Will two new possible boundaries change student’s middle or high school?

KELOLAND.com Original

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The new Jefferson High School would have at least 1,400 students.

That’s based on a new boundary option that made it through the first approval phase at Monday’s Sioux Falls School Board meeting.

The board approved the first reading of Option A for high school and a combination option for middle school. The board’s planned final action is set for the June 22 meeting.

Option A for the new high school boundary in the Sioux Falls School District. Map from the Sioux Falls School District.

Option A for the high school reduces Lincoln’s current base enrollment of 2,053 to 1,626. Roosevelt’s enrollment of 2,462 would be cut to 2,032. The enrollment at Washington High School would decrease from 1,968 to 1,939. But post open enrollment increases Lincoln’s enrollment to 2,176 under OptionA. The post open enrollment also additionally decreases at Roosevelt and Washington under Option A.

The New Technology enrollment would stay at 301 and be part of the new Jefferson High School campus. When the two enrollments are added together, the total is 1,753.

A comparison of enrollments in high schools and the economic status percent. The school board approved the first reading for Option A with final consideration set for the June 22 meeting. Sioux Falls School District chart.

The school with the largest percentage of free and reduced lunch, Washington, would have a 2% increase from 44% to 46%.

Lincoln would have an 18% increase from 30% to 48%.

Roosevelt would have a 12% increase from 28% to 35%.

Jefferson’s percentage would be 48%. Combined with New Tech at 37% the combined percentage is 46%.

But based on material posted by the Sioux Falls School District, the overall percentage of free and reduced enrollment will increase when Jefferson opens from 34% to 43% across all high school students.

The majority (70%) of students in Roosevelt High School would be white. 53% would be white at Washington. Lincoln’s percentage would be 56% while 58% of the students at Jefferson would be white.

A Sioux Falls School District chart showing the ethnicity of high schools at four high schools and out of district open enrollment.

Information from the school district said the transition to the new high school will include high school seniors will be allowed to continue at the same high school if so desired, siblings other than seniors must attend newly assigned high school and no grandfathering provisions will be made at the middle school level.

Doug Morrison of the Sioux Falls School District is working with the school district on new boundaries.

Morrison said in a presentation to the school board Monday night that high school and middle school options selected by the board reduce the average distance from a student’s house to a school.

That would be true for any of the possible options considered that night, he said.

For example, “Roosevelt is so expansive, it goes from the southwest to north of Washington (boundary),” Morrison said.

That changes with the new high school and new boundary, he said.

Morrison also said that high school Option A is built on the original middle school Option A to try have as many middle school students as possible from one school transition to the same high school.

The new middle school boundary Option A2 differs from the original Option A in this way: An area west of Tea Ellis Road is moved to the George McGovern Middle School attendance area; A small area in the northeast corner to the Rosa Parks attendance area is moved to the Ben Reifel attendance area.

The maps below show Option A2 and the original Option A.

The map to the left is the revised middle school option or Option A2 and the map on the right is the original Option A. Map is from the Sioux Falls School District.

The new Option A, or Option A2, changes the enrollment and student make up in the middle schools.

For example, enrollment at Memorial Middle School would drop by at least 300 students from 1,389 to 1,004.

Overall middle school enrollment for the fall of 2021 would increase to 5,853 from the current enrollment of 5,555, according to information used in the boundary process.

Ben Reifel would have 899 students, Edison, 1,088, George McGovern, 843, Patrick Henry, 1,026, and Whittier, 847. Another 143 students would come from outside of the school district.

A chart showing enrollments at middle schools based on options. The school board chose Option A with moving west of Tea Ellis to George McGovern Middle School. It is the option under Option A called Option A (moving west of Tea Ellis to GMMS) Sioux Falls School District Chart.

The economic status, post special allocations, would also shift some in the schools. Ben Reifel’s percentage would be 39% and the highest would be 79% at Whittier. The overall percentage for middle school student enrollment would be 37%.

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