School Improvement Advisory Committee Minutes – October 13, 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: Kaiden Maaske
Vice-Chair: Teri France
Facilitator: Angela Bemus
Secretary: Lynn Foster

The School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC) met on Thursday, October 13, 2022, in the ESC Board Room.


Dr. Rod Earleywine, Angela Bemus, Leslie Heying, Perla Alarcon-Flory, Bill Burrack, Cecelia Ronnfeldt, Cheryl Connot, Daniel Harder, Heidi Kammer-Hodge, Joseph Riker, Joshua Potter, Kristi Maloney, Laura Mesz, Marco Linares, Molly Timmins, Nick Kuester, Sherry Martin, Teri France, Jason Geary, John Big Eagle Jr, Theresa Weaver-Basye, Rachele Murphy, Kyle Miller, Larissa Sands, Sarah Scheffer, Joseph DeBates, Dominic East, Julian Trabi, Niamh Coughlin, Kaiden Maaske, and Maya Augustine.

Guests / Visitors:

Dr. Jen Gomez, Director of Human Resources, and Jim Vanderloo, Director of Secondary Education.

Call to Order:

Angela Bemus, Associate Superintendent, called the meeting to order at 5:15 p.m. Committee members were asked to introduce himself or herself and share a little something about themselves and why they wanted to serve on this committee.

Legislated Purpose of the School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC)

Angela Bemus shared the SIAC guidelines and goals. She shared the legislated purpose of the committee, stating it is legislated by law. The committee is required to meet at least once a year. She stated the committee is comprised of students, parents, community members, district staff members, and Board members.

She explained the role of the Committee, which is to learn about and discuss student achievement, programs, and community connections. The committee’s role is to learn about our diverse community and the needs of individuals and groups of students to provide another lens to enhance all aspects of our district work. This committee work is to advise the district administration in our mission to meet the needs of all students.

Angela also covered the goals of the committee, which are to make recommendations to the Board in the areas of:

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

Leadership Selection:

Angela Bemus asked for nominations for Committee Chair and Vice-Chair. She explained the role of the Chair and Vice Chair and reviewed the role of the Chair and Vice-Chair.

Kaiden Maaske nominated himself for Committee Chair. Teri France was nominated for Vice Chair.

School Calendars

Dr. Jen Gomez presented the 2022-23, 2023-24, and 2024-25 school calendars. The Board has acknowledged calendars for the years 2022-23 and 2023-24. Due to Iowa law, the district is not allowed to start school before August 23.

She explained the metrics, division of days, school hours, and early outs. She reviewed the Martin Luther King holiday falling on a day when there is no school for the school year 2023-24 due to a teacher workday. She also covered the 2024-25 calendar and the reasoning behind why the winter break is being extended a day for that calendar year.

Dr. Gomez stated the current calendar is based on days. She reviewed the option of using hours (1,080 hours) versus days (180 days), for mandatory days of school. Dr. Earleywine also covered hours vs. days, and he explained the advantage of using hours rather than days and the increased flexibility it offers.

Trades Building Update:

Jim Vanderloo presented the Construction Trades Building update. He reviewed what is going to be inside the building when it is completed. It will open in the Fall of 2023. He shared why the building is colored orange – that is the national color for construction.

Jim Vanderloo stated the program will start with twenty-five to thirty juniors with a morning session and an afternoon session. The goal is to have fifty students enrolled at all times. It is a two-year program and there will be prerequisites for students to enroll in the program. The goal of the first year is to frame the house and the second-year goal is to complete the inside of the building. He shared the curriculum plan and stated the district is in the process of hiring an instructor with an industry background. The goal is to build a house and sell it. He stated two houses will be under construction at all times. He shared the district wants to ensure all trades are touched in the program and the district is hoping to partner with local businesses for the training space/wall area in the building.

SIAC Meeting Time / Location / Day:

Angela Bemus asked for Committee member feedback regarding the future meeting schedule. The Committee agreed to meet on the third Thursday of each month. The scheduled dates are listed below. Consistent with past years, the SIAC will not have a scheduled meeting in December.

  • November 17, 2022
  • January 19, 2023
  • February 16, 2023
  • March 16, 2023
  • April 20, 2023
  • May – Board Presentation

Possible Items for future meetings:

  • New Behavioral policies/protocols implemented by the District
  • Equity issues – are certain demographics being over-represented for referrals
  • Reading and Math goals for the District – looking at sub-groups – trends, etc
  • Attendance data – set goals to improve attendance
  • Student engagement – how to improve/increase student engagement
  • Social skills for students – socialization skills declined during the pandemic – how to address loss
  • Assessment data for students – is there a master list of all assessments – show state vs local assessments – required vs not required, etc.
  • Staffing shortages – most prevalent in ESL and SPED fields

The meeting adjourned at 6:35 p.m. The next SIAC meeting is scheduled for Thursday, November 17, 2022, at 5:15 p.m.