Your Voice Matters, Our Kids Matter
The bond addresses four primary needs: Safety, Facilities, Overcrowding, and Modernization. Explore each need in greater detail by visiting the Why Now page.
In this video, Rapid City Area Schools Facilities Manager Kumar Veluswamy leads a group on a tour of a couple of the District’s older facilities. For contrast, the tour ends with a stop at Corral Drive/Southwest, two RCAS schools that are much newer and in great shape.
This table shows the District’s capacity and utilization from the 2015 study and also from the most recent capacity and utilization study.
In 2015, capacity and utilization at the elementary level was 6,952. Over four years later capacity has decreased.
Why you ask? There are a couple of reasons. The optimal class size or what is referred to as the “loading factor” needed to be changed, particularly at the elementary level. In 2015 there was not a district strategic plan in place. Today, there is a plan with an emphasis on early learning and reading by third grade. To accomplish the District’s strategic plan goals, smaller class sizes are necessary at the elementary level.
Another major factor is the addition of more than 20 special education classrooms over the past ten years. The loading factor (number of students in a classroom) in a special education classroom is less than in a general education classroom. A general education classroom, depending on the grade level, can hold 25 kids whereas a special education classroom typically holds no more than ten students.
The District’s functional capacity at 11 of the 15 elementary schools is at 100 percent or overcapacity right now.