The Dakota Valley School District was established July 1, 1994 with 621 students and a valuation of $132 million. Consisting of 29.94 square miles, Dakota Valley was the newest district in the state and was the smallest K-12 district in terms of physical size. Since that first year, the district has seen steady growth in student achievement, enrollment, valuation, and facilities.
In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, North Sioux City and Dakota Dunes were each seeing increases in residential and commercial construction. Dakota Dunes was created in 1988 as a master planned development in the extreme southern portion of Union County. Prior to 1994, North Sioux City, Dakota Dunes, Riv-r-land Estates, Jefferson, and the surrounding rural areas comprised the Jefferson School District.
With the residential growth in the southern portion of the Jefferson School District was resulting in increasing student enrollment. To accommodate the growth and anticipate future facility needs, community members in the Jefferson School District attempted to project future needs. In 1993, the Jefferson School District had a high school in Jefferson, a middle school at McCook Lake, and an elementary school in North Sioux City.
As planning for facilities took place, disagreements over future facility locations and needs resulted in public votes which would result in the Jefferson District being divided in 1994. The northern portion reorganized with Elk Point, to create the Elk Point-Jefferson School District. The Dakota Valley School District was formed from the southern portion of the former Jefferson School District. In establishing the boundaries of the two new school districts, boundary changes resulted in a jagged boundary along the western edges of the districts. At the time of the creation of Dakota Valley, Wynstone did not exist as a development. The creation of Wynsone included land which was in Dakota Valley and other areas which were in Elk Point-Jefferson.
28 years later, Dakota Valley has grown from the initial 621 students to a current enrollment of 1382 students. The district’s valuation has increased from $132 million to $981 million, resulting in a historically decreasing district tax levy.
The middle school’s original rooms were built in 1979, with additions in 1983, 1986, 1996, and Nylen Science Center in 2010. The first Dakota Valley High School was completed in 1996 and is currently the Upper Elementary. The Elementary School was built in 2001. In 2008, the Peterson Fitness Center was completed. In 2009, classroom additions were completed to the high school and elementary school. A new high school was built in 2016 along with substantial upgrades to the athletic stadium. From the district’s creation in 1994, community members have generously donated over $5,000,000 for facility construction and enhancements for our students.
The previous 25 years have resulted in the creation of a school district known for exceptional student achievement, outstanding fine arts programs, consistent athletic accomplishments at the highest levels, and award winning facilities, all accompanied by tremendous community support and generous donors. The history for Dakota Valley’s next 25 years is currently being written with our communities support as our students continue to experience success.