Brandon Valley to close elementary school

Brandon Valley School District
Brandon Valley School District(Cordell Wright)
Published: Oct. 5, 2023 at 9:12 AM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - One of Brandon Valley’s five elementary schools will close next year in order to cut costs within the district.

The plan for Brandon Valley was always to close Valley Springs Elementary, but not until the new East-side Elementary opened in 2025. This year, however, the school district did not meet expectations for student growth, which put some constraints on the school district’s budget.

Brandon Valley Superintendent Jarod Larson shared the update with parents and staff through an explanatory video.

The Brandon Valley School District planned and budgeted for a growth of 165 students in the 2023-2024 academic year, but only grew by 35 students. This means that the district is 130 students short, which results in a lower ‘per student allocation’ from the state.

The district originally planned for a $493,000 deficit, but with fewer students, that deficit is actually around $1,419,900.

In order to combat this deficit, the district has found general fund expenditure reductions by leaving vacant positions unfilled and eliminating “two extra paid days” from teacher contracts. Also included in the plans to reduce the deficit is closing Valley Springs Elementary early at the end of this school year.

The East-side Elementary School opening will be also be delayed a year until the fall of 2026.

Students from Valley Spring will attend Brandon Elementary for the 2024-2025 and 2025-2026 school years. When the East-side Elementary opens, Valley Springs students will then switch over.