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 canceled 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:

Because the public schools have a limited rural area, it is often possible for Sioux Falls to have school when nearby towns may not.

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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:

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 for updated information. Follow us on our Sioux Falls School District social media sites (Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SiouxFallsSchoolDistrict/ and Twitter: twitter.com/SFSchools) 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 a 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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Early Childhood

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Programs
Special Education
Head Start
Special Services Early Childhood Screening

The Sioux Falls School District believes that the early years of a child’s life are critical in their lifelong development. The District offers programs for eligible children ages 3 through the time they enter Kindergarten. The Early Childhood Program is free for qualified families and parental involvement is a critical part of the screening process. By contacting the early Childhood Screening and Evaluation Office and making an appointment for a screening, parents/guardians can learn if their child may be eligible for a preschool experience in the District.

Screenings for infants and toddlers happen in the home or other familiar environments. Day or evening appointments for preschool screenings are located at 1101 North Western Avenue or at local child care facilities if requested for multiple children.

To make an appointment for a screening, please call (605) 367-8488.

Infant and Toddler Services

Infant and toddler services are available to children birth to age three who are determined to have a delay in their development through a multi-disciplinary evaluation. Services are provided in the home or natural setting as determined by the Individual Family Service Plan team.

Early Childhood Preschool Experiences

The Sioux Falls School District has quality early childhood experiences available for eligible children ages three through the time they enter Kindergarten. A research-based curriculum, High/Scope, actively engages children in developmentally appropriate activities to encourage language, social, cognitive, adaptive, and motor development as outlined in the South Dakota Early Learning Guidelines. Preschool experiences are planned by highly qualified staff and funded with dollars provided by federal and local initiatives such as Head Start, Title 1, and Special Education. Contact the Early Childhood Screening and Evaluation Office at (605) 367-8488 and making an appointment for a screening.

Preschool is held at these Elementary Schools:

  • Anne Sullivan
  • Cleveland
  • Garfield
  • Harvey Dunn
  • Hawthorne
  • Hayward
  • Laura B. Anderson
  • Lowell
  • R. F. Pettigrew
  • Terry Redlin

Early Childhood Special Education

The Early Childhood Special Education Program provides an individualized approach to instruction for children birth to school age. The child must demonstrate a developmental delay or disability to be eligible.
Developmental skills are pre- and post-tested to show gains while in the program. The program stresses:

  • Concrete, manipulative, and sensory teaching methodologies, including movement.
  • A sequenced developmental approach to learning.
  • Home visits to develop activities in the home routine to support learning.
  • The belief that parents can help reinforce learning in the home and school, a parent/school partnership. 

The infant and toddler components are located at Central Services with all services to infants and toddlers delivered in their natural environment.
All Early Childhood Special Education locations provide for interdisciplinary team planning, interagency involvement as appropriate, transition activities to prepare for the next program needs, and parent involvement activities. 

Head Start
Looking for more information about our Early Childhood programs, or want to make an appointment for Head Start/Preschool, please fill out the form and we will contact you.

Qualifications:

  • Family income is equal to or below the poverty line.
  • Family is eligible for or in the absence of child care, would be potentially eligible for public assistance including TANF, Foster Child, and/or Homeless.
  • Be at least 3 years old and no older than 5 before September 1st.

Title I

First established by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, the Title I program continues to be the largest federally funded educational program. With a goal of “leveling the playing field,” Title I funds are available to schools with the highest level of poverty, as determined by the percentage of students qualifying for free or reduced lunch.

Believing that early intervention will make the most difference for students, the Sioux Falls School District has chosen to focus Title I funds at the elementary level. All Title I schools operate a Schoolwide Program, which means the Title I funds are used to improve the overall educational program for all students, rather than targeting specific students in a Targeted Assistance Program.

Parents Right to Know: Teacher Qualifications
What do I know about my child's teacher?
The federal education law put in place by the Elementary & Secondary Education Act (ESEA) requires that all parents in a Title I school be notified and given the opportunity to request information about the professional qualifications of classroom teachers instructing their child. You may request this through the building principal.
Long-Term substitutes who are not highly qualified:
The building principal will send a notice to each parent whose child has been assigned, or has been taught for 4 or more consecutive weeks by, a teacher who is not highly qualified. This notice will be sent within 10 school days of when the students is assigned, or, in case of a substitute teacher, by the 5th consecutive week the substitute is in the classroom.

Schools operating a Title I program are:

Anne Sullivan Elementary
3701 E 3rd Street
Cleveland Elementary
1000 S Edward Dr.
Elementary Immersion Center
2511 W. Brookings Street
Garfield Elementary
705 S. Roberts Dr.
Hawthorne Elementary
601 N. Spring Ave.
Hayward Elementary
400 N. Valley View Road
Horace Mann Bridges Elementary
1401 E 26th Street
Laura B Anderson Elementary
1600 N. Wayland Ave.
Lowell Elementary
710 W. 18th Street
Terry Redlin Elementary
1721 E. Austin Street
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