District Mission: The Sioux City Community School District exists to educate students to believe in their talents and skills, achieve academic excellence, and succeed in reaching their potential.
Facilitator: Dr. Kim Buryanek
The Board Student Achievement Committee (SAC) met on Monday, April 20, 2020, in the Educational Service Center Board Room.
Committee Members Present: Dr. Paul Gausman, Dr. Kim Buryanek, Mr. Dan Greenwell, Mr. Ron
Colling and Mrs. Monique Scarlett (virtual)
Guests Present: Jen Gomez, Director of Student Services and Equity Education; Jim Vanderloo,
Director of Secondary Education; Dr. Brian Burnight, Director of Elementary Education; and John
Pritchard, Director of Technology
Title VI Indian Education Grant Application
Ms. Jen Gomez shared an update about the Title IV Indian Education Grant Application process and its purpose. The grant is a Federal grant intended to address academic needs through improving graduation and attendance rates for American Indian and Alaska Native students. The District applies for the grant yearly and the number of students who complete an Indian Student Eligibility Certification Form determines the grant amount. In order to complete the grant application process, the District must also set a public hearing before the Board, and host a meeting with the Title VI Indian Education Program Advisory Committee.
The grant allows the District to provide educational equity liaisons who serve at the middle and high schools along with tutors who serve at Hunt Elementary, Liberty Elementary, and Loess Hills
Elementary schools. Tutors are placed in elementary schools with the highest population of Native
American students. In addition to academic needs, liaisons and tutors provide mentoring services,
home visits and assist families in finding family support services. The grant supported 633 students in 2019-20 and will support 588 students in 2020-21.
Ms. Gomez did not have the student achievement data from past years available but will share that
information with the Board. She also shared staff adjustments were made this year to provide more
consistency for students with hopes to see improvements in student achievement in the future.
The committee acknowledged the information and the request to set a public hearing.
Class Size Review
Mr. Jim Vanderloo presented information about the District’s average class sizes based on first-semester enrollment in 2019-20. This class size review includes core classes and exploratory classes for middle school and high school levels. Although class sizes at all levels compared to other UEN districts, the District recognizes the importance of lowering student: teacher ratios. This process assisted in determining a recommendation for additional staff when finalizing the FY2022 budget.
Middle school class sizes average between 27 to 29 students. By adding 13 teachers at the middle
school level next year, the class size average will be at or below 26 students in core classes. Most
classrooms also have another adult present in the room in addition to the teacher, but additional staff were not part of the calculation when determining averages.
Elementary class sizes average between 22 to 26 students. The District recommends adding seven teachers at the elementary level. Five of those seven teachers would be placed as kindergarten teachers, bringing the average kindergarten class size to below 20. The other two teachers would be placed where the need is the greatest. Dr. Brian Burnight shared the District is planning to add a kindergarten classroom at Nodland Elementary where class sizes are expected to grow.
High school class sizes average between 16 to 26 students. Mr. Vanderloo pointed out the Career
Academy core class size averages are lower than anticipated as a result of accommodating student schedules. Teachers who teach core classes will move back to their respective high schools to provide more support at high schools next year. Student schedules may need to be altered to balance class sizes at the respective locations. The District recommends adding five teachers at the high school level next year to improve class size averages.
Elective class size averages at East High School are higher than the other two high schools due to
student participation in Fine Arts. Mr. Vanderloo stated most students are enrolled in multiple fine
arts courses, thus driving up the average class sizes. There is fluctuation at all levels due to transfers that occur throughout the year.
The committee acknowledged the Class Size Review presentation.
CTE Advisory Committee
Mr. Vanderloo shared an update about the Career and Technical Education Advisory Committee,
whose primary role is to advise and support the District in offering CTE courses. The committee
meeting previously scheduled for this year was cancelled due to the pandemic but will be rescheduled for a future date. The committee is required to meet to remain in compliance with Perkins funding that follows CTE courses.