Makerspaces Helping Students Innovate, Create

Sioux Falls School District elementary and middle school students are getting the opportunity to create, invent, tinker, explore and discover using a variety of tools and materials through their school libraries.

Two elementary schools and one middle school began working with makerspaces, also known as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) or STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics) labs, during the 2015 and 2016 school years. Since that time, the South Dakota Department of Education announced the opportunity for districts to apply for grants up to $100,000 for Classroom Innovation projects. In August, the District was awarded $99,989 to establish makerspaces in the district’s elementary and middle school libraries. Survey results indicate that participation in working with makerspaces decreases the fixed mindset in students.

Librarians are continuing to look for inexpensive ways to expand makerspace activities to support students who are challenging themselves to apply reading and math skills to become creators and innovators.

Click here for the full report.

Checkout a slideshow of photos of makerspaces below.


School Board Selects 2018-19 Calendar

The Sioux Falls School District Calendar Committee, comprised of parents, administrators from each level, employees from every employment group and School Board members, is recommending the 2018-2019 school year begin on Thursday, August 23, 2018.

The District conducted surveys of parents, students and staff members regarding preferences for the school start date. Then, the District held two community input sessions and opened a public survey on the District’s website to gather feedback from all stakeholders. The majority of respondents indicated a desire for the school year to begin before Labor Day, with most respondents suggesting school begin 10 days before Labor Day. The Calendar Committee chose a compromised date which would begin school on a Thursday while offering a four-day weekend for the Labor Day holiday.

Many factors were considered in the calendar discussion – first and foremost, survey results and community input. The District also looked at surrounding community start dates and other comparable districts throughout the region. Another priority was making first and second semesters similar in length and meeting the desires of students to complete semester tests before the December holiday break.

Click here for the full report.

 2018-19 Calendar

Envision: Computer Science Immersion Update

Next fall, three Sioux Falls School District schools will become Computer Science Immersion programs, in which students will learn the language, problem-solving skills and analytical thinking that can be gained through coding. Dr. Maher and the principals at these schools have already begun training. Find out what they learned at a similar site in California during a recent trip.


District News Minute 4-24-17

This week on the District News Minute learn how Makerspaces are helping elementary and middle school students innovate, get the latest information on the upcoming School Board election and find out how you can see the new 2018-19 school year calendar.


Summer Lunch Sites and Dates

Free Summer Programs

Once again, the Sioux Falls School District will be hosting summer breakfasts and lunches for students. Free breakfast and lunch is available at several schools this summer for any child, ages 1 to 18. There are no income guidelines and no paperwork to fill out. Simply show up at one of the sites during the selected time and the child will eat free.

School Address Dates Breakfast Lunch
Laura B Anderson 1600 N. Wayland Ave. June 12 to August 18 8:30am-9:00am 11:30am-1:00pm
Hawthorne 601 N. Spring Ave. June 12 to August 18 8:30am-9:00am 11:30am-1:00pm
Hayward 400 N. Valley View Rd. June 12 to August 18 8:30am-9:00am 11:30am-1:00pm
Terry Redlin 1721 Austin St. June 12 to August 18 None 11:30am-12:30pm
Anne Sullivan 3701 E. 3rd St. June 8 to August 18 None 11:30am-12:30pm
Horace Mann 1401 E. 26th St. June 12 to July 13 8:00am-8:30am 11:30am-12:30pm
Whittier MS 930 E. 6th St. June 5 to June 29 7:45am-8:15am 11:45am-12:15pm

Envision: Budget Process

This month, the School Board tentatively adopted the FY18 budget. While final approval won't happen until July, the process actually begins in November, when committees of parents, community members and staff look through every department's spending and evaluates efficiencies. Dr. Maher explains the process and the next steps.


Roosevelt's Casey Meile Recognized as Certified Athletic Administrator

Casey Meile

The National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) is pleased to announce that Casey Meile, Activities Director at Roosevelt High School, has been recognized by this association as a Certified Athletic Administrator.

To earn this distinction, Casey has demonstrated the highest level of knowledge and expertise in the field of interscholastic athletic administration. The voluntary certification process included a thorough evaluation of the candidate's educational background, experience and professional contributions, as well as a rigorous, comprehensive written examination.

Casey is one of an elite group of interscholastic athletic administrators nationwide to attain this level of professionalism.

The NIAAA is a national professional organization consisting of all 50 state athletic administrator associations and more than 10,000 individual members.  It is dedicated to promoting the professional growth of high school athletic administrators and preserving the educational nature of interscholastic athletics and the place of these programs in the secondary school curriculum.

District News Minute 4-9-17

This week on the District News Minute find out how many more students with disabilities are being served in Sioux Falls Schools this year over last year, get the latest on Federally-funded and United Way funded preschool options for students and learn about Smarter Balanced Assessments taking place throughout Sioux Falls schools in this and coming weeks.


Envision: School Board Election

This June, Sioux Falls voters will fill a vacancy on the School Board - the publicly-elected group that makes the decisions of the School District. Dr. Maher explains the role of the School Board and why this election, even though it is a stand-alone election, is so important.


RHS Art Students Have Successful Spring

RHS Art Team

The Roosevelt Visual Arts program has had a successful spring season, shining light on some of our talented artists.

For this year's national Scholastic Art competition, Tru Davidson achieved a Gold Key and the prestigious  American Vision and Voices award for his pottery pieces, "Five Light and Dark Vases."  His work was featured in the USD gallery in Vermilllion. Additional Gold Key Award winners are Ciara Allen, Damien Gann, Ashley Gereats, Bertt Szymanski, Kalei Wilson, and Karris Webb.

In this year's state-wide Youth Art Month competition, Ashley Geraets won the Grand Prize of $1,500 cash with her acrylic painting, which was exhibited in the Dakota Discovery Museum in Mitchell, SD. 

At the Augusta University High School Invitational, 2nd place went to Kalei Wilson for her drawing "Vintage Veteran".  2nd place went to Ciara Allen and 3rd place went to Ashley Geraets , with Honorable Mentions for Karris Webb and Abbie Peichel.

In March, 9 students traveled to Rapid City to compete in the 2017 State Arts Competition.  Ciara Allen won 1st in Printmaking, Ashley Geraets won 1st in Colored Pencil and 3rd in Watercolor, Maddie Hakinson won 3rd in Graphics and Deja Muehl won 2nd in Photography.  Other art team members are , Shaylee Severson, Elizabeth Hurtado-Vega, Alex Gage, Maureen Wells, and Keegan Baatz. The State Arts Team was a great representation of the rich and diverse talent at Roosevelt High School.

Art Instructors at Roosevelt are Al Costanzo, Lisa Dresch, Brit Gaster and Erin Nguyen. 

RHS artwork collage


Envision: Smarter Balanced

Dr. Maher discusses the upcoming Smarter Balanced Assessments for students and why they're important, but also why students and parents shouldn't stress about them. How best to prepare:


Parent Education Series

Family Walking on BridgeThis class is FULL. We will be recording it and make it available on KLRN.
Raising Children in Society Today!

Parents & Guardians - Join Edison Middle School Parent Teacher Organization for this no-cost presentation of current trends and problems parents face in raising children in today's society. Session one addresses drugs - trends in use, types of drugs, changing attitudes in usage, medical aspects, law enforcement and crime issues, warning signs and red flags, and suggestions for parents. Session two will address current social media and technology covering computer and phone internet and apps - the risks, dangers, popular apps, and parental suggestions.
Presentations by professionals working in law enforcement, counseling, technology, and the medical community.

Location: Instructional Planning Center
201 East 38th Street
Main Lobby - Board Rooms

Date: Thursdays - May 4th & May 11th
Time: 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

District News Minute 4-3-17

This week on the District News Minute, learn about the 2017 Teacher of the Year, get the latest on the upcoming School Board election and find out how the annual multi-million dollar budget process is progressing for the Sioux Falls School District.