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February 06, 2018 06:14 PM

School Crowding: Student Input

Sioux Falls, SD

The population growth of the city is also impacting the Sioux Falls School district.  The district is already dealing with an overcrowding problem.  To solve it, officials are turning to students to help come up with a solution.

Ann Madson is a senior at Lincoln High School.  She's also on the superintendent's student advisory committee that gives suggestions to school administrators on various issues. 

On Wednesday, the advisory committee will give ideas to the school board concerning the district's crowding issues we've been following for months.  

Madson says she sees it firsthand.  

"We don't even have time to get from class to class because there are traffic jams in the hallways," Madson said. 

Madson appreciates that the district is including students in the decision-making process.  The district feels it's important they have a voice. 

"Young people bring to the table a young perspective that is unfiltered; that is dreaming big and so to hear what their ideas are and to hear from them is really a critical piece of this puzzle," Community Relations Supervisor DeeAnn Konrad said. 

Besides building new schools, the district wants to find out if adding online courses would help solve crowding issues.  Madson says that may work for some students, but you can't replace the good old-fashioned classroom. 

"Because you can ask your teacher questions and learn from other students," Madson said. 

Students who will have a say in what happens next. 

"We don't have an answer.  We don't have a preferred plan at this point and time, and the best answer may lie in the minds of one of these students and we've got to be able to tap into that," Konrad said. 

From a new high school or middle school or even a ninth-grade academy, administrators have told us everything is on the table.   

The superintendent's student advisory committee will give input Wednesday at 3 p.m.  Then in March, the district will take public testimony at three separate hearings. 

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