Your Voice Matters, Our Kids Matter
Welcome to rcasfuture.org, and thank you for visiting. On this website you will find important facts regarding the bond, information pertaining to specific schools, and a property tax calculator to help determine what the cost of the bond would be for you.
Please attend one of our upcoming presentations or tours to learn more about the bond and to see the state of our facilities first hand.
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.
Children with special needs in the RCAS District face many obstacles when trying to access classrooms and restrooms in many of the older facilities. This also affects how capacity is determined in each school, and why we can’t simply just transfer students to where there might appear to be room.
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-plus special education classrooms in 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.