Board Student Achievement Committee Minutes – August 19, 2019

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, August 19, 2019, in the
Educational Service Center Board Room.

Committee Members Present: Dr. Paul Gausman, Dr. Kim Buryanek, Mrs. Mickey Nelson, and
Mr. Ron Colling

Committee Members Absent: Mrs. Jackie Warnstadt

Guests Present: None

Student of the District

Dr. Paul Gausman, Superintendent, presented Superintendent as a Student of the District, a
summary of what he learned from students and staff after visiting schools during the 2018-2019
school year. His goals were to listen, learn new components, and renew his commitment to the
staff, students, and community as he begins his second decade with the District. This is the second
phase of his three-part journey. During 2017-18, he traveled to schools and met with only staff to
discuss the same questions and the last phase will take place this year where he will meet with
parents and guardians.

The following questions were asked when meeting with students and staff:

  • What is going well in your building or department?
  • What are your greatest celebrations?
  • What are the greatest challenges in your building or department?
  • What would you do in the short-term if you were the Superintendent of schools, to make this building or department stronger?

At the recommendation of staff, Dr. Gausman was able to implement some changes to address
challenges brought to the forefront by staff over the last two years. The District, with the help of the
AEA, added counselors and provided training to address mental health challenges. Math goals and
assessments were added, after such focus on reading proficiency, and technology devices were
increased at the elementary level with secondary schools receiving new devices. The District also
addressed safety concerns with improved training for students, providing a refresher course for staff, and redesigning some building entryways. Overall, staff is pleased with the progress and they have high regard for the District’s #Future Ready program, the Career Academy, Positive Behavior
Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and acknowledged teamwork demonstrated amongst all staff.

Dr. Gausman met with secondary students who expressed high regard for the Career Academy and would like to see more pathways added. Additionally, students value learning in a neutral location with their peers from other districts and schools. Students also value Open Response and
recommended changes to the program, which the District plans to use some recommendations to
tweak the program in time. They appreciate the advances in technology, the work done to ease the
transition from middle school to high school, and vaping and substance abuse education. An area of concern for them, parking, was partially addressed with the addition of space in some locations. The District changed the software for college career readiness and addressed the concern of consistency with building leaders by adjusting staff assignments at West Middle School and West High School.

While meeting with elementary students, Dr. Gausman learned they really enjoy using technology
as a learning tool. The upper elementary students appreciate the work done to ease the transition
from elementary school to middle school. Elementary students also expressed value in the Arts
programs, appreciation for the foodservice teams, pride in their community service efforts, and
opportunities for field trips.

Students as a whole feel diversity is a strength, feel safe in school, appreciate the staff, and acknowledge growth in reading proficiencies but look forward to math initiatives.

The District is one of Siouxland’s largest employers and looks to return the investment to the
community through various avenues. The District uses tax resources responsibly and continues to
provide advanced programs for student engagement and achievement by offering elementary
specialty schools, seven newly acquired IB Candidate schools, and continued growth in Career
Academy pathways and preschool initiatives.

The committee acknowledged Superintendent as a Student of the District. Dr. Gausman will
present Superintendent as a Student of the District at the August 26, 2019, School Board meeting.