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September 11, 2017 06:02 PM

Is It Time For A New High School?

The Sioux Falls School District is larger than most South Dakota cities and it continues to grow at a rapid pace. 

The preliminary enrollment numbers are in and they show there are more than 24,000 students enrolled in the district K-12; that's a gain of 329 students over last year.

The district says it's going to have to make some tough decisions within the next year. 

Crowding is an issue at nearly every school this year. 

"Our elementary schools are full, some of them may be over full.  Our middle schools are full; maybe one of them is over full.  And our high schools are pretty darned packed," Sioux Falls School Superintendent Brian Maher said. 

Maher says Roosevelt in particular is bursting at the seams.  This year it has almost 2,300 students.  So, Maher says the district is going to have to do its own homework to address a growing population within the district.  

"Do you build a new high school and just divide out Roosevelt or do you also look at a new high school and take portions of Lincoln High School and Washington High School as well," Maher said. 

Maher says those discussions are already underway, but next semester the district will officially form a community task force to address the growing enrollment at all schools.  

While building new or adding on to existing schools are simple but perhaps more costly solutions, they're not the only ones. 

"Or do we look at the way we deliver instruction.  Do we do more out-of-school learning; online teaching? I think all of those questions need to be asked and ultimately we need to figure out what the community has an appetite for," Maher said.  

Maher says for the first time in a long time, the kindergarten class stayed about the same size as last year's. 

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  • High School
  • Education
  • Sioux Falls, SD


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