School Improvement Advisory Committee Minutes – January 9, 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.

Chair: Joseph Riker
Vice-Chair: Kim Opsahl
Facilitator: Dr. Kim Buryanek
Secretary: Erin Bourne

The School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) met on Thursday, January 9, 2020 in the Educational Service Center Board Room.

Attendees: Dr. Paul Gausman, Dr. Kim Buryanek, Mandie Mayo, Perla Alarcon-Flory, Miyuki Nelson, Danny Tran, Cameron Jensen, Carson Bogenreif, Mario Enriquez, Xavier Divis, Greg Giles, Bernie Hess, Joseph Riker, Kay Beyerink, Bill Burrack, Kim Opsahl, David Halaas, Monique Scarlett, Joe Simons, Tammy Noble, Juliana Benitez, Amanda Beougher, and Megan Lawrey

Guests / Visitors: None

Call to Order: Chair Joseph Riker called the meeting to order at 5:15 p.m. He informed the committee of resignations and asked for nominations for Vice-Chair.

David Halaas motioned to nominate Kim Opsahl for Vice-Chair and Bernie Hess seconded the motion. The Committee unanimously voted for Kim Opsahl.

Data Carousel

Dr. Kim Buryanek shared with the committee one of their roles is to review and analyze data in order to make recommendations for improvements to the Board. Committee members were divided into 3 groups and allowed 15 minutes to review the subjects listed below and answer questions provided. Committee members then shared their thoughts in a large group discussion.


  • What do you notice about the data? Scores below the state in all subjects.
  • Reading, math and science consistent from year-to-year.
  • How do you feel about the data?
  • Concerned about number of students taking test, should be more.
  • Students should aim to take more advanced courses, will perform better on ACT.
  • Recommendations:
  • Continue ACT prep classes and encourage students to take ACT prep classes.
  • Educate parents about importance of ACT prep courses and offerings.
  • Involve community partners to promote ACT prep courses.
  • Address socio-economic barriers regarding multiple assessments.
  • District pays for first ACT attempt, but not second, third, etc.
  • Teach test-taking strategies at an earlier age.
  • Consider STEM school that feeds into North.

Enrollment / Attendance / Graduation Rate / Dropout Rate

  • What do you notice about the data? Enrollment, dropout rate and graduation rate moved in positive directions.
  • Slight decrease in attendance from the 2015-16 school year.
  • Interested in demographics of the dropout rate.
  • Is the Career Academy positively influencing graduation and dropout rates?
  • How do you feel about the data?
  • What is affecting the dropout rate?
  • How do socio-economic factors impact the dropout rate? Students may need to work in order to support family.
  • Interested in parent and student graduation rate parallels.
  • Recommendations:
  • Continue to implement At-Risk programs.
  • Work with DHS to support students who are most at-risk, i.e., foster care, reservations, and target mobile population.
  • Track students who score well on district common assessments in early years but have low school performance; provide support.
  • Identify and provide support for students who are statistically against the odds to graduate based on parents’ graduation history.
  • Re-consider ‘perfect attendance’ celebrations/awards.
  • Lack of attendance not child’s fault.

College Enrollment

  • What do you notice about the data? Numbers are low, are we missing a group of students?
  • Not surprised majority of students choose to attend public schools.
  • Increase in students attending two-year schools.
  • How do you feel about the data? Overall numbers not surprising.
  • There are options besides a four-year degree.
  • How do students who take a year off fit into this data? Private market dominates Sioux City area.
  • Sioux City could benefit from having a four-year public school.
  • Recommendations:
  • Is there a way to include students going into apprenticeships in the data?
  • Need to include students who graduate high school with an associate’s degree.
  • Involve parents, students and counselors when identifying interests/career path; prepare student for life.
  • Not everyone attends a four-year postsecondary school.
  • Promote grant and scholarship opportunities to parents.
  • Educate parents about financial component of college.