Dell Rapids Public Schools are off to a great start, and I’m confident it will be a successful year for the Quarriers. Each year the district looks a little different. Staff changes, as does programming and student initiatives. What remains the same is our persistent effort to ensure success for all students. This “North Star” concept remains at the forefront of our annual goal development. We know that in order to truly commit to this concept, we need to consistently adapt to the needs of our students. Although the District collects a variety of academic data, we need stakeholder assistance to help obtain perceptional information. Please watch for surveys and discussion sessions being scheduled this fall.
Safety is always a priority in school districts. Although we consistently evaluate and improve technical solutions for our buildings, we also need to ensure we create an environment where emotional needs are met, and all students feel accepted. To assist with this notion, DRPS has again partnered with the Sioux Empire United Way and Lutheran Social Services to implement Providing Access to Healing (PATH). The PATH program allows us to offer counseling services right in the school district, which by design, makes it easier for children and families to access care.
Our district will also be partnering with the Minnehaha County Sherriff’s office to implement Project Stand Up. The program offers our school community a method for anonymously reporting suspicious behavior, threats, or violence. Although logistics are still being finalized, I feel confident the program will add an additional layer to our district’s ability to monitor and respond to potential school violence. We also plan to promote the program as a means for identifying students who may be showing signs of self-harm.
Finally, please mark your calendars for a Connections event being held on Wednesday, September 12. Nashville recording artist, Hailey Steele, will be performing in the city park with a free community meal beginning at 6 p.m. Hailey will first be spending the day at our schools, and we are looking forward to a community “Back to School Kickoff.”
Thank you for helping us get the school year off to a great start. As I alluded to in this article, it takes all of us to make the school year a success. I appreciate everyone who finds a way to be involved with our students. My door is always open, and I welcome any concerns you have that could help improve our district. I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event… it really is a great time to be a Quarrier!
Dr. Summer Schultz, Superintendent