New Tech High School

December 2020 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,

This past month we finished our recruiting efforts for the class of 2025. We held four visitation evenings for 8th graders and their parents, all were very well attended. Applications are due on December 4th. The lottery draw will be held during the week of December 7th and acceptance letters/ wait list letters will be sent the week of December 14th. We do accept applications for the class of 2025 even after the lottery drawing; those students will be placed on the waiting list and contacted upon being drawn if a spot in their cohort should open. If you know of any 9-12th grade students that are interested in New Tech HS, their applications are also due on December 4th. Below you will find the link to our online application please feel free to pass it along to anyone you know is interested in our school.

During the month of November, we also received our school report card data from the state. As a school, we continue to do very well. Due to the pandemic we do not have data this year for the state assessments, those were waived by the state for all school districts last spring while we were doing virtual learning. Our report card this year primarily looked at graduation rate and completion rate. Our graduation rate is 94%, the district is at 85% for graduation rate and the state is at 84% for overall graduation rate. Our overall completion rate is at 97% while the district is at 94% and the state is at 93%. So, you can see we do well in assisting our students with graduating on time at New Tech!

The month of December brings the annual New Tech Booster Club bake sale on December 2nd and 3rd. The bake sale is always a good fundraiser for our Booster Club; the money raised is used to help fund field trips, college campus visits and project supplies for our students. I appreciate all of you who donate your time and talents to bake and donate these goods!!

The semester is going quickly, we only have approximately 4 weeks left. Please sit down with your student and review their grades in Echo. If you have any issues logging into Echo, please notify the New Tech office for assistance. We know that November/December can often be a difficult time of year for students especially students new to Project Based Learning. If you are interested in some tips on what to do when your student is feeling overwhelmed or things are not going well, please see the article in last month’s newsletter linked below. The semester ends on January 14th.

We will hold the choir portion of the Fine Arts night at the Hub Auditorium on December 8th. Due to the pandemic we are not allowing an audience. The performance will be livestreamed instead. Our Art and Theatre students will be videotaping their portions and will send that out to families of students involved during the month of December. On December 18th, the New Tech Chamber Choir travels to Pierre, SD, to perform for Christmas at the Capitol. This will be a great experience for our Chamber Choir; their travel and performance has been approved through the district. While at the Capitol and in travel our students will practice COVID-19 safe protocols. If you have questions please contact me or Mr. Ferri, choir director.

I also want to share with all of you a great celebration! As you all know we are transitioning next fall to become a wing of the new Jefferson HS. You probably also remember last year our Graphics students did a project to rebrand our school which included a new name. After seeking input from the NTHS students and staff as well as parents and community partners a new name has been chosen! Starting with our transition to JHS we will be called the Jefferson High School Project Based Learning Academy. We are truly excited for this new iteration of Project Based Learning in the Sioux Falls School District!

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

Happy Holidays from the New Tech staff!


Mrs. Dolly Anderson, Principal

Important Dates


4th -- Class of 2025 applications due

8th -- Fine Arts Night Choir will perform -- no audience -- this will be live a streamed event

16th -- Semester Graduate meeting -- 11:30 am

18th -- Chamber Choir performs in Pierre at Christmas at the Capitol

23rd -- January 3rd--No School Winter Break!!


4th -- School resumes

14th -- end of Semester 1

15th -- No School—Teacher work day

Seniors and Graduation Information

Important Senior Dates

  • Semester Grad Meeting - 12/16/20 @ 11:30 - office conference room
  • Semester Grad Chromebook and Key Card collection - 1/11/21 @ 10:00 a.m. office
  • Senior Picture Headshots due to Mr. Olson by 01.14.21 (end of 1st semester)
  • End of Semester 1 - 1/14/20
  • 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.

Dual Credit Classes for Spring 2021

Current 11th and 12th graders are encouraged to register for Dual Credit classes for Spring 2021. Students can take classes through Southeast Technical College and all other state Technical Colleges and Universities. Eligibility requirements apply for the General Education classes at the Technical Colleges and 4yr Universities. Students earn both high school and college credit. Classes cost $50 per credit plus the cost of the book. New Tech students can take tuition-free classes at STI on a space available basis. Registration information and class options are on Mapping Your Future on ECHO under the Dual Credit folder. Deadline for registration is December 15, 2020. Please see Mrs. Donohoe, School Counselor, if you have questions.
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Students and Staff of the Month

Community Partners

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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 alongside 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.

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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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