The Panther

Patrick Henry Middle School

Mission: To educate and prepare each student to succeed in a changing world.

Newsletter Date:

December 1, 2020

Volume 1, Issue 4

Principal's Corner

Wow, we are already to December! This is my favorite time of year as I love the spirit of giving and gratitude throughout the holiday season. As we reflect on the first half of the school year, it goes without saying we could not have had the success we have had without the support and dedication we receive from parents! Parent involvement and investment in your child’s education is essential to their success! When parents are involved in learning, student achievement grows. Being involved can be as simple as talking with your child about their day! When asking your child “how was your day?” don’t let them off the hook with a short response of “good” or “fine.” Delve deeper. Ask more specific questions, such as:

Who did you sit with at lunch?

What did you have for lunch?

What was the best part of your day?

Did you make it to all of your classes on time?

What would you change about the day?

What was the easiest thing you did today?

What was the hardest thing you did today?

What choice book are you reading? Why did you pick that one?

Model what it’s like to talk about your day. Offer a unique challenge you faced in your day and how you handled it. If you had to learn something new, talk with your child about that experience. Sharing your own experiences will help reinforce that you value learning and share a desire to succeed each day! Teachers also appreciate your commitment to your child’s education. We always welcome open communication between home and school. Please do not hesitate to call or email your student’s teachers to see what you can do to help – in or out of school!

Thank you for your on-going partnership and support as we work together to make the 20-21 a successful year for all students!


Principal Kim Sharping

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End of Day Student Messages

We are now doing announcements at 3pm. If you need to get a message to your student you need to call before 2:55pm.

December Calendar

  • Winter MAP Testing - December 2nd, 8th, and 9th
  • PHMS Chorus Concert - December 10th at Washington High School
  • PHMS Band Concert - Virtual Concert Recording on December 3rd and 4th
  • PHMS Orchestra Concert - Virtual Concert on December 18th
  • Panther Days - December 4th, 11th and 18th
  • Winter Break - No School December 23rd - January 1st
Lunch Menu

click on button to view breakfast and lunch menus

Congratulations to our November Students of the Month

These students were invited to a ceremony in the library with the Principals on

Thursday, November 19th.

Counselor's Corner


Girls basketball sign up is open on the district athletics website. The first practice will be November 9th. Link Below:

Boys basketball will sign up after the holiday break in January with first Practice on January 19th. 8th graders in the morning and 7th grade after school.

Please go to the Patrick Henry athletics web page on the Sioux Falls School District website. Once there, go to the Patrick Henry link on the page to sign up for fall sports, view the schedules, see the requirements and parent letters. We also ask that you watch the short information video on the page. We are looking forward to a great year.

Link to the Patrick Henry Athletics Page:

Athletics Information Video Link:

Please contact me if you have any questions.

Chris Andersen

Athletic Coordinator Patrick Henry MS

All athletes need to have a physical on file at school before they can participate. Check the district athletics information page about physicals and the district permission packet.

Your Passport to Adventure

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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

Reporting an absence

If your child is going to be absent, please call the school (367-7639) prior to 8:40am. An absence must be reported either by note or phone in the day of the absence, or before if you know ahead of time. Absences can also be reported via voice mail outside of regular office hours. Students leaving during the day need to pick up a pass in the office by 9:00am and also check out with a parent/guardian at the office when leaving. If they come back during the school day, a pass from the front office needs to be issued in order for them to get back into the classroom. After attendance is taken each morning, the attendance secretary will begin

calling parents/guardians who have not notified the school regarding a student’s absence. Student safety is the main concern and this procedure provides another check on a student’s absence.

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Daily Student and Staff Health Screen Evaluation

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3 Steps to Take While Waiting for Your Covid Test Results

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, take these 3 key steps NOW while waiting for your test results: 1 Stay home and monitor your health. Stay home and monitor your health to help protect your friends, family, and others from possibly getting COVID-19 from you. Stay home and away from others: • If possible, stay away from others, especially people who are at higher risk for getting very sick from COVID-19, such as older adults and people with other medical conditions. • If you have been in contact with someone with COVID-19, stay home and away from others for 14 days after your last contact with that person. • If you have a fever, cough or other symptoms of COVID-19, stay home and away from others (except to get medical care). Monitor your health: • Watch for fever (100.4°F), cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Remember, symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to COVID-19 and can include: • Fever or chills • Cough • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing • Tiredness • Muscle or body aches • Headache • New loss of taste or smell • Sore throat • Congestion or runny nose • Nausea or vomiting • Diarrhea 2 Think about the people you have recently been around. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, a public health worker may call you to check on your health, discuss who you have been around, and ask where you spent time while you may have been able to spread COVID-19 to others. While you wait for your COVID-19 test result, think about everyone you have been around recently. This will be important information to give health workers if your test is positive. Complete the information on the back of this page to help you remember everyone you have been around. 3 Answer the phone call from the health department. If a public health worker calls you, answer the call to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in your community. • Discussions with health department staff are confidential. This means that your personal and medical information will be kept private and only shared with those who may need to know, like your health care provider. • Your name will not be shared with those you came in contact with. The health department will only notify people you were in close contact with (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) that they might have been exposed to COVID-19. HEALTH DEPARTMENT ANSWER THE CALL CS 318271-A 07/21/2020

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Think About The People You Have Recently Been Around If you test positive and are diagnosed with COVID-19, someone from the health department may call to check-in on your health, discuss who you have been around, and ask where you spent time while you may have been able to spread COVID-19 to others. This form can help you think about people you have recently been around so you will be ready if a public health worker calls you. Things to think about. Have you: • Gone to work or school? • Gotten together with others (eaten out at a restaurant, gone out for drinks, exercised with others or gone to a gym, had friends or family over to your house, volunteered, gone to a party, pool, or park)? • Gone to a store in person (e.g., grocery store, mall)? • Gone to in-person appointments (e.g., salon, barber, doctor’s or dentist’s office)? • Ridden in a car with others (e.g., Uber or Lyft) or took public transportation? • Been inside a church, synagogue, mosque or other places of worship? Who lives with you? Who have you been around (within 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) in the last 10 days? (You may have more people to list than the space provided. If so, write on the front of this sheet or a separate piece of paper.) Name/Phone Number/Date you last saw them/Where you last saw them

What have you done in the last 10 days with other people? Activity/Location/Date