Sioux City Community School Board

Iowa State Auditor

The Iowa State Auditor’s office on Tuesday released a reaudit of the Sioux City Community School District that did not show any major wrongdoing.

The report covers a period from June 30, 2017, to June 30, 2019, and recommends the school board approve and document pay raises.  

This week on The Exchange we present with the nine canidates for the Sioux City Community School Board.  The election is November 2nd.

This week on The Exchange, we review some of Siouxland's most important events.

One was the rejection of a mask mandate by the Sioux City School Board. The other event was the groundbreaking on the new Woodbury County Law Enforcement Center.  

We also look forward to changes coming for cities and higher education as we, hopefully, emerge from the coronavirus pandemic in the next few years. And, we get a up-close look at food insecurity in Siouxland.

Sioux City Community Schools

The Sioux City Community School District will not bring back a mask mandate after an emergency session on Wednesday, September 15.  Siouxland Public’s Sheila Brummer reports.

Even from the start, contention filled the air of the Sioux City Community School District’s headquarters Wednesday afternoon for a special board meeting, mainly from those who did not want their children to wear masks in school.

More than 20 concerned citizens on both sides of the issue shared their viewpoint by phone and in person.

CDC

The number of COVID-19 cases in Nebraska has increased in each of the past ten weeks, and the total nearly doubled over the past two weeks as the highly contagious delta variant of the virus continues to spread.

Nebraska reported around 5,000 new cases last week to the CDC.

That’s up from the previous week and nearly double the cases recorded the week before.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Nebraska has risen over the past two weeks from 190 new cases per day on Aug. 15 to more than 715 new cases per day on Sunday.

Dakota County Health Department

Tonight, the Sioux City Community School Board meets to discuss the district’s Return-to-Learn plan and Pandemic relief funding.

Students started last school year with a hybrid model of learning with two days in the classroom. That continued for a few weeks and again after the winter break.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m.

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South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem says she will join a growing list of Republican governors sending law enforcement officers to the U.S. border with Mexico.

State of Iowa

  

Governor Kim Reynolds says Iowa will join a group of Republican-led states ending pandemic-related federal programs that give extra cash to unemployed workers.

Reynolds says the state will end the federal boost, including additional $300-a-week unemployment payments.

Reynolds says benefits are keeping people from returning the work and are hindering the state's economy — a charge echoed by Republican governors in several other states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Montana and South Carolina.

The benefits will end June 12. 

  Gov. Kim Reynolds is taking her annual Condition of the State address from day time to supper time.  She will break with tradition, by addressing a joint convention of the 89th Iowa General Assembly at the Iowa Capitol beginning at 6 p.m. tonight, rather than the typical 10 a.m. Siouxland Public Media will broadcast the speech live and a live stream of the speech will be available at kwit.org. Also, you can hear live reactions to the speech live on Siouxland Public Media as soon as Governor Reynolds is finished her address.  

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 State lawmakers returned to the Iowa Capitol today. Education, taxation, safety are the top priorities for 2021 Iowa legislature. And today they were Joined  inside by hundreds of anti-mask protestors.

Hundreds of people --- few, if any, of them wearing face coverings --- packed into the Iowa Capitol rotunda today and then into the Senate and House chamber galleries. The were protesting mask-wearing and other public health measures designed to slow the spread of the new coronavirus and the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week on The Exchange, we have a roundtable discussion about the effects of the Coronavirus on schools, students, teachers and families. Siouxland Public Media's Mary Hartnett and Sheila Brummer speak with the families we have been following this fall semester. Each family has children enrolled in Siouxland public or private school. Our guests are Donna Behrens, Pam Venturi and Mandy Engle-Cartie. Engle-Cartie is the executive director of Girls Inc.

Sioux City Community Schools

The Sioux City Community School Board took action to try and slow the spread of COVID-19 and keep students and staff safe.  Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer with a wrap-up of last night’s meeting.

The Sioux City Community School Board unanimously voted Monday night to return to hybrid learning after Winter Break on January 4, 2020. 

The district started the first two-weeks with students either attending class on Monday-Thursday or Tuesday-Friday.

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The Sioux City Community School District this week has 11 reports of positive COVID-19 cases from students that attended school, and 21 reports of positive COVID-19 cases from staff that attended school.  The district moved several classrooms and one entire middle school to virtual learning this wee.  East Middle School and Sunnyside Elementary each had one classroom go virtual, Morningside STEM Elementary had two classrooms closed down, and West Middle School will hold only virtual classes through November 25, the day before Thanksgiving. 

Sioux City Community School Board Member Perla Alarcon-Flory provides Siouxland Public Media with an update on the battle her family faces with COVID-19 .  She shared her story with Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer.

Perla Alarcon-Flory says her family, including husband and two daughters started coming down with symptoms of COVID-19 about two-weeks ago.  Her husband’s condition progressively got worse with high fevers and vomiting.  

Nathan Flory ended up in the ER over the weekend, before an ambulance took him to a hospital in Omaha for testing and treatment.

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Gov. Kim Reynolds has issued a disaster proclamation in response to a severe weather system that moved across Iowa and caused widespread damage August 10.

The proclamation allows state resources to be utilized to respond to and recover from the effects of this severe weather in Boone, Clinton, Dallas, Johnson, Marshall, and Story counties. The proclamation also activates the Iowa Individual Assistance Grant Program for qualifying residents, along with the Disaster Case Management Program, for Dallas, Johnson, Marshall, and Story counties.  

SC Schools to Start School Year with Hybrid Plan

Students in the Sioux City School District will start the new school year with a hybrid learning plan. It will combine in-class and online learning.

After hours of debate last night, the school board unanimously approved the “Return to Learn” hybrid plan. The plan has a three-week maximum and the board will need to approve an extension if Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman asks for it.  

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The state of Iowa as of this morning reports another 766 cases of the coronavirus. State health officials also report six additional deaths. The state has had more than 39,000 cases of the COVID-19 and and nearly 800 deaths.  Polk County had 353 of those new cases.

Woodbury County added nine new cases of the coronavirus since yesterday, and now it has a total of 3,472 cases and 46 deaths. There were no new deaths yesterday.

This fall, Sioux City public school students could be attending class in-person, use a hybrid model or learn online.  That was the decision made at the meeting of the Sioux City Community School Board last night.  After a lengthy presentation, the board approved a “Return to Learn” plan for this fall.  Concerns about the spread of COVID-19 closed schools in mid-March and they never reopened. 

The spread of the coronavirus would determine the level of in-person schooling.  

Board president Jeremy Saint said the vote for a “skeleton” plan means more work needs to be done. 

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds says the State Hygienic Lab now has the capacity of conducting 620 tests.  The announcement comes as public health officials announced one new case of coronavirus in the state, bringing the total positive cases here to 45. 

There has been a shortage of tests nationwide.

Reynolds says the state is working with private companies to try and come up with solutions for shortages in medical supplies.  Reynolds admits she doesn’t know the number of ventilators available in the state but the state is working on the problem.

On The Exchange this week we talk with some of the candidates from this general election.  Mayor Bob Scott will talk about his re-election and Rhonda Capron says goodbye to the Sioux City Council after eight years of service.  SOHO restaurant and bar owner Julie Schoenherr bested Capron.  We will speak with Schoenherr as well.

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Sioux City Mayor Bob Scott won another term in office in yesterday’s general election.  He picked up almost 70% of the vote over Maria Rundquist.

And incumbent council member Rhonda Capron was defeated by the owner of SOHO Julie Schoenherr.   Capron was seeking her 3rd term in office and says she doesn’t plan to run again.

Six people were on the ballot for four school board seats.

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More voters than expected turned out in Sioux City yesterday for the general election.   

Mayor Bob Scott won another term in office.  He picked up almost 70% of the vote over Maria Rundquist.

“I’m happy we won and by the margin that we won obviously. I think it confirms people are somewhat happy with my performance.  I’m working really hard for the citizens and I’m going to continue that.” 

It was a tight race for the city council and school board.

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It is election day across Iowa. Voters are electing local and school board candidates.  Six candidates are competing for four seats on the Sioux City Community School board There are also school board races in the Lawton-Bronson and Sgt. Bluff Luton districts. 

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A broad coalition of biofuel and farm advocates today sent a letter to the White House calling on President Trump to fix a proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency. It notes that the EPA’s draft plan undermines the administration’s commitment to restore integrity to the Renewable Fuel Standard and accurately account for biofuel demand destroyed by Small Refinery Exemptions 

The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association sent out a news release saying the letter says was signed by 60 organizations, including the Iowa Renewable Fuels Association. 

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Next Tuesday is the general election and six candidates will vie for four spots on the Sioux City Community School Board.  They are banker and activist Monique Scarlett, appointed board member Miyuki Nelson, businessmen Dan Greenwell and Taylor Goodvin, software engineer Shaun Broyhill,  and Western Iowa Tech executive Dr. Juline Alberts.  Siouxland Public  Media spoke with five of the candidates this afternoon at a public forum at the Sioux City Public Library.