Minnesota family moves to Sioux Falls for children’s education

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Published: Mar. 11, 2021 at 7:58 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) -South Dakota realtors have seen an interesting trend since the start of the pandemic. More people from out-of-state are showing interest in calling South Dakota their new home.

One family just moved from Minnesota to Sioux Falls. They say their decision came down to their children’s education.

After visiting Sioux Falls for a work trip, Tony and Ali Gabriel decided they wanted to retire here someday. That plan was fast-tracked by the pandemic, which closed schools and brought on the challenge of distance learning.

“Their anxiety was rising and their grades were not good and they were getting frustrated and we were getting frustrated too at home. And neither Tony, my husband or I were equipped to teach them,” said Ali Gabriel.

Their three girls, Nora, Nina, and Noelle were receiving some level of special education services, which didn’t translate well to an online format.

“Our kids had some wonderful, wonderful special education teachers there who advocated for them and fought for them and were on our side to try to get our kids back in school, but it just fell short. It just wasn’t enough, it wasn’t their fault,” said Gabriel.

So the couple began looking for schools outside of Minnesota that offered a traditional classroom setting. They found a home in the Harrisburg School District.

“It’s going great. They love school, they are meeting friends and getting involved in sports and activities. That was another thing that we weren’t doing a lot of in Minnesota too. So it’s been really good for not only their education but their emotional well-being as well,” said Gabriel.

Sioux Falls realtors are seeing more families like the Gabriel’s.

“We have tremendous family-oriented, business-oriented resources and experiences here. So our community has done a lot to make this a viable and exciting and wonderful place to be raising families,” said Anne Nelson, Realtor at Jamison Real Estate.

Nelson says that nearly 600 families have moved into Sioux Falls since the pandemic, about 10 percent of homebuyers. That number is only expected to continue growing.

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