Sioux Falls, SD
From neighborhood schools that house Kindergarten through the 8th grade to a 9th grade academy, the Sioux Falls school district is looking at some creative options to ease its crowded classrooms
The district is hiring a firm to conduct public meetings and gather public input. But it's already started the process. The district's held discussion groups, which included teachers, parents and students from a handful of schools.
One of the discussion starters -- What is the ideal size for an elementary, middle or high school? Here's what they said:
Elementary schools should have 450-to-600 students. Some Sioux Falls schools are already larger than that. R.F. Pettigrew has 976 students.
The focus group said Middle Schools should have 700-to-900 students. Memorial Middle School on the west side of town has nearly 1,400 students.
The group said high schools should have 1,600 to 1,800 students. All three high schools already have more than 1,800 students. Roosevelt has 2,200 kids. With the number of elementary and middle school students in the district, high school enrollment numbers are only expected to grow.
The district is keeping its options open. One of the many possible approaches includes having students go to the same school from Kindergarten through the 8th grade.
Another idea would be to have a school that houses only the 9th grade, to take some of the pressure off the high schools.
The focus group also talked about technology and allowing some students to take more classes online. That would allow high school students to split their schedules and only attend classes in the morning or afternoon -- again freeing up more space in the high schools.
We're told there will be plenty of public meetings. We'll be sure to let you know when they begin and how you can get involved.
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