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Open Enrollment Options

September 3, 2012, 5:03 PM by Nicole Winters

Open Enrollment Options

Back in the day, it used to be where you lived is where you went to school. Open Enrollment wasn't a choice many years ago. But that's no longer the case for many schools.

In a room filled with musical instruments and trophies, it's not hard to see or hear that Lincoln High School has quite the music program. That is why Sara Atske and Carter Christensen chose to open enroll in the school.

"Really just for band, for the music programs," Carter Christensen said.

"I chose Lincoln because I am in Orchestra, I play the violin, and I know I could probably excel better here than at Washington or Roosevelt," Sara Atske said.

The Sioux Falls School District sees plenty of students open enrolling. Assistant Superintendent Sue Simons says there are a variety of reasons for choosing a specific school from younger children needing to be near day care or a parent's place of work to programs like band.

"All of our high schools have their own unique personalities and strengths and we'll find a parent who may feel their child has a better strength in one of the areas, they believe a high school is stronger in, or has more opportunities for," Simons said.

About 4,000 students inside and outside the district open enroll. Lincoln High School is one of the most requested, along with Memorial Middle School and Patrick Henry.  The district processes thousands of applications a year, and while they try to accommodate everyone, it's not always possible to get into the school of choice.

"Based upon class capacity, program capacity and building capacity," Simons said.

And while both Christensen and Atske have to make a longer trip to school, the sweet sounds of music make it worthwhile.

"It gives students the ability to choose what they want to do depending on what they're involved in," Christensen said.

In order to open enroll in the Sioux Falls School District, an application has to be filled out and submitted by deadlines. Applications are processed in the order they are received.

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