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As Population Grows, Roosevelt High School is Planning Ahead

Sioux Falls School District

Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls is seeing record enrollment this year. Principal Tim Hazlett says since opening in the early 90’s, the school’s population has doubled to more than 2,300 students.

 Principal Hazlett explains that a population shift to the west side of Sioux Falls is one reason for the continued growth at Roosevelt High School. He says there are increasing business and affordable living options west of Interstate 29.

“I don’t realize it all the time but west of the interstate would be the third largest city in South Dakota, and that’s of course where Roosevelt lands," he says. "And so there’s a lot of population there that’s all in our boundary area.”

Classroom sizes remain the same for now, but every room is full during every period. Hazlett says this is the last year the school will not have to find creative solutions to space issues.

He says district lines need redrawn in order to take advantage of some additional spaces in the area, and he understands that’s an emotional issue for many. With the referendum to fund construction of new schools up for a vote in September, Principal Hazlett says administrators want to know what the community really wants.

“I would hate to have people assume that the vote was gonna pass or not pass and just not vote because they make an assumption, and you don’t get a true read of what the community really wants," he explains. "So, getting out and voting is the most important thing and we’ll have to see where we go from there. Because even if it were to pass, we’re talking two or three years out for a new high school and we still have to look at some solutions for our population.”

Hazelett says one possible solution is offering classes before and after regular school hours. Another is adopting auditorium style classes, which might also prepare some students for what they’ll see in college.

He says no matter the outcome of the September 18th referendum, he and his staff are committed to serving the needs of their students and community.