• Flu Shots

    Posted by Mike McNeff on 9/20/2022
    Flu shots will be available on:
    October 4th at Ely Elementary: Online sign-up link 
    October 11th at Rugby High School: Online sign-up link
    Paper consent forms available at LRDHU Pierce County Health or the school offices.
    Contact Samantha Wentz 776-6783 for questions. 
    Samantha Wentz
    LRDHU Pierce County
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  • Ely Elementary Construction Challenges

    Posted by Mike McNeff on 9/7/2022 7:00:00 AM

    You may have heard that the Ely Elementary Project cost has ballooned over the past twelve months since our first construction estimate. We have all been hit by inflationary increases in our work life and personal life, and this project is no different. In September of 2021, the project was estimated to cost approximately $8.3 million. After our final bid opening on August 9, 2022, the project will now cost $10 – 10.6 million (I provided a range because this is dependent on cutting out portions of the project).

    The school district has allocated $9,240,000 in funding to the building project. This number includes $1,300,000 of ESSER funding (one-time federal funding), $7,870,000 of referendum funding (passed on 12/1/21), and we recently received a food service grant of $70,000 to pay for part of the kitchen equipment. This represents a funding gap of around $800,000 due to the reasons mentioned above. 

    These numbers do not include these important pieces of the project, 1) the academic wing remodel, 2) concrete paving and curbs for the northwest parking area, 3) playground relocation and turf, 4) and the wood floor for the gym, gym equipment, and bleachers. These were all left out of the base bid and were added as alternates.

    We have access to some additional funds, but it will prove to be difficult to come up with the level of funds described above. School districts do not have many options when it comes to generating additional revenue for a project like this. We may have to drastically reduce the scope of the project to get the project to fit into the available funds. We shared this information with the school board in June and it was decided that we move forward with the project and find a way to raise other funds to close the gap. 

    We held a meeting recently with the citizen’s committee that helped guide the referendum process last year.  This committee is a representative group from the community of Rugby and surrounding areas. The committee suggested that we begin developing a capital campaign to fundraise to help bridge the funding gap mentioned above. Soon you will begin to hear about how you can contribute to help keep these critical components within the Ely Elementary Project. In the meantime, if you are interested in contributing to the project to help fund these important components of the project, please reach out to Mike McNeff or Dawn Hauck at 701-776-5201.

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  • Upcoming Referendum Election

    Posted by Mike McNeff on 11/24/2021 2:00:00 PM


    The Rugby Public School District will host a referendum election on December 1st to approve an addition and renovation to Ely Elementary. The District has hosted three public meetings and gathered input through a community survey that was mailed to all residents within the school district.

    Ely Elementary was constructed in 1965 and has a variety of needs that will be addressed through the proposed renovation and addition. These needs include addressing the following areas: additional space for a rising special education population, additional classrooms for band, choir, and courses in STEM careers, regular education classroom redesign to assist with small-group learning, redesign of car and bus traffic and additional parking, updated safety features at the main entrance, expansion of the cafeteria to provide more time for students to eat, and an expansion of the current gym for additional space for physical education and music.

    The elementary school has grown from 220 students in 2006 to as high as 330 within the past few years. This has put a strain on overall space for students and teachers. When compared to five similar size school districts, Ely Elementary had the lowest square footage per student. This proposal is comprehensive and addresses all areas to make Ely Elementary a viable school site for many years to come. Due to expiring debt on the 2010 Rugby High School bond issue, the current mill levy will not increase. In addition, one-time federal COVID-19 relief funds ($1.3 million) will be used to buy down the cost of the project.  In combination with the retired debt and the one-time COVID-19 relief funds, the district can complete this project with no increase to the school’s current mill levy. Personally, I compare it to my budget for my car payment. I want to spend the same amount of money for a car and periodically I’ll trade my car in to get something newer and more dependable while spending the same amount of money. In a similar way, the District will keep the mill levy the same while constructing an addition and renovation to improve our learning environments for the future.


    You can vote on December 1st at the Rugby High School from 9:00 am – 7:00 pm. If you have any questions, please contact me at 701-776-5201.

    Mike McNeff, Supt.

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  • Absentee Ballots Available

    Posted by Mike McNeff on 11/22/2021 10:00:00 AM


    If you are unable to vote on December 1st from 9:00 am - 7:00 pm at Rugby High School, you can absentee vote. If you would like an absentee ballot application, please contact Dawn Hauck at 776-5201, or you can print one here. Absentee ballots are to be postmarked by November 30th. 

    Mike McNeff, Supt. 

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  • Final Public Meeting on November 17th

    Posted by Mike McNeff on 11/15/2021 3:00:00 PM

    We will have our final public meeting on November 17th (this Wednesday) starting at 6:00 pm. The purpose of these public meetings are to provide stakeholders with information regarding the Ely addition/renovation proposal. The proposed addition requires a vote and the special election will occur on December 1st from 9:00 am - 7:00 pm at the RHS Gym. If you cannot be there to vote, you can request an absentee ballot from Dawn Hauck at 701-776-5201. You can find more information about the project here.

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  • Menu Changes

    Posted by Mike McNeff on 9/28/2021 4:00:00 PM

    You have likely noticed changes to the menu at your child's school. Food Service is experiencing disruptions to its food availability and delivery because of the global workforce shortage. Therefore, many schools are in an emergency mode for procuring groceries and supplies. We ask for your flexibility with short notice menu changes. We will strive to meet the needs of our students with quality substitutions and creativity.

    Thanks for your patience. 

    Mike McNeff, Supt. 

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  • No Fire

    Posted by Mike McNeff on 9/24/2021 1:15:00 PM


    An air system on the roof at RHS malfunctioned and caused smoke to enter one of the rooms at RHS. All students were evacuated immediately and the fire department was called. There was no fire and all is well.

    Mike McNeff, Supt.

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  • Grading and Reporting System Videos

    Posted by Mike McNeff on 9/16/2021 7:00:00 AM

    Dear RPSD Families,

    Empower is our new (Kindergarten – Grade 8) student information system that allows parents to access information about their child's educational progress. When logging onto Empower, parents will use the username and password to access their student's information. Students will receive their usernames and passwords at school. 

    You will find login information enclosed within this letter. Please enter the website provided and use the username and password to log in.

    Please review the two videos that will help you navigate the system.

    How to log into Empower video (6 min):

    Rationale for standards-referenced grading video (8 min):

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  • K-8 Grading System Update

    Posted by Mike McNeff on 9/9/2021


    Thank you for your patience as we implement Empower, a new grading system for grades K-8. We think that you will appreciate the change from Powerschool. Empower aligns with our district's grading practices and will provide more timely feedback on your child's progress on essential standards. 

    We have been busy working out the bugs and want to ensure that everything is working correctly. On September 17th, the district will mail all families in grades K-8 a letter with their usernames and passwords. We will also provide a short video detailing how to log in and how to access your child's progress on their learning standards. 

    Thank you again for your patience. 

    Mike McNeff, Supt. 



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  • Ely Elementary Addition Survey

    Posted by Mike McNeff on 8/24/2021 3:00:00 PM

    Dear Parents and Staff,

    The Rugby School District is reaching out to all District residents, including parents and staff, in the next few weeks to gather input regarding educational facility needs with a community-wide survey.

    We have hired School Perceptions, an independent educational research firm, to conduct the survey and ensure all responses are kept confidential. We are asking that all parents and staff respond to a survey that will be emailed out in the coming weeks from School Perceptions.

    To ensure data integrity, each survey invitation/link code can only be used once. As such, you must access the survey through your email invitation, not a forwarded email or link. The survey access number will not identify you; it simply links you to the District's survey. However, the software is able to track survey completion via the link code and encourage participation of non-respondents. School Perceptions’ privacy policy guarantees your email address will not be used/shared for any purpose other than the contracted survey.

    The survey will be open through September 13 at 5:00 PM. If you do not receive an email invitation to complete the survey please check your “spam/junk” folder and then contact the school for assistance. 

    Michael McNeff, Supt.

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