School officials address letter sent to parents - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

School officials address letter sent to parents


Some parents of minority students within the Sioux City Community School District have expressed concern after they received a letter from a department at the Educational Service Center. 

Earlier this month, some parents within the Sioux City School District received a letter from the Educational Equity Committee, or EEC.

In the letter, the EEC welcomed parents and guardians, and assured them that they are there to assist their children.

The EEC assists children they find-through data- that are not performing as well as they could in school.

"Looking at different data points helps us recognize where a student may be in need, where there may be a barrier that we can help address " said Director of Student Services and Equity Education, Jen Gomez. "But it all leads back to their achievement and how we can help them be successful."

Director of Student Services and Equity Education, Jen Gomez, says the point of the letter was to introduce two staff members to the parents:

Lori Gentry-Education Equity Student Liaison, and Amber Sackmann-Native American Retention Specialist. 

Gomez says the EEC distributed the letter to parents of African American and Native American students, to let them know what the two staff members services are for the district.

So why did the letter not go to ALL students?

"Because those two staff are hired specifically to add extra support and resources for those two sub groups," said Gomez.

Gomez adds the letter was also to let parents know of the extra support and resources available to their child.

"The goal is for our students to be successful, and help them grow, and achieve to their fullest ability," said Gomez. 

Gomez acknowledges that parents concerns over the letter, but wants to assure them that the letter was meant only to benefit students. 

"As a person of color, as a person that grew up in poverty, and that's all I've done- my entire life has been working with this kind of population," said Gomez. "Whether as a social worker, a school counselor, an assistant principal, or now a director. We're trying to overcome the barriers, we're trying to break down barriers to student's success."

Gomez adds that if you received the letter from the Educational Service Center and have any concerns, you can reach her office at (712) 279-6075.

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