Sioux Falls School Board & Administration: Vote against the consolidation of Jefferson, Longfellow, and Mark Twain.
  • Petitioned Douglas C. Morrison

This petition was delivered to:

President, Sioux Falls School Board
Douglas C. Morrison
Vice President, Sioux Falls School Board
Julie A. Westra
Member, Sioux Falls School Board
Kent Alberty
Member, Sioux Falls School Board
Kate Parker
Member, Sioux Falls School Board
Todd Thoelke
Superintendent, Sioux Falls Schools
Dr. Pamela J. Homan

Sioux Falls School Board & Administration: Vote against the consolidation of Jefferson, Longfellow, and Mark Twain.

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    2. Petition by

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      Sioux Falls, SD

 

The Jefferson, Longfellow, and Mark Twain neighborhood schools are an asset in the educational system. We value their size, their presence in the neighborhood, and their architectural character. Smaller school populations have been shown to improve:

 

·      parent and community involvement

 

·      
bonding between teachers and students 


 

·      the sense of belonging

 

·      
attendance 


 

·      student performance and involvement 


 

·      safety

 

In addition, smaller schools allow faculty and staff to rely more on personal relationships and less on rigid rules because they know all of the students well. As the student body grows this becomes difficult and eventually impossible.

 

Many residents of these neighborhoods selected their homes because of these small schools.  We consider their size and location an asset to the neighborhood and our children's education.  Removing these schools and dramatically increasing the resulting school size by 2-3 times is not what we want for our children, our neighborhoods or our lifestyles. 

 

Furthermore, when our downtown is thriving and becoming more and more vibrant it makes no sense to weaken neighborhoods adjacent to it by removing these key institutions that keep these neighborhoods attractive and viable for families.

 

Finally, these buildings - though needing various levels of physical improvements - are not remotely close to a state that justifies sun setting or destruction.

 

In conclusion, Mark Twain should not be destroyed, Longfellow and Jefferson should not be closed or destroyed and the three schools should not be consolidated into one new building at the Mark Twain site.

 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 250 signatures
    2. Nov 4 Argus Leader Commentary from Mayor and Others

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      Petition Organizer

      Former City Council member and state Rep. Mary Glenski cautioned that school consolidation has an adverse effect on neighborhoods, and single-family residences often are converted to rental housing where schools are closed.

      Huether admitted he has concerns about Sioux Falls Public Schools possibly closing Longfellow and Jefferson elementary schools and replacing Mark Twain Elementary with a new, larger school.

      But he said of city officials, “we don’t control Sioux Falls Public Schools. I don’t want to. But I do think we should have a voice and influence them.”

      Problems, progress noted in core neighborhoods

      At the first Mayor's Neighborhood Summit a year ago, Mayor Mike Huether and city leaders in broad strokes identified challenges with maintaining neighborhood integrity and improving declining neighborhoods near Sioux Falls' core. The second summit, Saturday at the Orpheum Theater, was an opportunity to review promises kept in addressing those challenges while acknowledging the effort in neighborhoods such as Pettigrew Heights and All Saints Historic District is ongoing.

    3. KSFY Interview

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      Petition Organizer

      Man starts petition to stop SF elementary school changes

      After the Sioux Falls School District's proposal to consolidate three of its elementary schools, one man is trying to stop it. Last Wednesday, superintendent Homan recommended a consolidation of three of its elementary schools closing Jefferson, Longfellow and Mark Twain, in order to re-build one big school on the Mark Twain site.

    4. KSFY Airing This Story at 10pm Tonight (Tuesday)

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      Petition Organizer

      Please tune in!

    5. Reached 100 signatures
    6. Mark Twain PTA Meeting Tonight at 7pm at Mark Twain

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      Petition Organizer

      The Mark Twain PTA is meeting tonight and while many items are on the agenda, one of them is discussion about the possible consolidation. Please attend if you can.

    7. KELO Interview

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      Petition Organizer

      I've been asked to do an interview with KELO this afternoon (Tuesday the 13th). Watch for it this evening.

    8. Today's Argus Story

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      Petition Organizer

      Hundreds object to closing schools

      Hundreds have signed petitions or written to the Sioux Falls School Board objecting to a plan to consolidate three elementary schools into one. Some want to save Longfellow, Mark Twain and Jefferson for their architectural value. Others say the schools, each with less than 300 students, provide a better learning environment than a new larger elementary would, or are anchors for their neighborhoods.

    9. Argus Leader Reader Poll on Issue

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      by D A
      Petition Organizer

      Poll: Do you think the SF School Board should move forward with consolidation?

      The Sioux Falls School Board is considering a plan that would consolidate Longfellow, Mark Twain and Jefferson elementary schools into one, 600-student school on the Mark Twain site. A new Spanish immersion school would be built in northwest Sioux Falls. Full story. Do you think the schools should be consolidated?

    10. Argus Leader Story on Tuesday!

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      Petition Organizer

      I've been informed that the Argus is running a story on this issue on Tuesday. I believe it will be on the front page. Please read it and make supportive comments online at the Argus. And please keep reaching out to others. We have 57 signatures; we need many more!

    11. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Malina Haak SIOUX FALLS, SD
      • almost 2 years ago

      I went to Mark Twain and I would be extremely upset at the destruction of 3 schools for a big one. I just hope enough people will have a brain and this plan will not go through.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Matt Gage SIOUX FALLS, SD
      • almost 2 years ago

      Build my home and picked my area of town ( Mark Twain Area ) To have my kids at small school since we were at a large school as proposed by the vote.

      Small is better kids should be not a number but a name to all staff with over 600 kids that will not happen...

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Tanya Montgomery SIOUX FALLS, SD
      • almost 2 years ago

      I am a 3rd generation resident of the McKennan Park Area

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Joan Cota SIOUX FALLS, SD
      • almost 2 years ago

      Being a Realtor for over 30 years, I can tell you how important neighborhood schools are, particularly preserving the older neighborhood schools. Having a neighborhood school is important to the residents and makes it part of it's own community. Property values could suffer if this plan takes place. Please look at the long term effects of this important decision and preserve what we have rather than just considering the cost of renovation. Please renovate the existing schools so these areas continue to be desirable places to live.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Mark Perry SIOUX FALLS, SD
      • almost 2 years ago

      We bought our property next to Longfellow for a reason. We expected the school to be there for many years to come and be a good nieghbor and nieghborhood school. This school is esscential for maintaining property values in the area. If this school is closed/destroyed, rental properties will take over the neighboorhood and decrease our property values significantly. The school board should be taking a slower approach to allow more input into this long term decision. It appears that this item is becoming someone's personnal agenda item without regard to the nieghborhood and the people that live here. School board, put yourselves in the property owners shoes and make this decision! How would you like someone that doesn't even live in the area determining the fate of your neighboorhood. I believe this is a classic case of the property owners in this area having taxation without adequate representation. Please listen to the people most impacted by this vote. At least a delay to study this further should be considered! mlp

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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