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Lennox School Board talks development to the north, sentinel program

The Lennox School District 41-4 Board of Education held their monthly meeting on Monday, Mar. 12. Two important items on the agenda included talk of future growth and building needs and the discussion on a school sentinel program and crisis management.

The future growth discussion was spurred by a new development of district land northwest of 41st Street and the Tea Ellis road in Sioux Falls. Three hundred acres, east of Wayne Ave., has been purchased by a developer with intentions of building mutli-family homes and single family homes on the land which is part of the Lennox School District.

“Once he starts building those single family homes this could mean anywhere from 600 to 800 kids that could come out of this development down the road,” said Superintendent Chad Conaway. “We are going to have to figure out some space.”

The current Junior High is built for 100 kids per grade level and the High School is fully used.

Earlier in the meeting, Darin Eich noted that 118 kids will attend the kindergarten screening which is one of the highest numbers as of late.

“Even without this happening up north, I think we’ve established our new norm,” said Conaway, a norm that shows class sizes steadily increasing.

With the potential growth up north, Conaway admitted open enrollment is definitely a consideration.

“Just because those kids are going to live there, doesn’t mean they are going to come here,” he said. “Many of them may want to open enroll to Sioux Falls or possibly Tea as they continue to build more schools. Right now what I’m saying is we really hold all the chips in this situation because the laws are in our favor.”

However, he wanted the board to be cautious as they move forward.

“If we sit on it and don’t do anything and that area starts to get developed, you’re going to start getting active voices that are going to want a school up there or start demanding legislators to change the law; that needs to be a consideration,” Conaway added.

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