SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The fall enrollment in the Sioux Falls District increased by 90 students so far.
The initial enrollment data was shared at the Sept. 11 school board meeting. Doug Morrison, the district’s director of information and technology, said the official fall enrollment data will be determined later this month.
“Historically, the final numbers will be a little less than the preliminary numbers are,” Morrison said.
The district has traditionally done a preliminary count on day four of school. The enrollment generally decreases because at the year’s start, the district has assumed students who attended last year will attend this fall unless the district has been notified, Morrison said. Students will drop from the district, he said.
“We can’t drop them for 15 days,” Morrison said. The district has been tracking student absences since day one. So far, 50 students have had 10 consecutive absences. “We know we will drop some of those,” he said.
The district had 24,406 students in kindergarten through 12th grade as of Aug. 29. The district had 24,316 on day four in 2022.
“Our district growth is trending upward, but slower than anticipated in some areas,” Superintendent Jane Stavem said on Sept. 11.
The high school enrollment grew by 143 students to 7,594 students.
The elementary enrollment decreased by 43 students. The middle school enrollment dropped by 10 students.
The district had an increase of 129 students in its pre-kindergarten programs. That increases the total preliminary pre-K through 12th grade enrollment to 25,447.
According to the city of Sioux Falls, the city added an estimated 6,284 residents in 2022. The population grew to an estimated 208,884 in 2022. The growth was slightly lower than in 2021 when a record 6,750 moved to the city.
Move-ins and birth rates will impact a city’s population growth and a school district’s enrollment.
The Centers for Disease Control said the state’s birth rate has fluctuated over the past several years. In 2021, the fertility rate was 68.6 births per 1,000 women aged 15-44.
A United Van Lines report showed that in 2022 older people were moving to South Dakota at a greater percentage than younger people. About 76% of all who moved in were 55 and older. In the 35 to 44 age range, 37.5% moved out compared to 4.7% who moved in.
Not all students in the Sioux Falls School District or in the city limits of Sioux Falls attend SFSD schools.
There are at least three school districts, Harrisburg, Tea and Brandon Valley, with schools in the city limits of Sioux Falls. As of September of 2021, there were at least seven private elementary, middle or high schools in the city if the O’Gorman Catholic School system is counted as one.
Students also have the option to open enroll from the district.
Morrison said on Sept. 11 that unofficially, the district gained open enrolled students, particularly in the northwestern part of the district.