SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Boundaries within the Sioux Falls School District are set to change, and the district wants the community to weigh in. A “School Boundary Task Force” is set to meet in January and February; you can apply to be a part of the task force until the day before Thanksgiving.
“We’re looking for a group of people who come to us with an open mind and have the best interests of all 24,000 students in our district at heart when they sit down at the table and really look at where the lines should be drawn for our future boundaries,” said DeeAnn Konrad, supervisor with the district’s community relations and community education department.
Konrad explains that the task force will make recommendations, and the Sioux Falls School Board will make the final call on the changes.
“The task force really takes the first breath of information in, understands the numbers, comes up with, oh, a couple of different scenarios or options,” Konrad said. “Those options then will go out to the community for further input, so even if people are not on the task force itself, there will be public comment sessions where people can come.”
Konrad and school board member Nan Baker say the district wants the task force to have variety.
“We’re not looking for one set person,” Baker said. “I think that’s what I want the community to know. We look for people from all different skill sets.”
“Not only do we want this task force to be diverse in terms of age and their ideas, we also want it spread across the community so that we don’t have just representation from the west side or the east side,” Konrad said.
Ben Reifel Middle School and Thomas Jefferson High School are both set to open in fall 2021. Konrad says boundary changes are definitely going to happen for high schools and middle schools.
“We do need to make those changes at middle and high school for certain,” Konrad said. “[It] is possible that they would do elementary at this time, it’s also possible they’ll leave that for future work.”
Overall, Konrad and Baker say the goal is finding balance.
“Ultimately, what we’re interested in is the best for all 24,000 students,” Baker said. “And we would like to see an outcome that is number one, efficient. Number two, that has diversity in all of our buildings. Number three, that we look at the natural landmarks that we’re dealing with.”
“What we’re trying to achieve here is a balanced approach to each school,” Konrad said. “We want our student diversity to be equal across the board. we want free and reduced lunches not just to be in one particular school or in these particular schools. we want to do our best to balance every slice of the pie.”
You can apply to be a part of the task force until the day before thanksgiving.