SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Data shows the K-12 enrollment in the Sioux Falls School District continues to grow at a steady pace as diversity also continues to grow.

The district’s school board will hear results from the latest demographic and academic reports at today’s (Oct. 23) meeting.

The district reported a K-12 enrollment of 24,380 students and cited, slow, but steady growth. The district’s enrollment makeup includes 43% of the students indicating they were non-white. The diversity expands by 1% to 2% each year.

The K-12 enrollment was 24,231 students, according to the district’s 2022 demographic report. The diversity rate was 41.8% or 42% in 2022. The state reported a fall K-12 enrollment of 24,046.

The state and the district have been emphasizing school attendance. The Sioux Falls School District receive a $1.5 million grant from the South Dakota Department of Education to reduce chronic absenteeism.

The state report card released by the DOE has the K-12 attendance rate in Sioux Falls at 85%. The chronic absentee rate is 25%. The district reports that 85% of the K-8 district students attended school with more than 90% on enrolled days.

The state report card shows the chronic absentee rate was particularly high for American Indian students at 64%.

On-time graduation rates continue to be steady at 4% to 5% for the seventh consecutive year, according to the agenda material. The on-time rate was 85.35% for 2022-2023 compared to 84.68% in 2021-2022. However, the rate was lower than the 85.54% in 2020-2021.

The state report card said 55% of the Sioux Falls graduates went on to college, either two or four years. The district reported that before graduating, 56% or 828 students, who graduated took the ACT. The ACT has been a long-standing exam that colleges use to evaluate the academic status of incoming students. However, over the past several years, some colleges have adopted test-optional admission policies.

The district’s composite ACT score has been around 23 since 2016-2017 but after a high of 23 in 2018-2019, the score has dropped to 22.4 for 2022-2023. The state average was 21.1 while the national average was 19.5.

Students in grades 3-8 a year 11 took math and English Language Arts state assessments in the spring of 2022.

Sioux Falls scored 48% overall in English Language Arts proficiency, 43% in math and 45% in science. Proficiency is how well students do on state assessment tests.

Progress, or the improvement, a student makes is also tracked. Student progress in English/LA is 52% and 49% in math.

As diversity expands, English may not be the first language for some students. The state report card shows that 33% of the district’s English Language Learners are growing in English proficiency but not on target.

The district also reported that about 50% of the students qualify for free or reduced meals. The district has 2,700 students have a 504 plan which is related to disabilities. About 16% of the district’s students PreK-12th have individual education plans that are tied to special needs.