Board Student Achievement Committee Minutes – June 1, 2020

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, June 1, 2020 in the Educational Service Center Board Room and via Microsoft Teams.

Committee Members Present: Dr. Paul Gausman, Dr. Kim Buryanek, Mr. Dan Greenwell, Mrs.
Monique Scarlett (virtual), and Mr. Ron Colling

Guests Present: Jen Gomez, Director of Student Services and Equity Education, and Dr. Rita
Vannatta, Director of Human Resources

EEO / Affirmative Action Plan

Dr. Rita Vannatta and Jen Gomez presented the District’s EEO/Affirmative Action Plan. The plan is
updated yearly and formally shared every two years. The Department of Education lists the following required components that must be included in the plan:

  • Board Policies
  • Quantitative Analysis
  • Quantitative Goals
  • Qualitative Analysis
  • Qualitative Goals

The goal of the plan is to create and cultivate an inclusive school culture for employees and students of the District. Collaboration, opportunities for professional development and focusing on student’s unique differences and cultural characteristics are current practices the District uses to facilitate inclusivity amongst staff and students.

The data measuring diversity for both staff and students reveals that student diversity is much greater than staff diversity within the District. In the state of Iowa, 99% of teachers are white compared to 80% nationally. The District has increased the staff minority presence, slightly, over the years to 9% and acknowledges the continued need to do so at all levels within the District.

The committee discussed extending the reach to larger cities when recruiting teachers and making
efforts to establish relationships with historically black universities and higher education institutions with more diversity. Ms. Jen Gomez stated that encouraging minority students within our own district to pursue the education pathway is an emphasis. Additionally, recruiting more male elementary teachers is a focus for the District.

The committee acknowledged the EEO/Affirmative Action Plan.

Return-to-Learn Plan

Dr. Kim Buryanek shared an update on the Return-to-Learn Plan and the progress she has made over the last few weeks. She is developing the plan by gaining feedback through meetings with various focus groups that include, staff, students and parents. She explained the requirements of the plan, which is due by July 1, and sought feedback from the Board Student Achievement Committee as another focus group. The three methods of educational delivery discussed were, required continuous learning, hybrid learning and on-site delivery. She explained that with every group, the format has been a small presentation and open discussion, sharing ideas and thoughts about all components of learning for students. The District will also consider guidance from the CDC when finalizing the Return-to-Learn plan.

Required continuous learning can consist of online learning, paper packets, or other methods. Hybrid learning is a combination of required continuous learning and on-site learning. On-site learning is traditional learning in a building. All methods would require student participation and taking attendance. Students would also be graded and earn credit for their completed work. With all three methods, IEP teams must determine how to provide education for students on an IEP.

Committee members engaged in discussion about each method covering topics including connectivity, alternative student and staff schedules, subject areas taught, health and safety of staff and students, the increased need for training in technology for students and teachers, and the need for a common platform for delivery of instruction. Members also discussed ideas on how to communicate with parents and students when the plan is complete. Additionally, members acknowledged the fluidity of the situation and expect that adjustments will be made throughout the year.

Dr. Buryanek will present the final plan to the Board of Directors on June 22, 2020.