Sioux City Community Schools

SPM News 404 11.13.20

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. 

New York Times

The New York Times highlighted Sioux City in a story released today on places hard hit by the coronavirus.

The Sioux City Community School District reports 13 news COVID-19 cases; 8 students and 5 staff in 9 buildings across the district.  Two multi-grade classes at West Middle School moved to Emergency Response Virtual Learning.  Woodbury County’s 14-day test positivity rate is almost 21%.  Anything above 15% is one criteria for a school district to move to on-line learning only.  District also need at least a 10% absenteeism rate.  A spokesperson for the Sioux City Community School District told Siouxland Public Media this week, that level hasn’t been reached yet.  The topic will likely be br

Siouxland District Health Department

Siouxland District Health reports two more deaths in Woodbury County for a total of 78.

There were 14 more deaths recorded in the state of Iowa and almost 1,200 new cases. The Iowa Department of Public Health says today’s update does include backdated test and death information.

The number of Iowans in the hospital with COVID-19 hit another high today.  There are 461 patients statewide, including 72 at Sioux City's two hospitals.  That’s the same level reported yesterday.

The Sioux City Community School District reports another decrease in new COVID-19 cases.  

Perla Alarcon-Flory

One Sioux City Community School Board member and her family are in quarantine after testing positive for COVID-19. 

Perla Alarcon-Flory joined Monday night’s board meeting by phone and expressed her support to move to hybrid learning for students and staff in the district due to increasing cases of the virus in schools across the district.

Alarcon-Flory shares her experience with COVID-19 and the impact of the disease on her life and her thoughts on providing students with the best educational opportunity during the pandemic.


Two days after students returned to class fulltime in the Sioux City Community School District one class

was sent home for virtual learning. 

Nodland School moved one second grade class into what they call emergency response virtual learning. 

The plan is for the students to return to the classroom on Wednesday, September 23rd.

That’s because several in the classroom tested positive for COVID-19 or showed symptoms.

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Today Nodland Elementary School moved a second grade class to emergency response virtual learning, after multiple individuals from one classroom either tested positive for COVID-19 or experienced symptoms.

The Sioux City Community School District says it plans to return the class to on-Site Learning on Wednesday, September 23.

Sioux City Community Schools

The Sioux City Community School District reports a dozen positive cases of COVID-19 from students and staff this week.

Five students and seven staff members, according to a weekly update.  

A news release says Siouxland District Health conducted contact tracing and anyone in close contact has been told to self-isolate or quarantine.

School officials will not talk about specific cases or schools impacted.


During this first week of class for students in the Sioux City Community School District, two staff members tested positive for the novel coronavirus.  That’s according to school officials who say Siouxland District Health did contact tracing and everyone impacted has been directed to self-isolate or self-quarantine.  The district plans to provide the public with positive test updates each Friday and will not disclose specific schools with cases of COVID-19.

185th Refueling Wing

President Donald Trump has promised to approve $180 million in aid for damaged Iowa homes and infrastructure and additional funding for farmers who were affected by an unusually powerful storm that tore through the state last week.  Governor Kim Reynolds requested $4 billion.  The Iowa National Guard also mobilized troops from across the state, including here in Sioux City. SPM’s Sheila Brummer has more.

Students attending Sioux City Community Schools next week will see fewer students in the classroom.  The district is using a hybrid model for at least the first two weeks. 

Sioux City Community Schools

Even though there is a positive case of COVID-19 at an elementary school in Sioux City, summer school will continue.  A spokesperson for the Sioux City Community School District says a positive COVID-19 case was reported at Morningside STEM Elementary. The person who tested positive and others who came in close contact have been told to self-isolate or self-quarantine.  Tomorrow (Friday) is the last day of summer school for certain and in the district.

AUGUST 6, 2020
Siouxland Public Media

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds provided a few more details on Thursday about requirements for school districts for in-person learning this fall.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds is requiring schools to hold at least half of their core lessons in person.

Reynolds held a news conference this morning in Des Moines where she was joined by a superintendent of a small district in southeast Iowa. 

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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.

Nebraska reported 264 new COVID-19 cases today, and twelve new deaths.  The state has had 22, 847 cases so far. 


One more death was reported in the Sioux City metro area on Monday due to COVID-19.  The Dakota County Health Department isn’t releasing information about the person’s age or gender.  There have been a total of 34 deaths and 1,753 positive cases.  There were no new cases in Dakota County.  Siouxland District Health reported 8 new positive cases for a total of 3,068 according to the Iowa coronavirus website.  There have been 42 deaths.  There are 117 positive cases in Union County.

The Iowa Department of Public Health reported three additional deaths in 24 hours due to COVID-19 for a statewide total of 681 people and almost 400 additional cases.  The current total is almost 25,300 positive cases.

There were almost one dozen new cases of COVID-19 reported in Woodbury and Dakota counties on Friday for a total of 3,052 in Woodbury County and 1,751 in Dakota County.  There have been a total of 75 deaths.  There are still 113 cases in Union County and no deaths.

Sioux City Community Schools

Parents of many students across Siouxland are now wrapping up a fifth week of trying to teach from home.  An award-winning educator provided Sheila Brummer with advice on helping our young ones during this national health crisis.

Many parents might feel a bit overwhelmed taking over the role of teacher and Sioux City Principal Amy Denney says that’s expected.

“Allow yourself some grace with this. This was something we didn’t have time to prepare for or plan ahead.”

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds says she is somewhat optimistic about the number of people recovering from COVID-19.

At a news conference this morning she reported no new deaths.  The Iowa Department of Public Heath updated that information to include an elderly patient who died in eastern Iowa.

There are 97 news cases and no new deaths.  A total of 1,145 have tested positive.

A total of 27 Iowans have died.

There are 122 currently hospitalized and 431 patients have recovered.

Associated Press

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds issued an order requiring all schools and non-essential businesses to stay closed through the end of April.

School district will need to come with a plan for educating students or they will be required to make up some of the lost days in class.

Reynolds says she continue to evaluate the situation to see if schools will be closed for the rest of the school year.


The state of Iowa reports 21 more confirmed cases of COVID-19 for a total of 145. 

This comes the day after Governor Kim Reynolds announced the state's first death linked to the coronavirus outbreak.

The victim is a resident of Dubuque County who was between 61 and 80 years old.

Another news conference is planned for 2:30 this afternoon.


Before the threat of the new coronavirus, the biggest concern of school districts this time of year might be “how do you make up snow days”?  

Snow days are nothing compared to the current reality facing students, staff, teachers and administrators. 

The head of Sioux City Community Schools, Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman, gives us more information about what the area’s biggest school district faces right now. 

PM Newscast 3.16.20

Mar 16, 2020

The head of Siouxland District Health tells Siouxland Public Media there are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Woodbury County. 

Kevin Grieme says his department is keeping in close contact with state health officials and health providers locally.

Nebraska Governor Pete Ricketts released new guidelines today when it comes to the coronavirus.

They include limiting public events and gathering to 50 people or less. 

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U.S. agriculture officials say a rule that allows farmers to legally grow hemp will be finalized this week.

It's a move that many states have awaited for months so they can begin widespread hemp production.

It's a big step for Iowa farmers hoping to tap into a rapidly growing market for hemp-derived cannabidiol, commonly called CBD, used in everything from pet food to wine and creams that help relieve minor aches and pains. The $5 billion market is expected to grow to nearly $24 billion by 2023.

Six candidates are vying for four seats on the Sioux City Community Schools Board of Education.  Siouxland Public Media news scheduled a candidate forum for Friday, November 1, 2019 at noon at the downtown Sioux City Public Library.  The election takes place on Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

Biographical information provided by the candidates.


Sioux City, IA
Siouxland Public Media

As students across Siouxland enjoy their summer vacation, Siouxland Public Media took a closer look at the summer “Brain Drain”.  That’s when student lose some of the academic skills they learned through the school year.    

“O 74.”  

"Bingo!  Bingo!  Bingo!  We have some Bingos.”

REPORTER: “What do you think of Bingo night?”

“I really like it.  It’s fun.”

This is Bingo Night at Perry Creek Elementary School.  It’s a popular attraction a couple of weeks before the end of the school year.

The Sioux City Community School District’s music program just hit a high note after a major announcement from a famous performer.

Barry Manilow delivered an important message for students across the country and here locally.

“In second place, Sioux City School District from Sioux City, Iowa.  They get $20,000 for school instruments.”  “Fantastic!”

The Sioux City School District entered a video in a competition with the Barry Manilow Music Project.  First place receiving $100,000.

Jose Garcia

This past weekend graduation ceremonies took place for all three high schools in the Sioux City Community School District. 

Students received diplomas in a class showcasing lingual diversity.

Jose Garcia graduated from North High School and can’t wait for the future.

“I plan to go to Western Iowa Tech and transfer to USD and maybe Briar Cliff.”

REPORTER: What do you think of your high school years going to school in SC?

“They went fast especially these last two years.”

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A small group of rural residents in western Iowa’s Mills County has been warned they may have to evacuate due to recent heavy rains and increased flows on the Missouri River, according to Radio Iowa.

Mills County Public Information Officer Sheri Bowen says “significant flooding” is occurring again west of Interstate 29. The advisory about evacuation preparation covers a limited number of people because many homes in the area remain empty following the major flooding in March.

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Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds was in Sioux City today signing a bill into that extends the 1 cent sales tax.  The statewide sales tax for school infrastructure improvements set to expire in 10 years has been extended through 2051.

Sioux City Community School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman (GAUS-min) attended the signing ceremony downtown and said the sales tax has helped the school district in the past and it will also be helpful in the future. He says the money will help the district renovate or replace some elementary schools. 

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A statewide sales tax for school infrastructure improvements set to expire in 10 years has been extended through 2051.

Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a bill extending that sales tax into law in Sioux City today (yesterday/Friday).

Sioux City Community School District Superintendent Dr. Paul Gausman (GAUS-min) says the state’s 1-cent sales tax has helped the school district in the past and will help them in the future.

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado with winds estimated at over 120 miles per hour touched down near Adair in western Iowa early this morning. There was one death from the storm. 74-year-old Linda Lee Brownlee died when her home was severely damaged.

The weather service says the tornado touched down around 1:29 am.  Meteorologist Chad Hahn says it’s rare to see tornadoes at that time of night.

0522hahn: 10          Looking at the tornadoes that have occurred since 1980, less than 5 percent occur between the hours of midnight and six am.