Tackling overcrowding at Roosevelt High School

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Class is in session for schools across KELOLAND. And at one Sioux Falls schools, there are so many students they’ve had to expand the school day, and that’s not all.

Roosevelt has found a handful of ways to make classes less crowded for students. Staff members tell us it’s working.

Crowded hallways and staircases are a common sight during passing time in-between classes at Roosevelt High School.

“We have a few more students here than what the building is intended for, and every building was built at a certain level, our was about 1,800 and we’re sitting around 2,450 now, so that’s a lot more, you’re talking 650 more,” principal, Tim Hazlett said.

With that in mind, Roosevelt’s staff decided to brainstorm and implement new ways to tackle overcrowding. One of those ideas is ‘zero hour.’

About 100 students are now starting their school day earlier.

“Our seniors are able to come in early, start school at 7:05, get that class done, and we’ve used an incentive, those classes are longer Monday through Thursday and then on Friday they don’t have to go to class,” Hazlett said.

“Attendance has been really good, we’ve received positive feedback from those enrolled in it, they enjoy that it’s a little bit longer and they get that day off at the end of the week,” administrative intern, Katie Heavlin said.

Another option is taking online classes.

“That’s probably another 60 students who are taking that where they don’t have to be in the building, and where they just meet when they’re ready to take their test, they come back and make appointments, so after the initial instruction of how to run the class, it’s an online independent study that they do, so it gives us more classroom space,” Hazlett said.

Which is putting some ease on students, staff and these crowded hallways.

“Using them alleviates and allows us to have more class space and it’s helping teachers too, teachers aren’t having to transition rooms as much and so I think there’s a benefit for everybody,” Heavlin said.

Hazlett says they also have students taking regular classes at CTE Academy, such as social studies and English, in conjunction with their CTE block. Plus students have more options for dual credit.

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