Simplified: Sioux Falls' enrollment dipped during the height of the pandemic. A year later, it appears to be leveling out, though early numbers show fewer elementary students and more high schoolers.

Why it matters

  • Enrollment dropped by 274 students from fall 2019 to fall 2020, according to the school district.
  • It's too soon to say what the official fall enrollment count this year will be. The state collects that data near the end of September each year.
  • But, preliminary numbers show the district holding steady in the number of students at about 24,100, an increase of about 30 kids year-over-year.  
  • Kindergarten was expected to see an increase – and it did – but the proportion of 5 and 6 year olds matched the usual trend, said Doug Morrison, director of innovation. That means the theory that more parents held kids back doesn't offer a full explanation.
"There's a little bit of mystery as to what that was," Morrison said.

Show me the numbers

Ask and you shall receive.

High schoolers saw the biggest change in year-over-year initial enrollment with an added 152 students.

  • Morrison said some of those – around 60 – are open enrolling at the new Jefferson High School.
  • Another 38 of them are students who were also seniors last year but failed to earn enough credits to graduate, he added.

Middle school enrollment stayed steady at around 5,600.

Elementary school enrollment dipped by about 100 students from last year for a preliminary total of 11,180 this year.

Kindergarten saw its largest class in recent history with about 2,000 students. That's up 200 kids from last fall and up about 50 from fall 2019.