April 27th Update

Dear RCAS Families,

I would like to provide you with a few important updates/changes that are happening as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

First, I am writing as a follow up to last week’s newsletter with some additional information and decisions regarding grades as we continue to navigate this remote learning environment. Our current reality requires a lot of flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking on the part of teachers and administrators. In an effort to give credit where credit is due and avoid penalizing students for a situation that is often beyond their control, we have made some changes to how students will be graded for the 4th quarter only.

Here is a quick summary of the most recent changes/updates by level.

High School

  • The District will follow a “no fail” approach for the 4th quarter only. The lowest grade recorded for any assignment, quiz, test, etc. will be 70%.
    • Note: As always, final grades for semester and year-long courses are cumulative, for semester courses the final grade is an average of both quarters. In a year-long course the final grade is an average of all four quarters combined. Thus, a student that was failing a course previous to the COVID-19 closure may not pass the semester or year-long course.
  • The last day of school for seniors is May 22nd.
  • Comprehensive finals will not be administered for any grade 9-12.

Middle School

  • A new grading scale will be implemented for the 4th quarter only
    • 93-100% – A (Pass)
    • 85-92.99% – B (Pass)
    • 77-84.99% – C (Pass)
    • 70-76.99% -D (Pass)
    • 99% or below – F (Fail)
  • No students will be retained at the middle school level this year for performance or attendance reasons.

Elementary School

  • Student retentions will be handled on a case-by-case basis and only students in the primary grades (K-2) should be considered for retention.


All Levels – Elementary, Middle and High School

  • While school will still be in session through May 28, 2020, the last day for teachers giving new assignments and covering new content will be Friday, May 15, 2020. Any final assignments should be given prior to or on this date. All student work is to be turned in by May 27th. Teachers will still be available to work with students during this time.

Other Updates

As I said last week in my newsletter update, planning is in the works for a virtual graduation. We should have a date confirmed in the next week or so. We are still planning for an in-person graduation on July 24th for Rapid City High School and July 26th for CHS and SHS. I am hopeful that we can proceed with a more traditional commencement ceremony, but we all need to be aware that it may not be a possibility if the need for social distancing continues. I continue to be in close communication with Mayor Allender, Monument Health CEO Paulette Davidson, the State Department of Education, and my superintendent colleagues across the state and region to monitor the latest information and data.

As we look to next school year, student class schedules at the high school level for the 2020-21 school year will be shared in early August.

Finally, I know many students are anxious to get into their classrooms and lockers. We are working on a plan to safely facilitate this and will share more soon. We are also working on a plan for computer and textbook, etc. return.

Thank you once again for your patience, understanding and flexibility as we continue to do our best to support students and families through this trying time.


Dr. Lori J. Simon