School board reviews data for attendance center boundaries


The Tea Area school board met Dec. 10 and reviewed maps and projections in the start of their discussion on setting up new attendance center boundaries.

Superintendent Jennifer Lowery reported to the board growth projections for the district, current map analysis of students and current development growth.

She noted that the average growth has been 80 students per year, but the last four years it has been closer to 100 per year. This school year, the district has 1,906 students. Lowery said with the current class size average for ninth, 10th and 11th grade at 150 students to determine class AA classification in the state, the district would likely be in the AA bracket in the 2021-22 or 2022-23 school year.

Lowery, along with business manager Chris Esping and operations manager Wayne Larsen, looked 56 maps for the district from the South Eastern Council of Governments (SECOG). Those maps broke down where students in kindergarten through 11th grade live.

They also analyzed where developers have plans over the next five years. If all of the areas discussed get developed as planned, the estimate is an additional 927 students over the next five years, which the board feels is conservative and higher than the 100 students per year estimate they were using.

Lowery will likely be seeking public input sometime after the January school board meeting.

Under conflict disclosures, Lowery received notice that she has been asked to teach online courses for future administrators during non-contract hours for the spring semester for the University of South Dakota. The district has student teachers from USD but she will not be teaching any of them. The board approved it, with Kristen Daggett absent and Todd Irvine voting in opposition.

Esping reviewed the capitalization change in Policy DID - Inventories. The board approved the second reading. She also suggested transferring the pension funds to the general fund because there is no longer a pension levy and they no longer pay early retirement benefits. The board approved the transfer in the amount of $47,656.93.

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