Jan. 17, 2023 Board Meeting

19 Jan

To watch the full board meeting discussion of the below items, please click the “watch recording” link next to each item. The links will take you to the start of each of the below agenda items/topics from the board meeting recording.

New Safety & Security Coordinator position receives board approval – watch recording
The Marshalltown School Board voted to approve a new position to oversee – and further improve upon – the Marshalltown CSD’s safety and security measures and strategies at the Tuesday, Jan. 17 regular meeting.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said the District is participating in a state-level initiative to support and improve districts’ safety and security measures, including the school security/vulnerability walkthrough assessments performed in December. The new MCSD Safety & Security Coordinator will play a key role in prioritizing and acting upon recommendations from those assessments, among other major duties.

“The goal for us will be to take where I think we’re at, which is a good to very good place as it relates to safety and security, and take it to a great place,” Dr. Schutte said.

Additionally, the Safety & Security Coordinator will lead efforts to provide relevant training for students and staff, and will act as a direct liaison with Marshall County Emergency Management, the Marshalltown Police and Fire departments, and other area emergency responders.

The Miller Middle School Waterboys FIRST Lego League Robotics team presents on their award-winning project at Tuesday’s meeting. Pictured, from left: Logan Bailey, Aidan Boozell, Gavin Freiberg, Jaden Schwartz, James Marquess, and Miller XLP teacher Ann Jackson.

Miller FIRST Lego League Robotics team shares presentation ahead of state competition – watch recording
The Miller Middle School Waterboys FIRST Lego League Robotics team were crowned champions at their regional competition earlier this month, qualifying for the FLL state competition at Iowa State University in Ames on Saturday, Jan. 28. 

Several members of the Waterboys shared the details behind their award-winning robotics project with the board on Tuesday. They said their project centers on hydroelectric power generation. We look forward to cheering them on at state!

Proposed 2023-24 school year calendar presented, public hearing set for Feb. 6 watch recording
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented a proposed school year calendar for 2023-24 on Tuesday. The calendar draft includes the proposed first and last days of school, professional development days, parent-teacher conferences, holidays, breaks, and more.

“This particular [proposed] calendar very closely mirrors this year’s calendar,” Dr. Schutte said, adding the District’s Calendar Committee strongly supported retaining a Spring Break next school year.

The Spring Break dates listed in the draft calendar – March 11-15, 2023 – would align with the breaks at Marshalltown Community College and the three state regent universities.

The board voted to set a public hearing on the proposed calendar at the next regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 6. No further action was taken regarding the proposed calendar on Tuesday, as it was listed for information and discussion only.

MHS Video Scoreboard project moves forward – watch recording
The board formally approved moving forward with a project to install a new video scoreboard at the Marshalltown High School Sports Complex on Tuesday evening.

In addition to keeping track of game scores and times, the new scoreboard will provide a large video display, as well as exciting opportunities to expand advertising partnerships.

MHS Activities Director Ryan Isgrig said bids are being sought for the new scoreboard, and a bid approval vote is anticipated for the Feb. 6 regular meeting agenda. He said the new scoreboard is planned to be installed this fall, depending upon lead time in getting the scoreboard delivered. He thanked the Bobcat Booster Club for pledging $25,000 toward the project.

MHS junior Ethen Santana, left, and senior Averi Bolar, right, did a great job representing the Bobcats the the All-State Music Festival!

All-State Music students recognized – watch recording
MHS senior Averi Bolar and junior Ethen Santana were recognized for their 2022-23 All-State Music selections on Tuesday evening. The students qualified in the vocal music and orchestra categories, respectively.

Bolar shared her experience from qualifying for All-State with the board on Tuesday. Congratulations to Averi Bolar and Ethen Santana!

New MHS Softball head coach, Baseball interim head coach announced – watch recording
MHS Activity Director Ryan Isgrig also announced that Jason Bauers will take on the role of MHS Softball Head Coach. He said Bauers brings experience as an assistant coach at East Marshall, and that the team is excited to hit the ground running in the upcoming season.

Additionally, Isgrig announced that Allen Mann will serve as the interim MHS Baseball Head Coach. He said the plan is to hire a full-time teacher to lead the Bobcats Baseball team in the long term.

Board approves next school year’s MHS Course Guide – watch recording
The 2023-24 Marshalltown High School Course Guide gained board approval on Tuesday evening, following a presentation by MHS Principal Jacque Wyant. Among the highlights in next year’s course guide are three new agriculture classes, as well as two exciting new business course offerings – Fundamentals of Cybersecurity and Game Design in Unity.

MHS will again offer a Nurse’s Aide course in partnership with MCC, and upperclassmen will have the opportunity to take a new entrepreneurial elective called “Let’s Make Money!”

District Director of Technology Amy Harmsen will bring her expertise to the “Computer Solutions and Applications,” course, which will be held at the Orpheum Theater Center.

Science Bound Director Dr. Alexis Campbell shares an overview of the scholarship program on Tuesday.

Science Bound program overview presented – watch recording
The board heard a presentation from Dr. Alexis Campbell and Jocelyn Drzycimski of Iowa State University’s Science Bound program on Tuesday evening. The program connects with students, as well as their families and teachers, to set them on a path to success in the agriculture, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (ASTEM) fields.

MCSD has partnered with Science Bound since 2006, and about 60 students are currently participating in the program. Students who graduate from high school and fulfill the Science Bound requirements receive a full-tuition scholarship.

Two school buses purchased, will replace older vehicles – watch recording
The MCSD Transportation fleet will gain two new buses to replace older models after board action on Tuesday. One of the new buses is designed to accommodate up to four students with wheelchairs, set to replace a current three-passenger wheelchair bus.The other is a 35-passenger bus, which will replace a current 65-passenger preschool bus.

District Transportation Director Rex Kozak said both vehicles will provide more appropriate capacity for their roles, and will include air conditioning to improve students’ comfort en route. He said Physical  Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) funds will be used for the bus purchases.

Student School Board Representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board Representatives Yessenia Alvarez Zamora, Abraham Madrigal Farias and Natalie Andrade shared an update on student activities and events on Tuesday evening. See the recording above for the full presentation!

Marshalltown Learning Academy update presented – watch recording
Marshalltown Learning Academy (MLA) Principal Eric Goslinga presented an update from the alternative high school at Tuesday’s board meeting. Goslinga highlighted the unique work-based learning opportunities available to MLA students, as well as the school’s focus on providing authentic learning environments. He also touched on the variety of post-secondary paths pursued by MLA graduates.

MLA Principal Eric Goslinga shares an update from his school on Tuesday.

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the District by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved on Tuesday, click here.

Policies:
Initial Review – 

  • 502.12 Violence (marked as reviewed)
  • 502.13 Student Name Changes (marked as reviewed)
  • 502.13-E1 Student Preferred Name or Gender Change Application  (marked as reviewed)
  • 503.1 Student Conduct (will come back for a first reading)
  • 503.1-R1 Disciplinary Procedures and/or Penalties (Responsibility) (will come back for a first reading)
  • 503.1-R2 Student Suspension (will come back for a first reading)
  • 506.2 Student Directory Information (will come back for a first reading)
  • 506.2-R1 Use of Directory Information (will come back for a first reading)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 6, 2023 at the District Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Dec. 19, 2022 Board Meeting

21 Dec

To watch the full board meeting discussion of the below items, please click the “watch recording” link next to each item. The links will take you to the start of each of the below agenda items/topics from the board meeting recording.

$5,000 hiring incentive approved for several certified staff positions  – watch recording
A $5,000 sign-on incentive for several certified staff positions gained Marshalltown School Board approval at the Monday, Dec. 19 regular meeting. The incentive, similar to the measure taken in 2021-22, aims to attract the best applicants for available teaching positions the District is seeking to fill.

“Our goal is to have high-quality teachers fill all of these positions for our kids,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. “Having a relatively competitive salary schedule, offering a $5,000 signing bonus, and offering reimbursement on moving expenses up to a certain amount positions us well.” 

He added that the incentive, which includes a 3-year service requirement, was helpful in filling a number of teaching position openings last year. Federal ESSER funding will be used to cover the cost of the signing incentive.

All MCSD staff to receive stipend for continued extra effortswatch recording
Like many schools and employers nationwide, the Marshalltown CSD continues to experience a shortage of staff across several positions. School staff have continued to step up in a big way, ensuring that Bobcat students receive a high-quality education through this challenging time. 

To recognize and show appreciation for the continued extra effort put in by school staff, the board approved a stipend equal to one day’s base pay for every employee in good standing as of Dec. 31, 2022. 

Dr. Schutte said the stipend approved on Monday will work the same way as a similar measure approved last school year. Stipends for staff hired after September 1, 2022 will be prorated and all stipends will be subject to applicable taxes and withholdings. ESSER funding will be used to cover the cost of the stipends.

FEH Architect Kevin Eipperle shares an MHS Athletic Complex project overview.

MHS Athletic Complex project overview shared, public hearing on proposed new video scoreboard set for Jan. 17 – watch recording
The Marshalltown School Board saw preliminary plans for the proposed MHS Athletic Complex project at the Monday, Dec. 19 regular meeting.

FEH Design architect Kevin Eipperle gave an overview of the estimated cost and scope of work, which includes widening and installing a durable turf surface at Leonard Cole Field, modifying and re-surfacing the track, upgrading field event areas, and installing new home bleachers. A new press box and ticket booth are also included, along with new pavement, lighting, and fencing around the complex.

Another proposed addition at the MHS Athletic Complex is a new video scoreboard. The board approved the tentative adoption of plans, specifications, and form of contract for the scoreboard, and set a public hearing on the matter for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17. The board also authorized the seeking of bids for the new scoreboard.

Books purchased to support elementary curriculum watch recording
Hundreds of high-quality books will fill K-5 classrooms across the District after board action on Monday. The approved books are connected to the District’s elementary-level Core Knowledge Language Arts (CKLA) curriculum, and will enhance students’ learning experience.

One set of books approved on Monday will go to kindergarten, first grade, and second grade classrooms, along with guide books to support teachers in linking the books’ content to class lessons – the cost of those books will be covered using federal Title III funding. A second set of books will go to K-5 classrooms, and were purchased using federal ESSER funds.

PK-6 Curriculum and Professional development Leader (CDPL) Erica Finders said the books will cover a variety of grade-level academic topics addressed in the general CKLA curriculum, from farming and insects to astronomy and U.S. history.

Farmers Savings Bank donates 525 stocking caps to students – watch recording
The board recognized local Farmers Savings Bank staff for their generous donation of hundreds of warm, high-quality stocking caps for students in grades PK-6 on Monday evening. Director of Communications Adam Sodders said the hats have been distributed to the schools, and will be given to students based on need. This hat donation is equivalent to about $5,000 – thank you to Farmers Savings Bank!

Miller eighth grader Aya Karroum shares her positive experiences in the Science Bound program.

Board hears Miller Middle School update – watch recording
Miller Middle School Co-Principals Dave Glenn and Kristyn Kell – along with students Rory Piscitelli, Emma Clawson, Aya Karroum, Gisell Vargas, and Faye Gilbertson – provided updates from their building to the board.

The students represented a variety of clubs and programs available at Miller, including Student Leadership Club, Science Bound, Al Éxito, the school’s new Mariachi music class, and Garden Club. Each student spoke about their positive experiences in their clubs and programs, while Glenn and Kell gave an overview of building-level initiatives, data and practices.

Several community partners helps make the Bobcat Parent Wellness Night & Watch Party a success!

Parent Wellness Night community partners recognized – watch recording
A group of great community partners was also recognized by the board after last week’s successful Parent Wellness Night & Watch Party. JBS Marshalltown, Center Associates, Grace C. Mae Advocate Center, La Carreta Mexican Grill, and ParentGuidance.org were all thanked for their support of the event, in which more than 100 Bobcat families participated. 

Also thanked were the many school and community volunteers who helped make the in-person Parent Wellness Night possible.

Student School Board Representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board Representative Jaxson Eisenbarth and Natalie Andrade shared an update on student activities and events on Monday evening. See the recording above for the full presentation!

Proposed At-Risk budget presented, MSA application approved – watch recording
Director of Instruction Shauna Smith presented the 2023-24 At-Risk budget proposal on Monday, and the board voted to approve an application for state Modified Supplemental Amount (MSA) for Drop-Out Prevention. 

The MSA is designed to cover the excess costs that are not covered by At-Risk supplementary weighted funds for schools. The $1,565,085 MSA request is designed to maintain the current level of At-Risk programming, which includes measures to maintain student engagement with school, services for homeless students, and other important programming.

Monday’s At-Risk budget presentation was for information only, and the board will vote on the final budget at an upcoming meeting.

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the District by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved on Monday, click here.

Policies:
Initial Review – 

  • 502.8-R Search and Seizure (approved, second reading waived)
  • 706.2 Payroll Deductions (approved, second reading waived)

First Reading – 

  • 502.9 Interviews of Students by Law Enforcement and Outside Agencies (mark as reviewed)
  • 502.10 Use of Motor Vehicles (mark as reviewed)
  • 502.11 Gangs (mark as reviewed)
  • 502.11-R Gangs (mark as reviewed)
  • 503.4 Good Conduct Rule (mark as reviewed)
  • 503.4-R2 Student Conduct in Extra-Curricular Activities (mark as reviewed)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023 (due to MLK Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 16) at the District Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Dec. 5, 2022 Board Report

6 Dec

To watch the full board meeting discussion of the below items, please click the “watch recording” link next to each item. The links will take you to the start of each of the below agenda items/topics from the board meeting recording.

Franklin Elementary kindergarten teacher Amy Phillips, right, is recognized at the Monday, Dec. 5 Marshalltown School Board meeting after being named a finalist for the Iowa Teacher of the Year Award. Also pictured is Franklin Principal Tim Holmgren.

Franklin Elementary teacher recognized as one of five Iowa Teacher of the Year finalists – watch recording 
Franklin Elementary kindergarten teacher Amy Phillips was among the five finalists for this year’s Iowa Teacher of the Year Award, and she was recognized for her accomplishment at Monday’s board meeting.

Franklin Principal Tim Holmgren, who nominated Phillips for the award last spring, called the 31-year educator “one of Marshalltown’s finest.” Phillips said she received great support and feedback from her fellow Franklin staff members during the process of being named a finalist.

“I am the teacher I am because of the people I work with,” she said.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte emphasized the magnitude of Phillips’ accomplishment.

“It is a huge honor just to be among the top five in the state,” he said. “We’re really proud and happy that you’re with us at the Marshalltown Community School District.”

Board approves purchase and installation of vape detectors – watch recording
Vape detecting technology is coming to four school buildings after board action on Monday. The board approved the purchase and installation of vape detectors at Lenihan Intermediate School, Miller Middle School, Marshalltown High School, and Marshalltown Learning Academy using ESSER funds.

Dr. William Flemming speaks at Monday’s board meeting.

Schools across the country are working to find ways to address vaping at school, and these sensors are intended to help limit and stop vaping within MCSD schools. Student health and safety is MCSD’s top priority.

UNI Center for Violence Prevention donation will support research on the impact of Mentors in Violence Prevention at MHS – watch recording
Research and data collection on the impact of Marshalltown High School’s Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) program got a boost on Monday evening, when UNI Center for Violence Prevention’s Dr. William Flemming presented a $1,500 donation to support that research. 

MVP offers MHS upperclassmen the opportunity to mentor and guide their younger peers who are just starting to navigate high school. The program aims to help students build healthy connections and find appropriate, effective ways to overcome challenges.

Board hears Lenihan Intermediate School update – watch recording
Lenihan Intermediate School Principal Kyle Young, Associate Principal Dr. Liz Jurgensen, Instructional Coach Tonya Gaffney, computer science teacher Amanda Miller, and classroom teacher Lindsay Stanton presented an update on the programs and initiatives at their building.

Specifically, the group touched on the foundational skills they focus on with students, the ways students use computer coding, and the exciting new opportunities brought by the cutting-edge Lü multimedia virtual reality platform.

Pictured, from left: Dr. Liz Jurgensen, Amanda Miller, Lindsay Stanton, Tonya Gaffney, and Kyle Young of Lenihan Intermediate School present an update from their building on Monday.

Student School Board Representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board Representative Jaxson Eisenbarth and Yessenia Alvarez Zamora shared an update on student activities and events on Monday evening. See the recording above for the full presentation!

MHS early graduates list, course guide updates approved – watch recording 
A list of MHS and Marshalltown Learning Academy seniors set to graduate at mid-year, as well as three MHS juniors set to graduate one year early, gained board approval on Monday. The early graduates include: 

  • Seniors: Guadalupe Avalos Andrade, Eric Banderas, Kierstin Box, Franklin Calderon, Adrian Cervantes, Christopher Chavarria, Alan Diaz Avalos, Brandon Gallardo, Alondra Gonzalez, Enrique Gomez Sanchez, Kristyn Hays, Maria Hernandez, Alyson Ibarra, Kyanni Jones, Marisol Morales, Sky Minjarez, Nalley Nunez, Brayan Suarez Orellana, Cristofer Ortiz Romero, Regina Papa, Jesse Pereznegron, Elian Cristhofer Perdoma Lopez, Valerie Sanchez Torres, Isela Sandoval, Lauren Wall, Arlette Yepez, Jose Aguilar, and Brooklyn Wenner
  • Juniors: Salvador Villagomez, Carson Weatherly, Emily Andrade Zepeda

Additionally, the board approved of changes to the current school year’s MHS course guide. The changes include information about withdrawal dates for Marshalltown Community College classes, which are offered to high school students as dual credit opportunities.

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the District by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved on Monday, click here.

Policies:
Initial Review – 

  • 502.6 Weapons (amended, second reading waived)
  • 507.5 Emergency Plans and Drills (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 804.2 District Emergency Operations Plans (adopted, second reading waived)

First Reading – 

  • 502.7 Smoking, Drinking, Drugs (marked as reviewed)
  • 502.8 Search and Seizure (marked as reviewed)
  • 502.8-R Search and Seizure (will come back for a first reading)
  • 502.8-E1 Search and Seizure Checklist (marked as reviewed)
  • 706.2 Payroll Deductions (will come back for a first reading)
  • 907 District Operations During Public Health Emergency (marked as reviewed)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 19, 2022 at the District Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Nov. 21, 2022 Board Meeting

22 Nov

To watch the full board meeting discussion of the below items, please click the “watch recording” link next to each item. The links will take you to the start of each of the below agenda items/topics from the board meeting recording.

Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger (speaking at table) thanks representatives from several of MCSD’s community mental health and counseling partner organizations. Also pictured, from left: CRAEA Regional Administrator Amy Thoms-Starr, Center Associates Executive Director Paul Daniel and Social Worker Nick Calzada, MPACT Community Advocates Mark Doland and Autumn Drewelow, YSS of Marshall County Director of Community Engagement David Hicks, Wild Spirit Counseling Office Manager Marney Medhaug, The Strengthening Center Owner/Executive Director Lani Maassen, and Mosaic Church Lead Pastor Steve Bensema.

Community mental health & counseling partners recognized for school community support – watch recording
The Monday, Nov. 21 Marshalltown School Board meeting featured a recognition of the District’s many valuable community mental health and counseling partner organizations, each of whom responded swiftly to school community needs after the accident that took four students’ lives earlier this month. Monday’s recognition included: 

  • YSS of Marshall County Director of Community Engagement David Hicks & MPACT Community Advocate Autumn Drewelow
  • Central Rivers Area Education Agency Regional Administrator Amy Thoms-Starr
  • Center Associates Executive Director Paul Daniel and Social Worker Nick Calzada
  • The Strengthening Center Owner/Executive Director Lani Maassen
  • Wild Spirit Counseling Therapist/Counselor Misty Smith and Office Manager Marney Medhaug
  • Mosaic Church Lead Pastor Steve Bensema
  • Grace C. Mae Advocate Center Service Area Manager Dawn Lammert and Counselor Jamie Rich
  • The District would also like to thank Father Alan Dietzenbach of Saint Francis of Assisi Parish

Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger said the group has supported the District through several other challenging events in recent years.

“The people standing behind me have responded immediately to any phone call of support and need, so I think it’s important to say ‘thank you’ to them for being there when we need them most,” he said.

Heitmann, Faltys to continue in leadership roles after annual board elections  – watch recording
School Board President Sean Heitmann and Vice President Sara Faltys were re-elected to their leadership positions for 2022-23 at Monday’s annual/organizational meeting. Additionally, the board confirmed Director of Business Operations Randy Denham as the board secretary, and approved Ahlers & Cooney, PC as legal counsel. Also approved was the treasurer’s annual settlement.

Board President Sean Heitmann (at right) and Vice President Sara Faltys (at left) take the oath of office after being re-elected to board leadership positions on Monday.

Board, superintendent recognized for earning IASB Annual Conference awards – watch recording
All seven members of the Marshalltown CSD Board of Education, as well as Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, were recognized after earning major plaudits at the 2022 Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) Annual Conference.

Each board member – President Sean Heitmann, Vice President Sara Faltys, Karina Hernandez, Bonnie Lowry, Jan McGinnis, Leah Stanley and Zach Wahl – earned an IASB Individual Achievement Award for their dedication to their own professional learning through a combination of participating in formal in-service programs, board service, and experience. The board was also one of only 15 statewide to earn a 2022 IASB Team Achievement Award. Additionally, Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte was one of just 17 superintendents and chief administrators statewide who qualified for the 2021-22 Award of Honor in the Annual Board Awards program. See more details here!

State Sen. Jeff Edler, left, and State Rep. Sue Cahill, right, discuss the upcoming legislative session at Monday’s meeting.

State lawmakers hear District legislative priorities ahead of session – watch recording
State Sen. Jeff Edler and State Rep. Sue Cahill discussed the District’s legislative priorities for the 2023 Iowa Legislative Session with the board on Monday evening.

Teen Outreach Program (TOP) highlighted – watch recording
Since 2012, the Marshalltown CSD has partnered with Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) to support educational success, healthy behaviors and relationships, and life and leadership skills through the Teen Outreach Program (TOP) and Personal Responsibility Education Program (PREP).

Program facilitators Steve Sodders and Jon Rottink, as well as coordinator Jana Larsen, of MICA, presented on both programs at Monday’s meeting. 

TOP promotes the positive development of adolescents through an engaging curriculum and community service learning projects. PREP focuses on helping students develop key life skills, as well as educating them on both abstinence and contraception for the prevention of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The programs receive state/federal approval and funding, provide evidence-based curriculum, and are supported by independent research reviews.

The programs are offered as electives at Lenihan Intermediate School and Miller Middle School. See the presentation at the link above for more info!

Pictured, from left: Steve Sodders, Jon Rottink, and Jana Larsen of MICA present on the TOP and PREP programs made available in partnership with MCSD.

K-12 art curriculum update presented – watch recording
Mentor Program and Specialist Areas Curriculum & Professional Development Leader (CDPL) Julie Thede shared an update on the District’s K-12 art curriculum on Monday.

Since being implemented last school year, the Flex Curriculum Suite has provided consistent, rigorous, and high-quality art education to Bobcat students across grade levels, as well as enhanced professional development tools for art teachers.

Franklin Elementary and Rogers Elementary art teacher Nancy Cross joined Thede for the presentation. She said the platform offers engaging, refreshing options for teaching art while maintaining curricular standards.

Student School Board Representatives Abraham Madrigal Farias, left, and Natalie Andrade, right, share their updates with the board.

Student School Board Representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board Representatives Natalie Andrade and Abraham Madrigal Farias shared an update on student activities and events on Monday evening. Along with updates from MHS, the students gave their positive feedback from last week’s IASB Annual Conference, and specifically praised the event’s keynote speaker, Dr. Adolph Brown.

10-year lease agreement approved for Arnold’s Park – watch recording
The board approved a 10-year agreement to lease Arnold Park to the City of Marshalltown after a public hearing on the matter was held on Monday evening. No public comments were shared at that public hearing. 

Arnold Park is located at 107 S. 7th Street, and has been leased to the City by the District for several decades.

Board hears Marshalltown Virtual Academy update – watch recording
Marshalltown Virtual Academy (MVA) Principal Eric Goslinga gave an update as the virtual school continues in its second year. He gave an overview of the MVA’s enrollment, graduation data, dual-credit classes, student achievement data, and the tools used to provide a quality online education.

School Budget Review Committee request submissions move forward – watch recording
Four requests for modified allowable growth in supplemental aid will be submitted to the state School Budget Review Committee (SBRC) after board approval on Monday. The requests include:

  • Modified allowable growth due to a higher certified student enrollment count for the current school year compared to last school year.
  • Modified allowable growth regarding open enrollment out of the District which was not part of the fall 2021 enrollment count. 
  • Modified allowable growth to support English language learner (ELL) programming beyond five years.
  • Modified allowable growth for special education administration costs associated with the River Hills Consortium program for the 2023-24 school year.

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the District by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved on Monday, click here.

Policies:
Initial Review – 

  • 401.14 Employee Expression (amended, second reading waived)
  • 402.2 Child Abuse Reporting (amended, second reading waived)
  • 408.1 Licensed Employee Professional Development (amended, second reading waived)
  • 502.2 Care of School Property-Vandalism (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 601.2 School Day (amended, second reading waived)
  • 602.1 Curriculum Development (amended, second reading waived)
  • 602.2 Curriculum Implementation (amended, second reading waived)
  • 602.3 Curriculum Evaluation (amended, second reading waived)
  • 605.1 Instructional Materials Selection (amended, second reading waived)
  • 605.1-R1 Selection of Instructional Materials (amended, second reading waived)
  • 605.2 Instructional Materials Inspection (amended, second reading waived)
  • 605.3 Objection to Instructional Materials (amended, second reading waived)
  • 605.3-R1 Objection to Instructional and Library Materials – Reconsideration of Instructional Materials Regulation (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 605.3-E1 Instructions to the Reconsideration Committee (amended, second reading waived)
  • 605.3-E2 Reconsideration of Instructional Materials (amended, second reading waived) 
  • 605.3-E4 Request to Prohibit a Student from Checking Out Specific Library Materials (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 605.4 Technology and Instructional Materials (amended, second reading waived)
  • 605.5 School Library/Media Centers (amended, second reading waived)
  • 802.4 Capital Assets (amended, second reading waived)

First Reading – 

  • 502.4 Student Complaints and Grievances (marked as reviewed)
  • 502.5 Student Lockers (marked as reviewed)
  • 502.6 Weapons (will come back for a first reading)
  • 507.5 Emergency Plans and Drills (will come back for a first reading)
  • 804.2 District Emergency Operations Plans (will come back for a first reading)
  • 804.2-R Warning Systems and Emergency Plans (marked as reviewed)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 5, 2022 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Nov. 7, 2022 Board Meeting

8 Nov

To watch the full board meeting discussion of the below items, please click the “watch recording” link next to each item. The links will take you to the start of each of the below agenda items/topics from the board meeting recording.

Moment of silence held in honor of four students lost on Friday, Nov. 4 – watch recording
The Monday, Nov. 7 Marshalltown School Board meeting started with a 2-minute moment of silence in honor of four students – siblings Linette and Yanitza Lopez, and siblings Adrian and Isacc Lara Mendoza – whose lives were lost in a vehicular accident on Friday, Nov. 4.

As the students’ families, friends, and the entire school community continue to process these losses, the Marshalltown CSD and several partner organizations will continue providing grief counseling services to students this week at Miller Middle School and Marshalltown High School. Additionally, District staff members have access to same-day grief counseling appointments through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Step taken toward establishing Marshalltown FFA Chapter – watch recording
A Marshalltown Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter is one step closer to being a reality after board action at Monday’s meeting.

MHS agriculture and biology teacher Tara Leytham – as well as junior students Lydia Colwell and Isabella Storjohann – presented on the benefits of creating a Marshalltown FFA chapter. They discussed the organization’s focus on leadership, community, and agriculture. With the board’s approval, the group will submit a request to the Iowa Future Farmers Association for the creation of the Marshalltown FFA.

MHS student Lydia Colwell, left, agriculture & biology teacher Tara Leytham, center, and student Isabella Storjohann share the benefits of creating a Marshalltown FFA Chapter.
Vania Madrigal Ibarra discusses her recently-published article, which centers on empowering youth to become leaders.

MHS student’s Spanish-language article published in Hola America Newswatch recording
MHS junior Vania Madrigal Ibarra was recognized by the board after her article, “Tomando Control de Nuestro Legado” (“Taking control of our heritage”) was published in both Spanish and English in Hola America News.

Madrigal Ibarra said she wants to be a positive representative of the Marshalltown Community, and a central focus of her article was building up youth leadership. The article demonstrates not only her commitment to youth leadership, but also to developing her biliteracy skills.

Vision shared for future MCSD Welcome Center – watch recording
Director of Instruction Shauna Smith and English Learner & Migrant Coordinator Rachel Inks shared the District’s vision for the upcoming Welcome Center facility at Monday’s meeting.

Plans for the new Welcome Center have been in development for several months. Smith and Inks described the future facility as “A school and community hub within the Orpheum specializing in whole-student and whole-family registration and intake.” 

The Welcome Center’s purpose, proposed staffing, footprint, and service goals were all major points of discussion. The Orpheum Theater facility, which will house the Welcome Center, is set to officially come into the District’s possession in January 2023. The new Welcome Center is anticipated to open in July of 2023.

For more details on the District’s exciting plans for the new Welcome Center, click “watch recording” above.

Proceeds from Bobcat Burger sales donated to MHS Activities Department – watch recording
MHS Activities Director Ryan Isgrig accepted a generous donation from local Legends American Grill Manager Brady Ridout on Monday. The donation of more than $1,200 was raised through sales of the restaurant’s signature Bobcat Burger. For each Bobcat Burger purchased, $1 was added to the donation funds.

Legends American Grill Manager Brady Ridout, left, presents a donation of $1,200 to MHS Activities Director Ryan Isgrig.

Marshalltown Youth Foundation makes positive impact – watch recording
Marshalltown Youth Foundation Board President Terry Gray and board member Andrew Potter shared information about their organization’s positive impact on the lives of qualifying District families.

Gray said the Foundation takes two main approaches in supporting community youth – the first is by helping cover community sports/activity registration fees, and the second is by providing a musical instrument lending library.

Early notification incentive approved – watch recording
The District will continue to offer an Early Notification employee incentive for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The goal of the incentive is to post the positions of those who have already made the decision to leave as early as possible, allowing more time to ensure highly-qualified applicants are hired earlier in the year than normal. 

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said the incentive proved useful after it was first introduced last year, with high-quality hires made in the vast majority of cases where the incentive was invoked. He said the incentive is intended only as a short-term tool at a time when many employers are challenged to fill available positions.

Staff highlighted in celebration of upcoming American Education Week, Veterans Day – watch recording
Fifteen military veteran District employees were honored and thanked for their service at Monday’s board meeting. Veterans Day is on Friday, Nov. 11, and thank you cards will be delivered to staff members who served.Also highlighted was American Education Week, a celebration of the many school staff who provide students with a quality public education. This year, American Education Week runs Nov. 13-19.

School Board President Sean Heitmann, right, swears in Director of Business Operations Randy Denham as the new Marshalltown School Board Secretary on Monday.

Denham appointed as new Board Secretary – watch recording
Randy Denham returned to the Marshalltown CSD in October, taking up the role of Director of Business Operations. As part of his new role, Denham was officially sworn in as the new Marshalltown School Board Secretary on Monday evening. Both positions were previously held by Paulette Newbold, who departed after several years of excellent service to the District.

We are excited to welcome Mr. Denham back to Marshalltown!

Public hearing set on lease of Arnold’s Park – watch recording
The board set a public hearing for 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, regarding the proposed lease of Arnold’s Park to the City of Marshalltown.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said the District has leased Arnold’s Park to the City of Marshalltown since 1954, and it is necessary to renew that long-standing lease agreement with the City. Arnold’s Park, a former school site and current neighborhood park, is located off of South 7th Street, between Church and Linn streets.

Board approves seeking bids for installation of vape detectors – watch recording
Bids will be sought on a project to install vape detectors throughout the District’s secondary-level school buildings after board action on Monday. Dr. Schutte said the move is intended to deter vaping at school.

MHS Band trip to Disney World approved – watch recording
MHS Band students will travel down to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, next spring after the board approved an out-of-state travel request at Monday’s meeting.

MHS Band Director Brett Umthun said valuable learning opportunities on the trip will include the Soundtrack Session Instrumental Workshop, the Disney Dancing Workshop, and the large-scale Marching Band Parade at the Magic Kingdom. He said the previous trip to Disney World, taken in 2020, proved very valuable for students.

Architect agreement for MHS Athletic Campus approved – watch recording
Another important step was taken toward a proposed project to upgrade the MHS Stadium complex on Monday evening. The board approved an agreement for architectural and engineering services with multiple firms, including FEH Design, KCL Engineering, and the Marshalltown-based Clapsaddle-Garber Associates.

“Essentially, it’s the same team we’ve been working with on the last couple of large projects,” Dr. Schutte said.

He also said the District is awaiting notification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding a grant to fund the separate, proposed Tornado Safe Team Room project; he shared hopes that such notification arrives prior to Winter Break.

Student School Board Representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board Representatives Yessenia Alvarez Zamora, Natalie Andrade, and Jaxson Eisenbarth shared an update on student activities and events on Tuesday evening.

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the District by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved on Monday, click here.

Policies:
Initial Review – 

  • 501.15-R Open Enrollment-Receiving District Regulation (amended, second reading waived)

First Reading – 

  • 502.1 Student Appearance (mark as reviewed)
  • 502.3 Student Expression and Student Publications (mark as reviewed)
  • 502.3-R1 Student Expression and Student Publications Code (mark as reviewed)
  • 502.2 Care of School Property-Vandalism (will come back for a first reading)
  • 401.14 Employee Expression (will come back for a first reading)
  • 402.2 Child Abuse Reporting (will come back for a first reading)
  • 408.1 Licensed Employee Professional Development (will come back for a first reading)
  • 601.2 School Day (will come back for a first reading)
  • 602.1 Curriculum Development (will come back for a first reading)
  • 602.2 Curriculum Implementation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 602.3 Curriculum Evaluation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.1 Instructional Materials Selection (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.1-R1 Selection of Instructional Materials (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.2 Instructional Materials Inspection (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.3 Objection to Instructional Materials (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.3-R1 Objection to Instructional and Library Materials – Reconsideration of Instructional Materials Regulation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.3-E1 Instructions to the Reconsideration Committee (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.3-E2 Reconsideration of Instructional Materials (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.3-E4 Request to Prohibit a Student from Checking Out Specific Library Materials (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.4 Technology and Instructional Materials (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.5 School Library/Media Centers (will come back for a first reading)
  • 802.4 Capital Assets (will come back for a first reading)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Oct. 17, 2022 Board Meeting

18 Oct

To watch the full board meeting discussion of the below items, please click the “watch recording” link next to each item. The links will take you to the start of each of the below agenda items/topics from the board meeting recording.

Preliminary certified enrollment summary brings positive news – watch recording
Preliminary certified enrollment numbers for the 2022-23 school year were presented at the Monday, Oct. 17 Marshalltown School Board meeting, and the data showed a significant increase in certified enrollment, equal to 87.4 students.

“We have an increase from the previous two years of both served students, as well as certified enrollment,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

The preliminary summary showed increased enrollment among both resident students and students open enrolling into MCSD from other districts.

In Iowa, school districts’ certified enrollment plays an important role in determining their spending authority. The increase in certified enrollment, as indicated in this year’s preliminary data, is good news for MCSD’s continued financial health and strength. For full details from Monday’s presentation, check out the “watch recording” link above!

Board hears update on planned Pickleball Court repair – watch recording
Plans are moving forward to repair and replace a damaged portion of the wall on the north side of the Marshalltown Tennis Complex’s Pickleball Court area. Garling Construction Owner Doug DeMeulenaere discussed the details of those repair plans with the board on Monday evening.

The portion of wall in question experienced a partial collapse last spring. DeMeulenaere said the work will include not only repairing/replacing the damaged portion of the north wall, but also inspecting the remaining walls and installing quality replacements, where necessary.

DeMeulenaere also said the District will not be charged for the work. He said the scope of necessary repairs is being determined in the next few weeks, and work will commence as soon as possible. See the link above for the full discussion.

Pictured, from left: Hoglan Principal Amy Williams, English learner teacher Heather Stanley, Instructional Coach Mallory Kern, and preschool teacher Molly Tafta share updates on their school’s programs and initiatives with the board.

Hoglan Elementary presentation – watch recording
Hoglan Elementary Principal Amy Williams was joined by English Learner teacher Heather Stanley, Instructional Coach Mallory Kern, and Preschool teacher Molly Tafta for a presentation on the school’s programs on Monday.

The presentation featured video clips from Hoglan Transitional Kindergarten (TK) teacher Deshonna Garth’s classroom, each showing the strong emphasis placed on social-emotional learning (SEL) within Hoglan’s TK programming. The school’s new Frog Street curriculum and Bobcat Buddies program were also discussed.

Student School Board Representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board Representatives Yessenia Alvarez Zamora, Natalie Andrade, and Jaxson Eisenbarth shared an update on student activities and events on Tuesday evening.

Student School Board Representatives (from left) Jaxson Eisenbarth, Natalie Andrade, and Yessenia Alvarez Zamora share their regular update with the board.

Voluntary Early Retirement incentive not to be offered for the current school year – watch recording
The District will not offer the Voluntary Early Retirement incentive for the current school year after board action on Monday. Dr. Schutte said the recommendation came as a result of the District’s strong overall financial health, as well as the importance of retaining experienced staff members.

National School Bus Safety Week & National School Lunch Week highlighted – watch recording
The school board recognized National School Bus Safety Week, which runs through this Friday, Oct. 21. There are many ways for community members to help make students’ bus rides to and from school as safe as possible – find full info here!

Also highlighted was National School Lunch Week, celebrated Oct. 10-14. School meals are being served free of charge for all Bobcat students this year, and those meals act as fuel for learning.

Thank you to our incredible Transportation and Food Service staff for the key roles you play in supporting students’ academic success!

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the District by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved on Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading – 

  • 501.14-R Open Enrollment – Sending District Regulation (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.15-R Open Enrollment – Receiving District Regulation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 501.16 Homeless Children and Youth (marked as reviewed)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 7, 2022 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Oct. 4, 2022 Board Meeting

5 Oct

To watch the full board meeting discussion of the below items, please click the “watch recording” link next to each item. The links will take you to the start of each of the below agenda items/topics from the board meeting recording.

MHS Heritage Spanish students Alexia Garcia, left, and Natalie Andrade, right, are recognized after their Spanish-language articles were selected for publication in UNI’s student newspaper, the Northern Iowan.

Two MHS Heritage Spanish students’ articles featured in university newspaper – watch recording
The board recognized MHS Heritage Spanish students Natalie Andrade and Alexia Garcia on Tuesday evening. Both students authored Spanish-language articles which were selected for publication in the University of Northern Iowa’s student newspaper, the Northern Iowan. Andrade’s article – titled “Entre dos mundos” (“Between two worlds”) – has already been published. Garcia’s article was recently selected for publication and will appear in an upcoming edition.

MHS Heritage Spanish teacher Kristin Stuchis said Andrade and Garcia were excited for the opportunity to share their experiences through their articles. Both students said their biliteracy skills have grown thanks to their advanced Spanish education at MHS.

Important step taken toward proposed MHS Stadium complex project – watch recording
The Marshalltown School Board approved the use of SAVE state sales tax revenue for a proposed project to upgrade the Marshalltown High School Stadium complex at the Tuesday, Oct. 4 regular meeting.

FEH Design President and architect Kevin Eipperle shared an overview of the proposed work, including converting Leonard Cole Field to a turf surface, as well as widening the field. Upgrades to stadium bleachers, the press box, scoreboard, and entryway were also among the proposed improvements.

Christensen voices his support of the proposed MHS Stadium project

James Christensen – a District parent and Spanish teacher, Head Boys Tennis Coach, and Assistant Football Coach at MHS – voiced his support for the upgrades at the public hearing on the use of SAVE funds for the project. He said the entire complex is important not only for Bobcat student-athletes’ use, but for the “community as a whole.”

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said the information shared on Tuesday was preliminary, and there are still key steps to take before work is able to begin. 

The SAVE funds are not intended to be used for the separate, proposed Tornado-Safe Team Room facility project. Instead, that facility work would be covered by a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant, if the grant is approved.

Newbold applauded for service to MCSD ahead of departure – watch recording
Dr. Schutte presented the Superintendent’s Star Award to Paulette Newbold, who will be departing from the District this month. He commended Newbold’s leadership and dedication in her role as Director of Business Operations over the past several years.

Newbold will continue to serve as a school finance leader in Boone. Meanwhile, former MCSD Business Manager Randy Denham is set to take the helm as Director of Business Operations.

Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold, left, accepts the Superintendent’s Star Award from Dr. Theron Schutte, right. Newbold is departing from the District after years of dedicated service.

National Principals Month celebrated – watch recording
October is National Principals Month, and the school board recognized the crucial role principals and school building administrators play in Bobcat students’ academic success.

“National Principals Month provides us with the opportunity to take the time to thank all of our principals for the important work that they do,” Dr. Schutte said. “All of our principals are in it for the right reasons.”

FY22 Financial Summary shows District is in good financial health watch recording
Newbold also shared a District year-end financial summary for Fiscal Year 2022 on Tuesday evening. One key takeaway was that the District’s solvency ratio – a key metric for financial health – increased from 13.8% in FY 2021 to 20% in FY 2022.

Newbold said the increased solvency ratio from FY 2022 is, in part, a result of unique circumstances due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She said the District has also taken intentional steps to increase the solvency ratio in recent years.

MHS First Team All-State Boys Golf team members Cael Sandvick, left, Tyler Faltys, second from left, and Ryan Schmit, second from right, are recognized for their role in winning the inaugural Iowa Alliance North Conference Championship. Boys Golf Head Coach Lucas Johnson, right, congratulated the student-athletes and shared that Schmit will compete at the State Golf Tournament.

Bobcat Boys Golf team commended for bringing home inaugural conference title – watch recording
The MHS Bobcat Boys Golf team took home the first-ever Iowa Alliance North Conference title this season, and their performance was highlighted at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Head Coach Lucas Johnson and Bobcat First Team All-Conference golfers Ryan Schmit, Tyler Faltys, and Cael Sandvick spoke about their successful 2022 season. In addition to his second-place individual finish at the conference tournament, Schmit has qualified for the state tournament this weekend at Elmcrest Country Club. 

“We’re fortunate to have a really good crew of kids who continue to work hard and continue to push the boundaries of what golf can be,” Johnson said.

School custodians’ important work highlighted – watch recording
Sunday, Oct. 2 was National Custodians Day, and the District’s excellent custodial team was recognized for the important work they do on behalf of Bobcat students.School custodians play a key role in providing great environments for learning, from classrooms and activity areas to cafeterias and hallways. Thank you for your important work!

Student School Board Representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board Representatives Yessenia Alvarez Zamora, Natalie Andrade, Jaxson Eisenbarth and Abraham Madrigal Farias shared an update on student activities and events on Tuesday evening.

Special education deficit significantly lower this year – watch recording
The District will seek authority from the School Budget Review Committee (SBRC) for allowable growth and supplemental aid to address a negative balance in special education funding after board action on Tuesday.

Newbold said this year’s special education deficit is significantly lower than in previous years.

“[The special education deficit] is about half of what it usually is,” Newbold said, adding that this year’s lower staffing levels and increased state supplemental aid are the main reasons for the lower deficit.

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the District by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved on Tuesday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading – 

  • 501.9 – Student Absences-Excused (approved, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 501.10 Truancy-Unexcused Absences (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.12 Pregnant Students (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.13 Students of Legal Age (marked as reviewed)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, October 17, 2022 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Sept. 19, 2022 Board Meeting

20 Sep

Proposed MHS Stadium project presented, public hearing set for Oct. 4 – watch recording
Exciting proposed upgrades at the Marshalltown High School Stadium complex were presented at the Monday, Sept. 19 Marshalltown School Board meeting. 

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte outlined two major portions of proposed work:

  • Construction of a Tornado-Safe Team Room through a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant: If approved, the grant would cover all eligible costs related to installing that facility. In addition to providing a safe location for players and spectators during inclement weather, the Tornado-Safe Team Room would provide improved athletic facilities, including locker room space. 
  • MHS Stadium complex upgrades using SAVE state sales tax revenue: Proposed work includes widening the athletic field and converting its surface from natural grass to turf. Additional proposed areas to be upgraded include the stadium’s bleachers, press box area, and scoreboard, as well as the lighting, sound, and digital timing systems.
    The board set a public hearing on the use of SAVE funds for the proposed project for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave.
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left, presents the Superintendent’s Star Award to longtime Marshalltown Performing Arts Center Auditorium Manager Al Paxson, right. Paxson is stepping down from the position after nearly three decades of exceptional service to the Marshalltown CSD.

Longtime Auditorium Manager’s service recognized – watch recording
Al Paxson is stepping down from his position as Marshalltown Performing Arts Center Auditorium Manager after 27 years, and his exceptional service was recognized with a Superintendent’s Star Award on Monday evening.

Dr. Schutte said Paxson played a pivotal role during his long tenure at the Auditorium, including overseeing numerous successful fine arts events.

MHS XLP teacher Susan Fritzell, left, and senior student Leticia Herrera, right, share their experiences from this year’s National History Day Summer Institute.

MHS student-teacher team share highlights from National History Day Summer Institute – watch recording
MHS Extended Learning Program (XLP) teacher Susan Fritzell and senior student Leticia Herrera shared their experiences from this year’s National History Day Summer Institute. As part of the Summer Institute program, the duo researched local World War II veteran Eugene Stegmann and visited Pearl Harbor in Hawaii.

Fritzell and Herrera were one of 15 student-teacher pairs nationwide to be chosen for the program. They were commended by the board for their selection to and participation in the NHD Summer Institute.

Certified staff lane changes gain board approval – watch recording
Dozens of MCSD certified staff were rewarded for their commitment to furthering their education at Monday’s board meeting.

The board approved lane changes for 42 certified staff members, each of whom dedicated time and resources to earning additional graduate-level credits or a full graduate-level degree. Those staff members will earn higher pay as a result of their continuing education.

Student School Board Representatives (from left) Jaxson Eisenbarth, Natalie Andrade, Abraham Madrigal Farias, and Yessenia Alvarez Zamora provide an update to the board.

Student School Board Representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board Representatives Yessenia Alvarez Zamora, Natalie Andrade, Jaxson Eisenbarth and Abraham Madrigal Farias shared an update on student activities and events on Monday evening.

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the District by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved on Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading – 

  • 704.4 Gifts, Grants and Bequests (approved, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 501.7 Student Transfers Out or Withdrawals (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.8 Attendance Records (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.9 Student Absences-Excused (will come back for a first reading)
  • 501.9-E1 Request for Remote Learning Form (marked as reviewed)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 (rescheduled from original date of Monday, Oct. 3) at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Sept. 6, 2022 Board Meeting

7 Sep
MHS math teacher Angela Pierce, left, and Principal Jacque Wyant, right, discuss the educational benefits of the new PRISMS virtual reality platform. A container for a VR headset can be seen at center.

Virtual reality education platform, interactive playground gain board approval  –
The Marshalltown School Board approved the purchase of two exciting, cutting-edge digital learning platforms at the Tuesday, Sept. 6 regular meeting.

  • PRISMS, a cutting-edge virtual reality education platform, will supplement Marshalltown High School students’ math education. The platform includes VR headsets, which will allow students to interact with the mathematical concepts they are learning about in their real-world classroom.
    “What I really liked about [PRISMS] was the fact that it was laser-focused on using the application to supplement math curriculum and, eventually, science curriculum,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.”
    MHS Principal Jacque Wyant and math teacher Angela Pierce said they had positive, engaging experiences while testing the PRISMS platform. The high school and Miller Middle School will each receive one set of PRISMS VR headsets. (Watch recording)
  • Also purchased on Tuesday was the state-of-the-art Lu multimedia projection system, which is set to be implemented at the Lenihan Intermediate School gym later this fall.
    Using a dual projector system, the LU platform will allow students to play interactive, educational games during P.E. class. The platform offers other curriculum-related activities, which could allow Lenihan’s P.E. teachers and teachers of other subjects to collaborate in exciting new ways. (Watch recording)
  • Federal COVID learning loss funds will be used for both of these purchases.

Coaching staff approved for new MHS Esports & Girls Wrestling programs – watch recording
The board approved stipends for two new coaching positions at Tuesday’s meeting. One will take the helm as the Esports Coach, and the other will lead as Girls Wrestling Assistant Coach.

Both of these exciting programs are brand new for the 2022-23 school year.

Student School Board Representatives (from left) Jaxson Eisenbarth, Natalie Andrade, Abraham Madrigal Farias, and Yessenia Alvarez Zamora introduce themselves at their first meeting of the school year.

New Student School Board Representatives introduced – watch recording
New Student School Board Representatives Yessenia Alvarez Zamora, Natalie Andrade, Jaxson Eisenbarth and Abraham Madrigal Farias introduced themselves to the school board at Tuesday’s meeting. 

The student leaders will share regular updates with the board throughout the 2022-23 school year.

Miller XLP teacher Ann Jackson speaks about the Society for Science Advocate Program

Miller XLP teacher recognized for selection to Society for Science Advocate Program – watch recording
The board recognized Miller Middle School Extended Learning Program (XLP) teacher Ann Jackson on Tuesday. Jackson was one of 84 teachers nationwide to be selected to the Society for Science Advocate Program.

“I wanted to increase my skills and be a better advocate for all students, and especially those who are underrepresented,” she said, adding the Society for Science is providing training and resources to aid her advocacy efforts.

Increased substitute teacher pay gains board approval – watch recording
An increase in daily substitute teacher pay – from $130 to $140 – gained board approval Tuesday evening. In addition to the increase in base pay, substitute teachers will be able to earn an even higher pay rate – $160 per day – for substituting for 50 or more days in any one school year.

Learn more about this and MCSD’s other exciting incentives here!

Details shared on MCSD Mentor Program – watch recording
Director of Instruction Shauna Smith and Mentor Program Curriculum & Professional Development Leader Julie Thede presented on the District’s Mentor Program for new certified staff.

Thede said the purpose of the Mentor Program is to ensure new teachers have as successful an entry into the education profession as possible. The program focuses on providing a welcoming climate, encouraging collaboration, and improving through self-analysis and reflection.

Director of Instruction Shauna Smith, left, and Mentor Program CDPL Julie Thede, right, present on the District’s Mentor program for new certified staff.

2022-2023 board and superintendent goals approved – watch recording
The 2022-23 Superintendent and Marshalltown School Board goals were approved on Tuesday, each with three areas of focus. See the full goals document here.

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the district by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved on Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading – 

  • 501.15 Open Enrollment Transfers-Procedures as a Receiving District (approved, second reading waived) 

Initial Review – 

  • 501.4 Entrance – Admissions (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.5 Attendance Center and Program Assignment (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.6 Student Transfers In (marked as reviewed)
  • 704.4 Gifts, Grants, and Bequests (will come back for a first reading)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

Aug. 15, 2022 Board Meeting

16 Aug

To watch the full board meeting discussion of the below items, please click the “watch recording” link next to each item. The links will take you to the start of each of the below agenda items/topics from the board meeting recording.

District Lead Nurse Stacey Tool-Crawford presents updated communicable disease procedures for the 2022-23 school year.

District Lead Nurse presents updated communicable disease procedures – watch recording
The Marshalltown School Board heard an update on the District’s communicable disease procedures for the 2022-23 school year at the Monday, Aug. 15 regular meeting. The procedures include what students should do when sick, as well as guidance on returning to school after an illness. 

District Lead Nurse Stacey Tool-Crawford, who presented the updated procedures on Monday, also shared information specific to COVID-19. The District will continue to support following CDC and Marshall County Public Health recommendations, including:

  • Frequent hand washing and social distancing to the extent possible.
  • Staying up to date with COVID-19 vaccines and boosters.
  • Getting tested if you have symptoms. If you are at high risk for severe illness, talk to your healthcare provider about other precautions.
  • Wearing a mask indoors in public when community COVID transmission levels are high.
  • Following CDC recommendations for isolation and masking if you have symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 – MCSD Guidance for COVID-19 isolation.

Tool-Crawford said MCSD will continue to stay up-to-date on guidance from local, state, and CDC public health guidelines going forward.

MHS Principal Jacque Wyant discusses updated information in the 2022-23 MHS Student Handbook.

Board approves updated 2022-23 MHS Student Handbook watch recording
An updated Marshalltown High School Student Handbook gained board approval on Monday evening. MHS Principal Jacque Wyant said the handbook includes an updated bell schedule to reflect four lunch periods, a closed campus lunch period, and additional narrative regarding search and seizure.

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the district by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here.

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved on Monday, click here.

Policies:
Initial Review – 

  • 501.3 Compulsory Attendance (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.3-E1 Attendance Requirements (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.3-E2 Attendance Regulations-table (tabled, will come back at a later meeting)
  • 501.15 Open Enrollment Transfers-Procedures as a Receiving District (will come back for a first reading)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022 (due to Labor Day on Monday, Sept. 5)  at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.