Sioux Falls has private and public schools, large and small schools, Catholic schools and Lutheran schools. So how does one choose the best school for her child in Sioux Falls? More importantly, when buying a house or moving to Sioux Falls, which neighborhoods will feed to the best schools?
The best school depends entirely on the needs of your child. Educate yourself on the offerings of each school in the Sioux Falls area and decide what is best. There is a range of school options from very small private schools, to large comprehensive public schools. Each school has different strengths and offerings.
The Sioux Falls School District provides standard public school options for the residents of Sioux Falls, SD. The curriculum follows that set out by the state department of education. As with any school district there are variations from school to school, and it is always important to ask your realtor or a neighbor about their experiences with any one school. The school district also compiles data from test scores each year. While those test scores can tell you something about a school, much more can be derived by talking to teachers. Teachers not only know about their own classroom, they often know about other teachers and schools in their districts. If you know a teacher from your gym, church, or neighborhood, ask them candidly about the best schools in your area. They will often be honest and forthright about which schools educate and which merely babysit.
Sioux Falls School has a number of specialized offerings for elementary-aged students. Parents might choose the Rosa Parks Global Studies/ World Language School which offers full Spanish immersion. Lowell Math Science and Technology School offers increased integration of Math and Science into the curriculum.
Many schools in Sioux Falls are embedded into neighborhoods allowing students to walk to school on the ubiquitous city sidewalks. Mark Twain Elementary, for example is surrounded by a residential neighborhood and near historic MeKennan park. Mark Twain Elementary feeds into Patrick Henry Middle School and then to Lincoln High School. All of these schools have houses nearby.
These are hardly the only schools in Sioux Falls. There are other public schools and a number of private schools to choose from. Any of the public schools will offer comprehensive course offerings, such as AP and electives. Additionally both public high schools and private Catholic high school O’Gorman offer extra-curricular activities. O’Gorman is fed by a number of Catholic grade schools including O’Gorman Junior High. Learn about all of the Catholic School options at Sioux Falls Catholic Schools.
Sioux Falls Lutheran School offers religious education for lower grades as Lutheran High School offer upper grades. Lutheran High School is a brand new school in 2010 and will be adding grades in the years to come.
The suburban areas around Sioux Falls have their own public school districts. Tea, Brandon, and Harrisburg have their own schools and their own unique sets of educational opportunities. Their schools are as good as any to be found in Sioux Falls, but their offerings are not as comprehensive as they are smaller districts. The suburban districts serve a large area including rural areas that surround Sioux Falls.