The Sioux Falls School Board voted to move forward with consolidation plans for Mark Twain and Longfellow Elementary schools. A larger, new school is planned on the site where Mark Twain Elementary currently stands. It is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015.
Jefferson Elementary is also slated for closure by summer 2016. A plan for the Jefferson Elementary school building has not been decided.
There was only one dissenting vote. Board member Kate Parker lives in the Longfellow neighborhood and voted no. Parker, who has children at Longfellow, said her concerns have nothing to do with her or her family.
Some parents who spoke at the school board meeting said they had concerns for larger schools and larger classrooms. Many said their children do better in school in smaller classrooms.
The school district is combating declining enrollment in some neighborhoods and growth in others. School board president Doug Morrison said the school district can not afford to give people the luxury of having smaller classrooms based on the neighborhood where they live.
Other parents expressed concern the school district has not determined its plans for the Longfellow or Jefferson sites.