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 Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at noon in the
Educational Service Center Board Room.
Committee Members Present: Dr. Paul Gausman, Dr. Kim Buryanek, Mr. Ron Colling, Dr. Juli
Albert and Ms. Monique Scarlett
Guests Present: Heidi Anthony, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; Katie Towler,
Career Academy Principal; Jim Vanderloo, Director of Secondary Education; Dr. Brian Burnight,
Director of Elementary Education; Leslie Heying, Director of Communications; Dave Vickery,
V.I.B.E. Academy Principal; Travis Monk, V.I.B.E. Academy Science Teacher; Barbara Vail,
V.I.B.E. Academy Elementary Teacher; Cindy Joffer, V.I.B.E. Academy ELA Teacher
Career and Technical Education (CTE) Advisory Committee
Katie Towler presented the 2021-22 school year CTE Advisory Committee update. The CTE
Advisory Committee is composed of community members from the business industry who advise and support the District in offering CTE programs. The Iowa Department of Education requires the
committee to meet at least twice each academic year.
The partnership with community members plays an important role in ensuring students are prepared for the workforce or post-secondary education through providing internships, job shadowing, building tours, and classroom presentations. The partnership also ensures the District is using the most relevant curriculum and teaching the current skills for all pathways.
The focus of the committee for the 2021-22 school year will include enrollment and retention, refining current programs, exploring new pathways for the future, and expanding community partnerships. The list of members provided is current, however, Ms. Towler anticipates additional members will be added prior to the start of the 2021-22 school year.
The committee acknowledged the CTE Advisory Committee update for 2021-22.
Building Fact Fluency Kits
Heidi Anthony presented a request for funding for Building Fact Fluency Teacher Kits. This aligns
with Focus 2022 Goal 1: Provide Relevant, Rigorous, and Innovative Academics and Goal 3: Attract
and Support Highly Effective Teachers, Leaders, and Staff. The request was previously approved by the Board Finance and Facilities Committee.
The kits focus on strategy development and student’s ability to retain knowledge as they move
through grade levels. Each kit includes physical and digital materials that will allow teachers to utilize the materials for both in-person instruction and virtual instruction. The kits were developed by Graham Fletcher, a well-respected elementary and middle school math specialist. Elementary
curriculum teams preferred these fluency kits because of the range of content and versatility.
Ms. Anthony shared examples of a ‘Lesson String’ that included image talks, word problems,
contextualized practices, and games included in the kits. The kits also include professional learning videos that include teaching techniques, formative assessment techniques, and gameplay examples. Additionally, Graham Fletcher is scheduled to deliver professional development and collaboration in July. All elementary teachers agreed to use the kits for 10-15 minutes per day 3-5 times per week.
The committee acknowledged the request to purchase Building Fact Fluency Teacher Kits.
Virtual School Discussion
Dr. Kim Buryanek led a discussion with the committee members regarding possibilities for a permanent and temporary virtual school location. With ESSER III funding now available, the District is considering a proposal to the Board to use ESSER III funds. While the permanent location is under construction, the District will also request funds be used for a temporary location.
The need for virtual teachers to have their own individual space and team space became apparent
during the 2020-21 school year. Several V.I.B.E. Academy teachers attested to the hardships
experienced during last year. Virtual teachers were located in different buildings across the District, which made it difficult to collaborate with planning, writing curriculum, or deliver and receive basic information. They noted that consistency within one building, with one principal, would build a sense of community. Students would have access to interventions and teachers and staff would have quick access to one another or, in the event of an equipment or software malfunction, the technology department would be readily available. Additionally, virtual teachers tried sharing space last year for a trial period but determined it was more of a distraction for both students and teachers.
The District believes in the virtual model of synchronous instruction. The District has the option to
rent space in the Ho-Chunk building to accommodate virtual teachers’ individual spaces while
allowing virtual teachers to be in one location. Renting the space would be temporary but is also
flexible, in that it can be rented on a month-to-month basis. Committee members were allowed to tour the spaces available. Dr. Buryanek asked that committee members consider this discussion for the eventual request for funding.