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.

October 17, 2016 board meeting

18 Oct

District art teachers presented a program update to the board at the October 17 meeting. Pictured seated is Kirk Niehouse. Standing, from left, are Wade Judge, Baily Miller, Lauren Williams, Maggie Parks, Laurie Mullen and Rebecca Erickson.

Marshalltown Schools elementary art teacher Maggie Parks recognized Marshalltown High School art teacher Kirk Niehouse, who was recently awarded the Outstanding Secondary Art Educator Award from the Art Educators of Iowa. Parks nominated Niehouse for the award.
Parks said Niehouse not only goes above and beyond for his students, but also for his friends and colleagues. She mentioned when her home was damaged due to a fire, Niehouse helped her extensively with cleaning it up.
“He’s so focused on all of the students’ needs and helping his colleagues in distress,” Parks said.
Niehouse said he enjoys what he does at MHS.
“It was an honor to be recognized by other art teachers,” Niehouse said.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

AEA 267 services overview


Kim Swartz

Kim Swartz, regional administrator from AEA 267, and AEA 267 board member (local representative) David Giese talked to the board about the services offered by AEA 267 and how it works together with the school district.
Giese emphasized that AEA 267 works as a partner with all the school districts in its area.
Swartz credited the staff in the Marshalltown Community School District for their collegial relationship.
“I think we are really working together to help support and improve student achievement for all students,” Swartz said.
Swartz handed out a brochure to the board of services that have been offered to the district. To view the brochure, click here.

K-12 Art Presentation
Art teachers in the district, including Lauren Williams, Laurie Mullen, Baily Miller, Kirk Niehouse, Rebecca Erickson, Maggie Parks and Wade Judge, gave an update on the art program district wide to the board. Their presentation document can be viewed here .
Niehouse said art is moving more into the digital area. Students are using Google slides to preserve artwork.
Williams said they meet regularly with the K-12 art group to have a cohesive program throughout the district.
“Art is considered a core subject,” Parks said.

Elementary Literacy Supports
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson and K-6 Curriculum/Professional Development Leader Shauna Smith shared with the board about Reading Corps and Lexia Core 5

Reading Corps
AmeriCorps employees are trained to become elementary literacy tutors as part of Reading Corps. These employees are 11-month employees of AmeriCorps so they can be utilized during the summer.
Anson Elementary was selected to pilot the program and a new tutor has started, Dr. Stevenson said. The hope is to expand it to other sites in the school district.

Lexia Core 5
This is an online personalized learning experience in six areas of reading instruction. More information on this can be accessed via an online video at
“The key components of the program are the ability to scaffold the content for the student and track each click of the mouse,” Smith said.
Lexia costs approximately $24 per student per year. The district has secured a three- year license for all seven PK-6 sites funded through state grant funds (early literacy intervention).
Use of the program this year will be determined at the building level based on the need. Usage will be during the school day.
The November 14 professional development day will provide staff training for this.
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said he saw this program working in an inner city school in Washington, DC last year and was impressed.
“This is where things are headed in terms of how we leverage technology,” Schutte said.

School Improvement Advisory Committee Members for 2016-17
Dr. Stevenson presented the list of the School Improvement Advisory Committee, which is a state required committee. The list was approved by the board and can be accessed here.

Teacher Quality Committee for 2016-17
Dr. Stevenson presented this committee list, which is a state required committee which had its first meeting last week. The Teacher Quality budget is expected to be presented at a future meeting. The committee was approved by the board. The committee list can be accessed by clicking here.

Laundry fee issue at MHS
MHS Activities/Athletics Director Rollie Ackerman presented a proposal for a change to the MHS student handbook, which includes a change in fees. The laundry fee has been in existence for a long time and it’s a good service that is provided for students, Ackerman said. He said after discussion there was a need to reconfigure the fees for a tiered approach due to the different needs for laundry in each particular sport. The fee was raised from $10 previously to $20 this school year.
Moving forward in certain sports the fee will be $20, certain sports would be at the $10 level and other sports would have no charge for laundry (students have own jersey/warm up that they are responsible for).
The board approved the handbook changes which are activated immediately. The changes are outlined below.

Laundry Fee
A laundry fee will be charged to all participants in athletics based on the schedule below, with a maximum $60 per family. This fee must be paid before an individual may take part in practices or contests. This fee will be paid directly to the Main Office. Any individual who qualifies for the free or reduced lunch program will be exempt from paying this fee. Also students whose families are experiencing a temporary financial difficulty may be eligible for a temporary waiver of student fees. Persons who qualify for this exemption must notify the Athletic Office.

There will be no charge for which the student purchases their own jersey/warm-up and is responsible for its upkeep in the following; Boys Golf, Girls Golf, Boys Tennis, Girls Tennis, Boys Bowling, Girls Bowling.

There will be $10 charge for the following due to uniform/warm-up laundering, upkeep, inventory, and towels; Boys Cross Country, Girls Cross Country, Volleyball, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Girls Swimming, Boys Swimming, Wrestling, Softball

There will be a $20 charge for the following due to uniform, warm-ups, practice equipment laundering, upkeep, inventory, and towels; Football, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Baseball.

Board Policies
705.9 – Death of a Student, Staff Member or Board Director – Marked as reviewed.
301.3   – Superintendent of Schools – Functions – Approved as amended.
312.1   – Administrative Personnel Employment — Individual Contracts – Approved as amended (removal of last line)

The following list of policies are minor updates – that are in need of being updated due to the upcoming equity visit by the Iowa Department of Education. The following policies were accepted as amended and waived second reading as a group.

102   – Equal Educational Opportunity –
301.1  –   Superintendent of Schools — Qualifications & Recruitment –
401.1  –   Equal Employment Opportunity
401.1E –  Equal Employment Opportunity Grievance Form; Affirmative Action Grievance Form; Title VI Compliance Form; Title IX Compliance, Grievance Form; Section 504 Compliance, Grievance Form
401.1R –  Grievance Procedure
405.2  – Licensed Employee Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection
411.2   –  Classified Employee — Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection
500.1   – Objectives for Equal Educational Opportunities for Students
504.14  – Harassment — Students
504.14-R1 – Harassment Students (Investigation Procedures)
504.14-R2 – Harassment Students (Student Handbook Provision)
504.14.E1 – Harassment Complaint Form
504.14-E2 – Harassment — Witness Disclosure Form
504.14-E3 –  Harassment — Disposition of ‘Complaint Form
600.1    – Nondiscrimination
905.9    – Nicotine/Tobacco Free Environment –
102.E1   – Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination
102.E2   –  Continuous Notice of Nondiscrimination
102.E3    – Notice of Section 504 Student and Parental Rights
303.2    –  Administrator Qualifications, Recruitment, Appointment
501.12    – Pregnant Students
403.5, 403.5.R, 403.5.E1, 403.5.E2  _ Harassment and Bullying Policies, Regulation, Exhibits
402.3     – Abuse of Students for School District Employees –

Back to regular policy reviews…

602.12-R — Acceleration—Regulation – Minor changes made, will come back for first reading.
602.12-E1 — Acceleration Request Form – Marked as reviewed
602.12-E2 — Acceleration — Personalized Education Plan – Marked as reviewed.
602.12-E3 — Acceleration Report–Whole Grade – Marked as reviewed
602.12-E4 — Acceleration Report — Single Subject – Marked as reviewed
907 – United States Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag – This policy was presented by Dr. Schutte and would allow the opportunity for the pledge to be said at all school levels. The pledge is being done at lower grade levels currently. Leaders at Miller and MHS said they could make time in the day for the pledge. As part of the policy, the pledge will not be required for students to participate in, but the opportunity can be provided.
Board members differed on their views on this policy. While all seemed to indicate the opportunity to have the pledge for all students was fine, some did not agree with requiring staff to administer the pledge. No decision was made and this policy will come back as a first reading.
802.4 – Capital Assets Policy – Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz presented this policy. This is an accounting policy as a means of recording capital assets. The policy will come back for a first reading.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on November 8 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“What a busy board meeting we had.  The board continues to be a learning board.  Multiple presentations on a variety of topics moved the board forward in its learning.

Dr. Stevenson made presentations on two elementary literacy supports.  Through grant funding, the district is able to pilot 2 programs to assist students in becoming “readers by third”.  The Read by Third initiative has gotten a push from these pilot programs.

All PK-4 buildings will have the opportunity to provide individualized and personalized instruction in literacy to all students using the Lexia Core 5 computer learning program.  Daily lessons are geared to the personal needs of each child and are implemented through the one-to-one Chromebooks.  And Reading Corps, an extension of the AmeriCorps program, will be piloted in one elementary building.  It also targets early, individualized reading instruction.

We’re looking forward to increased achievement and proficiency of our early learners.” – Bea Niblock

October 3, 2016 board meeting

4 Oct

Thank you Principals!


Principals were recognized at the board meeting as part of National Principals Month.

The board appointed Ben Fletcher as the new board member to fill a vacancy for the next


Ben Fletcher

year and he was sworn in. Fletcher works as an engineering manager at Emerson/Fisher and has a degree in mechanical engineering from Iowa State University.

“I’m excited to get started and honored they selected me,” Fletcher said.

Seven community members were interviewed by the board for the vacancy last week.

“Thank you to everyone who interviewed and stepped up to volunteer for the position,” said Board Vice President Janelle Carter. “We had really good candidates.”

Fletcher will serve until the next school board election in fall of 2017.

Miller Middle School cross country runners Diana Castro and Ellie Draisey were honored for showing character and great sportsmanship when they helped a runner from an opposing team finish a race at a meet in Indianola recently.

“What you did was truly a great representation of what we want this school district to be like,” said board member Ross Harris.

ABC 5 of Des Moines sent a news reporter to the meeting and the story can be viewed by clicking here.

Principals honored
MCSD principals were honored for their hard work and dedication to the district as part of National Principals Month. Thank you principals!

New staff member introduction
Rod Whitmore introduced himself to the board. He is the new school resource officer at Marshalltown High School. He has more than 20 years of experience with the Marshalltown Police Department.

The following items were approved under personnel.


  • Dominique Cook, Bus Monitor for Transportation

Start:  September 21, 2016

Salary:  $9.50/hour

  • Kurt Reinert, Custodian/Grounds for Buildings & Grounds

Replaces:  Antonio Jaramillo

Start:  August 17, 2016

Salary:  $13.05/hour

  • Brittney Spear, General Education Paraeducator

Replaces: Lisa Crouch and Amy Wunschel

Start: October 3, 2016

Salary: $8.77 per hour

  • Monte Eaton, Industrial Technology Teacher

Replaces: Robert Weatherly

Start: October 3, 2016

Salary: BA Step 5

  • Heather Lee, High School Drama Coach

Start: October 3, 2016

Salary: $5,147


Special education deficit
Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger said the special education deficit is at $1.2 million.
He said the deficit is an outcome of the services that are required to be provided for students with disabilities. Many school districts throughout the state have a special education deficit.
For more information on this deficit, click here.
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz requested the board approve the spending authority on the $1.2 million dollars to make up for the deficit. The board approved the measure.

Board Polices
705.9 – Death of a Student, Staff Member or Board Director- To come back for first reading
312.1 – Administrative Personnel Employment- Individual Contracts – To come back for first reading
301.3- Superintendent of Schools- Functions- Asked for adding building principals to supervisory duties and to remove those that are taken care of by Director of Business Operations- Policy to come back for first reading.
401.2 – Employee Conflict of Interest – Marked as reviewed
401.7 – Travel – Marked as reviewed

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented polices that are specifically part of the upcoming equity review. Many policies change the equity coordinator to Anthony Spurgetis. Many of these will be an adoption of Iowa Association of School board policies. Eric Goslinga has been the point person as far as the equity visit.
“He’s done a fantastic job,” Dr. Schutte said.

This list will be in final form for a first reading next meeting.

The next regular board meeting will be at 5 p.m. October 17 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Each October, the board is faced with the task of looking at the special education deficit and voting to apply for allowable growth and supplemental aid through the state School Budget Review Committee (SBRC).

Director of Special Services, Matt Cretsinger, gave the board pertinent information as to the number of students being served in the district’s continuum of services as well as students who have been open enrolled to other locations to be served and the degree of services provided. The special education deficit was put in perspective when compared to other similar districts and those providing services to similar numbers of students. Marshalltown’s deficit is $1,218,764 for the 2015-16 school year.

The board voted to ask for additional spending authority from the SBRC. The district can then choose to levy additional cash reserves to recover the deficit expenditures.” – Bea Niblock






September 26, 2016 board meeting

27 Sep

Rogers Elementary School staff members Ann Soetenga, left, and Bill Roberts talked to the school board about the Rogers Garden project.

Rogers Elementary staff members Ann Soetenga and Bill Roberts presented about the Rogers Garden. Food from the garden was served to students and families during a special event on September 20.
The garden will be named after the late Martha Shibe during a dedication ceremony planned for the spring. Shibe lived in the Rogers neighborhood and was a big supporter of the school.

For personnel items approved, click here.

Public Comments
Matt Nevins, 7th grade math teacher at Miller Middle School, advocated for the reactivation of the early retirement incentive. Nevins said the early voluntary retirement incentive allows for savings for school district and a benefit to staff.
He said 92.5 percent of staff surveyed, who are Marshalltown Education Association members, said they were in favor of reinstating the early retirement incentive.

Voluntary Early Retirement Programs
The board held a discussion on the reactivation of this policy, which was recommended by Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.
Schutte said the timing is a problem as it’s hard to know budget-wise until the certified enrollment count date of October 15. Schutte said next year the district would look at pushing out this decision by the board until after this enrollment count.
This plan allows for staff to get health insurance for 8 years or until they turn 65 years of age if they qualify for early retirement. Qualifications for secretaries, teachers and administrators include 55 years of age or older and at least 15 years of service to the district.
There is a possibility this incentive will be extended to other employee groups to make it more equitable among all staff groups in the future. Also, the date of the time the board will make the decision each year is expected to move back to later in the year in the future. Changes will be discussed at future meetings of the board.
The incentive program was approved by the board 5-0 for qualifying staff retiring at the end of this school year.


Settlement of Secretary/Treasurer Reports for Fiscal Year 2016
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz put together a financial health report. Click here for the report.
Bartz said the general fund had “good things happening” as far the health of that fund.
Revenues were up $1.01 million from the previous year and expenditures were up $681,953, which meant the year ends on the good side to the tune of $328,618.
Overall, most of the budget numbers were improvements from last year, Bartz said.


Board Policies
300- Statement of Guiding Principles – Marked as reviewed.
301.1- Superintendent of Schools- Qualifications and Recruitment- Marked as reviewed.
301.2- Superintendent of Schools – Contract and Contract Non-Renewal – Marked as reviewed.
310.3 – Superintendent of Schools – Functions – Add building principals to evaluation duties, will be brought back at next meeting to change language.
302.1- Associates to the Superintendent – Positions – Marked as reviewed.

Board calendar
Board Vice President Janelle Carter had two recommendations for the board calendar. She proposed the board eliminate the January 9, 2017 meeting and just have one meeting in January. She also proposed for next September to have the meeting the Tuesday after Labor Day, instead of waiting a whole week. Board members agreed to these changes.

Interviews for vacancy
The board then interviewed four candidates for the open board vacancy including Carol Geil of the Marshalltown Community College Foundation, Ben Fletcher of Emerson/Fisher, retired teacher Peggy Niedermann and AEA staff member Kathleen Goslinga.
The board will interview three more candidates in open session beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27 including Edie Rierson, Dwight Martin and Brittany O’Shea. The board is expected to make a decision to fill the vacancy at the October 3 meeting.


From Board President Bea Niblock
“After a good deal of discussion, the board approved the reactivation of the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Programs for the 2016-17 school year. This gives eligible staff members another tool in their personal retirement planning. Notification will need to be given to the superintendent by February 1, 2017, indicating an individual’s intent to participate in the program.
The board has indicated a desire to look at the Voluntary Retirement program over the next few months to determine if any changes would be appropriate for the financial health of the district. If retirement planning is in your near future, make it a point to stay informed of those board discussions.”   – Bea Niblock