The Yankton Middle School has a rich history which has molded the lives of many students as they begin their transitions from Elementary to High School from all the way back to 1889. The goals of a middle school are to nurture the development of responsible and thoughtful young teenagers, while creating environments in which students are challenged to explore, to create, to make decisions and to actively participate in and be accountable for their learning so they can contribute to a global society.
The middle school housed students from 7th through 9th grade on Walnut Street for many years until the construction of the current high school. This was known as Central School along with a standalone building which was called the Garfield School. Garfield School also housed the 6th grade students for a period of time as well. After 1975, Garfield was torn down and the middle school housed only 7th and 8th grade students.
In January of 1996 the middle school was move up to our current home at 2000 Mulberry Street for 7th and 8th graders. In 1996 the 6th grade students joined us at Mulberry. Today we have a fabulous facility that meets the needs of our students, teachers, parents, and patrons of our community.
The Yankton Middle School hallways are still filled with pride and tradition of the old high school. Many former YHS students bring their children into the middle school and are in awe at the positive changes the middle school has made in 20 years.
Our school is divided into three grade levels from 6th through 8th grade. As we continue to change with the times, we have different aspects and approaches that are used to reach all students to their highest potential. The modern technology advances have provided an efficient way to communicate and collaborate as a whole to keep each and every child accountable. Failing is not an option at the middle school level. If student do not understand a concept, then it is retaught to understanding. Not doing an assignment is too easy and a way to get out of being accountable for your learning. It is required that students get their assignments done. If they do not then we help them plan for how they need to do it, when they will get it done, and who can help them accomplish this task.
Yankton Middle School has recently allowed students to utilize technology in the classroom. The technology has allowed our teachers to become more innovative in their lessons and the students become more interactive; which allows the teachers to increase the levels of differentiated learning for all of our students.
Academics are not the only thing that we provide for our students at YMS. We have great extracurricular activities that all students are allowed to participate. Some of the activities include: student council, band, orchestra, football, basketball, volleyball, chorus, Science Olympiad, yearbook, Oral Interpretation, track, golf, cross country, wrestling, soccer, math counts, and geography bee.
Yankton Middle School has a long history of academic and activity excellence. We strive to make our middle school the best in South Dakota. At YMS we continue to update and improve all our facilities to meet ADA compliances and the needs of our students, families, teachers, and patrons. The tradition and pride that our community has for Yankton Public Schools is strong and we will need for that support to continue as we provide a firm foundation for a lifetime of success.
Yankton Middle School Principal History
Todd Dvoracek - 2011 to currently
Kathy Wagner - 2007 to 2011
Wayne Kindle - 1995 to 2007
Randy Meade - 1992 to 1995
Don Campbell - 1990 to 1992
Lee Kanago - 1965 to 1990
Emil Vlasak - ? to 1965