Entries Tagged 'SF School District' ↓

Why aren’t tax paying voters included in the Sioux Falls school start date survey?


Maybe I can’t find it, but there doesn’t seem to be an online link to a survey that was sent to parents of the Sioux Falls school district;

The emailed survey asks whether they’d like the school year to start before or after Labor Day. The survey also asks whether high school semester tests should be given before or after the December break.

“It seems the most emotion is raised when you begin the year and when you end the year,” said Sioux Falls School District superintendent Brian Maher.

Maher said that emotion has quite a history in the district. Last year, city voters passed a measure to begin the Sioux Falls school year after Labor Day, going again the school board’s previous calendar starts which hit before the holiday.

Notice voters decided the school start date, and it should be no different this time around. I think parents, students and teachers opinions are just as important as the opinions of people who fund education. Just because I may not have children in the school district doesn’t mean the school start date doesn’t affect my life, not to mention, I am helping to pay for that education, I should have a say in how my money is being spent. I think the school district should post a link to the survey online so ALL participants in the school district (the students and the people who pay for their education) have a voice. Otherwise it is just a clever game the school district is playing to skew the results. It seems the school district wants our money (property and NOW retail taxes) they just don’t want our opinion.

It also seems they have a tight grip on this survey;


While McGovern students have to do an online bake sale to fund instruments, the school district blows their wad at the Denny

Oh the irony.

Remember this story from almost a year ago?

Andrew Travers launched a Kickstarter program for a couple reasons. One, to buy five new electric instruments for his students; a two violins, a viola and a cello.

“Half the kids can be on the electric instruments in the corner, and the electrics don’t make a lot of audible sound unless you’ve got the headphones on,” Robert Travers explained. “And then the rest of the class can operate at the same time. And we can start rotation kids in and out so that, basically, two different lessons can go on simultaneously.”

Fast forward a year, and magically the SFSD has all kinds of money for music;

The Sioux Falls School District will spend $35,000 to lease the city’s entertainment center for a December performance with rock violinist Mark Wood, an original member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

In March, school board members approved a more than $60,000 contract with Wood to spend time working with Sioux Falls students, 3,000 of whom will perform with Wood during the concert.

On Monday, school board members approved an additional $8,000 for Wood plus the cost of leasing the Premier Center. They also approved a $25,000 contract for “lights and sound.”

The Sioux Falls School District will spend $35,000 to lease the city’s entertainment center for a December performance with rock violinist Mark Wood, an original member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.

In March, school board members approved a more than $60,000 contract with Wood to spend time working with Sioux Falls students, 3,000 of whom will perform with Wood during the concert.

On Monday, school board members approved an additional $8,000 for Wood plus the cost of leasing the Premier Center. They also approved a $25,000 contract for “lights and sound.”

While I think this is a great opportunity for students, I sometimes question the spending priorities, especially when a music teacher has to ask for private donations for a couple of instruments or the fact that several education assistants with the district make a whopping $11.79 an hour.

Sioux Falls City Council Public Input, Sep 6, 2016

Stormland FINALLY gets the other side of the story on the later school start date

Gee, I wonder if they got some angry phone calls?

They’ve been out of class for only a week and a half, but parent Nancy Neff, who fought for the change, feels the students benefited from that.

“I do think it was a great school year,” Neff said.

The national College Board sets the test dates, and it doesn’t consider when a district starts school. But Neff disagrees.

“I actually felt AP testing went better this year,” Neff said.

Neff says her kids were less stressed about their AP finals.

“This year they could focus on their tests and then they had a couple of weeks after AP testing to wrap up their projects and do their finals in their other courses, it really went quite smooth,” Neff said.

Wow! And that was just one parent. The funny part is that I have not heard one single complaint from a parent about the later start date. Who has been complaining? The teachers who just got our regressive sales taxes increased so they could receive raises for 9 months of work. That’s about it. They suckered the legislature for a tax increase that the voters shot down just a couple of years ago, and now they are complaining about another election because they were not ‘consulted’. Here’s the deal. We pay your wages, the property tax (and now sales tax) paying voters, we make the decisions. If you don’t like it, the private sector in Sioux Falls is hiring.

I also found it ironic that the wife (an AP teacher in Sioux Falls) of a former city councilor who constantly has sour grapes about the outdoor pool at Drake Springs was still complaining about an election that happened over 6 months ago. Better get used to it. Drake Springs has been here for over a decade, and the same old people still complain, I don’t find it any different with the start date.

Stormland TV really needs to get over the late school start date

It was decided in a democratically held election that a majority of voter taxpayers prefer a later start date. Time to move on and do stories about how (AP) students can adjust (the only ones affected by the change).

Here comes the tired old excuses;

Due to a later start to the school year, Sioux Falls students lost three weeks of preparation for their Advanced Placement exams.

I’m still curious how they lost 3 weeks? Sure in actual class time, but with all the time students get off between the beginning of the school year and now, there is plenty of time to read and study on their own time to make it up. Three weeks is a drop in the hat. Last I checked no one forces these students to take AP courses. Why should a small percentage of HS students be determining the school start date for the large majority who don’t take the courses? Of course, the same people who are whining about this (the teachers) got a massive raise (working 9 months out of the year) from increasing the price of food on the same students who’s parents can’t afford it to begin with.

Want to be smart and go to the college of your choice? Study harder.

Full Voting Record Chart for Sioux Falls city councilors

This is the full voting record chart of candidates running, and current councilors serving.

Document: 2016 Candidate & Current Member Voting

School Board Endorsement; Randy Dobberpuhl


My name is Randy Dobberpuhl and I am running for Sioux Falls School Board.

My wife and I have lived in Sioux Falls since 2007. We have two boys, Coulter and Ryder, who attend Harvey Dunn Elementary.

My wife currently works for the school district as an Administrative Intern and has been in the education field for 13 years.

I currently work for Minnehaha County Human Services as a Caseworker for the Safe Home Program.

We provide permanent housing to our chronically homeless population in Sioux Falls and offer other supportive services.

I am an active volunteer for LSS as mentor, Big Brother Big Sister, and United Way.

I want to:

• Ensure all our students receive access and equity at their neighborhood schools.

• Make sure we are meeting students where they are at to ensure we are providing them the right level of education.

• Look at specializing some of the middle schools to create the same opportunities they may see in high school.

• Help push the full summer school program to help students catch up if needed and to receive their diploma.

My career is in advocacy and I will use my knowledge and skills to advocate for all our students!

I love reaching out and listening to others to gain their perspective on issues.

I believe in open conversations and dialogue to keep things transparent.

I would appreciate your vote on April 12th to bring a Fresh Perspective to School Board.

South DaCola is endorsing Randy Dobberpuhl for Sioux Falls School Board


Property taxes (assessments) are going up in Lincoln County, but not because of the Harrisburg School District

So this email from the super of Harrisburg was recently sent out;

—–Original Message—–

From: Notification from Harrisburg School District [mailto:Notification-Do_Not_Reply@target.brightarrow.com]

Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2016 2:01 PM

To: – – – –

Subject: This is a notification from Harrisburg School District

We are hearing that some people in Lincoln County are seeing that their real estate taxes have taken a big jump.  What we understand is that most of this is due to higher assessments on property.  The Harrisburg School has again not raised their tax levies for the 9th year in a row.  Any increases you may see are not due to an increase by the school.  Jim Holbeck

The assessments are up in Sioux Falls to. Funny how this city is swimming in money and we have all this borrowing power, of course we do, we keep increasing taxes.

SF School Board Profile; Pischke


Hi There Sioux Falls, My name is Peter Vaughn Pischke and I’m running for a spot on the Sioux Falls School Board.

Here is a few things you should know about me:

I’m a strong conservative that believes that the U.S. Constitution is divinely inspired and that the closer our government keeps to it the better off we’ll be. I’m a devout Christian and a former missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m also a part-time substitute teacher in the Sioux Falls School District as well as a prioritized family man.

For fun I enjoy talk radio especially anything by the Blaze Radio Network. My values are a lot like yours and I’m glad of that. Sioux Falls citizens are a loving and kind people who believe in living conservative and very often, Christian values. We are a people who believe in liberty and freedom.

Because of the Common Core curriculum, right now our teachers and students are intellectually chained. We all have read the articles and seen the videos about why Common Core is bad. But the worst part of Common Core is that it is a strict curriculum that controls teachers from flexing their creative muscles and truly teaching their students. The individual learning needs of students are too often not being met. We as a school district need to make our state removes this curriculum and let us have local control.

Half of our School District is on Free/Reduced lunch which means almost half of our students are close to, or are now living in poverty. A large chunk of those students aren’t gaining a love of learning but instead are becoming intellectually hardened and hating school. We need to make sure our technology is effective and unencumbered so that teachers can teach with the full power of the internet. The year is 2016 and our schools should reflect the great wealth of teaching and learning opportunities that internet technology brings.

We need to break all the barriers between teachers and their students. Flexibility is needed. Red-Tape needs to be cut. Students need to be defended.Ultimately, when students graduate they should love learning so much that they consider themselves intellectuals and academics.

Lastly I hope you all encourage family and friends to vote this April 12th. Be sure to pray to know what the Lord would have you do. Ask him even whom you should vote for. I know we will all be the better for it.

If you want to know more please go to my website: www.pickpischke.org or check out my Facebook Pagehttps://www.facebook.com/Pischke-for-Sioux-Falls-Schoolboard-132130640234947/

This is NOT an endorsement by South DaCola.

School Board Candidates, Dem Forum, March 25, 2016