School Improvement Advisory Committee Minutes – May 3, 2022

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: Afiya Bilata
Vice-Chair: Sherry Martin
Facilitator: Dr. Kim Buryanek
Secretary: Lynn Foster

The School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) met on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 via TEAMS.

Attendees: Dr. Paul Gausman, Dr. Kim Buryanek, Leslie Heying, Perla Alarcon-Flory, Amanda
Beougher, Afiya Bilata, Bill Burrack, Cecelia Ronnfeldt, Cheryl Connot, Daniel Harder, Greg Giles,
Heidi Kammer-Hodge, Benjamin Jackson, Joe Simons, Joseph Riker, Joshua Potter, Juliana Benitez, Yemane Kifle, Kristi Maloney, Kenny Lam, Laura Mesz, William Lohr, Marco Linares, Megan
Lawrey, Molly Timmins, Lamarion Mothershead, Nick Kuester, Sherry Martin, Tammy Noble, Teri
France, and Aiden Westra

Call to Order: Dr. Kim Buryanek called the meeting to order at 5:15 p.m.

2022 Board Presentation

Dr. Kim Buryanek shared with the committee the School Improvement Advisory Committee yearly
overview that will be presented to the School Board on May 9, 2022. Dr. Buryanek noted that the
School Improvement Advisory Committee work aligned with three of the goals of the FOCUS 2022
Strategic Plan.

  • Goal 1: Provide Relevant, Rigorous and Innovative Academics
  • Goal 2: Provide Safe, Healthy and Supportive Learning Environments
  • Goal 3: Strengthen School, Family and Community Engagement.

Dr. Buryanek thanked all the members for their service and dedication to improving student
achievement. She also commended the committee on going beyond their required duties of meeting once a year. The School Improvement Advisory Committee met in October, November, January, February, March and May.

Sherry Martin reviewed the goals of the School Improvement Advisory Committee.
They were to make recommendations in the areas of:

  • Major educational needs.
  • Student learning goals.
  • Long range goals that include, but not limited to, the state indicators that address reading, mathematics, and science achievement.
  • Harassment or bullying prevention goals, programs, training, and other initiatives.

Laura Mesz stated that the committee reviewed and analyzed lots of different data at the various
committee meetings. Most of the data analyzed was provided by Hanover Research. She shared a
summary of the data reviewed by the committee which included: ACT results, District Enrollment, District Demographics, Graduation Rate, Dropout Rate, Iowa Assessment Results, Harassment/Bullying Data, Course Failure, Attendance Rates and Suspension Data.

Based on conversations during data carousels, Sherry Martin reviewed the key areas covered in the committee meetings. In the area of student achievement, the committee recognized the following:

  • Reading achievement has improved more than math.
  • Low socio-economic subgroup has lower achievement consistently
  • High poverty schools suffer the most from missed instruction.
  • Native American students have low achievement in all areas.

In the area of student engagement, Laura Mesz shared the below highlights as a result of data analyzed by the committee.

  • There was a 15% increase in graduation rate for English Language Learners (ELL) since 2019-20.
  • There was an increase in graduation rate for all subgroups except Native American and Black.
  • Dropout rate for Native American students is high and increased between 2019 and 2020.
  • The SIAC was pleased with the decreasing number of founded incidents of bullying or harassment since 2017.
  • Middle school students represent the largest number of suspensions.
  • Male suspension rate is double the female suspension rate. The female suspension rate is increasing.
  • Students in low socio-economic and special education subgroups have higher suspension rates.


Sherry Martin reported that after the committee completed their data analysis, they would like to make the following recommendations:

  • Both the School Improvement Advisory Committee and the District Educational Equity
  • Committee discussed how valuable it is for the District to have committees like these and that the committees engage in discussions about issues that matter and be able to provide input to District leaders. We recommend that committee input continue to be valued and sought.
  • Provide additional support to Native American, low socio-economic, Black, ELL and special education students to increase success.
  • Hire more tutors or paraprofessionals for academic support.
  • Focus on building relationships with students, both peer-to-peer relationships and adult-to-student relationships.
  • Increase adult supervision in all buildings to continue to reduce the instances of bullying and
  • harassment.

The meeting adjourned at 5:48 p.m. The next SIAC meeting is scheduled for the Fall.