Educational Equity Committee Meeting Minutes – November 8, 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.

Chairperson: Tito Parker

Secretary: Cate Combs

The Educational Equity Committee (EEC) met on Friday, November 8, 2019 at the Education
Service Center, Boardroom.

Committee Members Present: Tito Parker, Karen Mackey, Stephan Pearson, Joseph Riker

District Employees and School Board Directors Present: Dr. Kim Buryanek, Jen Gomez,
Cate Combs, Lori Gentry, LaShawna Moyle

Dr. Paul Gausman, Superintendent
Jim Vanderloo, Director of Secondary Education
Katie Towler, Principal, Career Academy

Jim Vanderloo, Director of Secondary Education and Katie Towler, Principal, Career Academy – Sioux City Community Schools District Educational Planning Handbook

Additions and revisions to the Course Guide for 2021/22 School Year are being submitted
to Committees and the Board for approval. The additions to the Career Academy include:
Plumbing (college and high school credit), Mobile Game & App Development (college
and high school credit), Fire Science (college and high school credit), Agriculture (high
school credit), and Engineering (high school credit).

High School Course – Harmony One (vocal music), a fine arts requirement, is being
reactivated for next year.

All courses that are being offered at Western Iowa Tech Community College (“WITCC”)
through the Career Academy, students will receive both college and high school credits.
Transportation to/from WITCC for these classes is provided by the District.

Dr. Kim Buryanek, Associate Superintendent – Modified Supplemental Amount for At-Risk/Dropout Prevention

We are requesting that the Board approve a modified supplemental amount for AtRisk/Dropout Prevention for the 2020/21 school year. At-Risk/Dropout funding is strictly used for students who are at-risk of dropping out or who have dropped out and returned. The programs funded by the At-Risk/Dropout include:

  • Alternative Schools
  • School Within a School
  • i-JAG
  • Academic Supports (after school tutoring and Saturday school)
  • Graduation Coaches
  • Juvenile Court and Police Department Contracts (School Resource Officers and Juvenile Court Liaisons – 1 at each high school and middle school building)
  • Transitional Support (students transitioning from 5th to 6th grade and 8th to 9th grade)
  • Credit Recovery
  • Mental Health Services
  • Mentoring (Equity Liaisons and Mentors from the Sanford Center)

The programs are working. The graduation rate has increased from 78.04% (2007/08) to
85.51% (2017/18). The dropout rate has also substantially declined. Our high schools are
almost less than 2%. When the dropout rate is low, we can see the problems and barriers
students may be having and work towards removing them.

One of the adjustments that is being made to assist students is having after-school tutoring
3 times per week, and Saturday School 2 times per month. We also want to hire an
Intervention Specialist for each of the high schools to help connect students with services
that they need to stay in school.

Dr. Paul Gausman, Superintendent – Superintendent as a student of the District 2018-2019

Two years ago, Dr. Gausman met with staff asking them what was going well, what needs
to improve, and what changes they would like to see. Last school year, he met with students
through organized groups (band, teams, student council, etc.). Asking them the same types
of questions.

Students at the secondary level requested items such as – have more parking available;
more advanced Open Response Writing; staff training on technology; consistency in
leadership; and keep the current start times in place.

Secondary students enjoy the diversity within the District. For the second year in a row,
the District is minority-majority. They appreciate the Career Academy in that they have
classes with students from other districts. Students assisted with the lobby to change the
financial literacy requirement with the State. With their help, we were able to get a oneyear extension.

Elementary students enjoy field trips; PBIS (rewards for positive behaviors); participating
in community service events; the food service teams; and Beyond the Bell. Elementary
students indicated that there needs to be boundaries on the computers.

All students like the diversity within the District; feel safe in school; appreciate staff; and
feel they need more supports with math.