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, February 17, 2020 in the Educational Service Center Board Room.
Committee Members Present: Dr. Paul Gausman, Dr. Kim Buryanek, Mrs. Monique Scarlett, Mr. Dan Greenwell and Mr. Ron Colling
Guests Present: Dr. Brian Burnight, Director of Elementary Education; Mr. Jim Vanderloo, Director of Secondary Education; Mrs. Mandie Mayo, Director of Communications; Dr. Rita Vannatta, Director of Human Resources and Amy Denney, Principal, Perry Creek Elementary and Clark Early Childhood Schools.
Employee Engagement Survey
Mrs. Mandie Mayo presented the results of the 2019-2020 Employee Engagement Survey. The
purpose of the survey is to capture the level of employee engagement, classify engagement and
identify areas of improvement.
The survey was available for employees to complete from October 15 through November 1 of 2019.
Employees were notified of survey availability ahead of time through the newsletter and through
several email invitations while the survey was active. Employee participation increased slightly from 2017-18 to 2019-20, growing from 51% to 53%.
Consistent with survey results from 2017-18, the newest employees showed the highest levels of
engagement, and elementary school employees paralleled those results when looking at district building engagement. Overall, the majority of employees who participated in the survey revealed they are engaged or highly engaged in their work. Additionally, 78% of participants feel the work environment is positive and results indicate an increase in positive responses regarding all items under School Leadership.
The District identified opportunities for improvement after analyzing results from 2017-18, and Mrs.
Mayo spoke to those by sharing how the District has taken steps to improve those areas. Based on
survey results from this year, Mrs. Mayo identified two reoccurring areas and several new areas of
focus. The newest areas of focus include topics such as leadership opportunities, resource and material availability, communication, and opportunities to voice opinions about vital topics and key decisions. Mrs. Mayo briefly discussed how the District might address those challenges as well as continue to improve areas from years past.
The committee acknowledges the results of the 2019-2020 Employee Engagement Survey.
Administrator Compensation Plan Program Review
Dr. Kim Buryanek shared the Administrator Compensation Plan Program Review. The Administrator
Compensation Plan was first approved by the Board of Directors in 2010. The purpose of this program review is to review the design and implementation of current practices and ensure the District is making efforts to retain quality leadership. Research indicates retaining strong leadership has a positive correlation with student achievement and a correlation to teacher turnover rate. The program review aligns with Focus 2022, Goal 3: Attract and Support Highly Effective Teachers, Leaders, and Staff.
The Board of Directors and the steering committee developed seven guiding questions. Dr. Buryanek shared the outcomes related to each question below.
What is the current distribution of salary for administrative bands?
There are 53 administrators that fall within six salary bands. Sixteen salaries fall within the top three bands and 37 fall within the bottom three bands. The lowest salary band range is $76,732 – $103,812 and the highest salary band range is $116,235-$157,260. Although the District’s longevity exceeds national averages, the majority of administrator salaries in the District fall below their respective midpoints.
Do current administrators feel their efforts are rewarded through the Administrator Compensation
A recent survey posed the question to all administrators, “Do you feel you received a raise in the past because your efforts were recognized?” The results indicated 70% of administrators feel their efforts have been rewarded.
Do current administrators feel motivated to work harder because of the Administrator Compensation system?
Recent survey results revealed 64% of administrators indicated they are motivated to work harder
because of the Administrator Compensation Plan.
Do current administrators want the percentage of their raise disclosed to the public annually?
The majority of administrators do not want the percentage of their raise disclosed to the public
annually. Results indicate 90% of administrators answered “no” to the survey question “Do you want the percentage of your raise disclosed to the public annually?” Additionally, district attorney Drew Bracken strongly advises against this practice due to confidentiality concerns.
What processes are in place to ensure proper implementation of the Administrator Compensation Plan?
The District currently follows the steps from the 2010 plan. That process includes the following
sequence: The Superintendent and Directors of Finance and Human Resources work with the Board during the budgeting process to determine the total package increase for administrators; the Finance Director calculates funding available; supervisors submit recommendations for pay based on evaluations via a pay adjustment worksheet; the superintendent reviews, approves or adjusts recommendations; and the approved worksheet is shared with supervisors. The final step involves discussing pay with individuals prior to issuing contracts.
In addition, a thorough historical review of administrator salary increases was conducted. The review shows the administrator group’s total compensation did not exceed the approved percentage increase.
Are administrator’s salaries and benefits comparable to other UEN and neighboring districts?
Dr. Buryanek shared the District ranks 7th out of the eight UEN in regards to assistant principal
salaries, and head principals rank 4th out of eight. Benefits are the least attractive compared to UEN and the closest neighboring district, Sergeant Bluff.
Do current administrators want the current Administrator Compensation program to continue?
Eighty percent of administrators are in favor of keeping the current plan.
The committee acknowledged the program review and recommendations set forth in the report.
Tri-State Compact for CTE
Mr. Jim Vanderloo stated the District is ready to take the next steps for approval of the Tri-State
Compact for Career and Technical Education (CTE) between SCCSD, Dakota Valley School District, and the South Sioux City Community School District. The agreement would allow students from the three districts to participate in CTE classes on a space available basis at the respective locations. Districts will pay the host district the actual cost of classes. If students want to enroll in college courses either the home district or the parent will be responsible for the cost. Dakota Valley and South Sioux City School Boards have approved this agreement.
The committee acknowledged the Tri-State Compact for CTE.
Dr. Brian Burnight shared the proposed plan for the realignment of elementary boundaries in the District. The purpose of the boundary realignment is to balance student capacity in elementary buildings. This topic aligns with Focus 2022 Goal 4: Practice Effective, Efficient, and Sustainable Business Practices.
Following the recommendation of RSP Demographers, whom the District contracted with in 2016, the District has devised a plan for slight boundary adjustments using heat density data from 2015-16 and future projections. Dr. Burnight presented maps outlining proposed boundary changes between Hunt, Irving, and Leeds boundaries, and Leeds and Bryant boundaries. The timing of boundary adjustments aligns with the completion of Hunt and Bryant, and would allow for changes over a period of time.
Families affected by the adjustments would be grandfathered in and do not need to request a transfer. The District transfer policy will still be an option for families if capacity allows.
Additionally, a communication plan will be developed by Mrs. Mandie Mayo and conveyed to
households in the near future. Gradual implementation of the plan is set to begin with kindergarten
registration in 2022.
Dr. Burnight also briefly discussed how the elementary boundary adjustments will impact secondary schools. The District will explore hiring a demographer to study secondary school enrollment.
The committee acknowledged the boundary realignment information.
Transfer Clark Early Childhood Center Kindergarten to Perry Creek Elementary
Dr. Brian Burnight and Ms. Amy Denney brought forth a proposal to move classrooms from Clark
Early Childhood Center to Perry Creek Elementary. Currently, two transitional kindergarten
classrooms and five kindergarten classrooms are located at Clark Early Childhood Center and all of those classrooms would move to Perry Creek Elementary in this proposal.
Ms. Denney and Dr. Burnight outlined many benefits for staff, students, and parents associated with moving the classrooms. Ms. Denney reports the school can create the space for the rooms with assistance from O&M needed to complete minor cosmetic and structural modifications. The District would also have budgetary savings as all grade levels would be housed in one building.
The committee acknowledged the recommendation to transfer transitional kindergarten and
kindergarten classrooms from Clark Elementary to Perry Creek Elementary.
Middle School Proposal
Dr. Paul Gausman presented options for a third party to examine and offer solutions to improve the
culture at West Middle School. He reached out to the SCEA for feedback and after vetting possible
providers, shared two options with committee members. The estimated cost varies from $15,000 to $29,500. Dr. Gausman will use committee feedback from the discussion to make a decision on the matter.