Entries Tagged 'SF School District' ↓

Sioux Falls School District really needs to invest in a mailing list

So I got the below postcard. I have don’t have kids and don’t intend to, but for some reason I received this. Besides the fact that the district really needs to invest in a mailing list which would save them (us) thousands in postage and printing fees (believe it or not you can purchase these lists, and they really don’t cost much) they did not even bother to target the mailer to people with kids, as you can tell from the addressing ‘resident’ and it coded as a ‘walking’ list. This means every mail carrier basically receives a stack of these cards and drops them in every mailbox on their route. Think pizza coupons.

As a former graphic designer specializing in direct mail this card is a huge fail and not just for the lack of targeting the audience;

• You should never use a typeface smaller than 10 PT, this borders on 4-6 pt.

• You should always just give the information that is important and lead them to resources, it is called the KISS theory in marketing (Keep it simple stupid).

• The entire front of the postcard was not utilized.

This was a great exercise in using taxpayer money to fill the landfill. But hey when you bilk the taxpayers for $300 million in a dubious election, what’s another couple grand?

Sioux Falls School District Election information page doesn’t list Election Date

Sometimes you have to scratch your head a bit. You would think if the SFSD is putting up a page that covers ‘election information’ they would at least list the election date? Nope. Not anywhere on this page (It is Tuesday, May 18). They do mention it on this page but you would think it would be mentioned on a page titled ‘election information.’

I have argued for a long time that the SFSD only wants certain people voting, that is why they have NO Northern election precincts in the district. I will continue to argue that the ACLU needs to investigate how the SFSD runs its elections.

Sioux Falls School Board Candidate makes Announcement

Anthony J. Pizer, Candidate for school board sent this announcement out recently;

I am running for school board because I believe in the power of education to transform peoples’ lives as well as our community.

Sioux Falls has a strong public school system that benefits, not only students and families, but our region as a whole. I have seen this firsthand as a Leadership Sioux Falls graduate, Chair of the Sioux Falls Public Schools Education Foundation, and SFSD Boundary Task Force member. For the past ten years, I have been a mentor to the same student with the LSS school-based mentor program. Through this experience, I have seen my mentee grow and develop through all levels of the school district.

My wife, Jessica, and I have two elementary-age children, James and Elyse. They are enrolled in All City Elementary, a Sioux Falls public school that requires parental commitment to volunteering weekly at the school. By spending time in the classroom, I have seen the incredibly talented educators we have in our district and the challenges they face. Therefore, I believe we must support teachers and staff so they can meet the needs and goals of each student.

I run my own business as a Financial Advisor for Thrivent Financial. This has given me a strong understanding of fiscal responsibility and planning to successfully meet financial goals in an efficient and effective manner.

The three areas I believe our district needs to focus on for the future are workforce development, student equity, and community engagement. Because the students of today will work in and lead our community tomorrow, our students and teachers need to have the resources available to meet the needs and goals of the future. Student equity ensures that one’s education, access, and opportunities are not dictated by where they live in Sioux Falls. Finally, our schools and city mutually benefit when community members take an active part in assuring the development of our next generation. I would appreciate your vote on May 18th.

Anthony Pizer
Candidate for Sioux Falls School Board

He lost me at Workforce Development, I want to hear more from him by what he means by that. Whatever happened to giving kids an education that encourages them to go onto to doing whatever they want to after graduation? Whether that is a plumber, soldier, college student, etc.

I am glad he is running though and hope to see more candidates announcing.

Sioux Falls School Board Election set for Tuesday, May 18, 2021

With all the madness this past year with elections we may have forgotten that there is another local one just a couple of months away.

The school board election will be stand alone with 13 vote centers and a strong emphasis on early voting at the IPC. The school board approved the date at the January 11, 2021 meeting in the consent agenda, so there was probably little fanfare. While I don’t take issue much anymore with vote centers, I think they need to make sure that they are fairly spread out in the city unlike during the bond election where I believe there was either only 1-2 precincts North of Russell Ave. I still think this is a form of voter suppression and I asked the ACLU to look into during the school bond election with NO response. They are too busy in Pierre chasing wing-nuts during the annual gathering of paranoid bigots we call our state legislative session (not all of them, just 90%).

School board members Todd Thoelke and Kate Parker terms are up, not sure if they are going to run for re-election, but it sounds like Kate is leaning yes and Todd is leaning maybe. Would like to see someone with a little clout challenge them, especially since Kate has been there since 1953.

Has anybody heard of any names? Maybe we need to recruit Pam Nelson back to the board she got her political start in.

Why Did we Give Sioux Falls School District Employees an $800 dollar bonus?

Before everyone calls me a Scrooge, I will say I agree with School Board president Mickelson’s sentiments;

“. . . yet give as much as we can to our staff while they are going through this hard and very difficult time,” Cynthia Mickelson said.

I think if public servants like teachers go the extra mile they deserve a little something more.

But here are my issues with this;

• This is not the private (for profit) sector. The school district is funded by taxpayers. Believe it or not, most, if not all of my friends and family have worked straight thru this pandemic including myself. Many of them have never got a ‘bonus’ including myself for showing up. But the very workers we subsidize with our taxes are handed bonuses for simply showing up and doing their job – just like the rest of us have. I get it, it’s not easy, there are many days I just want to say, ‘Screw it’ this isn’t worth the risk, but I also know we will get thru this, so I soldier on.

• Instead of a bonus, maybe better sick leave and raises would be more appropriate. As I understand it, district employees have a very good sick leave policy.

• Unlike the private sector, school district employees get fantastic benefits, healthcare and PENSIONS! PENSIONS! I know, something that has almost disappeared in the private sector.

• Many school district employees get the entire summer off. Basically they receive 12 months of pay for 9 months of work. I get it, they may work many more hours during that 9 months, but how many of you in the private sector would love to work a few extra hours a week to get 3 months off in the summer? I think I know the answer to that question. Let’s talk about a ‘bonus’!

While I think it is nice gesture to give this bonus, remember, this comes from you and me, not the school board. It is also fair to point out that the more money we give towards wages is less money we are spending on learning materials and capital expenses for EDUCATING STUDENTS!

I think if this community was flush with money, this would be a blip on the radar screen. But while a lot of us in the private sector are struggling, we ask when are we getting our $800 property tax cut?

Why couldn’t this bonus come from the millions of dollars of Federal Corona virus monies instead of handed over to businesses that may or may not trickle it down to their workers?

This bonus was foolish and fiscally irresponsible.

I think a better plan would have been giving the staff that worked through this pandemic full-time a better raise instead of a blanket bonus.

REWARD THE ONES THAT DESERVE IT WITH PERMANENT APPRECIATION IN THEIR PAYCHECKS THROUGHOUT THE YEAR!

I often shake my head when elected officials pat themselves on the back when they are giving our money away. To all the staff that got this bonus, your’e welcome, to the elected officials who got a warm fuzzy feeling for giving my taxes away, you are also welcome.

UPDATE: Is a Sioux Falls School District Employee violating the Establishment Clause?

UPDATE: According to commenter VSG, the cross has been taken down. I figured once it was pointed out it would not take long, considering the consternation the SFSB had over having to put up a ‘In God we Trust’ sign in the lunchroom. Which is kind of ironic, because it is Federal taxpayers that are feeding almost 50% of our kids in the school district, not God. Maybe a more appropriate sign would be ‘Teach a man to fish . . .’

A South DaCola foot soldier sent me this picture tonight. Was this Christian cross hanging in the window of a private Christian business owner or a private Christian school?

Nope.

It was hanging in the window of the IPC Center for the Sioux Falls School District.

Now I’m not a Grinch. This employee who hung this up should not be fired, or even reprimanded for having religious symbolism in the window of a facility supported by taxpayers. But it should be removed immediately and they should have to write a 10 page essay about the importance of the Establishment Clause. Then if the employee refuses, they can certainly grab a box and pack up the rest of their belongings because they should be out of a job. Then they can apply to work at one of our fine Liturgical schools in town.

I have often argued that your faith is between you and the God of your choice (or not). Separation of Church and State is important. Why? Because it protects the faithful from the government telling them how to worship. Why is it so hard for these people to understand this? It PROTECTS YOU! Now, if on your own time you want to convert people with your idols and symbolism, go for it. The School District has NO right to tell you what to do or who to worship on your own time. But when you are on the taxpayer’s dime, you must refrain from your cutesy cross crafts.

I can hear the comments already about how I am anti-Christian, anti-God, etc. I am not. I believe in God. What I don’t believe in is using my tax dollars to promote God. God promotes itself everyday when the sun rises in the morning, when the rain comes, when the birds sing us beautiful songs. I don’t need to see a cross in a publicly funded facility to convince me God exists and is all powerful. 

I’m sure Jesus has a few words to say about this? Oh he does;

1 John 5:21;

Little children, guard yourselves from idols.

Sioux Falls School Boundary Decision should be immediate without special accommodations

I have told people that once the boundaries are set it should be implemented like ripping a bandaid off, all at once. There should be only ONE accommodation made, if you are a Junior at one of the High Schools this fall, you should have the opportunity to finish as a Senior at that HS if you choose to. I don’t think any other accommodations should be made. Once we start giving special treatment to one sector (like honors students and Spanish immersion*) others will follow, and the special treatment will continue for years. If you stop it at the beginning, parents will be mad for a year or two, but they will get over it. Let’s face it, not everyone is going to be happy about the boundaries, but I’m willing to bet 80-90% of parents will be fine with it. Rip off the bandaid and move on.

*I have thought for awhile that the school district should also start a Mandarin (Chinese) immersion program. China is #1 trading partner, it makes sense to give students the choice to learn either or both languages.

Property Tax Data from Sioux Falls School District

Notice in the 2nd graphic that while mil rate went down for the District, the county and city went up.

Sioux Falls School District Community Engagment Meeting (May 4, 2020)

Sioux Falls School District’s Boundary Meetings online

New Virtual Meeting Dates

Monday, May 4th at 7:00 pm

Saturday, May 9th at 10:00 am

Monday, May 11th at 6:00 pm

Thursday, May 14th at noon

Monday, May 18th at 7:00 pm