SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Sioux City’s school district has implemented a learning strategy called ‘teaming’ this school year. It’s something that many teachers are elated to have back.

“Teaming is taking a school that’s a bigger school and turning it into a smaller school,” 6th grade teacher Kathy Clarkson said.

“6th, 7th, and 8th grade we each have three teams, so instead of having to deal with 300 students, we’re dealing with 100,” 6th grade teacher Kate Albrecht said.

Teachers at East Middle School were thrilled to find out teaming was returning.

“I was elated. I must say, it has really improved our climate, it has improved our relationship with our students,” 6th grade teacher Julie Sweeney said.

“As soon as it was made clear to us that we were going to lose it, we have tried to figure out different ways to get it back,” Albrecht said.

Sioux City schools had teaming in place until about six years ago.

“The board at that time decided that we needed to do some restructuring and then at that time, teaming was reduced. It was a budgeting concern that they were looking at,” East Middle School Assistant Principal Erica Somsky said.

But now, Somsky said new funding makes the learning system possible again.

“So with ESSER funds, we are able to, as a board and a school district, really collaborate and find some opportunities that we could strengthen and bring back teaming into the middle school,” Somsky said.

Two months into the 2022-23 school year, teachers said they already notice a positive impact on students.

“Our behavior this year, it just seems under control. We used to send students around the building and this is a large building,” Sweeney said.

“I will say it’s very exciting, because we’re seeing some of the things we saw back in 1986-1987,” Clarkson said.