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The Deadwood School District was founded in 1886 and the first high school graduation was held in 1886. The Lead School District was founded in 1895 with the first high school graduation being held the same year. The Lead and Deadwood school systems were combined to form the Lead-Deadwood School District in 1971. The district high school has been NCA accredited since 1908.

During the 1970's enrollment peaked at well over 2,500 students. Enrollment averaged approximately 1,275 students per year during the 1900's.

The number of teachers within the district averaged 100 per year during the 1990's. Since 2000, the teaching staff has averaged 85 per year.

The district has four attendance centers including the Lead-Deadwood High School, Career and Technical Education Campus at the Box Elder Job Corps site, Lead-Deadwood Middle School, and the Lead-Deadwood Elementary School. The district presently serves a population of approximately 8,500.

The Lead-Deadwood School District, 40-1, is located in the Black Hills of Western South Dakota, which offers great recreational opportunities of fishing, hunting, snowmobiling, and skiing.