Board of Student Achievement Committee Minutes – October 19, 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, October 19, 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: Dr. Rita Vannatta, Director of Human Resources and Dave Vickery, Digital
Learning Program Coordinator

School Calendars

Dr. Rita Vannatta shared calendars for the 2021-22, 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years. She will
share calendars with the Shared Cabinet, Educational Equity Committee and the Superintendent’s
Cabinet. Each year presents challenges and gathering feedback from committees is helpful when
planning for upcoming years. Last year, the SIAC committee recommended that all conferences be
held on Monday and Tuesday, rather than over a four-day schedule. This change has brought about
positive feedback from across the District.

Discussion amongst committee members occurred regarding the length of spring break. Dr. Vannatta shared that different committees, in the past, had mixed reactions about scheduling a week-long spring break versus the current schedule falling on the Easter holiday. The length of spring break and the unpredictable winter weather could extend the school year well into June. The June end date can cause a delayed IPERS check for those who are retiring. Additionally, some teachers have a preference to be completely finished in May.

After Dr. Vannatta visits committees and gathers feedback, the Board will approve the 2021-22
calendar and acknowledge the other two calendars at a future Board meeting, per policy.

Virtual Learning Snapshot

Mr. Dave Vickery, Digital Learning Program Coordinator, showed the Committee a short virtual
learning video he created from the perspective of a virtual teacher. The video captures key concepts of virtual teaching and learning, including how teachers form relationships with their students and how teachers have adapted to their new environment. In the video, virtual teachers share about the progress they have made since the beginning of the year. Virtual learning in the District, with substantial support from technology, Mr. Vickery, and the virtual teachers, is thriving after working through some adversity.

Additional comments regarding virtual teaching/learning:

  • Additional comments regarding virtual teaching/learning:
  • Are virtual teachers provided opportunities for PD/collaboration, much like traditional teachers? PLC’s recently met; will arrange for future meetings.
  • If a virtual teacher has a technology issue, can the issue be a top priority with the helpdesk? Technology will work on system to address virtual teacher’s issues first.
  • Can expectations be clear to families who are interested in virtual learning? A Virtual Learning Parent Guide was created to distribute to families who sign up for virtual learning. Families are also offered a PD opportunity in the presence of staff to transition to virtual learning.
  • Is the District equipped with proper technology to go completely virtual? Yes.

Committee members suggested a condensed version of the video be shared at a future Board meeting.

The next SAC meeting is scheduled for Monday, November 2, 2020 at noon in the ESC Board Room.