According to population projections, the city of Sioux Falls will grow by about 3,000 people each year for the next several years.
With that expansion, there's likely to be more children in the community as well. So how does the Sioux Falls School District keep up with the increase?
It's something the City of Sioux Falls has been facing for a few years; more people, but not enough resources to supply them all.
One crucial resource is the need for a good education. And the number of kids needing a place to learn is growing as well.
"Typically it's between 300 and 500 that we grow each year. And that we have been growing over the last ten years," Sioux Falls Superintendent, Pam Homan said.
To ensure each child gets a proper amount of attention, the student to teacher ratio for the Sioux Falls School District is 24.3 to 1. The District prepares for this by looking at Minnehaha birth records.
"We budget for each year by looking backwards. We have to look at the live births 6 years prior to project how many kindergarten students you believe you'll have in the upcoming school year," Homan said.
Robyn Costello is a kindergarten teacher at John Harris, and has been teaching for 24 years. She says giving students one-on-one time isn't always easy with bigger classes.
"We as teachers have to be creative to try and find those ways that will work for our classroom, so that we can meet individually with those students," Costello said.
This year, Costello had just enough students in her room, 27, to qualify her for an educational assistant.
While giving individualized attention is important, Costello also values extra hands to help out.
"She's just been a great attribute to our classroom. And we here at John Harris use our parents also. We're able to bring them in for a certain time during the day," Costello said.
Another by-product of having so many students, is the need to close open enrollment at some schools.
The District follows state guidelines to determine when that happens.
"Look at class capacity, building capacity and program capacity. So the first one and primary one is class capacity. We might be able to close a first grade, because the first grades have room in third grade.," Sue Simons, Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources & Legal Services said.
Right now, 900 students are open enrolled into the Sioux Falls district from outside city limits. 3,000 to 4,000 open enroll within the city each year.
But even with this many open enrolling, there are still parents who don't get their child into the school they want.
"There's always a boundary. What I always encourage parents is to get it in December 1 is when we can start considering open enrollment for the next year. And if it's something that you really want, I'd come down here. We've had people standing in line as early as 3:00 in the morning," Simons said.
While current buildings are filling up fast, the District is still looking to the future to determine how to grow with the city.
"We tend to look at Central, East side, West side, South, North. And look at quadrants, many different angles. So we can analyze where we have the different number of classrooms we need, and where we're short on classrooms. And then that drives where we do or don't need additional schools," Homan said.
No matter how much the city of Sioux Falls or the school district grows, these teachers and administrators say they are always ready to adapt.
"You know, our mission is to educate and prepare each child to succeed in this changing world, and so in order to do that we need to have the staff, and we need to have the space. And so we continue to monitor both pieces of the puzzle and we plan for that," Homan said.
"We as teachers are professionals. And we do the best that we can. And we will take every eager learner that walks into our classroom. And we will give them the best opportunity that we can, for their educational learning," Costello said.
Homan also mentioned the school does get funding from the state for each child enrolled. However, they do not get funding for anyone enrolled after September.