August 21, 2017 Board Meeting

22 Aug

Marshalltown High School junior Sam Estrada spoke to the school board on August 21. He had a busy summer which included the STEM Academy at Emerson and the National Hispanic Institute Youth Legislative Session in Elmhurst, IL. Sam has an interest in studying mechanical or electrical engineering in college.

MHS junior talks about his busy summer
Marshalltown High School junior Sam Estrada talked about his busy summer as he was recognized by the board at the meeting. Estrada participated in the STEM Academy at Emerson and the National Hispanic Institute’s Lorenzo De Zavala Youth Legislative Session in Elmhurst, IL this summer.  

Sam said they passed motions and made bills in the mock legislative session. Sam is no stranger to Emerson either as he already completed an internship there a year ago.

Sam has an interest in studying mechanical or electrical engineering in college. Emerson employee Sam Ibarra also attended the meeting and spoke of Sam Estrada’s involvement at Emerson.

Roundhouse Phase 2 bids
A public hearing was held for the Roundhouse Phase 2 project of a wrestling room and auxiliary gym at Marshalltown High school. Representatives from Garling Construction expressed  concern over the use of voluntary alternates in the bid process.
After consultation with legal counsel, the board tabled approval of the bids for the project, pending further study on the issue and further legal counsel.
Before tabling the bid approval, the board approved plans, specifications, form or contract and estimated cost of the project.

Personnel items
For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Donations for cross country shelter
The board approved a list of donations for the new cross country shelter house (named in honor of Tim Bell) and to purchase the new varsity girls cross country uniforms.

Literacy materials for Special Education

Cretsinger, Matt copy

Matt Cretsinger

Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger requested to purchase literacy materials for special education students to help meet the needs of the students.
Approved by the board was the purchase of curricular items Really Great Reading for $39,597 and System 44 NG (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) for $63,748.59.



Superintendent and School Board goals
These goals were established during previous board and superintendent work sessions and other discussion. The board approved the goals.

2017- 18 Legislative priorities for Iowa Association of School Boards
The board approved these priorities which will be presented to IASB to take into consideration in their delegate assembly as they decide what issues to lobby for during the 2018 legislative session.

Air Conditioning unit at Miller Middle School
An A/C unit is no longer functioning at Miller.  The board approved the bid of a new chiller of $110,683 from Kapaun & Brown of Marshalltown. This bid was accepted because it included installation within a week of bid approval.

Board Policies

First reading
411.1 – Definition of Classified Personnel- deleted old policy and adopted new which mirrors Iowa Association of School Board’s policy
411.7 – Evaluation – Delete old policy and adopt IASB policy
411.9 – Terms of Employment – Amended and approved
412.1 – Salary Schedule –  Minor terminology change via legal advice- Amended and approved.

Initial reading
412.4- Annuities- Classified –  Tabled review of this based on recent law changes and awaiting IASB guidance.
413.2- Retirement- Deleted the brief policy-(combine it with 413.6)
413.3- Dismissal and Suspension of Classified Employees – Slight changes to title and number for consistency with discipline policy. Reviewed.
413.3R- Dismissal and Suspension of Classified Employees Regulation- Changes on number and slight title/wording changes, To come back at next meeting.
413.6 -Classified Employee Retirement – Combine with 413.2 policy- language made consistent with other retirement policy- to come back before board.

Next school board meeting
The next regular meeting of the school board is at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 5 in district offices, 1002 S. 3rd. Ave..

School Board candidate forums
The Marshalltown Education Association will host a school board candidate forum at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 26 at the Fisher Community Center. The chamber is sponsoring a candidate forum at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, August 24 at Fisher Community Center.  

From Board President Bea Niblock
“At last evening’s board meeting, the board approved a number of donations. Donations ranged from a few dollars to $1000. These donations were approved for the Cross Country Shelter House and the Varsity Girls Cross Country uniforms.

Donations have been received for a variety of things in the past. Without the support of our community and their generosity, a number of activities would not happen and a number of things would not be purchased.

As the state has provided less and less over the last few years to the increased funding in the public schools, the school districts’ budgets have been stretched thinner and thinner. So, the board is most delighted to accept these donations for things that we might not otherwise be able to afford.” – Bea Niblock


August 7, 2017 Board Meeting

8 Aug

Cross country shelter to honor Tim Bell under construction


Marshalltown High School staff member Eric Weeden talked to the school board on August 7 about the new cross country shelter house being constructed on the Marshalltown Community College campus to honor Tim Bell.



Tim Bell

Marshalltown High School juvenile court liaison Eric Weeden gave an update on the cross country shelter house, which is currently under construction on the Marshalltown Community College campus, just southwest of the dorms. Construction is expected to be completed in a matter of days. MHS hosts meets at the MCC cross country course.

The shelter will include a commemorative plaque as it is named in honor of Tim Bell, the longtime coach and athletic director at MHS who retired in 2013.




Sara McCue

Lenihan Intermediate School vocal music teacher Sara McCue was recognized by the board. She attended the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation workshop in New York City this summer.

She spent four days learning about how to teach rock and roll to students to keep them engaged. For more on the workshop, click here.

Personnel items
For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Public Comment
Miller Middle School teacher Steve Hinderhofer spoke to the board. He thanked the district  for the opportunity he has been given to teach here. He said they have a great staff at Miller and are like a family there. He said he looks forward to seeing the students every Monday morning. He also thanked the board for all they do to help the district.

Legislative priorities for Iowa Association of School Boards
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented this document of his potential legislative priorities. The board will provide input on these priorities and present a final list for board approval at the August 21 meeting.

That priority list would then be provided to the IASB as they compile priorities from across the state to see what to focus lobbying efforts on for the 2018 legislative session.

School Board and superintendent goals for 2017-18
These goals were developed at two work session meetings.
This will be brought back for the August 21 meeting as an action item for board approval.

Board Room Audio-Visual System
Director of Technology Josh Wesley presented a request to submit a Request for Proposal for upgrades to the audio and visual systems in the board room.
As part of the RFP, there are two options – one to upgrade audio system and the other to upgrade the audio and visual systems.
The audio only project has an estimated cost of $20,000-25,000 and the audio and video project is estimated at $50,000-55,000.
In a 5-2 vote, the board approved to move forward with publishing an RFP to see what bids come back and make a decision at that time whether to move forward with the project.

Board Policies
First reading
409.3-E-2 – Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave – Adopting up to date policies from IASB.  Amended and approved.
409.8 – Absence Without Pay- Amended and approved

Initial Review
410.7- Exchange Teachers- Marked as reviewed
411.1- Definition of Classified Personnel- To come back with IASB policy additions
411.7 -Evaluation- To come back with IASB policy
411.9 – Terms of Employment-  Change last paragraph from head custodian to supervisor. Also 40 hours indicated in policy as a normal work week is not reflective of summer hours. Discussion was held around summer hours for 12-month employees, which includes Fridays off. To come back before board after consultation with Director of Human Resources and Superintendent.
412.1 – Salary Schedule – Change “salaries” to “base wages.
412.3 –  Insurance- Needs to be changed since insurance can’t be bargained for any more.

The board then went into a closed session for a student readmission request.

The next regular board meeting is at 5 p.m. on August 21.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Over the past couple of months, the board has been involved in its own self-assessment and setting of goals for the coming year. After 2 lengthy work sessions, the board has decided on its goals. Without that focus, the board is set adrift and deals only with the current issues that cross its bow.

The needs of the board and of the district have been discussed and the items of strongest interest have been worded into 3 goals with underlying objectives and activities defined. The goals are 1) Focus on improved student achievement for all students, 2) Prepare for negotiations implemented through collective bargaining changes, and 3) Renew its commitment to self-development and education.

Everyone needs goals to chart their course. Your board has goals, too. Watch us during the school year to make sure that we are focusing on our defined goals. ” Bea Niblock


July 17, 2017 Board Meeting

18 Jul

New Fisher Elementary School Principal Mark Lee introduced himself to the school board at the July 17 meeting.

Introduction of the new Fisher Elementary School Principal Mark Lee
New Fisher Elementary School Principal Mark Lee introduced himself to the board.
“I’ve been at Fisher for a few weeks and am getting to know some of the staff.” Lee said.
“Everyone has been super supportive.”


MHS students Isabel Paredes, left, and Nayeli Barajas talk about a recent business program they participated in at the University of Iowa.

Students participate in University of Iowa business program
Marshalltown High School students Isabel Paredes and Nayeli Barajas talked about their participation in the recent Gateway Program at the University of Iowa’s Tippie College of Business. For more about their experience, click here.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here. Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis said Laurie Mullen is rescinding her resignation.
Spurgetis said they still have six teaching spots to fill this summer.

2016-17 End of the Year report
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented this report to summarize measured data points collected at the state and local level. For the presentation document, click here.

Dr. Stevenson’s presentation had the following areas of focus: Attendance, Bullying & Harassment, Drop Out & Graduation, Iowa Assessments, PK-6 FAST & IGDIs Reading (tests), Attendance Center Plans and School Improvement Goals

Attendance is listed number one on her executive summary for a reason, Dr. Stevenson said. Chronic absences (missing 18 or more school days) have continued to increase during the past four years.

“We are going to have a really hard time moving the needle for student achievement for kids who are not there,” Dr. Stevenson said.

The following are goals set for 2017-18

The percentage of chronically absent students will be no more than 15% of all PK-12 students.

The percentage of chronically tardy students will be no more than 10% of all PK-12 students.

The percentage of students who bully/harass will be no more than 2% of all PK-12 students.

Drop Outs
The number of students who drop out will be no more than 80.

Graduation Rate
The percentage of students who graduate will be 90%.

Iowa Assessments Reading
The percentage of students considered proficient in Reading in 17-18 will be:                  4th grade – 60%
8th grade – 62%
11th grade – 68%

Iowa Assessments Math
The percentage of students considered proficient in Reading in 17-18 will be: 4th grade – 69% , 8th grade – 71%, 11th grade – 75%

IGDIs Spring
The percentage of preschool students considered proficient on Spring IGDIs in 17-18 will be 40%

The percentage of K-6 students considered proficient on Spring FAST in 17-18 will be 60%
Board President Bea Niblock said a goal of 5 percent increase in proficiency on Iowa Assessments is energetic and worried that would be put on the teachers.
“I don’t want them to feel that by having that expansive goal that we are saying you’re not working hard enough,” Niblock said.

“Our teachers work extraordinarily hard, we are trying to give them the support that they need,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

Other discussion was held around goals, attendance and reporting on progress toward goals. Board Member Ross Harris said everyone has to get on board and work together to help boost scores, from the board to the staff to the parents.

“We have to work together,” Harris said.

Legislative Priorities 2018
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented the Iowa Association of School Boards legislative priorities. The board will bring forward some recommended resolutions to discuss at the Aug. 7 board meeting. The board will approve priorities for the district at a future meeting.

School Board Meetings 2017-18
The board approved the meeting dates for the 2017-18 school year. Click here for the dates. Of note, the first September board meeting will be held the Tuesday after Labor Day instead of the following Monday as has been the practice in recent past.

Transfer of Funds
Administration recommended the transfer of $52,061.00 from the general fund to activity fund to refund the activity fund for the general fund’s portion of expenses that were paid by the activity fund.

This helps cover half of the cost of transportation and weight training expenses, taking it out of the general fund, said Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz. Discussion was held regarding how the activity fund purchases were made in the past and why issues arose.

The board approved the transfer of funds and Board President Bea Niblock suggested a group of board members meet with district administrators to look at the approval process of purchases in activities.   Board members Mike Miller and Janelle Carter volunteered to be part of this committee.

iMac Lab Purchase (MHS)
This is for 22 iMac computers for $27,876.64 for the MHS art department (graphic design). This replaces computers that are in that lab. The board approved  the purchase.

Resolution of Plans and Specifications of MHS gym and wrestling addition project (Roundhouse Phase 2)
The board set a public hearing to approve plans and specs on the project for the August 21 meeting.

Board Policies

First reading
409.1 – Licensed Employee Vacation- Holidays-Personal Leave- Marked as reviewed.
409.2 – Sick leave – Changes to cumulative days, amended and waived second reading.
407.4 E- Disciplinary Guidelines – Licensed Personnel- Several changes made. Amended and waived second reading

Initial review
301.4 – Evaluation of the Superintendent – Marked as reviewed
301.4- R- Evaluation of the Superintendent – Marked as reviewed
301.4. E- Formal Superintendent Evaluation Report- Marked as reviewed
406.6 – Annuities- Licensed- Marked as reviewed.
413.3 E -Disciplinary Guidelines- Classified Personnel- Lessened amount of offenses before discharge as recommended by attorney. Approved as amended.
504.11- Wellness- A Wellness committee has formed and recommended discarding old policy and adding new policy which mirrors the  IASB policy. Board approved adoption of new policy.
504.11- R- Wellness-Regulation- Added three goals from the Wellness Committee.- Board approved adoption of new policy.
603.12 – Internet – Appropriate and Safe Use- Old one deleted and new one added, after recommendation by technology department.
603. 12 – R- Internet- Appropriate and Safe Use Regulation- Adopted
804.2 – Video Surveillance – Amended and approved
804.2 R – Video Surveillance Regulation – Amended and approved
804.2-E – Video Surveillance and Electronic Monitoring Exhibit- deleted-
409.3 R-2- Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave-Definitions- Marked as reviewed
409.3- E1 – Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave Notice to Employees- Marked as reviewed.
409.3 E-2 – Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave – Request Form -Old form deleted- changes to form to come back before board
409.7- Licensed Employee Military Service -Marked as reviewed
409.8- Absence Without Pay- Licensed– Old one deleted- new one adopted
410.1- Substitute Teachers- – Marked as reviewed

Recognition of Monica Schneider

Board Recording Secretary Monica Schneider was recognized for 15 years of service. This was Monica’s last board meeting as she resigns from her post. Cake was served and a gift was given to Monica by Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. Thank you Monica!

The next regular meeting of the board will be at 5 p.m. August 7. The board will hold a special work session at 5 p.m on July 24 for board and superintendent goal setting.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Summer time is thought to be the time that everything moves at a relaxed pace. But, that certainly wasn’t the case at the recent board meeting.

The board had the opportunity to hear about the indicators of student achievement and to ask questions regarding the energetic goals set by the district for the new school year. There is a sense of urgency to move student achievement forward. The board and administration supports the hard work that our staff already does and will provide the necessary curricular and technology supports to continue that work.

The board also had discussions surrounding the finances of the district, the iMac lab purchase for the high school, and the resolution of plans for the MHS Phase II addition. A full agenda filled our meeting. There was no relaxed pace for our board.

Enjoy the remainder of your summer away from books, marker boards and lesson plans.” – Bea Niblock

June 19, 2017 board meeting

20 Jun

Successful tutoring program presented to school board


This group presented to the school board on June 19 about the Emerson tutoring program held at Lenihan Intermediate School. Pictured, front row, from left, are Lenihan students Moo Taw, Aunt Aung and Enlin Garcia Hernandez. Back row, Connie Jensen (Lenihan paraducator), Lynn Jensen (Emerson), Julie Hitchins (Emerson), Sara Duncan (Emerson), Leah Mattox (Lenihan teacher), Jennifer Frye (Emerson), Angie Lovell (Lenihan teacher) and Sam Ibarra (Emerson).

Representatives from Emerson’s valve manufacturing plant and Lenihan Intermediate School staff and students talked to the board about the Emerson tutoring program at the school. The company lets employees visit Lenihan during the school day and tutor students in math and reading.

The program started three years ago with 10 tutors from Emerson. This past school year, the number of tutors reached 38. The program is led by Lynn Jensen of Emerson and his wife, Connie Jensen, a paraeducator at Lenihan.

“Being able to give back to the school system was really rewarding,” said tutor Sara Duncan from Emerson.

This year, students were also able to turn the tables and visit the Emerson staff at the Governor Road plant and learn about what they do.

“The students are also seeing a career opportunity right here in Marshalltown,” said Lenihan teacher Leah Mattox.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

School handbooks
Statements added to handbooks as part of allergy awareness and other recommendations from District Nurse Stacey Tool-Crawford. To come back before board.

2017-18 Student/parent transportation handbook
Director of Transportation Don Meyer said no changes to this handbook aside from adding the new non-discrimination policy. Approved by board.

2017-18 Bus Driver/monitor handbook
Also updated non-discrimination policy. The board encouraged that staff have a sign off sheet for the drivers and monitors to ensure they have read the handbook. Approved by board.

Iowa Public School Insurance Program
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz presented this resolution in follow up with the approval of the district’s property and workers compensation insurance program that occurred at the last board meeting.

Superintendent contract for 2017-18
The board approved a 1.7 percent total package increase and a 3-year contract for Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

Bid document issuance approval- Roundhouse Phase II
This item updates the timeline for Roundhouse Phase II, since the last bids were rejected. The plan is to reissue documents in July. Plans are changing to cut approximately $1.3 million from the project after bids came in higher than expected recently.
“We feel very confident that we have a good shot of coming in at the project budget that we originally established,” Dr. Schutte said.
Dr. Schutte said the district is hopeful to take action on the bids at the second board meeting in August. The project completion date would be right on the heels of the winter sports season in 2018.

Playground equipment proposal
Director of Buildings and Grounds Brett Purvis presented bids for Woodbury Elementary and Franklin Elementary for new playgrounds. The board approved the following bidders for the projects: National Playground- Woodbury project ($71,022) and Boland Recreation- Franklin project ($65,250).

Bus drivers and monitors tentative agreement
Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis said this is the final employee agreement this year and includes a 2.97 percent total package increase.
Attorney John Veldey said it was overall a good contract settlement.

Board Policies
First reading
407.1 – Resignation- Suggested change from last board meeting- Amended and waived second reading
407.4 – Dismissal and Suspension of Licensed Employees- Changes made to IASB language. Amended and waived second reading.
407.4 R- Discipline of Licensed Employees-  Marked as reviewed
407.4 E- Disciplinary Guidelines – Licensed Personnel- Table until next meeting – Director of HR to review with attorney.
705.1 -Purchasing- Changes discussed as previous meeting- Amended and waived second reading
312.3 E-1- Fringe Benefits – Administrators/Supervisors – Made suggested changes at previous meeting- Amended and waived second reading

Initial reading
407.6- Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program – Marked as reviewed
408.3- Tutoring- Marked as reviewed
409.1- Licensed Employee Vacation-Holidays-Personal Leave – Policy to be trimmed up or can be covered in contract- Will take a look at it and compare it to IASB- to come back to board.
409.2- Sick Leave- Sick leave updated from 200 days to 140 and add licensed employees in policy title- To come back for a first reading
409.3- Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave- Marked as reviewed.
409.3-R1 – Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave-Regulation. Marked as reviewed.

Solar Car coming to Marshall County Courthouse Square
District Communications Director Andrew Potter said there is a Solar Car on the Square event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Marshall County Courthouse on Saturday, June 24. See the flyer below for more details, or for a video on the event, click here.

Solar Car New Poster.jpg

Solar Car on the Square, June 24

Next regular meeting
The next regular board meeting will be held at 5 p.m. July 17.

The board will hold a self assessment special meeting on June 26 at 5 p.m and a
July 24 special board meeting at 5 p.m. for board goals and superintendent goals.


June 5, 2017 Board Meeting

6 Jun

Tuesday Musical Club members, from left, Mary Giese, Colette Benge and Julie Paustian, presented a check at the board meeting as part of support for school music programs.

Tuesday Musical Club donates $5,000 to district’s music programs
The Tuesday Musical Club has contributed nearly $5,000 in support of the district’s music programs this year. The money was raised through contributions and free-will donations made by community members and organizations for special musical performances by club members throughout the the year. The Tuesday Musical Club members  Mary Giese, Colette Benge and Julie Paustian presented District Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte with a check at the meeting.
The money will fund three different projects: summer camp scholarships for music camps, award each Marshalltown music teacher a gift of $125 to be used to enhance their music program and to help fund half of the repair of the grand piano at the MHS/Community Auditorium.
“Music is a subject that benefits students their entire lives,” Paustian said.

James Madison Fellow
Brad Rahmiller, MHS social studies teacher, was recognized for his selection as a James Madison Fellow.  For more information on this honor, click here.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Public Comment
Retired teacher Donna Appel talked during the public comment portion talked about more support is needed for school-aged Special Olympics athletes.

K-6 Math Budget Approval
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented the K-6 math curriculum for approval. At the last meeting Dr. Stevenson presented additional information on this proposal at the previous meeting.
The GO Math curriculum, which costs $320,280,31, was approved by the board.
For more information, click here.

School Handbooks
Handbooks for the 2017-18 school year were presented, many with minor changes and updates.
Handbooks presented included: Preschool (Emily Banks), Elementary Schools (Tim Holmgren Mick Jurgensen and Anel Garza, Lenihan (Kyle Young), Miller Middle School (Pat Rial), Marshalltown High School (Jacque Wyant) and Marshalltown Learning Academy (Eric Goslinga).
The handbooks were approved by the board as presented.

Banking services provider
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz recommended moving banking services to Great Western Bank. There were 6 requests for proposals sent out with 2 banks returning a proposal. Great Western Bank was chosen over 1 other proposal based on the services offered, fees and interest rate on deposits.
Bartz said there is a potential increase in revenue and reduction of expenses of $100,000 by switching banks.
This was approved by the  board.

Property/Workers Compensation Insurance
Two quotes were received with a recommendation to go with Iowa Public School Insurance Program. The board approved the  $642,732 for the 2017-18 school year and the 3-year commitment.

Cisco SMARTnet
Director of Technology Josh Wesley presented a support and maintenance agreement for the Cisco networking equipment.
There are cost savings to move from two vendors to one single vendor, of approximately $6,700.
The board approved the agreement to SMS technologies for a cost of $27,928.10 and to suspend board policy for 705.1 for this project only to allow for quicker purchasing.

Board room audio and video
Wesley presented this item as the sound and video in the board room has been an issue in the past. He received some quotes for TVs and upgrade audio equipment for a better quality rebroadcast and for visitors at the board meetings.
He presented two quotes- $45,118.31 (Conference Technologies) and  $51,797.11 (Communications Engineering Company)
Wesley gauged interest from the board if should be continue to pursue this as this was not an action item.



Director of Technology Josh Wesley displays an example of the Chromebook cases the district plans to purchase to protect the 1,805 new Chromebooks approved for purchase by the board.

Chromebooks Purchase
Wesley presented a proposal to purchase 1805 new Chromebooks (a continuation from last meeting’s’ discussion).

  • Elementary 3rd and 4th grade students and 7th grade students would receive new Chromebooks to replace existing units.
  • The number of devices to the number of students would be at Pre K– 1st tablets and computers would be replaced with new touch screen Chromebooks.

Four bids were received for Chromebooks. They came in below the estimated cost.
Wesley recommended going with the low bid of $463,184.80 from PC Connection.
He also presented protective cases for Chromebooks at a cost of $16,840 from STS Education.
Total cost $463,184.80 + $16,840 = $480,024.80. It was approved by the board.

Secretarial and Administrative Assistant Wages
Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis presented the new wage structure for secretaries and administrative assistants. The total package increase of 3.3 percent was presented for this year. The board approved.

Administrators, directors and other wages for 2017-18
Dr. Theron Schutte recommended a total package increase of 1.7 percent for administrators and directors, which mirrors the increase of the teachers. “Others” category had a 3 percent increase including server specialist and network and security specialist and 5 additional days vacation.

Roundhouse Phase 2 bids
Bids came in higher than estimated for this project, which includes a wrestling room and auxiliary gym at Marshalltown High School. All bids were more than $8 million for base bid, which was projected to be less than $7 million.
There are plans to rebid this project later in the summer with still time to have it completed by October 2018. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said they are looking at ways to value engineer this project, to bring costs down. FEH Architect Kevin Eipperle said he expects at least four of the six bidders on the project to rebid. The board rejected all bids.

Public Improvement bids for Anson Park lot and next bus transfer location
Resurfacing is needed for the new bus transfer lot at the Anson Park parking lot, which will start next fall. A bid was approved by Central Asphalt for $44,481.25 to do the work.

Summer project list
Brian Bartz presented the list of Summer projects 2017  for the district. The biggest project is the bus transfer lot but many are minor maintenance projects.
Not all projects will be addressed this summer due to time and money. The board held a discussion on the list and had concerns  about the process on how projects were selected to be done. There was no action requested by the board and more information will be presented to the facilities committee.

Board Policies

First reading
405.12- School Nurse – Functions-  Changes to identify person in the lead – District Nurse -Amended and waived second reading
406.1- Employee Salary Schedule – Language changed to mirror IASB policy – To come back – Amended and waived second reading
406.3-Licensed Employee- Professional Growth- modeled after IASB language- Adopted new policy
406.4- Licensed Employee Compensation for Extra Day – Designates superintendent to make recommendations to the board – Amended and waived second reading
406.5- Licensed Employee Group Insurance Benefits – New version of policy modeled after IASB policy -Adopted and waived second reading
705.1 – Purchasing – Line added to website- for bids – To come back as first reading
801.5- Construction contract bidding- New policy
801.5-E-1 – Updated effective year.

Initial Review of Board Policies
406.7 – Prior Service- Marked as reviewed
407.1- Resignation- To remove a year requirement, To come back
407.3- Retirement- Marked as reviewed
407.4- Dismissal and Suspension of Licensed Employees – Wording changed to with pay or without pay suspension, strike hearing, To come back to board.
407.4 – R-Discipline of Licensed Employees- added “ethics” to rules, and regulations line in the start.- Tom come back to board
407.4-E-Disciplinary Guidelines- Licensed Personnel – Anthony Spurgetis to look at it and it will come back to board.
313.3- Administration Personnel- Compensation/Benefits – Marked as reviewed
312.3-E-1- Fringe Benefits – Administrators/Supervisors -Changes to be made to be consistent with other employee reduction of cumulative number of sick days, 5 days annually for immediate family illness. Increase cell phone stipend from $25 to $50 a month. Also change Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield listing to to “scheduled benefits.” To come back before board.
312.E-2 – Fringe Benefits – Administrators/Supervisors – Request Form – Form to change to reflect changes in reimbursement rate for cell phone.Starting July 1.
710.4- Meal Charges- New policy – Motion to adopt and waive second reading.

The board then went into a closed session for a superintendent evaluation

Next board meeting is planned for 5 p.m. on  June 19.  A special board meeting is planned for June 26 as part of the Roundhouse Phase 2 rebid.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The end of another school year has arrived.  ‘You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place.  Like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way again.’  Anonymous
As you end this school year, take a minute to remember all of the things that you have taught and all of the things that you have learned.  You have met our students where they were and with all of the baggage that they carried to school.  You persisted; you collaborated; you loved the young people in your care.  You will, indeed, be a different person when you return in August.
Wishing you the summer time to renew your drive and your spirit to continue the hard work that each of you do every day during the school year!”- Bea Niblock


May 15, 2017 Board Meeting

16 May

Marshalltown High School staff and one student talked about the PIER Program at MHS, which helps students recover credits and puts them on track to graduation. Pictured, from left, are MHS student Alex Pruitt, Dan Terrones, Scott Johannes, Laurie Rink and Lydia Arevalo.

PIER Program at MHS
Dan Terrones, Lydia Arevalo, Scott Johannes, Laurie Rink  and student Alex Pruitt (10th grader) presented on this program which started this school year.
The PIER Program provides support for students who need direction or are at-risk of not graduating as this helps them earn credits. It provides for a smaller learning environment.
The program served 77 students served so far who have earned 668 semester credits.
Before this program, students in the program were surveyed and 65 percent indicated they were in fear of not graduating.
Now, 93 percent of students feel that graduation is going to happen, Johannes said.
“This is really an amazing program to allow students to recoup credits and get back on track as quickly as they have this year,” Arevalo said.
Alex said being able to go at his own pace is beneficial for him.



Founding members of the Marshalltown Auditorium Foundation were recognized at the board meeting. Pictured standing, from left, are Rex Ryden, Fran Hermanson, Dave Norris and Tommy Thompson. (Greg Brown not pictured). Seated are Nan Ryden and Betsy Macke.

Auditorium Foundation
Several Marshalltown Auditorium Foundation founding members were recognized at the board meeting for 35 years of service. A plaque with the founding members of the committee will be placed in the MHS/Community Auditorium.
Honored at the meeting included Tommy Thompson, Fran Hermanson, Rex Ryden, Dave Norris and Greg Brown (not present).
Foundation President Betsy Macke called this group “visionary community leaders” for their support of the first class auditorium facility at the high school.


MHS student Javier Ramirez and teacher Mike Lazere present on the ACE Mentors project.

MHS ACE Mentors project
MHS teacher Mike Lazere and student Javier Ramirez presented about a shelter being designed by the ACE mentors program.
ACE stands for Architecture, Construction and Engineering. Mentors from the community in these fields are working with students on a project to get a shelter designed and built on the cross country course at MCC in honor of retired athletic director Tim Bell.
“The hope is to maybe break ground as early as the fall,” Lazere said.
It’s possible MHS construction students will build the shelter.


Miller Middle School Extended Learning Program teacher Ann Jackson talks next to eighth grader Marek Jablonski. Marek presented his synchronized holiday light display project to the board.

Miller student holiday light display
Miller Middle School eighth grader Marek Jablonski was selected to present at the recent AEA Technology Conference. Marek created a synchronized holiday light display.
It took about four hours of coding per minute of song to program the display.
Marek, who was joined by MIller Middle School Extended Learning Program teacher Ann Jackson, shared the board a video of the display.

Personnel items
For personnel items approved by the board, click here.
Of note, Melissa Keeler is retiring as Franklin Elementary secretary after 41 years in the district.

Out of State Field Trip request (Chicago)
Tim Johnson, MHS teacher asked or permission for an out of state trip to Chicago June 7-9 for a trip of the Delegation for the Advancement of History.
Stops include The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and the Chicago Art Institute. It was approved by board.


MHS junior Jacqueline Wahl with her National History Day exhibit.

Out of State Field Trip Request (Maryland)
MHS teacher Susan Fritzell and Jacqueline Wahl presented. Wahl was named a national qualifier for National History Day, which will be held in College Park, Maryland in June 11-15.
“She has a passion for history, she has a passion for learning,” Fritzell said of Jacqueline.
Jacqueline presented her exhibit to the board.
The board approved the request.

2017 MHS graduates list
Principal Jacque Wyant presented a list of 312 MHS students on track for graduation. Graduation is May 28 at 2:30 p.m. at the MHS Roundhouse. (UPDATED SENIOR LIST AS OF 5-8-2017)

Alliant Energy Community Grant Award
This was a $2,000 grant accepted by the district to secure funds for supplies in the biomedical sciences as part of Project Lead the Way.

K-6 math curriculum adoption
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented the adoption timeline. Go Math was selected by the math curriculum team for  K-6. Adoption is 6 years with a total cost of $320,281. A total of 1,942 students will be served by this program. The budget approval will come back for the next meeting.

Teacher Leadership and Compensation System for 2017-18
Dr. Stevenson presented the list of TLC positions for 2017-18. Approved by the board.

Drivers Education Contractor
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz said they contracted out for a bid for these services. Three proposals were received and Test Drive was selected for a three-year contract to begin with the 2017-18 school year. It is led by Mark Bohan, who is current drivers ed instructor. The contract was approved by the board.

Clarity Survey Results
Instructional Design Specialist David Stanfield from a survey that analyzes technology
“It gives us measures to gauge our technology integration efforts,” Stanfield said.
Respondents included 402 staff and 2,849 students (grades 3-12).

Chromebook Replacement
Director of Technology Josh Wesley sought approval to pursue a purchase 1,805 Chromebooks and licensing and 17 additional carts. There are two different ACER Chromebooks.  Total cost includes $570,275. New replacements are for the elementary 3 & 4 grade students and 7th grade students.  Pre-K through 1st grade would have touch screen Chromebooks.
Concern was brought up by the board about the major expense of these Chromebooks and the problems that occur if students do not have home internet access. Other questions were also presented by the board.
The board approved for the district to pursue a possible purchase of Chromebooks. The board also approved the request by Mr. Wesley to suspend Board Policy 705.1. This would allow for the district to move forward with bids without the 15 day publishing notification.Bids will come back to board for possible approval.

E-Rate Update
Joshua Wesley, presented on the current status of the E-Rate filing process. MCSD has filed five 471 applications for Internet, fiber, telephone, wireless access points and firewall services. MCSD is waiting on funding commitment decision letters from USAC before proceeding with the purchase of a new firewall and wireless access points.

Forecast 5 (3-year agreement)
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented about this agreement. One tool currently being used is a financial forecast. Another tool to access to databases to do comparability studies was approved by the board.

Ratification of Salary Settlement for Food Service for 2017-18
Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis and District Attorney John Veldey presented this item. The total salary package increase is 3.42 percent, for a cost of  $29,891 to the district.

Ratification of Salary Settlement for Paraeducators for 2017-18
Included in this agreement is an overall salary package increase of 7.54 percent for a total cost of $200,778. This was a substantial increase in paraeducators pay this year as the district is on its way to make para pay more fair and equitable.

Board Policies

First reading-
401.8 – Recognition for Service of Employees- Revised to what is happening in the district. Amended and waived second reading
405.6 – Certification and Assignment- Changed to meet IASB standards. Amended and waived second reading
405.7- Transfers – Amended and waived second reading
405.10 – Access to Buildings- Changed to reflect current district practices – Amended and waived second reading
906  – Unmanned Aircraft- Drones- IASB policy and added FAA guidelines – Adopted and waived second reading.
906.R-1 – Unmanned Aircrafts- Drones Regulation – Adopted and waived second reading

Initial Review
405.12 – School Nurse functions- Minor wording adjustments- Will come back next meeting
406.1- Employee Salary Schedule- Added IASB language- Will come back next meeting
406.3- Licensed Employee – Professional Growth -IASB language- New policy replaces – Will come back
406.4- Licensed Employee Compensation for Extra Duty – Additional language added from IASB – Will come back
406.5- Licensed Employee Group Insurance Benefits- Changes made- to come back
406.6- Annuities- Policy will be rewrote by IASB- Tabled until IASB reworks it.
705.1- Purchasing- Taking out 15 days before bid opening publishing – To come back together with other bid policies in front of the board.

The board then went into exempt session for negotiations.

The next regular board meeting is June 5 at 5 p.m. in district offices. The board is planning a  for special board meeting on the strategic plan at 5 p.m on June 1.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The board had the pleasure of hearing from 4 high school staff members and a participating student regarding the PIER Program at MHS.  These individuals gave the board an opportunity to see what standards based instruction and individualized educational opportunities look like in practice.  Those strategies are used in a venue to help students recover credits to move with their class to the next grade or to graduate.

The students served in the program closely mirror the demographics of the high school.  This year, 77 students have been served with 20 seniors on track to graduate.  PIER is another opportunity provided to students in the MCSD who work and learn best in an alternative environment.

Student and parent comments indicated their appreciation for this program and the opportunity to recover credits and to walk across the stage and receive their diploma.” – Bea Niblock  

May 1, 2017 Board Meeting

2 May


Franklin Elementary School third grader Braylon Draisey talks to school board members Ross Harris and Janelle Carter during the student/staff showcase at the board meeting on May 1.

Student/staff Showcase – Franklin Elementary School
Franklin Principal Tim Holmgren led off the presentation and had students and staff introduce themselves. Dozens of students attended as well as their families and Franklin staff.

The presentation then went into Extended Learning Program students displaying the roving robot they programmed and the introduction of the Franklin Battle of the Books team which won the district contest recently.

The students then broke into groups and spotlighted the following at these grade levels.
Kindergarten –  Fluency/word work
1st –  Math fact games
2nd – Poetry and community experience at Iowa Veterans Home
3rd –  Personalized learning/Writing
4th –  Writing Conferences







May is School Board Recognition Month. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte recognized the school board members as part of this month.


Marshalltown School Board

Board President Bea Niblock recognized Andrew Potter for his school public relations association award for the Bobcat Pride 2017 video.

Ms. Niblock also read a proclamation for National Teacher Day which is May 9.

Dr. Theron Schutte said the district will be sending cookies to each of the buildings as part of National Teacher Day next Tuesday.

Thank you teachers and the school board!

Personnel items
For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Strategic Action plan update
Dr. Schutte presented a very preliminary draft of potential strategy areas as work continues on the next strategic action plan.
Input was gathered from community members, staff and students as part of Thought Exchange, also taken from other sources to come up with the very preliminary information.
The board plans to have a special work session on the topic in May as work continues on the plan.

Increase of Student Registration Fees for Miller Middle School and Marshalltown High School
Miller Middle School registration fees to increase from $50.00 to $60.00. Marshalltown High School and MLA registration fees to increase from $50.00 to $70.00. The elementary level will remain at $40.
Dr. Schutte said costs of materials and supplies continue to go up and the fees haven’t been adjusted to match these increases in recent years.
After asking several questions on these fee increases, the board approved them.

Ratification of Salary Settlement for Food Service
This item was tabled to allow time for district attorney to review the agreement, per the request of the board.

Ratification of Salary Settlement for Paraeducators
This item was tabled to allow time for district attorney to review the agreement, pre the request of the board.

MHS Roundhouse Phase II bid issuance
Director of Building and Grounds Brett Purvis and FEH architect Kevin Eipperle presented bid documents on the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse Phase 2 project.
The bid documents will be issued to contractors and posted on the district website with bid opening planned for May 30.
It’s possible board approval on bids will occur at the June 5 board meeting, which will also include a public hearing on the project.
The board approved the bid document issuance and the notice of public hearing.

Board Policies
First Reading
404.1 – Employee Appearance- No changes- Approved
404.1-R – Employee Dress Code – Approved
404.1 -R-2 -Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics Regulation- New regulation incorporating BOEE code of conduct and ethics for licensed employees Approve
404.1-R-3 – Code of Rights and Responsibilities Regulation – New regulation incorporating  BOEE code of conduct and ethics for licensed employees
402.6 – Staff Technology Use/ Social Networking (New) – Adopted
402.6 R- Staff Technology Use/Social Networking Regulation (New) Adopted
604.1 – Student Guidance and Counseling Program –  Changes and additions made in relationship to equity visit – Adopted by board
604.1-.R – Student Guidance and Counseling Program – Regulation -Changes and additions made in relationship to equity visit – Adopted by board

Initial Review
405.5 – Licensed Employee Work Day – Marked as reviewed
405.6 -Certification and Assignment- Changes combination of Certification and Assignment policy from IASB – To come back for reading at next meeting
405.7 -Transfers – Changes made to add part of IASB policy – To come back for next meeting
405.8 – Evaluation-  Marked as reviewed
405.10 – Access to Buildings-  Minor adjustments to wording to match current practices – To come back for next meeting
405.11 – Teacher – Functions-  Marked as reviewed.
906 – Unmanned Aircrafts- Drones- New policy matching IASB policy- To come back next meeting
906.R-1-Unmanned Aircrafts- Drones Regulation

The board then went into exempt session for negotiations.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“A proclamation was issued at the board meeting recognizing all teachers.  National Teachers’ Day, May 9th, is a day that the teachers of the district will be honored.  On that day I ask that you remember the teachers who made a significant contribution to your own life, as well as the teachers in Marshalltown who, daily, take the challenge of educating the youth of our community.
As Rita Pierson, renowned educator, stated, ‘Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power and connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be.’
Thanks, Marshalltown educators.  You are, indeed, champions of children.” – Bea Niblock