Board Student Achievement Committee Minutes – November 4, 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, November 4, 2019 in the
Educational Service Center Board Room.

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

Guests Present: Heidi Anthony, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment

Modified Supplemental Amount for At-Risk/Dropout Prevention

Dr. Kim Buryanek shared the proposed levy amount of $3,733,605 the District will request for the
Modified Supplemental Amount for At-Risk/Dropout Prevention for the 2020-21 school year. The
funds are used for students who are at risk of dropping out of school and for students who have
dropped out and returned. The maximum amount available from year to year is set by the State and
the amount requested depends on a number of variables, including enrollment and carryover funds. The following programs are supported by these funds:

  • Alternative Programs
  • School Within a School
  • i-JAG
  • Academic Supports
  • Graduation Coaches
  • Juvenile Court Liaisons
  • School Resource Officers
  • Transition Support Program
  • Credit Recovery
  • Mental Health Services
  • Mentoring

Since the implementation of these programs, the District’s graduation and dropout rates have moved in positive directions. In the last decade, the four-year graduation rate was lowest in 2007-08 at 78.04% and peaked at 87.10% in 2012-13. Since 2012-13, the District’s graduation rate has
remained steady and is currently at 85.15%. The dropout rate has shown equally positive strides
with a high of 6.67% in 2007-08 and in the year 2013-14 saw the lowest rate of 1.85%. The District’s current rate is 2.16%.

The District has implemented many of the recommendations since the last At-Risk program review,
such as Saturday school and an after-school tutoring program at the high schools. In an effort to
further improve the graduation and dropout rates, administrators analyzed the data from the
program review again and identified an additional student population that could use support. The District will reallocate funds from both high school and middle school summer school programs to
provide after-school tutoring at middle schools, Saturday school for middle schools, and hire an
intervention specialist for each high school. The intervention specialist will identify At-Risk
students who do not meet the criteria for attendance or behavior interventions, but are in need of
academic supports. The District hopes to close the gap for both graduation and dropout rates
through the identification process and providing support for these students.

The committee acknowledged the request for funding.

Student Achievement Update

Ms. Heidi Anthony shared the results for the 2018-19 student achievement data, explained each
measure, and described how the data is interpreted on the visual displays. The update aligns with
Focus 2022 Goal 1: Provide Relevant, Rigorous and Innovative Academics, and Goal 2: Provide
Safe, Healthy, and Supportive Learning Environments. The Student Achievement Update included
the following points of data used to measure student achievement:

  • FAST Literacy (Formative Assessment System for Teachers)
  • District Common Assessments
  • Attendance
  • Graduation Rate/Dropout Data
  • ACT
  • NCRC (National Career Readiness Certificate)
  • ISASP (Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress)

The FAST assessment is given to grades K-5 in the fall, winter, and spring. Proficiency is set by the
state and for the 2018-19 school year, the cut score increased from prior years. When comparing
spring scores for 2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19, the data presented shows a decrease in proficiency for kindergarten and second-grade students, while first-grade and fourth-grade student scores remained the same. Third-grade and fifth-grade students showed growth in their proficiency. When averaging scores across grade levels, scores increased from years 2016-17 to 2017-18 and remained the same at 68% in years 2017-18 and 2018-19.

When comparing cohort data for 2017-18 and 2018-19, first grade and second-grade students
showed a decline in proficiency, while third, fourth, and fifth-grade students showed increases in

The District Common Assessments are developed by curriculum teams of teachers and test students in each content area. The elementary scores reflect consistency for the last three years with scores remaining at 80%. Middle school showed a decrease from 85% to 75% from 2017-18 to 2018-19, which could be attributed to higher expectations for assessments, specifically math. Likewise, high school scores decreased slightly from 66% in 2018-17 to 64% in 2018-19. Ms. Anthony noted high school math and Spanish assessments contained more rigor as well.

The attendance rate data revealed that all elementary grades maintained an attendance rate of 95%, with kindergarten at exactly 95%, and grades 1-5 slightly above 95%. Middle school attendance has remained consistent over the last four years. Sixth and seventh-grade attendance is meeting the goal of 95%, with eighth grade falling slightly below the goal at 94.5%. High school attendance declined slightly from the previous year in all grades levels except grade 9 where it maintained at 94.7%

The four-year graduation rate for the District is at 85.51%. The District is fourth when comparing
the eight UEN districts in the state. The state of Iowa average graduation rate is 91.41%.

The District dropout rate is currently 2.16% and has remained near 2% for the last four years.
When comparing the eight UEN districts, SCCSD is fourth. The state average dropout rate is

The number of students taking the ACT test increased from the previous year, representing the highest number of students in the last five years. All juniors now have the ability to take the exam, as it is offered in school, eliminating barriers for students who may not have had the opportunity to take the exam in previous years. The average subtest and composite ACT scores for the District revealed an increase for graduating seniors in 2018 and a slight decrease for graduating seniors in 2019. Ms. Anthony noted that scores across the State and nation are trending downward when looking at the last three years.

The National Career Readiness Certificate is not required but is a useful tool in gauging career readiness. Seniors who complete the exam are awarded a platinum, gold, silver or bronze certificate. In 2019, 63% of seniors who completed the test were awarded a certificate. Ms. Anthony explained that due to the embargo, the ISASP data could not be released to the public yet.

Ms. Anthony is planning to talk about the information at the next Board meeting scheduled for November 11, 2019. All students tested in the spring of 2019 and results were released to districts today, November 4. In the future, results should be available about a week after the test is delivered for those who take the test online.

Ms. Anthony also shared the distinct differences between the 2019 ISASP and tests from years prior. Due to the changes, test scores from previous years cannot be reasonably compared to the 2019 scores.

The Board Student Achievement Committee acknowledged the Student Achievement Update.