Update: Preliminary boundaries for middle schools change student make up

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When the new Ben Reifel Middle School opens in 2021 it’s expected to be filled with about 1,100 students in three grades under any of the three boundary options presented this week.

The Sioux Falls School District presented three middle school boundary options to the district’s boundary task force on Monday. The task force made suggestions to the school district about the options and had questions for the district, said DeeAnn Konrad, the school district’s community relations and communication education supervisor.

The map shows the current middle school boundaries in the Sioux Falls School District. Courtesy: Sioux Falls School District.

The task force meets again on Jan. 29 to review the alternatives suggested at the Jan. 20 meeting. Konrad said options for high school boundaries are expected to be presented at the Jan. 29 meeting.

Although there are three options out for middle school boundaries, Konrad said the process is expected to take six months. There will likely be updated versions of any middle school and high school boundaries before a final one is selected.

The boundary process link on the Sioux Falls School District website said the school board is expected to select a boundary in June. A number of task force and community meetings are scheduled before June.

Some of the guidelines the school district and task force are using to develop a new middle school boundary include:
– Balancing of economic status across secondary schools
– Maintaining geographically balanced placement of special education
– Keep contiguous neighborhoods whenever possible
– Set attendance areas based on growth projections and aging out
– Several other guidelines
That’s according to the school district website.

The preliminary boundaries have changes to where students from some elementary schools will attend middle school.

The map below shows the current elementary boundaries for the school district.

This is the current boundary map for elementary schools in the Sioux Falls School District. Students from these elementary schools may be directed toward a different middle school in 2021. Map courtesy of the Sioux Falls School District.

The chart below shows where elementary students attend middle school now and where they would attend under the changes in the three preliminary maps. The school district today updated the chart to indicate that in versions two and three, Discovery students would attend Memorial and McGovern.

This chart shows where elementary students go to middle school in the Sioux Falls School District. The school district noted one change on this chart. In preliminary map versions three and three, Discovery Elementary students would attend Memorial and McGovern. The chart also shows where students would attend middle school under three proposed preliminary new middle school boundaries. School district chart.

The changes vary, depending on the version of the preliminary boundary map.

Oscar Howe students would attend Memorial and McGovern in version three. Those students now attend Memorial.

Hawthorne Elementary would move from the McGovern attendance boundary into Patrick Henry, according to the three preliminary maps and chart.

Some elementary students may not be directed to a different middle school in 2021

The school district’s attendance chart shows that students from Terry Redlin and Anne Sullivan would continue to attend Whittier in all three preliminary boundary options. Students in Laura Wilder would still attend Edison.

This is option one for new middle school boundaries in the Sioux Falls School District. Courtesy: Sioux Falls School District.
This is option two for new middle school boundaries in the Sioux Falls School District. School district map. Courtesy: Sioux Falls School District.
Option three for new middle school boundaries in the Sioux Falls School District. School district map. Courtesy: Sioux Falls School District.
All three options, or versions, of proposed middle school boundaries for the Sioux Falls School District along with the current boundary. School District map. The school district noted today that the narration should include that with versions two and three, Discovery students would attend Memorial or McGovern. Courtesy: Sioux Falls School District.

The student body make-up of all middle schools in Sioux Falls would change with any of the three options.

Charts for current ethnicity in the middle schools and for the percentages under the three preliminary boundary options were developed for the task force.

The school district has two middle schools in which the percentage of white students is less than 40%. George McGovern’s student population is 37% white and Whittier’s is 32% white. In contrast, 80% of the student population at Memorial Middle School is white.

The current ethnicity make-up at Sioux Falls middle schools. School district chart.

Under option one, the percentage of white students at Memorial dips to 78% in options one and two and to 79% with option three.

At George McGovern, the percentage of white students increases to 45% in option one, 59% in option two and 54% in option three.

At Whittier, the percentage of white students decreases to 30% in option one, and increases to 33% with option two and three.

Ethnicity under option one. School district chart.

The percentage of white students at Ben Reifel would be 60% with two options and 63% with option one.

Ethnicity under option two. School district chart.
Ethnicity under option three. School district chart.

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