School Improvement Advisory Committee Minutes – November 14, 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.

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

The School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) met on Thursday, November 14, 2019 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, Javier Fuentes, Xavier Divis, Greg Giles, Bernie Hess, Joseph Riker, Kay Beyerink, Bill Burrack, Kim Opsahl, David Halaas, Mary Russo, Monique Scarlett, Joe Simons, Tammy Noble, Juliana Benitez, Amanda Beougher, and Megan Lawrey

Guests / Visitors: Jim Vanderloo, Director of Secondary Education; Katie Towler, Principal, Career Academy; Dale Bentlage, Juicebox Interactive Representative; and Jamie Adams, Juicebox Interactive Representative

Call to Order: Chair Joseph Riker called the meeting to order at 5:15 p.m. and asked everyone to
introduce himself or herself

Community Survey Results

Jim Vanderloo and Katie Towler shared information about the expectations and process of determining needs for educational programming in the District. Every five years a needs assessment is conducted, per Board policy. The purpose of the needs assessment is to gather information from community members, representatives of industry, labor, higher education, and agencies providing community services to ensure students are adequately prepared after leaving the District.

Although the policy requires an evaluation every five years, the District is continually evaluating,
planning, gathering feedback, and implementing changes. Mr. Vanderloo summarized how evaluation and planning occur on a regular basis internally through curriculum review, professional development, and student surveys. Administrators also meet with local businesses, and attend regional planning and state-level planning meetings regularly, all in an effort to ensure the District stays well informed as to what content areas should be offered.

Mrs. Towler explained the process the District uses is responsible for pathways introduced at the
career academy. For example, Iowa Workforce Development presented data that occupations in
agriculture are the jobs in highest demand between now and 2024 in the state of Iowa. This prompted the District to investigate student interest and consult with teachers. The initial feedback
received was positive and since introducing the pathway in spring 2019, student interest has more
than doubled, leading the District to establish its first Agriculture Pathway and first official FFA
program.

Furthermore, meetings with businesses, educational institutions, and community members are
influential in deciding who and what to focus on and provide the District with much-needed
support. Support from the community allows for professional development opportunities,
assistance with projects, access to teaching materials and equipment, and positively affects student achievement. Mr. Vanderloo shared that because of community support, and efforts of state governors, Tri-State area students will be able to utilize services in other districts and states in the near future. This will allow students to cross state lines to attend classes that fit their desired career path.

Mr. Vanderloo and Mrs. Towler encourage participation for those interested in serving on a committee or for those who would like to attend a meeting about educational programming.

Parent Survey Results

Mandie Mayo shared the results of the 2018-2019 District and School Climate Survey, which was
offered to parents to acquire feedback on school and district climate. The survey was open from February 19, 2019, through March 22, 2019. Parents were also offered opportunities at conferences to complete the survey online or on paper. The survey is offered in English and Spanish and takes roughly twenty minutes to complete. KI2 Insight collaborated with the District to develop the survey, which addressed the following topics:

  • District Impact
  • Leadership Team
  • Strategic Plan
  • District Operations
  • Academic Support
  • Student Support
  • School Leadership
  • Family Involvement
  • Safety and Behavior
  • Fair Treatment
  • Cultural Responsiveness
  • Communication

Results indicate participation was slightly lower than the previous year. This was anticipated due to
changes in the survey administration this year. For 2019, there were 10,086 invitations delivered,
resulting in 1,877 responses. While the District saw a slight decrease in participation, 82% of participating parents rated their school as excellent or good, which represents a 7-percentage point increase from last year. The most notable increase occurred in safety and behavior at the item level “This school is safe”, which had the highest overall increase over the previous year.

Mrs. Mayo shared with the committee there was an increase in parents’ perception in topics
measuring school quality from the previous year, and scores met or exceeded the national
benchmark totals in those topics.

Although cultural responsiveness improved from last year, this continues to be an area of focus for
the District, as there was a significant amount of “Don’t Know” responses. The District implemented professional development opportunities focused on cultural responsiveness and
continues to work on building awareness and understanding.

Employee feedback was generally positive as well, with a vast majority stating they are familiar
with the District’s mission and vision, are engaged in their work, and have positive interactions with
supervisors, principals, and administrators.

Committee members asked how the District could increase participation for both employees and
parents. Ms. Mayo explained survey information is delivered via newsletters, phone calls, text messages, social media and the website. She also added K12 Insight backed up the validity of the
results even though the sample sizes are small. She is open to other suggestions on how to gain
more participation.

Website Development Focus Group

Representatives from Juicebox Interactive, a website design company based out of Des Moines,
joined the meeting and sought feedback about what users would improve or add to the new website. In addition to the responses below, more feedback is welcome and can be provided to Mandie Mayo, Director of Communications.

When thinking of the current website, what improvements would you make?

  • Easier Navigation
  • User Friendly
  • Multiple Languages/Translation
  • Mobile Version
  • Mobile App
  • Audible Options
  • Key Word Search
  • Board Policy Search
  • Easier to Manage/Update
  • Contact Information Easier to Locate
  • “Announcement” Section
  • Interactive
  • Maintain “Let’s Talk”
  • Menu Functionality
  • Subtitles for Videos
  • Homework Tools
  • Emergency Notification on a School by School Basis

What makes the SCCSD great?

  • Participation Opportunities for Citizens and Parents
  • Teacher Follow-Up/Maintain Relationships with Students
  • Opportunity for Student Exploration
  • Open Communication/Response Rate
  • Pride in School Buildings
  • Career Academy
  • Technology Initiatives
  • Elementary Specialty Schools
  • Investment and Engagement with Community