2023 Best Elementary Schools in South Dakota
Learn more about elementary schools in South Dakota
The Complete Guide to Elementary Schools in South Dakota
The state of South Dakota has just over four hundred different elementary schools (411). On a per capita basis, South Dakota actually ranks 2nd in the nation for its abundance of educational options, which is 86% higher than the typical state. That’s an impressive number, but does that mean school quality drops? Not necessarily. The typical elementary school in South Dakota has about 209 students on average, which puts it 45% smaller than the national average. On a positive note though, there’s also about 1-2 more students per teacher in South Dakota as evidenced by the 13:1 student to teacher ratio, which is 7% lower than the national average.
As a whole, the average elementary school in the state earns a B grade, which is equal to the national average. Furthermore, of the 400+ elementary schools, just under half (36%) are rated above average. Even with such low numbers, there’s still 150 above average options out of 411 total - which can still be overwhelming for parents to look through. Narrowing that total down further, if you include only schools that rank in the top 25% of the nation, that total slims to 75.
Are public elementary schools in South Dakota a good option?
South Dakota has 333 total public elementary schools, and nearly all (81%) are traditional public schools or 332 total. That’s fewer than most states but those who want to limit their search to top tier options might want to look elsewhere as just 42% of such schools are rated above the national average. It's worth noting that the typical public school size in South Dakota tends to be smaller than the national average, clocking in at 217 students per school, about 43% below the typical state average.
What is the best public elementary school in South Dakota?
Based in Bonesteel comes South Central Elementary School, ranked as the best public elementary school in South Dakota. With just 42 students and a student to teacher ratio of 5:1, this school has nearly a 64% lower ratio than the typical US elementary school - which can equate to greater attention per student and often lead to better student learning outcomes. South Central Elementary wins out amongst over three thousand other traditional public schools (332) in the state and relatively few (42%) of all such schools are rated above the national average.
Key statistics about charter and magnet elementary schools in South Dakota
Some parents aren't familiar with the advent of magnet schools, specifically targeted schools that aim at very specific domains to help kids gain an even stronger skillset, even earlier in life. In South Dakota, perhaps unsurprisingly due to the limited population, there aren’t many options here - there are no charter schools and just one magnet school option in Jolley Elementary School (no grade or ratings yet available). That leaves parents with few options if they want to consider these non-traditional routes when selecting their child's education.
All you need to know about private elementary schools in South Dakota
South Dakota has 60 total private elementary schools, and despite being such a small number overall compared to other states - this still places South Dakota 12th in terms of per capita availability of private options. The schools earned a beaming B+ grade as a whole. In terms of size, these private schools outperform even their charter and magnet counterparts as they're even smaller than normal - clocking in at 175 students per school on average (54% less than the national average).
Are religious elementary schools a good option?
As with all private school options, parents can be more selective about the influences and instruction their children receive. In terms of religious schools, 87% of the state’s private elementary schools are considered religious. Although this still equates to only 52 religious options scattered throughout the state - South Dakota actually ranks 6th per capita for having religious options for its residents when it comes to its primary educational institutions like elementary school specifically. So although religious options are small in numbers they're still prevalent when placed against other like states. The most common religious leaning school is Christian, with 28 different options scattered throughout the state.
What is the best religious elementary school in South Dakota?
Although Christian schools are by far the most common type of religious leaning educational institution; Freeman Academy located near Freeman is generally considered best religious elementary in the state, or at least one of the best.
Top 25 Best Elementary Schools in South Dakota
Search for the best elementary schools in South Dakota
#1 Best Elementary School in Dakota
South Central Elementary School
#2 Best Elementary School in Dakota
Valley Springs Elementary School
Valley Springs, SD
#3 Best Elementary School in Dakota
Brandon Elementary School
#4 Best Elementary School in Dakota
Canistota Elementary School
#5 Best Elementary School in Dakota
Brandon Valley Intermediate School
#6 Best Elementary School in Dakota
Fred Assam Elementary School
Sioux Falls, SD
#7 Best Elementary School in Dakota
Robert Bennis Elementary School
#8 Best Elementary School in Dakota
Platte-Geddes Elementary School
#9 Best Elementary School in Dakota
Warner Elementary School
#10 Best Elementary School in Dakota
Dakota Valley Elementary School
North Sioux City, SD