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, September 22, 2021 at noon in the Educational Service Center Board Room.
Committee Members Present: Dr. Paul Gausman, Dr. Kim Buryanek, Ms. Monique Scarlett and Dr.
Juli Albert (virtual)
Guests Present: Angela Bemus, Director of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; Dr. Brian
Burnight, Director of Elementary Education; Maria Ruelas, Irving Elementary Principal; and Stacie
Henderson, Liberty Elementary Principal.
Dr. Brian Burnight and Angela Bemus presented Illuminate DNA, an online standards-based
assessment tool that supports teachers in creating standard aligned assessments. During the vetting process in the spring of 2021, a committee comprised of teachers, consulting teachers, and curriculum facilitators favored Illuminate as it met the needs of teachers. The software provides immediate data for measuring student progress and high quality assignments and assessments for both in-person and VIBE students. The software is also compatible with Canvas.
Illuminate DNA will provide teachers with tools to close learning gaps. The platform allows teachers to make timely, data based decisions, gives instant access to results and allows teachers to customize instruction based on student progress on state standards. Teachers will have access to data by subgroup, district, school, grade, class or by individual standard. Illuminate DNA also provides a test bank where teachers can search for specific questions aligned to a standard and create standards aligned assessments. Additionally, immediate access to data allows teachers to save time and make adjustments to instruction more quickly.
The committee acknowledged the Illuminate DNA presentation.
FAST for Success – Reading
Dr. Brian Burnight, Stacie Henderson and Maria Ruelas shared information about FAST for SuccessReading, a year-long professional development initiative piloted by the University of Minnesota. The opportunity to participate came at the recommendation of the Iowa Department of Education. The goal of the initiative is to improve literacy scores through data-based decision making.
Liberty Elementary and Irving Elementary were selected to participate this year. Leadership teams
consist of a principal, consulting teachers, interventionists and classroom teachers. The team participates in trainings and network sessions throughout the year. There are six total sessions, and each session covers a different objective that aligns with the timing of FAST assessments. The leadership team then facilitates professional development within their buildings with each grade level. These meetings allow teachers to take a deeper look at data and utilize evidence-based interventions to create a plan for instruction. Although each building is in the early stages of implementing the program, both principals report positive feedback from teachers.
Dr. Burnight shared his initial plan was to have all elementary buildings participate, however, too
many schools within the state of Iowa signed up to participate. The goal is to have all buildings
participate in the program in the future.
The committee acknowledge the FAST for Success – Reading presentation.
Fact Fluency Kits Grades 3-5
Angela Bemus shared with the committee the District’s plan to purchase math fact fluency kits for grades 3-5. Kindergarten through second grade teachers integrated fluency kits for addition and subtraction into curriculum this year and the feedback has been positive. Research has shown that building math fact fluency during elementary school will increase proficiency and improve assessment scores in math as students progress through school.
The process to integrate math fact fluency kits into curriculum for grades K-2 was proposed and approved last year. Graham Fletcher, creator of the math fact fluency kits, facilitated training for K-2 teachers this summer. Mrs. Bemus shared the same process would occur for teachers in grades 3-5 before integrating the kits into their curriculum. Due to the high demand for the fact fluency kits, she expects the kits to arrive in the spring of 2022 for grades 3-5 if ordered in September, 2021.
The committee acknowledged the Fact Fluency Kits Grades 3-5 information.
Purchase of Rapid Covid Tests
Dr. Kim Buryanek shared the District’s plan to provide Rapid COVID-19 testing in 20 buildings for
staff and students. While Dr. Buryanek was holding ESSER III focus group discussions over the
summer, the subject of on-site test was proposed. A survey administered to parents showed 67%
supported the idea of providing rapid testing at their child’s school building. The survey also showed 75% of staff supported on-site testing of students. The District has taken the necessary steps for approval through the state’s medical laboratory. Parents will need to sign a consent form giving the school permission to conduct the test and report results to the Iowa Department of Public Health. School nurses and CNA’s will conduct testing.
If approved by the Board, nurses and CNA’s will be provided training in conducting rapid COVID-19
tests and reporting results. The District will also begin collecting consent forms from students.
Consent forms have been translated into five languages.
By providing rapid COVID-19 testing on site, parents and staff can avoid making an appointment
with a provider and taking time off of work. The District can also identify positive cases quickly and
remove those individuals from buildings, which will reduce contact with others and reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The purchase of rapid COVID-19 tests was included in the ESSER III budget and acknowledged by
the Board of Directors at the September 13, 2021 meeting. The Student Achievement Committee
acknowledged the plan provided by Dr. Kim Buryanek.
The next meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at noon in the ESC Board Room.