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 16, 2020, in the
Educational Service Center Board Room.
Committee Members Present: Dr. Paul Gausman, Dr. Kim Buryanek, Mr. Dan Greenwell, Ms.
Monique Scarlett, and Mr. Ron Colling
Guests Present: Katie Towler, Principal, Career Academy; Richard Todd, Principal, East High
School; Jim Vanderloo, Director of Secondary Education; Cindy Foland, Teacher, West High School; Maria Ruelas, Principal, Irving Elementary; Dr. Brian Burnight, Director of Elementary Education; Amy Denney, Principal, Perry Creek Elementary
2021-2022 New Courses
Katie Towler shared information about new courses offered at the Career Academy for the 2021-22
school year. The District is adding four additional courses, one course each in the Agriculture and
Biomedical Science pathways, and two in the Education pathway. Participation in these three
pathways is steady and based on labor market analysis in the area, there is a demand for employment in these fields. The additional courses are, Wildlife Ecology (Agriculture), Medical Interventions (Biomedical Science), Educational Psychology and Technology in the Classroom (Education).
Wildlife Ecology and Medical Interventions are yearlong courses and students receive high school
credit when completed. Educational Psychology and Technology in the Classroom are one semester each and students earn college credits that are transferable into the Education program at select area colleges. There are startup costs associated with the additional courses for training for teachers, textbooks, supplies and equipment. Most of the costs would be funded through the PD budget and Perkins funding.
Richard Todd discussed additional math and science courses to be offered in 2021-22 at high schools. College Algebra is a one-semester course and meets the entry-level math requirement at most four-year colleges. The cost to add this course is minimal with textbooks as the main expense. Each high school has a qualified teacher. College Chemistry I and II are semester-long courses that meet the entry-level science requirement at most four-year colleges. The District is checking on qualified teachers for the science courses.
The additional math and science courses provide students who are moving on to a four-year college the opportunity to earn those credits while in high school at no cost to them. Committee members discussed the demand for all additional courses, where courses would be located, and potential adjustments to courses offered if sections were low in numbers. The District may need to alter the delivery and selection of courses based on registration numbers.
Mrs. Towler and Jim Vanderloo also noted changes for courses that will be offered for one-semester as opposed to the full year in 2021-22. The change is based on the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnership requirements. The courses are, Applied Math, Calculus I and II, Nurse Aide Theory/Nurse Aide Clinical, Health Careers and Teams I.
The full course guide will be presented to the Board at a future meeting.
Return-to-Learn Plan Fall Data
Dr. Kim Buryanek shared a summary of early data for FAST, District Developed Assessments and
Open Response scores for elementary, middle school and high school students. The assessments are given multiple times per year.
In general, student scores in reading and math were lower compared to the last two years. The
exceptions were middle school students, specifically grade 7 literacy scores, and junior and senior
Open Response scores. High school math scores also increased compared to the last two years. Dr. Buryanek expects scores to increase with winter assessments. She also shared a comparison of scores of students who attended summer and did not attend summer school. Although summer school student scores were not as high, there were immeasurable benefits to hosting summer school.
Maria Ruelas, Amy Denney, and Richard Todd discussed some of the benefits of having summer school. Students were engaged in learning, had an opportunity to meet their teachers for the current school year, and were generally pleased to be in school. At-risk students had an opportunity to focus on the curriculum they did not receive instruction on in the spring. Students were able to get a feel for how their day might look with mitigation strategies implemented. Additionally, staff experienced how building flow might look when all students returned.
Members discussed providing an update when the next round of assessments is completed. The committee acknowledged the Return-to-Learn Fall Data presentation.