Summit Seizes Chance to Enhance School District

With just under 150 students enrolled in the district, Summit may be one of the smaller schools in South Dakota, but it’s undergoing some big changes, which are having an immense impact.

The district undertook building project to add a more than 25,000 square foot addition to the school’s existing facility. The new addition includes a new basketball and volleyball court with seating to accommodate about 870 people, four locker rooms, a new music room, a new reception center and superintendent’s office, spacious commons seating area outside the gymnasium, which also hosts a concession stand, storage closets, and restrooms and community wellness center.

“After a handful of state titles and state appearances in basketball, it will be a bittersweet sentiment leaving behind the old gym, which is filled with many great memories from the past decades,” Superintendent Kurt Jensen said.

“However, the seating of the new facility will be a welcome change, as will be the comfort of the overall facility.”

Throughout the building planning and construction phases of the new addition, the school also remained focused on its commitment to the community and its families.

Last summer, the school partnered with South Dakota CANS and through a grant sponsored by the Rural Child and Poverty Nutrition Center, was able to offer lunch during the summer months to children in the community.

Anybody, from ages 1-18, was welcome to a free lunch at the school during that time and this summer the school will be continuing the partnership and will also serve free breakfast to the same age group.

“The school saw tremendous enrollment in the program last summer, which exceeded its expectations, and have no reason to believe that it will not be just as popular this coming summer,” Jensen said.

The school district was also awarded a $150,000 21st Century Community Learning Center grant last summer designed to fund an out-of-school time program for students.

“The program launched in the fall and is going remarkably well with high student participation enrollment,” Jensen said.

During the school year, students involved in the after school program participate in opportunities, which include arts and crafts, mathematics, vocabulary, Spanish, community service, cooking, exercise and more.

Beginning this summer, students can participate in the summer enrichment program offered, which is designed to promote retention of what they learned throughout the school year, while fostering the further development of social skills. Both the after school program and summer enrichment program offer fun-filled field trips throughout the year.

“Although Summit is a small town in a small district, the school and community are excited and grateful for the big things on the horizon and the big things in store for them in the future,” Jensen said.