Preschool Initiative Oversight Committee Minutes – February 3, 2021

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.

Preschool Initiative Mission: To strengthen, support and empower children and families through
access to quality community services for preschool education for 4-year olds.

Facilitator: Kim Burrack
Secretary: Kim Burrack

The Preschool Initiative Oversight Committee (PIOC) met on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 via Zoom meeting. Copies of the Agenda and Minutes from the May 27, 2020 meeting were emailed before the meeting.

Committee Members Present: Kerri Hall, Erika Fuentes, Brenda Jenkins, Brian Burnight, Danielle
Washburn, Rachael Ostermyer and Mickey Nelson.

Guests / Visitors: Jenny Petty

Discussion Items

  • Kim Burrack shared concerns from Sioux City Preschool Initiative community partners about low enrollment for this year and its impact on their ability to participate in the Preschool Initiative program next school year due to funding. This year there are 12 community partners. One partner has added and one partner decided to leave the Initiative. There are 52 classrooms. Sioux City Community School District added 9 classrooms this year; however, there are 9 less community partner classrooms. On October 1, Preschool Initiative counted 618 students. That was down 121 from last school year. Community partners shared the DHS requirement to limit students to nine per classroom due to social distancing in September and families fear of COVID spread contributed to the low enrollment on October 1. The committee discussed proposed legislation, grant options, and using District ESSER 2 funds to support preschool programs who experienced low enrollment due to COVID. Committee members expressed the concern that if there are no funds to supplement preschool next year, programs will not have enough funding to participate in the Sioux City Preschool Initiative and there will be limited spots available for students to attend preschool in 2021-22.
  • Jenny Petty shared the IGDI math screenings was completed on October 9 and the IGDI literacy screening was completed on November 9 for all preschool students who are 4 years old. The difference is screening was due to the Department of Education purchasing literacy slots for all preschool programs in the state this year. Program wide we had 7.37% of students passing 3 or more of the 4 IGDI math sub-screenings and 18.69% of students passing 3 or more of the 5 literacy math sub-screenings this fall. The committee again discussed the difference in percentage from math to literacy was due to students exposure to literacy content in September and October due to the later screening timeframe. During first semester preschool teachers participated in PLC work around action research in best practices in math. In the second semester teachers will participate in action research in best practices in literacy.
  • Kim Burrack asked for feedback on how to empower community providers, program directors and/or administrators, to support implementation of quality preschool/early childhood practices. Some of the partner programs are requiring daily support to implement quality practices. With one coach and one administrator, we are not able to sustain this amount of support in several programs and then still monitor/evaluate the other programs in the Sioux City Preschool Initiative. There are 52 preschool classrooms in 30 different locations around Sioux City. We also discussed the lack of childcare choices for families so families are place their child in a low quality/poor programs because that is all that is available to them.