Herd It Here

October 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.

From the Assistant Principal's Desk

Ben Reifel Families,

Wow! It is already October! The staff and students at Ben Reifel completed five weeks of school. Students are settling into their schedules, making connections with new/old friends, and their teachers. The staff continue to make connections with their students and are pleased with student progress. Students involved in extra-curricular activities are well on their way. Students continue to improve and thrive in those areas, as well. Lastly, The Bison Way, our core values, are in full force. We are off to a great start!

Parent-Teacher conferences for students at Ben Reifel are quickly approaching. Conferences are an opportunity to share academic progress, growth-based assessments, and testing data, and teachers to learn from parents/guardians about their student’s strengths, needs, and learning styles. Conferences also give teachers time to discuss enrichment and interventions for your student.

Parent-Teacher Conferences will be on Oct. 5 and Oct. 7 from 4:15 pm to 8:00 pm with your student’s PRO-Time teacher. Parents also have the option to meet with their student’s encore teachers, as well, during a scheduled conference. Conferences are in-person, virtual, or over the phone. Students are encouraged to attend. Please reach out to your student’s PRO-Time teacher by emailing them or calling 605-371-4155 if you have questions concerns.


Rebecca VanDrongelen

Assistant Principal

Office Tips...

...Sick and texting

When your child is sick and texts you to come and pick them up, please encourage your student to go to the nurse first. Having your child go to the nurse will help us to assess the situation and have your child ready for you in a timely manner if the student needs to be picked up.

...Football games

If you are attending any football games at Ben Reifel, please park in the south parking lot, which is the front of the school. We can't have parents parking in the north parking lot due to that area being the pathway for emergency management vehicles and for the buses to travel through to pick up students.

Info from the School Resource Officer

To: The families and students who utilize Harmodon Park before and after school.


It’s great to have a pickup spot at Harmodon Park for students who need to cross Veterans Parkway in the morning and after school. As a Police Officer and a parent of three Sioux Falls School District students who also walk to and from school, the safe arrival of all students to their schools in the mornings and back home at the end of the day is of great importance to me.

Recently, Sioux Falls Parks and Rec. had a meeting with the SFPD regarding park issues city wide. During that meeting, a concern was raised about Harmodon Park and Ben Reifel students who use it before and after school. Some of the behaviors that were mentioned were of students climbing onto structures in the park and some damage to park property. If you are one of the families who utilize Harmodon Park as a pickup and drop off location, I would kindly ask that we remind our students to conduct themselves appropriately while they are at the park. We want everyone to enjoy the park while the nice weather lasts, and that includes our students who use it before and after school. Our SFPD Parks Officers will be making some extra drives through Harmodon Park in the mornings and after school to make sure all is well and that everyone is safe.

Thank you, and please reach out to me at Ben Reifel with any questions or concerns.

Officer J. Larsen

Order Bison Spirit Wear Here

Ordering closes on October 4th at 11:59 PM

Picture Retake Day

Picture retake day for 6th, 7th, and 8th graders will be on October 22nd.

Students should bring their picture packets back to school on October 22 and turn them into the photographer before having their picture retaken.

7th and 8th grade students who had their pictures taken on September 17th will receive their picture packets in the coming weeks, as well as any 6th graders that had their picture taken on that date.

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Counseling Center

Click here for more Counseling Center info

From the Nurse's Office

FREE Flu Shot Clinic at Ben Reifel, Wednesday, Oct. 27th.

Consent form and vaccine information links below.

Superintendent's Column

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

Greetings from Student Council!

Our first BRMS Student Council was elected!

Congratulations to the following students:

6-1: Mason Lery and Koad Choul

6-2: Amen Tereda and Lexie Maag

6-3 Isabella Smith and Maverick Kock

7-1: Anthony McGee and Caden Olson

7-2: Ahmani Enriquez and Alexis Norberg

7-3 Calli Schmitt and Israel Tereda

8-1 Olivia Wornson and Josh Raether

8-2 Jersey Kock and Estee Larsen

8-3 Kalli Bush and Easton Arbach

We are all excited to get to work creating fantastic events for the upcoming year! The first meeting will be held on Friday, October 8th in room H204. All representatives need to make plans to attend this meeting. We will be discussing a beginning-of-year event for the Student Council members and planning our fall activities for all students. Thank you to all the student who applied to be a part of Student Council. The campaign posters made our team areas bright and exciting.

BRMS already took part in a week of dress-up/school spirit days in support of Washington High School's homecoming activities. Our Student Council hopes to have many more dress up days, all-school events, and even community events for our 2021-22 academic year.

With Bison Pride,

Mrs. Cleveland and Mrs. Benker

Student Council advisors

Ben Reifel Middle School PTO

Conferences will be on October 5 and October 7, and the Ben Reifel PTO would like to provide meals for the staff. Sign up to bring items such as desserts, drinks, or salad dressing, or make a financial donation to help us purchase items that need to remain hot/cold.

Sign up at: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10c0f4da5a829a6f5cf8-brms

or donate funds at: https://benreifelpto.weebly.com/donate.html

We have some new dates on the calendar for upcoming fun events for students including tubing at Great Bear, roller skating, a color run/walk and the 8th grade party. Check it out at: https://benreifelpto.weebly.com/ or follow us on Facebook or Instagram. There will be some opportunities for parent volunteers to have fun with us in the months to come so get those dates on your calendars.

It isn't too late to purchase a Rah Rah membership to support BRMS while saving money with great discounts. For each membership sold, students have a chance to win a gift card! http://bit.ly/3m8gDeD

Thank you to:

- Taco John's for giving 10% of their sales on the BRMS fundraiser night. It was a great fundraiser with great food!

- The many students, families, BRMS staff and community members who came to the Taco John's event. We were thrilled to see so many come dine in, grab take out, and go through the drive through.

- Everyone who donated money and supplies for conference meals for BRMS staff. We are excited to provide some tasty food while the staff are at school for conferences.

We are looking for a volunteer to be the BRMS PTO board member in charge of our web page, social media and communications

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Welcome to Ben Reifel Choir Department

8th Grade/HS Fall Concert
Eighth grade choir students are invited to perform with the high school choirs so the students can meet the high school directors, sing with high school singers and start to get a "feel" for the outstanding high school choir programs in Sioux Falls. The WHS fall concert is Monday, October 18 at 7:00. Students will rehearse together the evening of the concert prior to the concert and we will work together to learn the music in class. A letter will be distributed in class and via e-mail to parents during the first week of school. Students should wear a Ben Reifel shirt or Ben Reifel school colors and blue jeans, joggers, or khakis. Please return the bottom portion of that letter to Mrs. Spencer or Ms. Green by October 10. This is a terrific opportunity for our 8th graders!

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.

More specific information about attire and what time to report will be sent 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!

Marching Band - Festival of Bands

Our BRMS Bison Marching Band performance is the Festival of Bands Parade on Saturday, Oct. 2.

The parade starts at 8:00 AM West of Covell Lake. We are scheduled to step off at 9:30. Please drop off BRMS Marching Band Members at Veterans Park between 8:30 and 8:45. It will be best to turn South onto W Bailey St. from Russell St. (next to Casa Del Rey). You will not be able to park at Veterans Park. It is just for dropping off students and leaving. The parade will start on Madison St. and turn left (south) onto N. Lave Ave. When we finish, we will walk up (north) on the West Avenue Service Road. We should be done by 10:00 AM. You can meet your child on that service road or simply wait at the parade route as I will walk them back to the corner of Madison and Lake and dismiss them from there to find you and watch the end of the parade.

Your child should wear their BRMS Marching Bison Long Sleeve T-shirt (these will be distributed during rehearsal on Sept. 29), black pants and tennis shoes. It may be chilly when your child arrives. If they would like to show up in a jacket they may. I am hoping to have a few band parents carry wagons alongside the band to store jackets and other miscellaneous items.

Please reach out if you have any questions or concerns. Also, please encourage your child to practice and memorize our marching band song, Sweet Caroline! 🙂

Marching Band Viewing Opportunity for all band students!

Beginning at 10:15 a.m., many of the out-of-town bands will compete in the preliminary field show competition at Howard Wood Field. There is an admission charge at the gate, but we will have student passes to hand out during the week before the Festival of Bands. In the evening - beginning at 6:00pm - the top out-of-town bands plus the four Sioux Falls High Schools will perform at Howard Wood Field. The student passes also give the students free admission at Howard Wood Field for the finals in the evening, so hang on to your free pass if you are planning on attending both. Since the Sioux Falls Schools perform in the evening, this is a popular event for our students to attend.

WHS Football Half Time Marching Band Event!

All 8th Grade Band Students are encouraged to attend the WHS football game on Thursday, Oct. 21 at 7:00pm (this is a date/time change) where they will have the opportunity to sit WITH the marching band during the football game! Then all students are encouraged to watch the half-time performance of the WHS Marching Band Show!

WHS 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! Our BRMS band students will perform with their top band for a concert on Tuesday, November 16 at 6:00pm. This performance gives the students the experience of playing in a top high school band. The dress for the concert is all black.

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.

Parent/Teacher Conference Plans

Conferences are October 5th and October 7th. At this time, there will be both virtual and in-person options.


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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

String Ensemble

String Ensemble meets every Tuesday and Wednesday morning from 7:40-8:40 AM and plays fun/pop songs. The ensemble is open to all 7th and 8th grade orchestra members. 6th grade orchestra members interested in joining should talk to Mrs. Claybaugh and play through the music samples on Schoology to be sure they can commit to learning the difficulty of the music needed to perform with the group.

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. We have been working hard in class to prepare the music for this event and will be having a practice with the high school orchestra on Thursday, December 2nd before the concert begins. Concert attire for this event is to dress in all black. This exciting event gives our students the chance to experience the outstanding orchestra program at WHS!

Upcoming Events

Our Winter Concert for 6-8 grade orchestra is on Tuesday, November 30. Details on call time and concert dress will be sent out closer to the event. 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 so that alternate arrangements can be made.

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 be recorded in the orchestra room between October 15-November 15. 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, we were able to get outside with the students to participate in football and soccer activities. Students practiced throwing and catching a football and put those skills into playing a game of flicker football. Students then practiced their soccer skills of dribbling, passing, and trapping to then begin playing cone soccer.

Injuries and Illness:

If your child is ill or injured and unable to participate in class, please send a note. If the illness or injury requires your child to sit out of 2 consecutive class periods, please provide us with a note from a doctor to excuse your child.

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

Hello from Bison Cheer & Dance!

I am so excited to kick off Cheer and Dance here at Ben Reifel this fall/winter! As a reminder, Cheer and Dance is open to all Ben Reifel students (yes, even sixth grade!) This is not a tryout - all are welcome to join us and participate!

When is it? Schedules will be given out at our first practice, Monday, November 1st. Practices will be held twice a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays after school from 4:00pm to 5:15pm. Please make sure you are picking up your athlete on time. At practice, athletes only need to come in clothes they can comfortably work out in and tennis shoes along with a water bottle.

What does my athlete need for equipment? Because we are not school sponsored, equipment is not provided; however, there is not a lot to purchase outside of pompoms, t-shirt (for uniform look), and a bow. I will send home a short list with the schedules on November 1st with more information. Athletes should bring black leggings and white shoes to complete the uniform. This year we won’t have traditional uniforms (they are very expensive!) but I am hoping that in the future we will be able to make this purchase.

Mrs. Yount

Connect with us!

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Youth Chess Tourney at Robert Frost for grades K-12!

Youth Chess Tournament for Grades K-12

Tournament play is divided into grades. (K-1) (2-3) (4-6) (7-12)

Individual, team and school awards are included in the tournament so tell your friends to sign up too!

Held at Robert Frost Saturday Nov 20th

Early registration ends October 31.

link to register for the Tournament:


link for the Chess Classes that can be taken before and after, for individuals or families:


*Parent/Staff Volunteers will also be needed that day. You do not need to know about chess to help. Please email your thrilled willingness to volunteer to Melanie at Community Ed.


For more information about Community Ed Youth events, follow the link below:

ComEd Youth (smore.com)

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