Sioux City Community School District looking at ESL staffing

Published: Mar. 13, 2023 at 10:41 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - The ratio of English-Second Language staff to students is 94-1 in the Sioux City Community School District.

It was a surprise to members of the school board at Monday night’s meeting. Board members were surprised to learn that educators, who aren’t certified for ESL, were being counted as ESL teachers.

Board President Dan Greenwell said the district was previously accounting for 17 English teachers as ESL teachers at Irving Elementary, which is the district’s dual-language elementary school. But, none of them were providing ESL services.

Greenwell said district administration noticed the mistake, and hope a district task force can find ways to solve the staffing problems, and bring down the teacher to student ratio for ESL students.

“Quite frankly, it’s a mystery as to why they were included in the count of ELL teachers, they shouldn’t have been,” Greenwell said. “They never should have been, and I think I became clear tonight, this board wants to see it corrected, and this administration is coming forward and doing it properly.”

Right now, there are roughly 3,200 ESL students within the district accounting for close to 22% of the student population.