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November 27, 2012 05:06 PM

New SF Elementary On Par With Others

Sioux Falls, SD

Plans for a new elementary in Sioux Falls are moving forward. The district voted Monday to consolidate students from Mark Twain and Longfellow elementary schools into a new building at the site of Mark Twain. Some students from Jefferson elementary, which is also slated to close, would be absorbed by the new building.

The new school will be modeled off Terry Redlin Elementary in east Sioux Falls. According to the school's website, about 500 students attend class there every day. A school district official says that number will be similar for the new building built at the site of Mark Twain Elementary.

“We're not abandoning the core of the city. We're simply ending up with a better solution and, in my mind, a better use of our money,” School Board President Doug Morrison told the crowd at Monday’s meeting.

The new Mark Twain will be a four-section school. School district officials expect enrollment to be somewhere between 500 to 600 students. Right now, Longfellow has 285 and Mark Twain has 247

It will put the new neighborhood school on par with others across the city. Some of those include: Robert Frost, which has about 453 students and Oscar Howe, which has 657.  Harvey Dunn has 497 while John f. Kennedy has 603 students.

“Just because you're in one school on the other side of town, it doesn't entitle you to a smaller class size,” Morrison said.

The new building is on track to go up for the 2015 school year. It will be built on land available at the Mark Twain Elementary site. The existing school will stay until construction on the new building is finished.

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