases) in November and early December. They are then submitted to be judged. Results are posted in January. Those who are selected prepare special music for an All-State concert in Huron on the first Saturday in March. We highly encourage your child to give it a try!

Middle School All-State Jazz Band Auditions

Similar to All State Band, audition materials for All State Jazz Band are now available. Those selected will be part of an event that takes place February 4-5 at the Mitchell Performing Arts Center. The audition deadline is Friday, January 7, 2022.

Private Lessons

At BRMS, we have a number of students who study privately (take private band lessons) with someone who specializes in their instrument. Private lessons can really spark their enthusiasm and boost their playing ability. If you would like more information on private lessons or would like us to help connect you with a private teacher, please contact one of the band directors and we can help you with that.

January Wind Ensemble & Jazz Band Pops Concert

Thursday, Jan. 20


BRMS Gymnasium

This will be the first performance for both the Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble. Strings Attached will also be a part of this concert. More details to follow.


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** Students are expected to attend both the Winter and Spring concerts. If a student will not be at a performance, advanced notice must be given to a band director so that alternate arrangements can be made. **

Ben Reifel Orchestra

Winter Concert

The Winter Concert for 6-8 grade orchestra is on Tuesday, November 30 at 7:00 PM. Students should meet in the orchestra room at 6:40 PM. Concert attire is to dress nicely. Students are expected to attend both the Winter and Spring concerts as they are graded events. If a student will not be at a performance, advanced notice must be given so that alternate arrangements can be made. Please encourage your student to practice their concert music at home so they feel prepared to play their best. We are excited to share our music with you!

8th Graders to Perform with High School Orchestras

The 8th grade orchestra students will be performing with the Washington High School orchestra on Thursday, December 2nd. Concert attire for this event is to dress in all black. Students should plan to be at Washington High School at 6:00 PM for a rehearsal with the high school orchestra. The full group will perform at the 7:00 concert. This exciting event gives our students the chance to experience the outstanding orchestra program at WHS!

Middle School All-State Orchestra

Students are invited to audition for the Middle School All-State Orchestra. These auditions include a short etude and scales and will need to be recorded in the orchestra room by November 15. Sign up forms should be completed on Schoology. Selected students travel to Rapid City to perform a concert in Mid-February. Lessons are available after school to work on these materials, please contact Mrs. Claybaugh at elizabeth.claybaugh@k12.sd.us if you would like to schedule a lesson for your student.

I encourage your student to give it a try!

Ben Reifel Physical Education

This past month students ran their first PACER assessment of the year to assess their cardiovascular fitness. We will be tracking a “Top 5” from each grade and gender throughout the year. Here are our leaders after the first round.

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If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your child’s teacher:

Teacher Contact Information:

Mrs. Bergan - ginger.bergan@k12.sd.us

Mr. Egstad - peter.egstad@k12.sd.us

Mr. Ricketts - jim.ricketts@k12.sd.us

Mrs. Smith - julie.smith@k12.sd.us

Ben Reifel 7th & 8th Grade Athletics 2021-2022

The Fall Athletic Seasons have come to an end. It has been exciting to watch our students participate in the first year of Bison Cross Country, Football, and Volleyball. With November comes the next season of Bison athletic activities.

If your 7th or 8th grader is interested in Gymnastics or Wrestling, you need to contact the Athletic Department at your home enrollment high school. For most of you, that would be Washington High School.

Sign up for 7th & 8th grade middle school girls’ Basketball began on Monday, October 18th. Practice begins on Monday, November 8th. REMINDER – if you did NOT participate in a fall athletic season, please make sure you have your required paperwork completed.

1) Activity Participation Packet (Online – through Infinite Campus)

2) Preparticipation Physical Evaluation Form (a 2-page Paper Document – medical history page and doctor completed page). This needs to be completed, only once, during your years in middle school.

If you would have any questions, you can refer to the Ben Reifel Athletic Website or contact me.


Darwin Brown

Athletic Coordinator

Ben Reifel Middle School



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