Educational Equity Committee Meeting Minutes – October 4, 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, October 4, 2019 at the Bryant Elementary, Media Room.

Committee Members Present: Tito Parker, Karen Mackey, Stephan Pearson, Bernie Hess, Jason Jackson, Joseph Riker, Jeremy Granger

District Employees and School Board Directors Present: Jen Gomez, Cate Combs, Lori Gentry, Amber Sackmann, LaShawna Moyle, Stephanie Alcaraz

Dr. Rita Vannatta, Director of Human Resources
Stefanie Verros, Asst. Director of Human Resources
May Kay Kollars, Principal, Bryant Elementary
Mallie Sauer, WITT Student
John, Tech Strategies

Dr. Rita Vannatta, Director of Human Resources – School Calendars

School Calendars are issued three years in advance. Human Resources provides various committees input and recommendations before providing the calendars to the Board for a public hearing. Certain days on the calendar cannot change due to State laws and holidays. School cannot start prior to August 23; October 1 is Student Certified Count Day; Spring Break is three days; two days are allotted for snow days; Graduation is the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.

If you have any questions regarding the School Calendars, please email Dr. Vannatta.

Mary Kay Kollars, Principal, Bryant Elementary

The original Bryant Elementary School was built in 1890. The new building is at the same location as the original building. This year Bryant has 504 students; last year, when at the Crescent Park building, they had 208 students. The new Bryant building hosts three Preschool classes and four new Kindergarten classes, as well as, First through Fifth Grade classes. The increase in student population is due to students returning to Bryant from Leeds and Perry Creek. There are approximately 15 students who transferred from Irving Elementary. With the addition of new/returning students, Bryant has 40 new staff members. Most students walk to school. The student demographic make-up of Bryant Elementary is 18% Black, 33% Hispanic, and 59% White. Bryant Elementary is a direct certified school which means that all students receive free meals.
Bryant Elementary was selected for the Backpack Meal Program through the Siouxland Food Bank. Students are given the backpack meal on Fridays or the day before a holiday that includes cereal, fruit, and canned goods. Students have to meet certain criteria to receive a backpack meal. This week 250 students received a backpack meal.

The English Learner population has doubled from last year. There are many students from Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia. We have challenges with culture and language barriers. Bryant staff are able to use TransPerfect to assist with parent/teacher conferences. Bryant staff would like to have a professional development through Mary J. Treglia to learn more about these families’ cultures.

Bryant’s building goals are Math and Reading – Fast Reading Assessment and Fast Math Assessment. Students are assessed at the beginning of the year with the goal to increase their reading and math abilities by at least 10%. Last year, students’ increased their reading abilities by 24%. This is the first year for the Fast Math Assessment goal.

Bryant Elementary has technology (laptop or I-pad) for every student. Students are able to use this technology at school. The technology allows each student to read the same book. The technology has been helpful for EL students because it allows the use of visual aids.

A tour of Bryant Elementary was given to the Committee.

Vice-Chair Election

Jeremy Granger declined Vice-Chair. Stephan Pearson was nominated and unanimously voted for Vice-Chair.

Roundtable Discussion

Athletic Classification Equity Resolutions to go before the Board for review and approval.