Jan. 18, 2022 Board Report

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.

MHS seniors (from left) Rochelle Avalos, Jose Manuel Vergara and Lwe Moo discuss their leadership experiences in the AmeriCorps Program. Also pictured: MHS Principal Jacque Wyant, right.

MHS students discuss AmeriCorps Program experiences – watch recording
MHS seniors Rochelle Avalos, Lwe Moo and Jose Manuel Vergara shared their experiences with the AmeriCorps Program at Tuesday’s board meeting. The students discussed taking leadership roles where they helped welcome and mentor their younger peers, provided college & career readiness support for senior students, and much more.

COVID-19 Mitigation Strategy update presented – watch recording
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte shared an update to the District’s COVID-19 mitigation strategy at the Tuesday, Jan. 18 regular meeting. Changes made as of Tuesday include: 

  • Allowing use of lockers.
  • Loosened restrictions in outdoor settings and within classroom sections.
  • Returning some temporarily stored furniture to classrooms to allow for more collaborative work.

Dr. Schutte said additional proposed changes, including increased use of cafeterias during lunch and optional masking at the elementary level, are being postponed until county and District COVID-19 positivity rates decrease. He said the number one priority is to ensure as many staff and students are healthy and able to attend school as possible.

Dr. Schutte said recent vaccination clinics have provided a means for students and staff to be as protected as possible. He also praised the incredible efforts by building- and District-level staff to provide high-quality learning environments amid increased COVID-related absences.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left, accepts a $1,000 donation from Dean Vaughn, right, and Angie Shibe, center of Freedom Financial Group. The donation will go toward Miller Middle School students’ upcoming Junior Achievement Finance Park experience.

Generous donation to support Junior Achievement opportunity for Miller Middle School students – watch recording
Dean Vaughn and Angie Shibe of Freedom Financial Group presented a $1,000 donation to support Miller Middle School students’ participation in the upcoming Junior Achievement Finance Park experience.

“I want to thank you very much for your continued support for our financial literacy efforts,” Dr. Schutte said during Tuesday’s recognition of the generous donation.

2022-23 school calendar approved – watch recording
The board approved the 2022-23 school year calendar on Tuesday. The decision came after MCSD families and staff were surveyed on which of two calendar options they preferred; a clear majority of both groups favored the calendar option approved by the board. 

The 2022-23 calendar closely resembles this school year’s calendar – the first day of school will be Aug. 23, Thanksgiving Break will be Nov. 23-25, Winter Break will be Dec. 23-Jan. 3, Spring Break will be March 13-17, a vacation day will be held on April 7, and the last day of school is scheduled for June 1. 

Landon Stanley performs at Tuesday’s board meeting.

MHS Poetry Out Loud winner Landon Stanley recognized – watch recording
MHS freshman Landon Stanley won first place in this year’s MHS Poetry Out Loud contest, and his accomplishment was recognized by the board ahead of this spring’s state-level Poetry Out Loud competition. 

Landon gave a great performance of David Kirby’s “Broken Promises” at Tuesday evening’s meeting. We look forward to cheering him on at the state level!

Alliant Energy named a valuable Career Readiness Partner – watch recording
Alliant Energy is an incredibly valuable partner in the Marshalltown CSD’s Bobcat Ready efforts, and the company was recognized with an MCSD Career Readiness Partner Award on Tuesday.

“I’ve been very appreciative of [Alliant Energy] getting on board with Junior Achievement – they were one of the first organizations that sent external volunteers to help us with that effort,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, who presented the award to Alliant Energy Training Specialist Lori Wildman and Senior Manager of Customer Operations Carla Gall.

Learn more about all the ways Alliant Energy supports Bobcat Ready efforts here!

2022-24 Strategic Communications & Marketing Plan presented – watch recording
Communications Director Adam Sodders provided information on the 2022-24 Strategic Communications & Marketing Plan. The plan was formed using focus group feedback from MCSD students, families, staff, and local organizational and business leaders, a process supported by the National School Public Relations Association (NSPRA).

Woodbury Elementary staff showcase the school’s important collaborative problem solving strategies. Pictured, from left: Instructional Coach Mary Brown, Principal Anel Garza, Administrative Assistant Anay Avila, and School Counselor Heidi Williams.

Woodbury Elementary showcase highlights collaborative problem solving – watch recording
Woodbury Elementary Principal Anel Garza was joined by staff members Anay Avila, Mary Brown, and Heidi Williams to share details behind the school’s collaborative problem solving efforts with students.

Updates shared on Full Service Community School Grant & 21st Century Grant – watch recording
Director of Instruction Shauna Smith and Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) Family Development Director Allison Wilson shared information on two grants supporting important programs for MCSD students. 

The $500,000 Full Service Community School Grant is in its fourth year of implementation through MCSD’s partnership with MICA. The grant focuses on student attendance, academic proficiency, health, safety, and family engagement. This year, the 21st Century Grant is providing funding for after school programming at Anson, Hoglan, and Franklin elementary schools. The grant is currently in its third year of implementation at MCSD, in partnership with MICA.

Student School Board representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board representatives Phoebe Hermanson, Aaron Seberger, and Taylor Jones shared the latest happenings and upcoming events at Marshalltown High School.

MHS attendance efforts reviewed – watch recording
MHS Bilingual Attendance Specialist Celia Gomez presented on the efforts and progress made in working with students on school attendance at Tuesday’s meeting. 

2022-23 MHS Course Guide approved – watch recording
Next school year’s MHS course guide gained board approval on Tuesday. The guide includes several exciting new offerings, including online certifications, computer networking and repair, advanced consumer economics, social media marketing, and web design. Other additions include a lifeguarding course and an XLP 9th grade seminar.

MHS Principal Jacque Wyant said many of the new offerings are based on the District’s Bobcat Ready initiative, which seeks to ensure students have the skills and knowledge they need for life after high school.

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 Tuesday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading

  • 405.10 Access to Buildings (amended, second reading waived)
  • 405.12 School Nurse – Functions (amended, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 406.1 Employee Salary Schedule (will come back for a first reading)
  • 406.4 Licensed Employee Compensation for Extra Duty (will come back for a first reading)
  • 406.5 Licensed Employee Group Insurance Benefits (will come back for a first reading)
  • 412.3 Classified Employee Group Insurance Benefits (will come back for a first reading)
  • 406.3 Licensed Employee Continued Education Credit (will come back for a first reading)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 7, 2022 at theCentral Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

Dec. 20, 2021 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.

MHS paraeducators Steve Potter, left, and Pam Fricke-Pickett, second from right, work with students in class. The wage increase for paraeducators approved on Monday will take effect Jan. 1, 2022.

MCSD paraeducator wage increase approved – watch recording
Paraeducators across the Marshalltown CSD will receive a wage increase after board action on Monday, Dec. 20. The increase will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. 

Paraeducators play a crucial role in MCSD classrooms, supporting Bobcat students and assisting teachers in providing a quality learning environment. The proposal adopted by the board had been agreed to by the paraeducator bargaining unit.

La Carreta owners Alfonso Medina and Vanessa Perez present a $5,000 donation.

Local businesses partner to give generous donation – watch recording
Alfonso Medina and his wife, Vanessa Perez, their business, La Carreta Mexican Grill, and its No Love No Tacos non-profit organization partnered with A&A Concrete and Arturo Mujica to donate $5,000 toward negative student lunch account balances.

Food Service Director Lynn Large introduced Medina and Perez Monday evening, sharing the District’s gratitude for the donation. Medina said he is committed to supporting the Marshalltown community as a local business owner.

Emerson celebrated as MCSD Career Readiness Partner – watch recording
Another top-notch community partner was presented with an MCSD Career Readiness Partner award at this week’s board meeting. 

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said Emerson-Fisher Controls has played a key role in several career readiness initiatives for Bobcat students. Emerson Director of Human Resources for the Americas Sarah Erickson accepted the award Monday evening.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left, presents the MCSD Career Readiness Partner Award to Emerson Director of Human Resources for the Americas Sarah Erickson, right.

Parent/guardian & staff input sought on 2022-23 school calendar – watch recording
Two 2022-23 school year calendar options were presented to the board at Monday’s meeting. Families and staff are being asked to share their input through a calendar preference survey. More information for District families can be found in a message emailed and texted to parents/guardians, or by clicking here.

Board adopts policies in accordance with OSHA emergency rule – watch recording
The board adopted a group of policies, regulations, and exhibits in order to comply with a recent Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) emergency rule regarding staff COVID-19 vaccinations.

The passage of the policies allows for immediate implementation in order to meet federal compliance with upcoming deadlines. The board adopted the policies on an emergency basis, and also voted to automatically suspend enforcement of the policies in the event that a further Court Order stays the federal rule. 

Marshalltown Virtual Academy leaders share showcase – watch recording
Marshalltown Virtual Academy (MVA) principals Ronnie Manis (K-6) and Eric Goslinga (7-12) shared an update on the online school’s first year of implementation. The leaders discussed enrollment trends and MVA students’ day-to-day class experiences.

MHS early graduates list approved – watch recording
Several MHS students were approved as early graduates, pending completion of their graduation requirements, at Monday’s meeting. They include seniors Quinton Lacey, Maria Cervantes Covarrubias, Thomas Whitehead, Dylano Castellanos, Brealyn Anderson, Faviola Diaz, Tanisha Trumbo, and Maria Moody; junior early grads include Ruth Fajardo Zelaya, Daniela Lopez Arredondo, and Yasmin Moran. 

Congratulations to these Bobcats!

Student School Board representatives Haley Reed, left, and Phoebe Hermanson, right, share updates from MHS Monday evening.

Student School Board representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board representatives Haley Reed and Phoebe Hermanson shared the latest happenings and upcoming events at Marshalltown High School.

At-Risk budget proposal presented – watch recording
Director of Instruction Shauna Smith and At-Risk Coordinator Eric Goslinga presented the 2022-23 At-Risk budget proposal to the board on Monday evening.

At-risk programming supports students who are at higher risk of dropping out of school. At MCSD, 30 dedicated staff members and partner organizations – including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Mid-Iowa Community Action, Net High, Iowa Jobs for America’s Graduates (iJAG), and local mental health agencies – support students through the At-Risk program.

School financial summary shared – watch recording
MCSD Business Director Paulette Newbold shared a summary of District finances with the board at Monday’s meeting. Newbold said schools are required to make such a report annually, but added that she provides a monthly update to keep the board up-to-date throughout the 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 Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading

  • 405.2 Licensed Employee Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection (approved, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 405.10 Access to Buildings (will come back for a first reading)
  • 405.11 Teachers – Functions (marked as reviewed)
  • 405.12 School Nurse – Functions (will come back for a first reading)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 18, 2022 (due to MLK Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17) at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

Dec. 6, 2021 Board Meeting

7 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.

Generous donation made toward International Welcome Center – watch recording
The Marshalltown School Board accepted an anonymous donation in the amount of $15,553.14 toward  the operation of a future District-wide Welcome Center at Monday’s regular meeting. The District is incredibly grateful for this support of a great initiative!

Lennox Director of Plant Operations Miguel Gutierrez, right, and HR Director Jess O’Neil, center, accept a Career Readiness Partner award from Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left.

Lennox Industries, Tiger Taekwondo highlighted for support of MCSD – watch recording
The valuable partnership between Marshalltown Schools and Lennox industries to support career readiness initiatives was celebrated at Monday’s meeting. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented an MCSD Career Readiness Partner award to Lennox Director of Plant Operations Miguel Gutierrez and HR Director Jess O’Neil.

Also recognized was a donation by Dr. James Charmichael, Sandy Witt, and Tiger Taekwondo toward clothing and food for students at Marshalltown Learning Academy. Donation funds were raised at the recent Tiger Taekwondo Turkey Trot fun walk/jog.

Board approves voluntary proof of vaccination incentive – watch recording
A financial incentive was approved for District staff who voluntarily provide proof of complete COVID-19 vaccination at Monday’s board meeting. The action was taken in order to ensure MCSD is fully prepared in the event that a pending federal mandate regarding employee vaccinations goes into effect.

Latest MCSD enrollment summary presented – watch recording
A summary of data collected in the 2021-22 annual certified student enrollment count was presented by Business Director Paulette Newbold. Among the highlights from the presentation was data showing an increase in students open enrolling into the District, and a decrease in open enrollments out.

Erin Faas, left, and Lora Kubli, right, present during Monday’s Rogers Elementary showcase.

Rogers Elementary School staff present building showcase – watch recording
Rogers Elementary leaders highlighted in a presentation at Monday’s board meeting. A group of Rogers school leaders presented on a wide range of great programs, including the implementation of the Responsive Classroom social emotional learning program.

State lawmakers hear District legislative priorities ahead of session – watch recording
State Sen. Jeff Edler and State House Reps. Sue Cahill and Dean Fisher discussed the District’s legislative priorities for the 2022 Iowa Legislative Session with the board Monday evening.

State House Reps. Sue Cahill, left, and Dean Fisher, center, as well as State Sen. Jeff Edler, right, discuss legislative priorities.

Student School Board representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board representatives Haley Reed, Taylor Jones, and Phoebe Hermanson shared the latest happenings and upcoming events at Marshalltown High School.

Revised MEA Master Contract and side letter approved – watch recording
A revised Master Contract between the Marshalltown Education Association (MEA) and the District for the years 2021-22 to 2023-24 gained board approval Monday evening. A side letter lifting the 10-year cap on years of experience between January 1, 2022 and the 2022-23 was included in the revision.

Central Rivers AEA services support Marshalltown Schools – watch recording
The Marshalltown CSD is among several school districts served by the Central Rivers Area Education Agency (AEA). Central Rivers AEA leaders shared how the organization supports the District through educational services, special education services, and media services.

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 Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading

  • 404.1 Employee Conduct and Appearance (amended, second reading waived)
  • 407.3-E1 Application for Retirement (amended, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 404.1-R3 (new 404-R2) Code of Rights and Responsibilities Regulation (marked as reviewed)
  • 405.2 Licensed Employee Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection (will come back for a first reading)
  • 405.3 Licensed Employee Individual Contracts (marked as reviewed)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 20, 2021 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

Nov. 15, 2021 Board Meeting

16 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.

Two new members joined the Marshalltown School Board on Monday evening. The board includes (back row, from left): Leah Stanley, Jan McGinnis, Bonnie Lowry, Karina Hernandez, Vice President Sara Faltys, President Sean Heitmann (front row, second from left), and Zach Wahl (front row, right). Also pictured are Board Secretary Paulette Newbold (front row, left) and Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte (front row, second from right).

New school board members sworn in, outgoing members honored
A significant transition took place the evening of Monday, Nov. 15, as two experienced Marshalltown School Board members attended their final meeting and two new members were sworn into office.

Miller, left, and Niblock, right, attended their last school board meeting as directors Monday evening.
  • For former Board President Bea Niblock, it was the end of another chapter in her 49-year career in public education – she served on the board for 8 years. Former board member Mike Miller’s 6-year tenure on the board also came to a close Monday evening. Both valued leaders, who chose not to run for office in 2021, were honored at Monday’s meeting.
    (watch recording)
  • The board gained two new members in this year’s election – Leah Stanley and Zach Wahl. Two sitting board members, Karina Hernandez and Bonnie Lowry, were reelected. All four were sworn into office at the board’s Annual Meeting, followed by the election of Sean Heitmann as the new Board President and Sara Faltys as the new Board Vice President. (watch recording)

Marshalltown Company recognized as a “Career Readiness Partner” – watch recording
Marshalltown Company’s outstanding support and service to Bobcat students, their parents and District staff in career readiness efforts was highlighted at Monday’s board meeting. Marshalltown Company Chief Financial Officer, John Landherr, accepted an MCSD “Career Readiness Partner” award on behalf of the local company from Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. Thank you for your support of our Bobcat Ready efforts!

Dr. Schutte, right, presents the MCSD “Career Readiness Partner” award to John Landherr of Marshalltown Company.

OSHA emergency rule regarding vaccinations discussed – watch recording
Proposed policies related to an emergency rule on employee COVID-19 vaccinations published by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) were discussed Monday evening. The board voted to table action on the policies as the rule undergoes legal challenges.

Miller Middle School KBRM program makes successful return – watch recording
Miller Middle School students are getting hands-on experience in multimedia production through the school’s KBRM newscast program. From shooting and editing video to writing scripts and performing interviews, these students are having fun while learning valuable skills! Learn more about KBRM here.

Anson Elementary leaders share ongoing efforts to build positive relationships and a sense of community within classrooms. Pictured, from left: Anson teacher Tara Klaas, Anson Principal Ronnie Manis, Anson teacher Molly Neese, and Anson school counselor Ashley Chyma.

Anson Elementary School staff present building showcase – watch recording
Anson Elementary staff have been leaders in District social-emotional learning (SEL) programming, and those efforts were highlighted in a presentation at Monday’s board meeting.

Anson school counselor Ashley Chyma said the Responsive Classrooms program supports positive relationships through Morning Meeting, Closing Circle, learning about parents’ Hopes and Dreams for their children, following the CARES system, and other community-building efforts.

American Education Week highlighted – watch recording
This week, Nov. 15-19, is American Education Week, a time to celebrate the incredible work done every day by teachers, bus drivers, paraeducators, custodians, food service staff, and all other school employees who provide great learning environments for students. Learn more here.

Student School Board representatives’ report and Iowa Youth Congress presentation – watch recording
Student School Board representatives Haley Reed, Phoebe Hermanson and Aaron Seberger shared the latest happenings and upcoming events at Marshalltown High School, including:

Student Board Rep Haley Reed presents on her Iowa Youth Congress experiences.
  • The MHS Fall Musical, “All Together Now!”, entertained audiences last weekend at the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center.
  • Thirty-one students were selected to participate in Rotary Club meetings throughout the rest of the school year.
  • Highlights from the recent Girls State Swim Meet

Additionally, Reed shared her experiences with the Iowa Youth Congress with the board, including her committee’s development of a position statement which supports having at least one non-voting student school board representative in place on each Iowa school board.

All-State Music students recognized – watch recording
MHS students Eric Santana, Rebekah Stone, Veronica Herrera, and Aaron Seberger were recognized for their All State Music selections this year. The All State Music Festival takes place at Hilton Coliseum in Ames this weekend.

New program to help identify students in need of supports – watch recording
The board approved the purchase of the Early Warning System to aid school staff in identifying students in need of key supports. ESSER funds will be used to cover the cost of the new program.

District employee health plan update presented – watch recording
An update on the District’s self-funded employee health plan was presented to the board Monday evening. The data shows the District’s plan is in good shape.

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 Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading

  • 401.4 Employee Complaints (amended, second reading waived)
  • 402.3-R Abuse of Students by School District Employees Regulation (amended, second reading waived)
  • 502.4 Student Complaints and Grievances (amended, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 402.4 Gifts to Employees (marked as reviewed)
  • 403.4 Hazardous Chemical Right to Know (marked as reviewed)
  • 404.1 Employee Conduct and Appearance (will come back for a first reading)
  • 407.3-E1 Application for Retirement (will come back for a first reading)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Last night’s board meeting was the last time that I would call a meeting to order. It also marked the end of 25 years of serving the students, staff and community of Marshalltown as a principal and board member.

It has been a pleasure serving in this community. The relationships that I have had and the experiences that I have enjoyed have been a huge part of my life. Your faith and trust in me has been humbling.

My quote at the meeting was a fitting statement of my feelings at this time. As Winnie the Pooh said to Piglet, ‘How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.’ I wish all of you success in your endeavors. Goodbye…” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 6, 2021 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

Nov. 1, 2021 Board Meeting

2 Nov
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, left, presented an MCSD Career Readiness Partner award to JBS Marshalltown at Monday’s meeting. JBS Marshalltown HR Director Patrick Brue, right, accepted the award.

Longtime JBS partnership celebrated – watch recording
The Marshalltown CSD has many strong community relationships, and Marshalltown’s largest employer is among the District’s key partners. JBS Marshalltown Human Resources Director Patrick Brue accepted a Career Readiness Partner award from MCSD on behalf of the company at the Monday, Nov. 1 board meeting. 

“Marshalltown is extraordinarily well-known for having longstanding and strong relationships,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. “JBS is our largest employer in the community. They’ve been an extraordinary partner.”

Dr. Schutte gave several examples of how JBS has proven to be a great community partner, from sharing water bottles and face masks with District students and staff to offering the “Better Futures” post-secondary education funding program with their thousands of local employees.

Joa LaVille of the Marshalltown Public Library, right, and Lenihan Instructional Coach Tonya Gaffney, left, present on the EMERGE program.

EMERGE program connects Bobcat students with their local library – watch recording
Marshalltown Public Library Youth Manager Joa LaVille and Lenihan Intermediate School Instructional Coach Tonya Gaffney shared an overview of the EMERGE program partnership Monday evening.

The long-standing program brings 6th-grade Bobcat students into the Marshalltown Public Library to learn about searching for library materials and keeping up with a library account. The program also engages students’ literary skills and interests.

Staff members’ military service recognized – watch recording
Veterans Day is next Thursday, Nov. 11, and the Marshalltown CSD took time to thank 16 staff members for their service in the U.S. military. The recognition includes individual thank-you cards for each of the veteran staff members, including:

NameBranchRole at MCSDBuilding
Brett ComegysMarine Corps & Nat’l GuardTeacherMMS
Marvin DetrickMarine CorpsBus DriverBus Barn
Jerry FlathersArmyMechanicBus Barn
Nicole GaughanArmyBehavior StrategistCentral Office
Richard GoshonNational GuardBus DriverBus Barn
Michael HinesArmyCitizen CoachMHS
Kenneth HoffmanNavyBus DriverBus Barn
Marsha JohnsonAir Force & ArmyTeacherMHS
Tim JohnsonArmyTeacherMHS
David MurphyNational GuardCustodian/GroundsMHS
Pete NielandArmyTeacherMMS
Scott RandallArmyCustodial SupervisorCentral Office
Bill RobertsArmyHealth AideLIS
Greg RodrigueNavyTeacherMHS
Theresa TheisAir National Guard & NavyTeacherMHS
Matt TullisArmyTeacherLIS
Matt Tullis, Bill Roberts, David Murphy, and Scott Randall are four of the 16 military veteran employees recognized at Monday’s board meeting. Thank you all!

Lenihan Intermediate School staff present building showcase – watch recording
Leaders from Lenihan Intermediate School shared a showcase of the building’s robust academic reading and math academic support programs. Other Lenihan programs discussed included intramural sports, gardening with 4-H, Ricochet student leadership activities, and more.

Voluntary Early Retirement incentive approved for 2021-22 – watch recording
The board approved the Voluntary Early Retirement incentive for the 2021-22 school year on Monday evening. The incentive had not been offered in the previous school year. Updated Voluntary Early Retirement policy language also gained board approval after initial review at the Oct. 18 meeting.

Student School Board representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board representatives Phoebe Hermanson and Aaron Seberger shared the latest happenings and upcoming events at Marshalltown High School, including

Successful Anson Elementary building renovation discussed – watch recording
A large area of Anson Elementary School has seen major upgrades in recent months. 

At the heart of that work has been the school’s media center, which Principal Ronnie Manis described as looking like new construction. He said the new and improved space will serve as a great learning environment for Anson students. A statement of substantial completion for the project was approved by the board at the Oct. 18 meeting.

District Technology program overview shared – watch recording
Director of Technology Amy Harmsen presented an overview of her Department’s important work at Monday’s meeting. Information on school devices, key safety software, internet hotspots, tech support, and more featured in the presentation.

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 Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading

  • 200.1 Organization of the Board of Directors (amended, second reading waived)
  • 210.10 (new 210.8) Agenda and Order of Regular Business Meetings (amended, second reading waived)
  • 212 Closed Sessions (amended, second reading waived)
  • New Policy 212.1 Exempt Meetings (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 402.2-R Child Abuse Reporting Regulation (amended, second reading waived)
  • 606.6 Insufficient Classroom Space (amended, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 402.3-R Abuse of Students by School District Employees Regulation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 402.3-E1 Abuse of Students by School District Employees (Complaint of Injury or Abuse) (will come back for a first reading)
  • 402.3-E2 Abuse of Students by School District Employees (Report of Level 1 Investigation) (will come back for a first reading)
  • 307 Communication Channels (deleted)
  • 401.4 Employee Complaints (will come back for a first reading)
  • 502.4 Student Complaints and Grievances (will come back for a first reading)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“One of the joys of board meetings is the individual school presentations. The board began its schedule of school presentations at our last meeting in October. 

Franklin Elementary staff members were the first to present to the board this year. And Lenihan Intermediate School presented last night. Each presentation is a short one that highlights a specific process of instruction or curriculum item. Staff members share the reason that particular procedure/curricula was chosen for building focus, the steps taken to alleviate the issue and the results of the intervention. 

The board’s first goal is to monitor and increase student achievement. These building presentations keep the board informed about progress toward increased achievement. We look forward to the next presentation and hearing about the strides being made toward increased student achievement and closing the learning gap.” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 15, 2021 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

Oct. 18, 2021 Board Report

19 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.

COVID-19 stipend approved for MCSD staff – watch recording
The Marshalltown School Board approved a special COVID-19 stipend for District staff at the Monday, Oct. 18 regular meeting. The stipend will be equivalent to one day’s pay for qualifying employees. 

By offering the stipend, Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte the District is “recognizing all of the hard work, effort, extra time, stress, and anxiety our education professionals in all classifications have had to deal with since COVID hit.”

New District website service approved – watch recording
The Marshalltown School Board approved a 5-year agreement for web services with Juicebox Interactive at Monday’s board meeting. Director of Communications Adam Sodders said the new, upgraded District website is planned to launch in the spring semester of the current school year.

Franklin Elementary Principal Tim Holmgren shares information on the school’s social-emotional learning programming. Franklin school counselor Dani Minkel, center, and instructional coach Elizabeth Overstake, right, also presented on the topic.

Franklin Elementary staff showcase social-emotional learning efforts – watch recording
Franklin Elementary Principal Tim Holmgren, instructional coach Elizabeth Overstake, and school counselor Dani Minkel showcased the building’s ongoing social-emotional learning (SEL) efforts Monday evening.

Principals’ important work recognized – watch recording
October is National Principals Month, and the Marshalltown School Board took time to recognize the essential work the District’s school principals do every day on behalf of Bobcat students. Thank you to all of our excellent principals!

Board discusses Voluntary Early Retirement incentive, approves Early Notification incentive – watch recording
Discussion was held on the District’s Voluntary Early Retirement incentive and related policies Monday evening. No action was taken to reactivate the Voluntary Early Retirement incentive at Monday’s meeting, and four related policies will come back for a first reading at the Nov. 1 meeting.

Additionally, the board approved a new Early Notification employee incentive for the current fiscal year. The goal of the incentive is to post the positions of those who have already made the decision to leave in January, allowing more time to help ensure highly-qualified applicants are hired earlier in the year than normal. 

Student Board reps Phoebe Hermanson, right, and Haley Reed, left share an update with the board.

Student School Board representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board representatives Phoebe Hermanson, Taylor Jones, and Haley Reed shared the latest happenings and upcoming events at Marshalltown High School.

Chromebooks, hotspots purchased – watch recording
A purchase of 75 Chromebooks and 450 internet hotspots gained board approval at Monday’s meeting. Director of Technology Amy Harmsen said 100 percent of the purchase cost will be reimbursed through the federal Emergency Connectivity Fund.

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 Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading

  • 412.3 Insurance (amended, second reading waived)
  • 506.4 Student Library Circulation Records (adopted, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 402.2-R Child Abuse Reporting Regulation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 402.2-E Reporting Child Abuse When Suspected by “Caretaker” (deleted)
  • 402.3 Abuse of Students by School District Employees (marked as reviewed)
  • 402.2 Child Abuse Reporting (marked as reviewed)
  • 200.1 Organization of the Board of Directors (will come back for a first reading)
  • 210.10 (new 210.8) Agenda and Order of Regular Business Meetings (will come back for a first reading)
  • 212 Closed Sessions (will come back for a first reading)
  • 606.6 Insufficient Classroom Space (will come back for a first reading)
  • 212.1 Exempt Meetings (will come back for a first reading)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“At each board meeting, it is a pleasure to hear from our student board representatives. Last night Haley Reed, Taylor Jones and Phoebe Hermanson made the powerpoint presentation. Aaron Seberger was attending an event.

Each presentation gives the board a look at what’s happening at the high school. Students share events that have happened, upcoming events and victories/awards. Students take turns sharing and offering their personal comments. They do a remarkable job of giving the board directors an inside look at activities at the high school. Thanks to our student board representatives.” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 1, 2021 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

Oct. 4, 2021 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 College & Career Readiness counselor Miracle Mallory, left, presents on the Bobcat Ready program at Monday’s board meeting. Also pictured are College & Career Readiness Curriculum and Professional Development Leader Jenny Allen, center, and MHS Principal Jacque Wyant, right.

Bobcat Ready report shows positive impacts – watch recording
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant, MHS College & Career Readiness counselor Miracle Mallory, and District College & Career Readiness Curriculum and Professional Development Leader Jenny Allen shared how the Bobcat Ready  program helps prepare students for postsecondary success at Monday’s school board meeting. 

The presenters also shared data on Bobcat graduates’ post-secondary paths, including enrollment at, and graduation from, higher education institutions. Since 2019, the Marshalltown CSD has implemented the Bobcat Ready program to encourage students to be college- and career ready upon graduation. 

Brenda Severson of McFarland Clinic shares about an ongoing effort to deliver books from Sesame Street in Communities to Bobcat students.

Local effort to deliver books to students underway – watch recording
Brenda Severson of McFarland Clinic and Betsy Macke of Reach Out and Read, in partnership with the Marshalltown Public Library, are working to deliver books to Bobcat students. The books were provided to McFarland Clinic by Sesame Street Communities. Check out the full story on this generous effort here!

Important school survey data presented watch recording
Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger presented data from the 2021 Conditions for Learning survey of students, staff, and parents, as well as a school stakeholders survey, at Monday’s meeting. 

Additionally, Cretsinger shared information about the District’s special education budget. The board approved seeking authorization from the School Budget Review Committee to for allowable growth and supplemental aid for the District’s special education deficit.

District custodians recognized – watch recording
The board recognized the exceptional work of the District’s custodial team Monday evening. National Custodian Day was celebrated on Oct. 2. For more information on our great custodial team, click here.

Student School Board representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board representatives Aaron Seberger, Phoebe Hermanson, and Taylor Jones shared the latest happenings and upcoming events at Marshalltown High School.

Student School Board representatives (L-R) Aaron Seberger, Taylor Jones, and Phoebe Hermanson share an update from MHS at Monday’s board meeting.

FY2021 financial report shared – watch recording
Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold presented a financial overview of the District for Fiscal Year 2021. One highlight from the report was that the District’s solvency ratio has increased significantly, a good sign of financial health.

“We have made considerable progress in regards to the board’s fiscal management goals,” Newbold said.

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 Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading

  • 401.7 Employee Travel Compensation (amended, second reading waived)
  • 401.10 Credit Cards (amended, second reading waived)
  • 804.6 Video Surveillance (amended, second reading waived)
  • 711.2-R2 (new 804.6-R1) Use of Recording Devices on School Buses (amended, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 401.10-R Credit Cards (marked as reviewed)
  • 401.12 Employee Use of Cell Phones (marked as reviewed)
  • 401.12-R Employee Use of Cell Phones Administrative Regulation (marked as reviewed)
  • 412.3 Insurance (will come back for a first reading)
  • 703.4 Fiscal Management-Performance Measures (marked as reviewed)
  • 703.4-E Fiscal Management-Performance Measures (marked as reviewed)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“One day last week, I opened the blinds to see one branch of red leaves peeking through the green on the flame red maple tree in my backyard. Fall is beginning to show its color! And I complimented that discovery with a cup of pumpkin spice tea.

As I was enjoying my tea, I reflected on the fact that this is the second fall we have entered fighting Covid!  We have been monitoring, struggling with, and stressed by Covid for 18 months!  Please understand that the board knows that the continued stress is draining and exhausting.   The mitigation strategies and the teacher/substitute shortage make the situation even more trying.

We are very proud of the entire staff in the MCSD. Day after day, each of you come to work to make a difference in the lives of our youth. We are appreciative of all that you do to keep the ship on course and moving forward in these difficult times. Thank you!” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18, 2021 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

Sept. 20, 2021 Board Meeting

21 Sep

New feature: 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.

Face mask mandate put in place for PK-6 staff and students – watch recording
The Marshalltown School Board approved a face mask mandate for PK-6 students and staff while indoors at school. The mandate covers Anson, Fisher, Franklin, Hoglan, Rogers, and Woodbury elementary schools, as well as Lenihan Intermediate School; it will take effect on Wednesday, Sept. 22.

This measure does not affect students or staff at the 7-12 level, where vaccines have been approved and made available to those able and willing. Face masks will continue to be highly recommended, not required, at Miller Middle School, Marshalltown High School, and Marshalltown Learning Academy.

District data on COVID-19 from both the current and previous school years was also shared at the meeting.

MCSD takes step toward upgraded website – watch recording
An important step was made toward a new and improved Marshalltown CSD website at the Sept. 20 board meeting. A request for proposal document was approved, and vendors have until 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 8 to submit proposals. 

“One of the recommendations from the [Communications] Audit report was that multi-authoring ability, so that we could more easily delegate certain pages’ directories… to other people throughout the district,” said District Director of Technology Amy Harmsen, adding she worked closely with Director of Communications Adam Sodders in forming the RFP document approved Monday.

Discussion of a District website upgrade, as well as the broader MCSD Communications Audit report, was held at a recent school board work session.

The District Technology team was recognized at the Sept. 20 Marshalltown School Board meeting. Pictured, from left: tech support specialists Janet Merlos Garcia, Alex Bartels, and Ricardo Garcia, Chromebook technician Jose Ramirez, network and security specialist Andrew Claseman, tech support specialist Gabriela Dubon, server specialist Sebastian Ramirez, and director Amy Harmsen. Not pictured: technology coordinator Jennifer Harrington.

District IT professionals celebrated – watch recording
The Marshalltown CSD’s excellent Technology Team was recognized at Monday’s meeting ahead of National IT Professionals Day on Tuesday, Sept. 21. Read more here!

New Student School Board representatives introduced – watch recording
Two of this year’s new Student School Board representatives – Taylor Jones and Phoebe Hermanson – introduced themselves to the board. The students also shared their regular meeting presentation.

Hermanson and Jones are joined in their Student Board representative roles by Aaron Seberger and second-year rep Haley Reed. The student leaders will hold regular presentations to the board this school year, outlining important happenings at MHS.

Important committees approved for 2021-22 – watch recording
The membership of two important school committees gained board approval Monday evening, The board approved the Equity Committee, as well as the School Improvement Advisory Committee (SIAC), for the 2021-22 school year. The committees include not only school staff and administrators, but also District parents and guardians.

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 Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading

  • 401.5 Employee Records (amended, second reading waived)
  • 501.14 Open Enrollment-Sending District (amended, second reading waived)
  • 501.15 Open Enrollment-Receiving District (amended, second reading waived)
  • 505.5 Graduation Requirements (amended, second reading waived)
  • 508.5 Activity Ticket Funds (tabled)
  • 603.6 Physical Education (amended, second reading waived)
  • 604.1 Private Instruction (amended, second reading waived)
  • 711.2 Student Conduct on School Transportation (amended, second reading waived)
  • New Policy 205.4 Lifetime Activity Passes (adopted, second reading waived)
  • New Policy 502.3 Student Expression and Student Publications (adopted, second reading waived)
  • New Regulation 502.3-R1 Student Expression and Student Publications Code (adopted, second reading waived)
  • New Policy 905.3 Weapons in the School District (adopted, second reading waived)

Initial Review

  • 401.7 Employee Travel Compensation (marked as reviewed)
  • 401.8 Recognition for Service of Employees (marked as reviewed)
  • 401.10 Credit Cards (will come back for a first reading)
  • 804.6 Video Surveillance (will come back for a first reading)
  • 711.2-R2 (new 804.6-R1) Use of Recording Devices on School Buses (will come back for a first reading)
  • 804.6-R (new 804.6-R2) Video Surveillance Regulation (marked as reviewed)

From Board President Bea Niblock
September 22nd (Wednesday) will see the first day of fall and the wearing of masks by all students and staff from PK- 6th grade while indoors. 

Last night’s board meeting was filled with a discussion regarding masks/no masks in our district buildings. Data was presented regarding the increasing number of Covid cases, attendance data and CDC and public health recommendations. Parents spoke, emails were read and survey data was shared. The board had much to discuss from all of that input.

After a recommendation for a full mask mandate district-wide was defeated, the board approved a proposal to institute a mask mandate for grades PK6. This was passed largely due to the fact that vaccine is not yet available to students of that age group. After a vaccine is available and students have had an opportunity to become vaccinated and develop an immunity, this mandate will be revisited.

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 4, 2021 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

Sept. 7, 2021 Board Meeting

8 Sep

Note on new feature: Watch the full board meeting discussion regarding each of the below items by clicking the “watch recording” link. The link will take you directly to the beginning of the chosen agenda item/topic in the video recording of the meeting.

Orpheum Theater, parking lot set to become part of MCSD – watch recording
The Marshalltown School Board approved a letter of intent to purchase the Orpheum Theater Center, an important Marshalltown landmark, at the Sept. 7 Marshalltown School Board meeting. The Orpheum is set to become part of the District after several years of Iowa Valley Community College District operation.

Additionally, the board approved an agreement to acquire the parking lot next to the Orpheum from UnityPoint Health. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said the facility is planned for educational use by Bobcat students.

Students share Great Debate experiences – watch recording
MHS students Vania Madrigal Ibarra and Edgar Tellez strengthened several important skills as they took part in the National Hispanic Institute’s Great Debate. The students shared their experiences from the event at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Vania said she was able to share about her life experiences using self-expression skills. Edgar said he developed strong points and counter arguments on an assigned topic during the event.

MHS students Vania Madrigal Ibarra, left, and Edgar Tellez, right, share their experiences from the recent National Hispanic Institute Great Debate.

School supply donation efforts highlighted – watch recording
Hundreds of pens, pencils, notebooks, crayons, and more were recently donated to the Marshalltown CSD through two generous efforts

House of Compassion Director Chad Hammar and MPD Officer Andrew Cole, representing the Fraternal Order of Police, partnered to provide large numbers of supplies for this year’s Stuff the Bus effort. Additionally, hundreds of supply-stuffed backpacks were provided by O’Brien Family McDonald’s, which includes the local McDonald’s location.

These donation efforts help to ensure all students have access to essential school supplies as the new year begins.

Ridout, right, presents a donation to Isgrig, left.

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 at Tuesday’s meeting. The donation of more than $1,500 was raised through sales of the restaurant’s signature Bobcat Burger. For each Bobcat Burger purchased, $1 was added to the donation funds.

2021-22 Student School Board representatives share first update – watch recording
Student School Board representatives Haley Reed and Aaron Seberger shared the first of many school year updates with the school board Tuesday evening. 

Reed returns as a representative after serving last school year; Seberger, one of the new student board reps this year, introduced himself to the board. Fellow student representatives Taylor Jones and Phoebe Hermanson will also share updates at school board meetings this year.

Student School Board representatives Haley Reed, left, and Aaron Seberger, right, share the first student representative update of the 2021-22 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 Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading

  • 401.13 Staff Technology Use/Social Networking

Initial Review – 

  • 401.5 Employee Records (will come back for a first reading)
  • 401.5-R1 Employee Records Regulation (marked as reviewed)
  • 401.6 Limitations to Employment References (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.14 Open Enrollment-Sending District (will come back for a first reading)
  • 501.15 Open Enrollment-Receiving District (will come back for a first reading)
  • 505.5 Graduation Requirements (will come back for a first reading)
  • 508.5 Activity Ticket Funds (will come back for a first reading)
  • 603.6 Physical Education (will come back for a first reading)
  • 604.1 Private Instruction (will come back for a first reading)
  • 711.2 Student Conduct on School Transportation (will come back for a first reading)
  • New Policy 205.4 Lifetime Activity Passes (will come back for a first reading)
  • New Policy 502.3 Student Expression and Student Publications (will come back for a first reading)
  • New Regulation 502.3-R1 Student Expression and Student Publications Code (will come back for a first reading)
  • New Policy 905.3 Weapons in the School District (will come back for a first reading)
  • 504.3 School Publications (deleted)
  • 504.3-R1 Student Publications Code (deleted)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

Aug. 16, 2021 Board Meeting

17 Aug

COVID-19 mitigation strategies for the upcoming school year presented
Student, staff and community safety continues to be the top priority of the Marshalltown CSD as the 2021-22 school year begins. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte shared updated health and safety guidelines with the Marshalltown School Board at the Monday, Aug. 16 regular board meeting.

The updated guidelines include information on face coverings, which will be highly recommended, though not required, for use by students and staff. Each staff member and student will be provided with a cloth face mask; an appropriate face covering of choice may also be used, if desired.

Social distancing measures will continue to be highly encouraged and expected as well, where and when possible. Additionally, school day schedules have been adjusted to minimize student and staff crossover.

Dr. Schutte said he continues to work with District Health Services and Marshall County Public Health to monitor the pandemic situation in Marshall County, particularly with recent concerns about the Delta variant.

To see the full guidelines, including those regarding school visitors, large gatherings, vaccines, and more, click here.

Former MHS student-athlete Jarret Heil, center, presents a generous donation from fellow Bobcat Boys Cross Country alumni at Monday’s meeting. Also pictured, from left: former MHS AD and Boys Cross Country Coach Tim Bell, MHS Activities Director Ryan Isgrig, Boys Cross Country Coach Chad Pietig, and Deanna Bell.

Boys Cross Country program receives generous gift
Former MHS Boys Cross Country coach and MHS Activities Director Tim Bell, his wife, Deanna, and MHS alum Jarret Heil presented generous donations to the MHS Boys Cross Country program Monday evening.

The gifts, which totaled $2,500, were shared to support the continued growth of the Cross Country program, which has a rich history at Marshalltown Schools.

“Cross country is a tough sport. It builds a lot of character,” said Heil, who was a student-athlete in the program under Bell, adding a portion of the funds were raised during a recent reunion of past Bobcat Boys Cross Country athletes from the graduating classes of 1981-2013.

MHS Activities Director Ryan Isgrig and Boys Cross Country Coach Chad Pietig accepted the donations on Monday.

Rogers Elementary Principal Dr. Mick Jurgensen, left, Franklin Elementary Principal Tim Holmgren, center, and Anson Elementary Principal Ronnie Manis, right, share an overview of the Ladders to Learning program at Monday’s board meeting.

Ladders to Learning program finds success
The return of the Ladders to Learning has had a positive impact on participating students, according to data shared at Monday’s board meeting. The program focuses on helping students fill learning gaps by meeting targeted, individualized goals.

“When we look at goals for kids, we’re looking at what does this specific student need?” said Rogers Elementary Principal Dr. Mick Jurgensen, one of the leaders of the Ladders to Learning program in the 2020-21 school year.

Anson Elementary Principal Ronnie Manis and Franklin Elementary Principal Tim Holmgren also helped lead Ladders to Learning; the three administrators said the program saw many student goals met. They said later assessments may reveal more about how the students’ proficiency improved after participating in Ladders to Learning.

“We can see the growth kids are making … it’s kind of a win-win for both our kids and our building,” Dr. Jurgensen said.

Three elementary buildings chosen for Iowa Total Care “100 Schools in Iowa” initiative
Anson, Franklin, and Rogers elementary schools have been chosen to take part in the Iowa Total Care “100 Schools in Iowa” literacy program. Each school will receive $500 for books and a toolkit to support students’ literacy advancement.

The selection of the three school buildings as part of this great Iowa Total Care program was recognized at Monday’s board meeting.

Director of Instruction Shauna Smith presents the Amplify Reading program

Amplify Reading literacy program approved for grades K-4
A new, personalized literacy learning program will be available for elementary-level Bobcat students after board action Monday.

Director of Instruction Shauna Smith said the Amplify Reading program aligns with current District curriculum and will meet the needs of students in grades K-4. She said remaining licensing for Lexia CORE 5 will be put toward Lexia PowerUp Literacy programming at Lenihan Intermediate School and Miller Middle School.

Update shared on 2021-22 school registration
Smith also presented an update on school registration for the upcoming school year with the board. She reported that nearly 90 percent of students have registered, with several more who have begun the registration process. 

“I think we’re in a great place,” Smith said, adding there is still work to be done. 

To learn more about registering for the 2021-22 school year, visit www.marshalltown.k12.ia.us/parents/online-school-registration-2021-22/

REMINDER: The first day of school is next Tuesday, Aug. 24. Register your child today if they are not already registered!

Major HVAC projects at MHS, Anson continue to progress
Important work to install and upgrade HVAC systems at Marshalltown High School and Anson Elementary School continues, with many aspects of the projects nearing completion. However, supply chain challenges are expected to cause a delay in the arrival of key parts.

“We do have some components, some of the air handlers, that will be a little delayed,” said Buildings and Ground Director Todd Goulding, adding some work-arounds have been found to provide air cooling in the short-term, specifically at Anson. 

However, officials from Garling Construction said shipping delays will mean the new air conditioning system at MHS will become operational in the fall, later than initially planned.

Marshalltown Virtual Academy handbooks approved
Student handbooks for grades K-6, 7-8, and 9-12  at the new Marshalltown Virtual Academy (MVA) received school board approval Monday evening. 

One of the highlights shared during the handbook presentation focused on attendance policy. MVA PK-6 Principal Ronnie Manis said great care will be taken to ensure students are actively engaged in virtual schoolwork. During the K-6 handbook presentation, Manis said students will meet in a live virtual session with their teacher every morning; he added that students’ activity and engagement with school work will be reviewed on a weekly basis.

Summary shared on federal pandemic funding
Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold and Dr. Schutte provided an overview of the federal funding provided to MCSD during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The presentation covered not only various Elementary & Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) revenues, but also the FEMA Disaster Assistance, the USDA Child Nutrition Program, and the state-level Governor’s Emergency Education Relief (GEERS) program.

Marshalltown Schools has and will continue to use the designated funds for a wide range of pandemic-related expenses and supports. 

Major health and safety efforts have been made possible through the funding, including internet hotspots and additional tech support, desk shields, personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies, helpdesk services, paid COVID-19 sick leave for staff, several digital learning programs, and much more.

Newbold said available federal funding will continue to be used for COVID-related expenses going forward.

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 Monday, click here.

Policies:
First Reading

  • 200.3 Responsibilities of the Board of Directors (amended, second reading waived)
  • 206.1 President (amended, second reading waived)
  • 206.2 Vice President (amended, second reading waived)
  • 213 Public Participation in Board Meetings (amended, second reading waived)
  • 213.1 Public Complaints (amended, second reading waived)
  • New 401.14 Employee Expression (amended, second reading waived)
  • 606.2 School Ceremonies and Observances (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 701.2 Transfer of Funds (amended, second reading waived)
  • 803.1 Disposition of Obsolete Equipment (marked as reviewed)


Initial Review – 

  • 400 Role of Guiding Principles for Employees (marked as reviewed)
  • 401.1-E Equal Employment Opportunity Grievance Form; Affirmative Action Grievance    Form; Title VI Compliance, Grievance Form; Title IX Compliance, Grievance Form; Section 504 Compliance, Grievance Form (marked as reviewed)
  • 401.4 Employee Complaints (marked as reviewed)
  • 401.13 Staff Technology Use/Social Networking (will come back for a first reading)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The start of a new school year is upon us. Staff will participate virtually in ‘Welcome Back’ activities on Wednesday and will then greet students next Tuesday. I will have the opportunity to address staff on Wednesday for the last time. It is with pleasure and honor that I do that.

I hope that you have enjoyed your time away from lesson plans and grades. Summer is a time to refuel. And summers in Marshalltown, in the recent past, have had their own stresses. But as Buddha tells us, ‘No matter how hard the past is, you can always begin again.’ 

Best wishes for a great year filled with successes and happy memories.” – Bea NiblockThe next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 7, 2021 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be held on a Tuesday due to the Labor Day holiday on Monday, Sept. 6, and will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.