SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — With the 2019-2020 school year coming to a close, that means in only a few short months the next will begin. The Sioux Falls School District continues to discuss new boundary lines for the two new schools in the city.
New boundaries may mean that some students that went to certain schools will have to switch. The school district is trying to prevent this, but due to overcrowding students may have to be shuffled around.
“We will do our best to minimize that splitting of schools, but we will have some schools who move and split as they transition from one level to another,” Brian Maher Sioux Falls School District Superintendent said.
One of the deciding factors for new boundary lines is routes to school.
“Safe paths to schools are crucial in our planning. The school district currently sits on a path committee where we communicate with city officials on creating and maintaining safe paths to schools. That process is a dynamic process and not a static process. The fact that we will be changing boundaries will necessitate the fact that we stay on that committee and that we remain steadfast in providing safe routes to schools,” Maher said.
The district’s task force weighed in different opinions about grandfathering students into different schools. A student advisory group also discussed the topic, but there was not a unanimous opinion.
Maher also said open enrollment was a topic of discussion with the committee will continue, but it depends on the building capacity.
“We do have a preference that is given as a sibling preferences when we go through the process of open enrollment. The way it would stand as of right now, would be given a preference, but it’s not a guarantee. It will still be based on the number of available slots at a given school,” Jamie Nold the Assistant Superintendent of the Sioux Falls School District said.
Among changes in boundary lines, leadership changes are also being made in the school district. Maher referred to it as an administrative dance.
“The new inaugural principal for Thomas Jefferson High School will be Mr. Dan Conrad. Mr. Conrad is currently the principal of Washington High School and will be moving to Jefferson High School at the conclusion of this school year. Washington High School will then have a new principal, Kari Papke. Kari Papke was a long time teacher and department chair at Washington High School and most recently was an assistant principal at Lincoln High School. So, we’re certain Mrs. Papke will do a great job at Washington High School as well. Ben Rifle Middle School, their inaugural principal will be Shane Hieronimus. Mr. Hieronimus is currently the principal at Edison Middle School. He will remain the principal at Edison Middle School this coming year, and then will also transition to be the new principal at Ben Rifle Middle School the following year,” Maher said.
A list of when the boundary meetings will be held is on the district’s webpage.