February 6, 2017 meeting

7 Feb

Anson students showcase a variety of school activities


Anson Elementary School Extended Learning Program students, standing, from left, Shayna Garcia, Jordan Scheid and Olivia Holmgren display a robot to the board. The robot moved around the board room and even told a joke.

Student/Staff Showcase- Anson Elementary

Anson Principal Ronnie Manis, staff and students showcased a wide array of activities going on in school. Manis said every day teachers work hard to inspire students, but the inspiration is also two-way.
“Every day when we work with these kids they inspire us,” Manis said.

Fourth grade teacher Abby Stanfield and students talked about a pen pal program where students are sending actual letters to students in Italy.


Anson fourth grader Chau Thai talks about the pen pal program next to his teacher Abby Stanfield.

ELL teacher Jennifer Janssen talked about ELL strategies and showed a video of first graders telling a story.

Counselor Ashley Chyma and Manis talked about several things going on at the school including ways to produce healthy and happy students. They talked about the walk the entire school did to the high school, the sprinkle happiness event the students did at the corner of Third Avenue and Anson Street, tree planting projects, the Anson gardens project with Hy-Vee and the Anson Food Pantry.

Anson Extended Learning Program teacher Nicole Holman brought three XLP students, Olivia Holmgren, Jordan Scheid and Shayna Garcia. The three showed the robot they programmed to move about the board room – and the robot even told a joke.

For personnel items approved, click here. The personnel items approved two retirements below:

Lynnda (Kathy) Ferguson – 3rd Grade Teacher at Franklin Elementary
Kathy has been with the district for 34 years and is a master educator. Prior to her work at Franklin she taught at Woodbury. She also was a student teacher in the district while enrolled at Iowa State University.

Marilyn Rhodes, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent.
She has retired after 65 years of service. Marilyn started in March of 1952, the same year she graduated from Marshalltown High School. Marilyn worked for seven superintendents.
“Her passion for our district and the Iowa Hawkeyes was second to none,” said Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis.

Look for more information on Marilyn’s career in the future and also a public recognition event is being scheduled for April 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the team room of the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse.

District Culture Study Results
Brad Black, President of HUMANeX, Ventures spoke to the board. The company was utilized to do the district staff culture survey. There were some good indicators as a result of the staff survey.


Brad Black of HUMANeX Ventures

Participation level was 87 percent of staff in the district which Black said “phenomenal” A total of 725 staff members provided input to 88 questions.
Black said results typically would be 1/3 people who describe they are highly engaged , inspired and satisfied in their studies. In MCSD, the survey indicated 55 percent who were highly engaged, inspired and satisfied.

Results: Top 5 full district items- Questions which got the most positive response.

  • I am fully engaged in the work that I do
  • I feel great pride in the wok that I do
  • I am committed to the success of my school district
  • In my role I have the opportunity to do things that I both do well and enjoy
  • I am continuously seeking ways to improve my overall productivity.

Bottom 5 – Received the least positive response

  • I have received meaningful recognition in the past 10 days
  • In the past three months, my principal/supervisor has discussed my successes and progress with me.
  • I am provided personal coaching from my principal/supervisor
  • I am provided the opportunity to spend quality time with my principal/supervisor
  • Marshalltown Community School District has a genuine concern and interest about me as a person.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said action plans will be worked on to address the areas in need of improvement

To view the presentation document- click the following link marshalltown-insightex-2017-board-presentation-2-2.

New Science Standards Study Team
Dr. Lisa Stevenson and Pam Brewer-Michael presented about the need for new secondary science curriculum to meet the new standards.
Dr. Stevenson said Marshalltown science teachers invested a significant amount of time in this process.
The standards reflect a shift to more “hands on and minds on” science which is reflective in the kinds of things they are requesting.
This was not an action item but in the future it’s anticipated the curriculum could cost $313,629.

Board Book Study
The Board continued its book discussion on “How Not to Be a Terrible School Board Member” This was the third installment of this discussion, each chapter led by a different board member at this meeting.
The board talked about 7 different habits in the book and the lessons learned from each habit.

Forecast 5 License Agreement
This was a request by Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz to approve $11,000 to be spent on financial projection software.
Bartz said this software will make the business office more efficient.
The board approved the license agreement.

E-Rate Funding
Director of Technology Josh Wesley  presented about E-Rate funding and a project proposal.
For 2017, he requested E-Rate funding be utilized for fiber connections between buildings, Internet and phone services, and expansion wireless access points and MHS and Miller
While MCSD would receive $50,000 of services, it is expected to cost the district approximately $10,000, due to E-Rate funding. Click her for more information.
The board approved the proposal.

FEH Contract Amendment
This item will have architect FEH serve as additional construction oversight for the MHS Roundhouse Phase 2, instead of hiring a full construction manager.
This amendment has a cost up to $72,000 for 30 additional visits by the architect as far as construction oversight.
If less is needed, “we can always back off” Dr. Schutte said.
Board members such as Vice President Janelle Carter said this will provide “additional oversight” on the project, without having the cost of a construction manager, which could be three to four times the cost of this amendment.
The board approved the FEH Contract amendment.

Board Policies
There were no policies reviewed at the meeting.

The next Board meeting is at 5 p.m. February 20 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“As you know, I close each board meeting with a quote. I have mentioned it before in my comments to you.
Last night’s quote, in honor of Black History Month, comes from Oprah Winfrey. ‘For every one of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out. The light doesn’t always necessarily have to be in your family; for me it was teachers and school.’
We are, indeed, thankful for our public schools and our great teachers. We draw our commitment to quality education from creative teachers, the ones who make it interesting to go to class each day, the ones who smile and know the needs of their students, the ones who come to work each day to make a difference in the lives of Marshalltown’s youth, and the ones who tirelessly push our students to greater achievement.
We are thankful for every staff member – administrator, teacher, para, nurse, secretary, custodian, bus driver or lunch lady – who inspires our youth day after day and loves our children.’ – Bea Niblock

January 17, 2017 meeting

18 Jan

Rosa Yanez speaks to the board on behalf of the Marshalltown High School student group Al Exito. Also pictured, from left, are Isabel Paredes, Guillermo Rivas Alanis, Angel Minjarez and Balthazar Pereznegron.

Al Exito
Marshalltown High School teacher Jocelyn Frohwein brought several members of the student group Al Exito, which has 54 members, to the board meeting.
It is an intensive weekly afterschool leadership and entrepreneurial empowerment program for high school Latino youth.
These youth develop leadership skills, acquire a sense of belonging and help out the community.
A key element to the group is collaboration with entities such as Iowa State University, the Marshalltown Public Library, and meeting with other teens around Iowa.
“We’ve enjoyed it so much and we’ve learned a lot,” said member Rosa Yanez.
Many students said this program has given them inspiration to continue on in school and strive to do well in school. It’s also made them more community-minded.
“It’s a good support group,” said Angel Minjarez.

Personnel items approved can be accessed here.

Retirements effective at end of school year on personnel items approved at the meeting.

Grant Brintnall is currently a Level I Special Ed Teacher at Miller Middle School. He has been a teacher for 33 years. Grant is a Marshalltown High School graduate and a master educator. In addition to teaching Grant has held various coaching positions and was a bus driver in our District from 1978-1981.

Debra Johnson is also a Level I Special Ed Teacher at Miller Middle School and master educator. She has been a teacher at MCSD for 28 years with assignments at Lenihan and Miller.

Bret Lee is the Instrumental Band Director at Marshalltown High School. Bret is also a master educator and has been in this role for the past 18 years.

Mary Oetker is a Kindergarten Teacher at Fisher Elementary. Previous to her 17 years of teaching experience with our District she was a substitute for MCSD. Mary has taught at Fisher and Hoglan and in addition to teaching Kindergarten she has also taught First grade.

Vicki Vopava has been with our District for 25 years first as a Special Education Teacher at Lenihan and Hoglan. Vicki has been the Principal at Fisher Elementary since the 06-07 school year.

Don Wiser has been a teacher for 44 years. He has taught Physical Education for MCSD for the last 39 years. Schools include Anson, Hoglan, Woodbury and two schools that are no longer in operation – Glick and Palmer. Don also held head coaching positions in the following sports: 8th grade volleyball (31 years), 8th grade girls track (39 years), and 8th grade girls basketball (25 years).

“These six retirees have a remarkable 150 years of combined experience to the Marshalltown Community School District. While we hate to see them go I know I speak for the Board, Dr. Schutte and the rest of the MCSD community when I say we wish you the best in retirement and thank you for your service,” said Human Resources Director Anthony Spurgetis.


Casey Moberly, left, and Jay Giannetto

Swing with Kids program
Elmwood Country Club Pro Jay Giannetto, representing Iowa PGA, and Casey Moberly, Lenihan physical education teacher, presented this item to the board. Swing with Kids is an indoor type of golf program to show them what golf is about and lifelong sport. It comes with a curriculum.
“It’s a great opportunity for our students to learn about the game of golf,” Moberly said.
Giannetto said this type of program is starting to launch statewide. It is supported locally from a $5,000 grant from the Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation and a donation from Marshalltown golfers totaling $2,925.
“We are excited that Marshalltown Community Schools is on board,” Giannetto said.
The program was approved by the board.

Dual Language Programming CARLA
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented along with Woodbury Principal Anel Garza, Woodbury teacher librarian Sue Cahill, Woodbury teacher Mary Estrada and curriculum director Shauna Smith. The dual language program allows students the opportunity to learn Spanish and English at the same time at Woodbury, Lenihan, Miller and Marshalltown High School.
A team of school staff visited the Center for Advanced Research of Language Acquisition (CARLA) conference in Minnesota in October.
The K-12 dual language program in our school district started during the 2002-2003 school year, said Cahill, who has been at Woodbury that entire time.
Stevenson said they are looking at what professional development can be offered to help the quality programming continue in the dual language program.
Estrada said the CARLA conference was very beneficial for her to receive professional development. Garza said she worked with a dual language principal in Minnesota to bounce ideas of off him.
Work on the dual language program continues with opportunities for professional development into the future and dual language program planning for Miller and MHS, Dr. Stevenson said.
Marketing of the dual language program will continue into the future.
For the presentation document, click here.

2017-18 School Year Course of Studies at Marshalltown High School
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant presented the 2017-18 course guide as they get ready to register students.
For the course guide, click here. Wyant spotlighted some changes and those can be accessed here in the executive summary.
Wyant said MHS is able to offer more dual credit courses at the high school than other area high schools due to the resources of the staff.
The guide is currently being translated into Spanish and will be available on the MHS website.
Extensive conversation was held regarding dual credit courses, the marketing of these courses, and ways to get more students to take dual credit.
The board approved the course guide.

New District Vision and Mission Statements
These new statements reflect work done by the community at a public input meeting on December 1 and the district leadership team in two more meetings and will serve as a foundation for the new strategic plan moving forward. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said the meetings were all very productive and collaborative.

“Preparing ALL learners, through an unparalleled culture of excellence, to be productive and engaged citizens in a diverse world.”

“We develop learners who have the knowledge, skills, and positive mindset to successfully pursue a meaningful future through personalized learning experiences.”

The board approved the new mission and vision statements.

Board Book study, part 2
The board and district administrators held a discussion on chapters 8-14 on the book “How Not To Be a Terrible Board Member.” During this meeting administrators led the discussion
Habit 8- Dr. Schutte led the discussion on Habit 8 and talked about the importance of developing a mutually respectful atmosphere at the board table as people will be coming from different viewpoints.
Habit 9 – Speaking for the board and where that fine line is between speaking on behalf of yourself and speaking on behalf of the board.
Habit 10 – Dr. Stevenson talked about building coalition and gave an example of board members meeting in groups of 2-3 to strategize. The book indicates that public business should be in the public.
Habit 11- Discussion led by Anthony Spurgetis. The chapter encourages board members to be deciders and not abstain just because the vote is a tough one.
Habit 12- Discussion led by Matt Cretsinger – The message was be decisive – don’t compromise. Compromise to do what’s best for the district and not yourself.
Habits 13 – Led by Brian Bartz- Be prepared for board meetings was the message of this chapter.
Habit 14- Led by Brian Bartz – Don’t do too much homework. Even though we all have our areas of expertise, other opinions from fellow board members, staff, community and students should factor into decisions.
The discussion on the book will continue at a future meeting.

FEH Design Agreement- update on Roundhouse Phase 2
Kevin Eipperle and Gary Schulte of FEH Design presented an update on the design of Phase 2 of the Roundhouse
“We have completed the schematic design phase,” Eipperle said. For design documents click here.
This is about 25 percent of the design process. The design includes a lower level featuring the wrestling room with the upper level having an auxiliary gym and some classrooms.
The exterior views has bricks which match the auditorium. The north edge of the addition would end where the sidewalk is today. Design development is expected to be completed by February 8. The total expected cost of the addition is nearing $6.8 million
The board held discussion on whether to hire a construction manager as part of the project or utilize FEH as an oversight entity. No decision was made on this aspect of the project
The board approved the schematic design agreement with FEH and move into the design development phase.

Board Policies
201.4- Elections – Marked as reviewed
204.5-R – Organizational Meeting Procedures- Marked as reviewed.
301.4-E – Formal Superintendent Evaluation Report – To be brought back in June
301.4-R – Evaluation of the Superintendent -to be brought back in June-
301-4 – Evaluation of the Superintendent – To be brought back in June once the board has gone through the process.
312.4- Administrator Evaluation – Marked as reviewed.

Reminder:  The first in a series of MEA legislative forums will be at 10 am. Saturday, January 21 in the Marshalltown Public Library. All are invited to talk with area legislators.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“We begin each school board meeting reading the district’s mission statement together. We do that to focus our attention on the reason that we have become board members – providing the best possible educational experience for our students.

At last night’s meeting, the district’s new vision and mission statements were approved by the board. These statements came after many hours of work from our community and finally, our administrative team. Our new charge is to ‘prepare ALL learners’ to be ‘productive and engaged citizens in a diverse world.’ And, we’re going to do that ‘through personalized learning experiences.’ What proudly stated vision and mission statements!

We accept the challenge and will work to provide the necessary support to accomplish these things. We look to our staff to help us develop that culture of excellence in preparing ALL students to be successful in their pursuits.” – Bea Niblock

December 19, 2016 meeting

20 Dec

Laurie Rink, MHS teacher and staff leader of the Mentors in Violence Prevention, talks about MVP to the board. Standing are student leaders in MVP including, from left, Veronica Daniel, Kobe Sandoval, Morgan Van Staalduine and Nalicka Matthew.

Student/Staff Showcase – MHS presentation
Marshalltown High School Principal Jacque Wyant, teacher Laurie Rink and student officers talked about the MHS Mentors in Violence program. Students presenting included Morgan Van Staalduine, Kobe Sandoval, Nalicka Matthew and Veronica Daniel. The MVP program has upper classmen mentor freshman. Currently there are 88 mentors.
Surveys indicate percentages of students who feel safe at MHS has jumped 14 percent in the past two years at MHS.

“What we really try to do is prepare freshmen for the future,” Van Staalduine said.

The students said that they not only serve as mentors, they also become friends with the students.

Daniel said, “it just helps build a better community” at MHS.

For the presentation document, click on this school-board-presentation link.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Guest artist at MHS
Marshalltown High School Principal Jacque Wyant talked about a visit from a guest artist/potter, Jeff Oestreich from Taylor Falls, Minnesota.
He will visit March 17 and 18. He will present to students on March 17 and adults on March 18. There is no cost to the district on the contract as fundraising and adult registration fees will cover the visit.

Dual Language Presentation – Tabled until Jan. 16 meeting.


State Senator-Elect Jeff Edler, left, and State Representative Mark Smith held a discussion with the board.

State Senator-Elect Jeff Edler and State Representative Mark Smith
These two local legislators visited to talk over some of their priorities heading in the 2017 legislative session and to hear from the board.
Edler said one of his campaign trail points was making sure state supplemental aid is set in a timely matter for school districts.
“Revenues continue to tighten, we are going to have a hard job in budgeting money and figuring out where these funds are appropriated,” Edler asid.
Flexibility in categorical spending with the tight budget was also discussed. Smith said the revenue estimating conference met recently showing about 96 million fewer dollars in the state than they had hoped for.
“I think that this is going to be a challenging year with funding,” Smith said.
Smith said the funding has to be there to bring Iowa back to a national leader in education.
“I think that we have to restore Iowa to excellence in education,” Smith said.
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said setting state aid early is a necessity as schools plan for their budgets. Board President Bea Niblock said the state third grade reading proficiency summer school requirement needs to be put off if it is not funded.
Other topics were also discussed with the board members, legislators and Dr. Schutte such as ELL funding, funding for mental health services, flexibility of school funding, Teacher Leadership and Compensation as it relates to the general fund, the proposed shift in some of the statewide penny sales tax for water quality initiatives and more.

Board Book Study
The board held a discussion on the first section of a book they read “How Not to Be a Terrible School Board Member.” The board went through various scenarios presented in the book, mostly were reminders of actions board members should and shouldn’t take regarding their roles.

Employee Culture/Morale Study
Dr. Schutte presented a proposal to go with HUMANeX to help survey staff as part of a method of improving employee culture in the district. Dr. Schutte said he has heard a need to improve employee morale and pride in the district. This will allow us to measure where employees feel the district is at as part of a 15-minute survey.
“It’s a really powerful tool,” Dr. Schutte said.
The survey is expected to be sent to staff in January. The cost is $10,650, which comes from the general fund. The contract was approved by the board.

Director of Technology Josh Wesley presented the following two items to the board.


Josh Wesley

Micrsoft OVS-ES Renewal agreement
Wesley said the Microsoft subscription for Microsoft Office and the Windows Server is in need of renewal. The board approved the three-year agreement for a total cost of $41,092.

“With this agreement it allows us to run the most current version of Office and the server,” Wesley said.

Elementary Lab Replacement
The English Language Proficiency online assessment, ELPA21, has removed support for Windows XP prompting the replacement of the labs at the elementary schools. Wesley recommended the replacement of the PC labs with Chromebox units ($177 each) with a total cost of $55,836.80.
This will include 25 boxes at each of the six of the elementary schools plus one PC to run the projector. This purchase is part of the technology replacement budget. The board approved the purchase.


Board Policy
204.9-R1 – Board Calendar – Adjustments were made on at-risk application. Approved changes made.



The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for 5 p.m. on January 16, 2017.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“At each meeting, I close the meeting with a quote from an individual to help the board focus on what we have accomplished or what we have yet to do. Monday’s quote was from Bob Hope. He said, “My idea of Christmas, whether old-fashioned or modern, is very simple: Loving others.”

As you enjoy the festivities of the season with family and friends I ask that you take just a moment to remember the many children and families who will not be enjoying the traditions that you do. There will be no table laden with the bounty of the season; no mess in the living room from opening presents or even lighted with a Christmas tree; no warm comforters on their beds. Please remember that many of our families do not have the necessities to live happy and healthy lives.

Love your family and be grateful for the life that you cherish. Love others.

Travel safely. Come back to us rested and ready to continue the hard work that you do every day loving the students entrusted to our care.” – Bea Niblock

December 5, 2016 meeting

6 Dec

Lenihan Intermediate Principal Kyle Young, left, introduces the student group Teen Outreach Program (TOP) to the board at the December 5 meeting. Students pictured standing with Young are, from left, April Wills, Taeviss Fite, Cody Garcia, Jayden Harrell, Ryan Ferneau and Preston Duncan. 

Student/Staff Showcase – Lenihan Intermediate School
Lenihan Intermediate School Principal Kyle Young presented a group of sixth graders that meet as part of a partnership between MCSD and Mid-Iowa Community Action known as the Teen Outreach Program (TOP).

“The goal of this group is to promote service learning opportunities and also some life skills,” Young said,

The group will organize a penny war before winter break to benefit the Animal Rescue League and House of Compassion.


Oath of Office
Mike Miller was elected to a one-year term on the board during the general election on November 8. He was given the oath by Board President Bea Niblock at the meeting. Miller was originally appointed by the board last January to fill a vacancy.



Kirk Niehouse, right and Jacque Wyant

Marshalltown High School art educator Kirk Niehouse has been selected to receive the Western Region Art Educator Award from the National Art Educators Association.

MHS Principal Jacque Wyant said Kirk does amazing things for students at the high school level, but also for students throughout the district and brings artists for the community. Niehouse talked about several art-related activities in the district.

Niehouse credited past art teachers and current art teachers at MHS for helping him earn the award.
“It took more than just me to do this,” Niehouse said.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

At Risk- Dropout Budget
Dr. Lisa Stevenson, Director of Instruction, presented the At-risk / dropout budget, which is $2.11 million (includes a 4 percent increase). Dr. Stevenson said there are five general ways we are intervening to address needs of at-risk students including 1. Credit content recovery, 2. Juvenile court liaisons, 3. Marshalltown Learning Academy, 4. In-school support services and 5. Literacy interventionists.

One of the main focal points is reducing the 12 percent of students who are chronically absent. The at-risk budget is funded by 75 percent property tax and 25 percent district funds.

Board members inquired about how the work is being quantified, what is the trend on many of the indicators and how the dollars are being used effectively. The board also talked about the district developing a plan to reach goals as part of the at-risk programming.

The board approved the $1,184,328 million tax portion of the budget.

For the presentation document, click here.

Transfinder License Agreement
Don Meyer, Director of Transportation, presented a proposal on a new transportation routing software program known as Transfinder. The district is paying approximately $12,000 a year for its current routing software.

Meyer said the Transfinder software would be $18,540 for the first year and $6,450 for every year after the first year. This program uses GPS programming to show pick up locations and appears to be more user friendly than the current software. The agreement was approved by the board.

Thank you to the board
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte thanked the board members for their involvement in the Roundhouse Phase 2 design meetings and the strategic planning community input meeting last week. On top of that, board members attended the Iowa Association of School Boards Conference last month.


Next regular meeting
The next board meeting will be at 5 p.m. on Dec. 19 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“When you have a relatively ‘new’ board – 3 directors with just over a year of experience and 2 directors with less than a year of experience – it’s important for the board to learn together. The board has been learning together in a variety of ways.

The most recent of which was attendance at the Iowa Association of School Boards Conference in November. Directors heard nationally recognized speakers engage us on topics of equity, culture, and advocacy for public schools. Each director also attended a variety of break-out sessions during the 2 day conference. Three of the directors shared their learning with the rest of the board at the most recent meeting and 4 individuals will share at the next meeting.

Not only has the board benefited from this conference, but the board and central office staff have begun a book study to continue their learning together. “How Not to be a Terrible School Board Member” will be read and, then, discussed at subsequent board meetings.

Your board continues to learn together and to provide sound leadership for the district.” – Bea Niblock






November 21, 2016 board meeting

22 Nov

Several music teachers in the district presented an update to the board. Pictured are, front row from left, Sara McCue, Sue Walsh and Jolene Kubli. Back row, Maggie Williams, Brett Umthun, Bret Lee and Jacob Barker.

Rachel Inks, ELL and Migrant program coordinator for the district, was recognized by the board for her advocacy award at the recent Iowa Culture and Language Conference. Inks said she accepted the award on behalf of the hard working staff throughout the district.For more information on the award, click here for the story in the employee newsletter.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte commended Board President Bea Niblock for receiving two certificates for completing courses in better boardsmandship from the Iowa Association of School Boards.

For personnel items, click here.

The personnel items included the retirement Ann Noe as custodian at Woodbury. Ann has worked for the district for 22.5 years.
“We thank her for her service,” Niblock said.

K-12 music presentation
District music staff presented to the school board including Jolene Kubli, Sue Walsh, Jacob Barker, Sara McCue, Bret Lee, Maggie Williams and Bret Umthun.
Lee said music is important because it helps students build connections with the school.
“It gives them a great outlet to explore and learn more of who they are,” Lee said.
The teachers reported the numbers of students involved in music is growing, especially at the Lenihan and Miller levels, with hopes that continues into high school.
For the presentation document, click here.

Upcoming concerts
• December 6: Miller Band Concert (7:00)
• December 8: Lenihan Band Concert (7:00)
• December 11: MHS Holiday Concert – Band & Choir (3:00)
• December 12: Miller Choir Concert (7:00)
• December 13: Woodbury 2nd-4th Grade Concert (1:00)
• December 15:
• LenihanChoirConcert(7:00)
• 5-12OrchestraConcert(7:00)
• Rogers2nd-4thGradeConcert(2:15)

Student/Staff Showcase Fisher Elementary School
Fisher Principal Vicki Vopava and instructional coach Jennifer August, presented assessment data.
“Teachers are very enthusiastic about the work we are doing ,” Vopava said. “I believe strongly in these teachers who are doing extraordinary work in the classroom.”
Fisher’s young readers and writers then read short stories including kindergartner Alyssa Green, (with teacher Cynthia Eggers), first grader Bryson Payne (with teacher Mandi Nunn), first grader Delia Robson (with teacher Mary Pepper), second grader Eduardo Pineda (with teacher Mary Brown) and third grader Madelyn Seltman (teacher Courtney Albee).

Students pictured clockwise from top left, Alyssa Green, Bryson Payne, Delia Robson, Madelyn Seltman and Eduardo Pineda.


The Promise of Iowa
The board approved this resolution, which was unveiled by the Iowa Association of School Board Convention. Board Vice President Janelle Carter read the resolution.

Application to the School Budget Review Committee

This is a request for additional spending authority for additional students we gained this year, open enrollment out and ELL beyond 5 years.
This authorizes the district to spend the money on these additional expenses. The motion was approved by the board

Asking for spending authority for River Hills Special Education program.
This would allow to capture administrative cost of $1,494.79.
The motion was approved by the board.

Thoughtexchange Software System & Professional Services
This is a web-based tool to help engage the community. In particular this will help in the strategic planning process and monitoring issues that rise to the top through this process.
The three-year proposal has a cost of $37,743. The board approved the agreement with Fulcrum Management Solutions, Inc. for Thoughtexchange Services.

Board Policies
The following polices were approved and second reading waived.

103 Long-Range Needs Assessment – Approve
103.R1 – Long-Range Needs Assessment Regulation
204.9R1 – Board Calendar
905.1 Use of School Facilties – Application Form

MHS Roundhouse- Phase 2
The Phase 2 project of the Roundhouse with a wrestling room and an auxiliary gym is moving forward. More than $2.6 million has already been raised for this project.
Kevin Eipperle of the architectural firm FEH Design presented briefly to the board.
The board approved a contract with FEH to design Phase 2.
“We are pretty excited about this opportunity,”’ Eipperle.

The public is invited to a presentation on plans and options at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30 in the team room at the Roundhouse

The board then went into a closed session to conduct a quarterly evaluation of the Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

Next meeting
The next regular school board meeting will be at 5 p.m. December 5 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Tomorrow begins your Thanksgiving holiday break. As you sit down with family and friends, may you experience the ‘attitude of gratitude’. In every single moment of your life, something good is happening in your life. All you have to do is see it.

Dr. Alan Zimmerman, motivational speaker, tells the story of Helen Keller, one of the most incredible women of the 20th century. When asked by a small boy if it was terrible that she couldn’t see, she gave a most remarkable response. She said how much more terrible it must be to have eyes and not be able to see. She was able to see the good in her life.

I wish you a restful holiday and an ‘attitude of gratitude’ where you can see all of the good things in both your professional and personal life and give thanks for them.” – Bea Niblock


November 8, 2016 board meeting

9 Nov

Veterans Day Recognition


Ross Harris reads the Veterans Day proclamation

Board member and veteran Ross Harris read a proclamation from President Barack Obama honoring veterans with Veterans Day coming November 11.
A listing of veterans in the Marshalltown Community School District who notified the district of their veteran status was displayed at the meeting.






“Footloose, the Musical” cast members, from left, Hadley Wagner, Carissa King, Hannah Shirar and Bell Russell performed a song from the upcoming show to the board.

“Footloose, the Musical”
Four of the cast members from the MHS production “Footloose, the Musical” along with vocal director Amy Ose attended the meeting. Cast members Bell Russell, Carissa King, Hannah Shirar and Hadley Wagner performed “Holding out for a Hero” for the board. The musical is at 7 p.m. both November 11 and 12 at the MHS/Community Auditorium. Click here for more information on the show.


Roundhouse Public Art Committee members are pictured with a scaled down version of the sculpture which will be located outside of the Roundhouse. Pictured at the table from left are Justin Sorensen, Heidi Dalal and Amber Danielson.

Drills- Roundhouse Public Art Project
Committee members Heidi Dalal , Amber Danielson, Mary Giese, Justin Sorensen and Rick Simpson presented about this sculpture project which will be located outside of the MHS Roundhouse. The 18-foot sculpture is scheduled to arrive on November 28. Look for more information on a public event for this sculpture in the future.
“It is such a great addition,” said Board President Bea Niblock.


For personnel items approved by the board, click here. One addition to the personnel hiring list is Allison Meyer, who is coming on as the district payroll specialist and will start at a pay rate of $19.25 an hour.


Miller Middle School Student Council members presented to the board. Pictured talking is Avery Case. Others pictured, from left, are Megan Sills, Natalie Duncan, Yuliana Juarez-Dirks, Juan Hernandez and Carson Johnson.

Student/Staff Showcase- Miller Middle School
Miller Principal Pat Rial, teacher advisor Lindsey Roberts and students Avery Case, Megan Sills, Natalie Duncan, Carson Johnson, Yuliana Juarez-Dirks, Juan Hernandez presented.
Duncan said they try to improve the middle school experience for all students and strive to help the community. The group talked about different events organized by the council to help build school pride.


Certified Enrollment- 2016-17
For the enrollment report, click here. Enrollment is at 5,436.2 up from 5,320.63 last school year, which is a gain of 115.57 students.
“This is a really important number for us for budgeting purposes,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. “This will bode well for us as we head into the next budgeting year.”

Updated Teacher Quality Budget
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson shared an updated version with the board. Discussion was held around the history of the budget.

Substantial Completion of Entrance Vestibules Security Upgrades at MHS, MLA, and Franklin, Woodbury and Hoglan Elementary Schools
Director of Buildings and Grounds Brett Purvis and Dave Schulze, architect with TSP, presented on these projects, where Hay Construction was the prime contractor.
“There’s a few little things we are going to fine tune,” Purvis said, but he was comfortable with the percentage complete at this time.
The board accepted the project as substantially complete.

Marshall County Hazard Mitigation Plan
Brett Purvis presented this plan. It is something the county is obligated to do and they have reached out to the schools for approval. The board approved participation in this plan.


Board Policies
602.12-R- Acceleration Regulation – A few minor changes – Approved as amended, waive second reading
907 – United States Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag – Wording adjustment on poilicy
The policy encourages the pledge to be said in all schools. Approved as amended, waived second reading. Click here to see the policy which was approved.
907.R-1 – Approved as amended, waived second reading
802.4 – Capital Asset Policy – Approved as amended, waived second reading

All policies below had an initial reading and will come back for a first reading.
905.1 – Use of School Facilities Rental Contract
905.1-E-1 – Use of School Facilities Application Form
905.1-E-2 – Use of School Facilities – Indemnity and Liability Insurance Agreement
103 – Long Range Needs Assessment
103.R1 – Long Range Needs Assessment – Regulation
204.9R1- Board Calendar

The next regular meeting of the board will be at 5 p.m. November 21 in district offices.

The board will hold a special meeting on November 15 from 5-6 p.m. to hear a presentation from the company Thought Exchange. The district is interested in partnering with this company to move forward with strategic planning.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Maybe it was the fact that the board meeting was on a different day of the week, but the November 8th board meeting was one of numerous recognitions and good news!
Veterans were recognized with the reading of the presidential proclamation by Director Ross Harris, an Army veteran himself; a few cast members from “Footloose” sang a number for the board; an update with sculpture mock-up was given on the MHS Roundhouse public art project; members from the Miller Middle School Student Council presented the very first Student/Staff Showcase; certified enrollment is up; and substantial completion of the entrance vestibule upgrades was presented.  Wow!  What an uplifting board meeting – one of the best in many that I have been to.
Hurray for the good things happening in this district and the focus that is now moving our district forward!” – Bea Niblock














October 21, 2016 special board meeting

21 Oct

The Marshalltown Community School District Board of Education met in a brief special meeting on October 21.

Referral Bonus Proposal for Transportation Department Employees
This proposal would offer monetary bonuses to current transportation employees who refer successful candidates for bus driving positions, as the lack of bus drivers is a concern in the district. The board decided to table action on this proposal until the November 7 board meeting to have more time to research it. For more on this proposal, click here.

The board approved personnel items at the meeting. Click here for the list approved.

The board also approved two students who are open enrolling into the Marshalltown Community School District. The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on November 7 in the board room in district offices at 1002 S. 3rd. Ave.