May 21, 2018 Board Meeting

22 May

Franklin students present learning to school board


Faye Gilbertson, standing, plays a number game with her fellow second graders from Franklin Elementary School during Franklin’s presentation to the school board on May 21.

Franklin Elementary School Presentation
Principal Tim Holmgren presented along with teachers and students.
The board was able to visit “experience stations” featuring students and staff from different grade levels.
The stations included kindergarten math center, 1st grade writing process, 2nd grade class meetings, 3rd grade classwide intervention and 4th grade writing extensions.

Franklin attendance center plan.





Public hearing for budget amendment
Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold said this amendment is for the fiscal year due the refinancing of sales tax debt. No written or oral comments from the public during the hearing.
The board also set a public hearing for fund transfer from preschool to IJAG program, for 5 p.m. on Monday, June 4.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

IJAG (Iowa Jobs for American Graduates)
President and CEO of Iowa Jobs for American Graduates (I.J.A.G.), Laurie Phelan, presented to the board. The Marshalltown Community School District would like to re-implement the program at the Marshalltown Senior High School and start a new program at Miller Middle School during the 2018-2019 school year. The mission of I.J.A.G. is to assist students with multiple barriers (at-risk) in graduating from high school and/or successfully transitioning from high school to continued education and careers. I.J.A.G. provides 12 months of follow-up with students after high school graduation as well.

“We are excited to be back and look at middle school and the high school and look at building bookends around that IJAG program,” Phelan said.

Students will be selected by a school advisory committee.
This was an information item only. The Memorandum of Understanding will be presented at the June 4 board meeting for possible approval.

RSP & Associates agreement
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented a cost proposal from RSP & Associates including enrollment analysis, boundary analysis and public facilitation. The board approved the $13,000 for this proposal.

Secretary meet and confer
Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis presented the package for secretaries for 2018-19There is a total package increase of 2.12 percent,1.05 percent wages, 1.07 percent on FICA and IPERS. Total increase cost to the district is $28,801
The board approved the agreement.

Phone RFP Update
Director of Technology Josh Wesley presented this document as part of a proposal. Wesley said the current phone system is 13 years old which has been difficult to support and is in need of replacement. The district received four bids. The district proposed, and board approved, moving to the discovery process to learn more about the offerings with Heartland Business Systems. This was not an award of bid. “We still have a lot to fine tune during the discovery phase,” Wesley said.

E-rate firewall
The firewall sits between us and internet, Wesley said. He proposed approval of firewall installation from Heartland Business Systems for $55, 276.58. which was approved by the board. The district will be reimbursed for this firewall 80 percent by USAC.
The firewall was approved by the board.

Destiny Resource Manager
Mr. Wesley presented this which is a software package to manage technology resources. It allows the district to manage technology inventory in a better way. There is also a library manager program component. The board approved the total cost of $24,955.

K-6 Science Curriculum
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented the budget  for approval. This curriculum details were presented at the May 7 meeting. The board approved $50,490 for the curriculum.

7th-12th grade Social Studies Curriculum
Dr. Stevenson presented details on this item also at the May 7 meeting. The board approved the budget of $130,341.37 for classroom sets for 7th-8th Social Studies, 9th World History, Honors World History, Government, Dual Credit Government, Psychology curriculum purchases and professional development.

MHS/Community Auditorium reroof
Director of Business and Grounds Chuck Springer presented the quote for reroofing the auditorium.  The board approved the Central States quote for a total of $143,600,

Auditorium roof top equipment HVAC
The district recommended awarding both projects to Young Plumbing & Heating. The two roof top units were bid with separate quotes. The smaller west unit provides HVAC to the stage and back of house areas. The quote amount is $89,160.00. The larger unit, on the east, provides HVAC to the seating and lobby area. This is the unity that was initially identified for replacement. The quote amount is $97,440.00. The total cost of the project is $186,600.00. The board approved the quotes.


First Reading
505.4- new 505.7-Commencement- Approved and waived second reading
505.6 new 503.3 – Fines, Fees and Charges- Approved and waived second reading
505.7 new 503.3R-Student Fee Waiver and Reduction Procedures- Combined 505.7 with 505.7R aligned with IASB, Approved and waived second reading
505.7R-Fee Waiver Procedure- Deleted
505.7E- new 503.3E -Standard Fee Waiver Application-Approved and waived second reading
504.5 -Student Fundraising- New policy- slight adjustment to contradictory language. Approved and waived second reading
704.6- Online Fundraising Campaigns- Crowdfunding- New policy- IASB policy-  Discussion to be held around past practices. To come back before board.

Initial Review
102.E-1- Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination-Added to include all 6 CTE programs legal change- To come back before board
201.4- Elections- new number is 201- add IASB recommendations – To come back
506.1- Few minor edit changes, to come back before board.
506.1R1- Use of Education Records Regulation – through 506.1E8- All related to students records and are connecting regulations- All to come back before board.
506.2-Student Directory Information- Adopting IASB language- changes to language, to come back
800 – Change name to Objectives of Buildings and Sites- marked as reviewed
801- new 901-Public Examination of School District Records- Change to reflect current work hours To come back

The board then went into an exempt session to talk about Administrator Meet & Confer. The next regular meeting of the board will be at 5 p.m. on Monday, June 4.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Only a few days remain in this school year and the work that you began in August will be done for another year.  In the words of Amy Larson, “All endings are a chance to rest, to breathe, to reflect on the conclusion of a journey in preparation for a new one.”

After a year of hard work, done with caring, I wish all of you a chance to rest, breathe and reflect.  Rest is an absolute must for each of you – rest from the daily rigors and rest from the unexpected trials.  Breathe in the healing of time spent doing the things that are uppermost in your mind. And reflect on all that has occurred since you began your journey last August.

Come back to us in August rested and ready to spend another grand year with the youth of our community entrusted to our care.  Happy Summer time!” – Bea Niblock



May 7, 2018 Board Meeting

8 May

Marshalltown High School 4-H Club members presented to the board. From left are Nalleli Nava-Tellez, Gabriela Mancillaz, Daisy Lopez, Jessica Mancillaz and Michelle Macias.

MHS 4-H Club
The Marshalltown High School 4-H Club presented an update to the board. The group has more than 20 students and is inclusive to all but primarily features minority students. Their main goals are to get students ready for college and to support diverse communities.

Students talked about a recent Washington DC leadership trip, scholarships received and more.

Nalleli Nava-Tellez attended the National 4-H Congress in Washington and Gabriela Mancillaz attended the National Health Summit in Washington.

School Board Recognition Month
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte recognized the school board with certificates and thanked them for their efforts.

Communications Award
District Communications Director Andrew Potter was recognized by the board for his Iowa Communicator of the Year award from the Iowa School Public Relations Association.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here. (Added in resignations was Sarah Gaalaas, third grade teacher at Fisher.)

Public comment


Miguel Garcia

Marshalltown High School senior  Miguel Garcia talked about his transformation. He was in trouble and was expelled from MHS years ago. When he was let back into school.  Board Member Ross Harris gave him some inspirational words of wanting to see him graduate. Miguel will graduate later this month.


Marshalltown Learning Academy presentation


Eric Goslinga

MLA Principal Eric Goslinga presented this document. MLA is a non-traditional school for at risk learners.
They are on the cutting edge of working with STEM, robotics, creating business partnerships and working to train students for the open jobs out there.
“We work to really target what is called the mid-level skills gap,” Goslinga said.



District Culture Study

Brad Black, CEO of Humanex, presented results on the recent survey by employees. The district had more than 80 percent participation in the recent survey, which included 88 questions.

“Overall, very positive,” Black said of the results.

He said while the district has a strong, healthy culture, there is always room for improvement.

“Communication and relationships are keys to improvement, Black said.

STEM Scale up grant
Elementary Curriculum Director Erica Finders and Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented this item, which was approved by the board. It is a grant to provide modules for pint-sized science in preschool.

PLTW grant
Our district received a $10,000 grant from John Deere to implement Project Lead the Way at Lenihan. Programs include Infection Detection in 5th grade and robotics and automation in 6th grade. It was approved by the board.

9-12 World Language Curriculum
Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented this information at the April 16 meeting. The board approved the purchase of $43,521.80 for Spanish and French curriculum.

K-12 Health and PE Curriculum
Details on this item were also presented on April 16.  The board approved the purchase of $51,871.47. 

Professional Development and Materials for each K-2 teacher and 5-6 reading interventionists
Dr. Stevenson presented this request for materials for Really Great Reading for Lenihan and elementaries in the amount of $63,054.72 for elementary and $2,494.80 for Lenihan. The board approved the request.

K-6 Science Curriculum
Dr. Stevenson and Erica Finders presented this recommendation as an information item only.  Dr. Stevenson will bring this for approval at the next board meeting. Marshalltown is committing to 30 minutes per day of science instruction in K-4, which is a rotation of social studies, health and handwriting/keyboarding.

7th-12th Social Studies curriculum
Dr. Stevenson and Pam Brewer-Michael presented this document for information only, with approval being requested at the May 21 meeting. A request is being made for $130,341.37 in materials.

Teacher Leadership and Compensation System 2018-19 school year
Dr. Stevenson presented this list of personnel for the 2018-19 TLC positions. After a few questions on the program, the board approved the list.

Bus Bids
Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold presented this item. The recommended bid with Hoglund Bus Company of Marshalltown for two 65-passenger gas buses and one 77-passenger gas bus for a total of $237,171 was approved by the board.

Public hearing
Mrs. Newbold proposed to set a date for May 21 to amend current budget for 2017-18 budget to accommodate refinancing. The board approved to set the public hearing.

Board Policies
First reading-
504.31R – new number 507.2R- Administration of Medications to Students- Title changed as well as additions from district nurse – Approved as amended, waived second reading

Initial review
504.33 new number is 507.12 – Life Threatening Allergies. No changes other than number – Marked as reviewed
504.33-R new number is 507.12-R – Life Threatening Allergies. No changes other than number marked as reviewed
505.4- becomes 505.7-Commencement. Slight adjustment to coincide with IASB policy- To come back before board
505.6 new number is 503.3- Fines, Fees and Charges. Adopting IASB language into that- To come back
505.7 to be new 5053.3R -Student Fee Waiver and Reduction Procedures. Added information- To come back before board
505.7E new number is 503.3 E- Standard Fee Waiver Application- Took IASB’s and combined policies- To come back before board
505.7R – Fee Waiver Procedure-deleted (incorporating into other policies)
504.5 – Student Fundraising – New policy- Second line to be deleted- To come back
704.6- – Online Fundraising Campaigns – Mirrors  IASB policy-Changes to reflect no need for “terms by the board”-  To Come back before board.

Board discussion on Making the Grade- Examining the Role of the Board in Improving Student Achievement- (Held a discussion on the previously watched webinar)

The next regular board meeting is May 21 at 5 p.m. in district offices

The MEA/MCSD Retirement tea is May 16 at 4:30 p.m. in Dejardin Hall at MCC.

The board then went into a closed session for the quarterly evaluation of the superintendent.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Board members were reminded of the upcoming MCSD/MEA Recognition Tea on Wednesday, May 16th.  I would like to encourage all of you to attend the recognition tea, as well.

The event is a time honored tradition in this district where long standing employees are recognized for their service to the community in educating its young people.

When you have only been in the district a year or two, it is hard to understand the festivities surrounding longevity.  But, it is that longevity, those countless days of trials and those of happiness and success that make this district what it is today.

Please come and hear their stories and be inspired by them.  It will just be a blink of an eye before we are honoring you, too, with your own retirement!”  – Bea Niblock


April 16, 2018 board meeting

17 Apr

Intervention time during school day paying off at MHS


Speaking on behalf of the Marshalltown High School program which allows for interventions and enrichment time during the school day to the board on April 16, were from left, MHS student Jordan May, instrumental music director Brett Umthun, Principal Jacque Wyant and student Jackie Moore.

Marshalltown High School presentation
Marshalltown High School Principal Jacque Wyant, instrumental music director Brett Umthun,  French teacher Naomi Musal and students Jordan May and Jackie Moore presented this report.
MHS is working on academic interventions at the high school and other enrichment time during a period known as ENR. This program allows for scheduling through Infinite Campus to link up students to available staff.
Wyant said the failures have decreased and the  A’s have increased over last year for students.



Miller Middle School students Taylor Jones (left) and Emma Kuhlers (right) presented their video to the board on Iowa high school girls basketball. The two have qualified for state in National History Day. Also present was Miller Extended Learning Program teacher Ann Jackson.

VestsDistrict Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented a check of $2,240 to the Advocates of Marshall County Rescue Personnel. The donation came from MCSD staff after a recent jeans day and will go to provide ballistic protective vests for first responders.

Pictured, from left, Dr. Theron Schutte, School Resource Office Rod Whitmore, Marshalltown Police Chief Mike Tupper, Thomas McCoy, Fire Chief David Rierson, Brian Krumm and Police Captain Chris Jones.

Dennis Meyer of Meyer Insurance and Andy Johnson of AAA Insurance presented a $500 prom/graduation season safety grant to MHS Associate Principal Justin Boliver.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.
Changes from these items: Change Joe Miller to resignation- strike number 15 and 16 (Laurie Buchwald and Jenni Rost)

Two additions to consent agenda
Grant request for Waterloo-Cedar Falls symphony field trip by Lenihan
Donation of $1,000 from Marshalltown Company for MHS robotics

9-12 World Language Curriculum
Dr. Lisa Stevenson and Pam Brewer-Michael presented this document.
Spanish and French are offered 9-12 at MHS. Coming to language department is Heritage Spanish for native speakers. The curriculum is going to more technology integration with more online materials for learning 24/7.  Requests were outlined for curriculum, which is expected to total $42,898.80
This was an information item only. Budget for approval will be at next meeting (May 7).

K-12 Health/Physical Education
Dr. Lisa Stevenson and Dee Burt presented this document. Feedback has been received from health and PE teachers.
Lists of supplies will be provided at next meeting along with the budget for approval.
The estimated cost is $51,871.47

Code to the Future “Coding Immersion” at Lenihan
Dr. Schutte presented this information on Code to the Future.  He mentioned the plethora of computing jobs open in the state and the need to get more students interested in computer science and coding.
Dr. Schutte, said MCSD can be one of the state leaders in terms of computer science instruction.
He plans to present for board approval at the May 7 meeting the proposal to make Lenihan a Code to the Future school, which would make it the first in state to do so. There is possible implementation at Miller as well.

Meal Prices for 2018-19
Food Service Director Lynn Large presented an update on the past year. The district served 1,1,03,849 meals for 2016-17 school year, For summer meals, a 12th site will be added this year, which is at MHS.
For 2018-19, meal prices will increase 5 cents, but there is a possibility that there will be no increase based on further guidance on a pricing tool from the U.S. Agriculture Department.
Again, there will be breakfast and lunch at no cost at the elementary level due to Community Eligibility Provision (CEP).

2018-19 Reduction in the state’s backfill
Dr. Schutte, Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold and State Rep. Mark Smith talked about the proposal by Iowa Republicans to eliminate the state backfill, which was in place after property tax reform. Smith is opposed to the elimination of the backfill.
This was the exact fear the superintendents had across the state when the backfill was implemented, Schutte said.
Smith said negotiations still need to occur at the statehouse. The school board approved a resolution opposed to any reduction in the state backfill.

Roundhouse Phase 2
Director of Buildings and Grounds Chuck Springer and FEH architect Kevin Eipperle gave an update on the project.  Foundation walls are being poured and underground utility work is done.
“Now you are going to start seeing things come out of the ground,” Eipperle said.
Eipperle also explained some of the changes on the project, which relied on the project allowance.
Substantial completion date is still at November 23.

School Community Thought Exchange Results
Steve Kux from Thought Exchange presented these results from a recent survey on school facilities.
The largest themes as far as what the community appreciates the most are updated gyms and playgrounds. The largest theme on what needs to be improved was the Miller auditorium. This information will help with the long-range facilities plan, Dr. Schutte said.

Board book study Chapter 6- “Teaching with Poverty in Mind.”
The board finished its discussion on the book and correlated the information to the recent Manny Scott presentation.

Request Approval to Publish RFP for Chromebooks
Director of Technology Josh Wesley said MCSD is in need of 2,360 new Chromebooks, cases of 7th graders and licensing.
Wesley presented a tentative replacement cycle for the Chromebooks. The cost estimate is for this round of Chromebooks is $522,450.
The board approved Wesley to be able to publish a Request for Proposals.

Tentative Agreement Settlements 2018-2019 for Bus Drivers and Monitors, Nutrition Professionals, Paraprofessionals
Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis and attorney Chris Wertzberger presented the following tentative agreement settlements.
Nutritional professionals – 1 year agreement- includes total package increase 3.01 percent, which costs the district $26,719 and is equal  to a 21-cent per hour increase. Approved by board.

Bus drivers and monitors – 1 year agreement- hourly rate for activity trips from $11.35 to $12 per hour – 1.75 percent total package increase, which is a  14 cents an hour increase for bus monitors (varies for drivers), $12,209 cost for monitors and the drivers. Approved by board.

Paraprofessionals- 1 year agreement included a 4.3 percent total package increase – costing $118,784, which is a  10 cent an hour increase. Approved by board.

Board Policies

Initial review
504.14- E2 -Harassment Witness Disclosure Form-  number change to 104-E2 – Marked as reviewed
504.14-E3-Harassment Disposition of Complaint Form- Number change to 104-E3 Marked as reviewed
504.30 – Students with Pediculosis – number change to 507.11- Marked as reviewed
504.31-Medication Administration to Students- number change to 507.2 – Marked as reviewed
504.31R- Administrating Medications to Students – Administrative Rules – number change to 507.2 R, also suggested changes from district nurse. To come back before board.
504.32 -Special Health Services for Students- number change to 507.8- Marked as reviewed.
504.32-R – Special Health Services for Students-Administrative Rules-  number change to 507.8-R-1 – Marked as reviewed.

The board then held a closed session to discuss strategy with counsel and an exempt session for negotiations.

The next regular meeting of the board will be at 5 p.m on May 7 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The quote that I shared at last night’s meeting was from R. Buckminster Fuller.  “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.”  In other words, ‘be part of the solution’. To complain and disregard the current state of affairs will do nothing by itself. You must help to create the solution to a better existence.

Due to health issues this spring, I have been unable to make my annual lunch visit to each building to hear what staff think.  As the year is drawing to a close, it’s time to start that inward reflection. If something is not to your liking, how can you be a part of the ‘new model’ that you would choose to create?

I would welcome emails, telephone calls or conversations with any of you who would like to share the good news and those things needing improvement with me.  What can you help create to improve the learning environment for the students in our district?” – Bea Niblock


April 2, 2018 Board Meeting

3 Apr

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte gets ready to present a check for $2,229 to Assistance League members, from left, Kristin Polley, Shannon Naughton and Kathy McCune. The district raised $2,229 for the M project of the Assistance League by participating in a staff jeans day.

Assistance League M Project donation
A recent jeans day by MCSD staff raised $2,229 for the Assistance League M project. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented a check to Assistance League members Kristen Polley, Shannon Naughton and Kathy McCune.M’s have been placed outside schools and the goal is to have them at 30 locations in town to build Marshalltown pride. They are close to reaching their goal of getting them at all schools and 30 total locations around town.


Public hearing on the 2018-19 certified budget and budget projection
No comments from the public during the public hearing

These personnel items were approved.
Included in the items was the retirement of Patricia Moore, paraeducator at Anson Elementary who has been with district with 33 years.
“That’s quite a contribution,” said Board President Bea Niblock said. “I had the pleasure to work with her, so I’m sure she will be missed in that building.””

Public Comment
Retired teachers and current substitute teachers Sally Jansen and Julie Miller made themselves available as a resource to provide information on helping with the substitute shortage.

Summer project list
Director of Buildings and Grounds Chuck Springer presented this list of summer projects. The list is ambitious given the time frame.Among the many projects are: Anson playground upgrade, Rogers walking track, Franklin roof replacement, Hoglan window replacement, Lenihan gym bleacher replacement, Anson window replacement and more.

“This is a pretty aggressive list,” Springer said. “We are very hopeful that we can get these done this summer.”

The projects  were presented as informational to be done in the future, but the board did approve bids for one of the projects – the Lenihan bleacher replacement from SAAFE of Minnesota for $36,925 and $2,500 for old bleacher removal.

Board Book Study
The board and administrators discussed chapter 5 of the book “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” by Eric Jensen.

2018-19 Certified Budget and Budget Projection
Former Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz went through this budget via video conference. The tax rate is $17.95 per $1,000 valuation, which will remain steady.
“The rate has been stable the past three years,” Bartz said.
The board approved the 2018-19 budget as presented.

Board Policies

First reading
504.5 now 502.10 -Use of Motor Vehicles-  changes to mirror IASB model policy- Approved as amended and waived second reading
504.7 now 507.10 – Emergency School Closings – – Rewritten to conform to current practice- Approved as amended waived second reading
507.6 – Student Insurance- combines policies 504.8 and 504.9- MIrror IASB policy- Adopted and waived second reading

202.6 -Student School Board Representatives –  All new three policies reviewed at last meeting- (these three) – All adopted and waived reading
202.6R – Student School Board Representatives – Regulation
202.6E – Student School Board Representatives – Application

Initial review
All 7 of the policies below were marked as reviewed policies no language changes, only changes to numbers
504.10 – becomes new number 507.12- School Safety Patrols
504.11 – new number  507.9 – Wellness
504.11R- new number is 507.9R1 – Wellness-Regulation
504.14 – new number is 104 – Anti Bullying/Anti-Harassment Policy
504.14R1 – new number is 104-R1 – Anti-Bullying/Anti Harassment Investigation Procedures
504.14R-2- new number is 104-R2 – Harassment-Students (Student Handbook Provision) Initiations, Hazing, Bullying or Harassment
504.14E1 -new number is  104-E1- Harassment Complaint Form

The next regular board meeting is at 5 p.m. on April 16 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The certified budget was presented and approved at Monday’s meeting.  When all is said and done, the budget for the 2018-19 school year guarantees that the tax levy will see only a negligible change.  For less than a penny increase in the tax levy, the district budget has been approved. That is absolutely remarkable for a district our size with a mere 1% growth in state aid!

In addition to budget work, the board also heard about anticipated summer projects at all of the school buildings.  Many of the projects on the list are long overdue and will be a welcomed change in the physical environment in our schools.  Also approved was the replacement of the bleachers at Lenihan Intermediate School. School assemblies and activities at that building will be much improved with safer seating.

It’s a win-win situation when the board and administration can find a balance among the needs of our district.” – Bea Niblock


March 19, 2018 Board Meeting

20 Mar

Woodbury Elementary School Principal Anel Garza presents an update on the school’s dual language program to the board. Also pictured are Woodbury instructional coach Julie Thede, left, and teacher Becky Jacobson.

Brian Bartz was recognized for his work for the district as Director of Business Operations and Board Secretary.  This was his last board meeting with the district as he heads to the Marion independent School District.
“Unquestionably the district has been in great hands,” Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said of Bartz’s work.

The new video “Proud to be Diverse” was shown at the meeting. Recognized was MHS teacher Jocelyn Frohwein, who wrote the poem years ago and the video produced by Communications Director Andrew Potter shows students throughout the district reciting the inspirational poem “I AM.”


MHS state speech participants Bianca Nuradrina, left, and Phoebe Osgood, presented their state-qualifying speeches.

Public hearing
The board held a public hearing for the sale of obsolete chromebooks and tablets. No public comments were made.

Personnel items
For personnel items approved by the board click here.
Personnel items included retirements of Merlyn “Kaye” Ruport, who is currently in food service at Lenihan and worked for the district for 21 years and Sammi Jo Luse, current instructional coach at Miller, who has worked  in the district for 19 years.

Woodbury Elementary School Presentation
Woodbury Principal Anel Garza, teacher  Becky Jacobson and instructional coach Julie Thede presented this for the school.
The focus of the presentation was on the dual language program Woodbury, particularly how they use the bridge program. The premise is that content can be taught in one language and bridges into the other language, without having to reteach the entire content again in a different language.
“The bridge is a phenomenal time to see as a teacher,” Jacobson said.
They then showed this video of this work in action at Woodbury.

Bobcat College & Career Readiness Dashboard Update
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented on this item including this flyer with more information. Dr. Schutte said this is based on the national effort to redesign college and career readiness for students with certain indicators.
No one test score or grade point average defines readiness, Schutte said.
Students who meet the criteria would be recognized as being Bobcat Ready or college and career ready through a recognition on their transcript.
The board approved the Bobcat Ready, College and Career Readiness dashboard.

College and Career Readiness and Senior Dismiss
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant spoke on this presentation, related to college and career readiness and the current practice of senior dismissals. Jacque said they continue to focus on Individual Career and Academic Plans, which exposes students to career exploration in high school.

As far as senior dismissal goes, it will not go away but proof of work experience, volunteer experience or other activities as they leave school for open periods will need to be provided. “We just want their senior dismiss to be very purposeful,” Wyant said. This was an information item only.

2016-17 Audit Report
Jason Noonan from auditors Nolte, Cornman and Johnson to presented the 2016-17 audit report for review.

New Policy for Student School Board Representatives
Dr. Schutte presented this policy, with an idea of having 3 high school students serve as board representatives starting this fall.  Dr. Schutte said he  thinks it will be great leadership experience and provide student voice on issues the board discusses. Students would not be voting members or be part of closed sessions and other confidential matters. The board agreed that this was an idea that is welcome. This will come back at next meeting as a first reading board policy

Marshalltown Community School District Hall of Honor Program
Dr. Schutte proposed this program he would like to start and Alumni Hall of Honor program which will recognize graduates who have gone on to do great things.
“With as many great things that our graduates have done I think it would be very good for us to start recognizing our graduates” Dr. Schutte said.
The board approved the hall of honor program.


Paulette Newbold, right, is sworn is as the new board secretary-treasurer by Board President Bea Niblock.

Appointment of Secretary-Treasurer
Paulette Newbold, the new Director of Business Operations, was appointed as Board Secretary-Treasurer and sworn in. Paulette joins us on Monday, April 2.
She has served as Business Director and Board Secretary at the Boone School District for the past 10 years.

Board Book Study “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” by Eric Jensen
The board continued its book study discussion this time with Chapter 4.

eRate Updates
Josh Wesley, Director of Technology, presented this update on bid tallies and bids awarded which will utilize eRate funds for wireless access points, internet access and a new firewall for the district.
For wireless access points a bid was awarded to SMS Tech Solutions  for 306 wireless access points for $153,91.60. With the eRate discount the district’s estimated cost is $30,792.32.
For internet access, a bid was awarded to Mediacom Business for a three-year contract at $60,500. With the eRate discount the district’s estimated cost is $12,100.
For the firewall, a bid was awarded to Heartland Business Systems for $55,276.58. With the eRate discount the district’s estimated cost is $11,055.32.

Board Policies
First reading
503.120-R- to become new number 504.8-R – Private Activity Camps Regulation- Accepted as amended, waived second reading
504.1 now 507.1- Student Health and Immunization Certificates. Changes as recommended by lead nurse, Approved and waived second reading

Initial review
504.4- now 508.6- Use of Bicycles-  Marked as reviewed
504.5 now 502.10 -Use of Motor Vehicles- Changes to align with IASB policy. To come back before board.
504.6 -Work Permits- Policy deleted
504.7 now 507.10 -Weather-Related School Closings, Delays, and Early Dismissals. Rewrote based on current weather communication, to come back before board
504.8- becomes 507.6- Student Insurance – 504.8 and 504.9 made into this policy – (to delete 504.9) To come back before board

The board went into closed session to discuss the sale of real estate.  The board also held an exempt session for negotiations.

The next regular meeting of the board is at 5 p.m. on April 2 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Dr. Schutte presented the board with the possibility of adopting new policies which would allow up to 3 high school students (sophomores, juniors, seniors) to participate as non-voting board members.  To apply for these positions, students must fulfill certain requirements and demonstrate leadership, listening and communication skills.

The board is interested in seeking out and considering student ideas, viewpoints and opinions regarding the district’s educational programs.  The student representatives would be eligible to participate in discussions, but not vote, during all regular board meetings held in open session.  Not only would students bring ideas to the board, but they would also be responsible for communicating board decisions and information back to the student body.

The board looks forward to the participation of student representatives in September.” – Bea Niblock



March 5, 2018 board meeting

6 Mar

Healthcare Careers Club plans trip to Kansas City


Marshalltown High School Dean of Students Dan Terrones talked to the board about a planned trip to Kansas City for the Marshalltown Area Healthcare Careers Club. Also pictured are students in the club, from left, Aracely Aguilera, Juliana Ibarra Lemus, Daisy Klaas and Geovany Rivera

MHS Dean of Students Dan Terrones, who leads the Marshalltown Area Healthcare Careers Club, presented a request for a trip to Kansas City along with students in the club. They have a trip planned to Kansas City from April 5-7 to get on-site learning at the Truman Medical Centers. For more information on the trip, click on this link. Terrones said he is excited about the real world experience the students are going to get on this trip. The trip, which is paid through fundraising and contributions from the McFarland Clinic Physicians Group,  was approved by the board.



Three members of the MHS Class of 1977 presented a donation check to the district totaling $1,600. From left, Ann Isgrig, Jeff Isgrig and Grant Brintnall presented the check with $800 going to the Roundhouse Phase II project and $800 going to the fine arts programs.


Members of the Class 3A state runner up boys bowling team were recognized along with coaches Roger Taylor and Stacy Galema. Present from the team were Ray Wiegand, left, and Lucas Kramer. Also present was ShayeLyn Pickett representing the girls team.  Coach Taylor called it a fantastic season for the bowlers.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Paulette Newbold was approved as the next Director of Business Operations and Board Secretary.  Paulette has been the Director of Business Services and Board Secretary/Treasurer of the Boone Community School District since 2008. Prior to that, she was the District’s Accountant/Office Manager, a Board member, and a Certified Public Accountant for an accounting firm.  She will begin at MCSD on April 2, replacing Brian Bartz who is leaving at the end of this month.

2019 MHS graduation date
The Marshalltown HIgh School graduation date for 2019 was approved for Sunday, June 2, 2019.  


Board Book Study
The board continued its book study discussion on “Teaching with Poverty in Mind,” this time with Chapter 3 of the book. Chapter 3 is titled “Embracing the Mind-Set of Change.”
One of the many takeaways from the chapter is the fact how exposure to the arts can help expand the mental capacity for children coming from low income homes.

E-Rate Bid Tally
Director of Technology Josh Wesley said bids received for wireless access points, firewall and internet services will need further clarification from vendors.
Due to the timing of this and the E-Rate funding deadline, he proposed the board exercise policy 705.1, which allows the superintendent to approve purchases on the board’s behalf. He will submit a summary to the board at a later meeting.

MCSD Phone System Upgrade
Mr. Wesley also presented this item. He said the current district phone system is 13 years old, is no longer supported and replacement parts are difficult to obtain. He asked for approval to do a Request for Proposal for a phone system upgrade. The board approved publishing an RFP as presented.

Auditor Selection for the 2017-18 School Year
The district received four bids for auditors and business office staff went through a matrix on the bidders. They recommended auditor’s Nolte, Cornman and Johnson of Newton for a 1-year contract for $15,700. The firm has served as auditors for the district for several years.  It was approved by the board.

Certified Budget for 2018-19
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz presented this as an information item on the budget projection. The budget needs to be approved by the county auditor by April 17. Taxable valuation is $1,044,212,286, which is up approximately $25 million. The proposed tax rate for 2018-19 is $17.95 per thousand valuation, which is steady from the previous year. A public hearing for the certified budget will be held at the April 2 board meeting.

Board Policies

First reading
503.3 becoming 504.3 -School Publications. Approved as amended and waive second reading
503.2 becoming 504.2- Student Organization. Changes as suggested by attorneys, approved as amended and waived second reading

Initial reading
503.11 – becomes 504.7 -School Sponsored Camps. Marked as reviewed
503.12 – becomes 504.8  Private Activity Camps- Marked as reviewed
503.12-R- becomes 504.8R-Private Activity Camps Regulation- Slight change, to come back before board.
504.1 becomes 507.1- Student Health and Immunization Certificates- District Nurse making proposed changes- to come back before board
504.2- becomes 507.3-Exclusion for Communicable Diseases. Marked as reviewed
504.3- becomes 507.4- Injury or Illness at School.  Marked as reviewed.

The board then went into closed session for a quarterly evaluation of the superintendent. The next regular board meeting is at 5 p.m. March 19.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“ I want to take this opportunity to talk a bit about my colleagues on the board.  They are, indeed, a professional and caring group of people who come to each board meeting to do what they feel is best for all kids.

At last night’s board meeting, we continued our discussion of Eric Jensen’s “Teaching with Poverty in Mind.”  If you had the opportunity to listen to that discussion, you would have heard the passion in the voices and comments of the board members.  They ask thoughtful questions to understand. You would have known that this is a group of individuals with compassion and concern for providing the best education possible for every student in the district.

It is a pleasure to sit on the board with such a great group of individuals.  They truly believe that all children can learn and it is our responsibility to provide the environment and opportunities for each child to do that.” – Bea Niblock



February 19, 2018 board meeting

20 Feb

Anson Elementary School students display to the board how they incorporate music, dancing and exercising to stay active during the February 19 school board meeting.

Anson Elementary School presentation
Anson Principal Ronnie Manis introduced a varied showcase from AnsonHe said the theme for this year at the school is  “All in for all Kids,” which is displayed on a poster near the Anson entrance with the names of all staff.


Teachers Andrea Quiesner and Sarah Lauer helped introduce a Kahoot quiz along with students Ruben Fuentes, above right and Jain Carlo Lopez, left, for the board and audience featuring historical facts on Rosa Parks.


The new preschool yoga in the classroom program was displayed by students and teacher  Jordan Wentzien.


Extended Learning Program teacher Nicole Holman and student Jorja Janssen presented a project on coding using an electric guitar.

Music teacher Heather Dean and PE teacher Alex Black then introduced a group of students who displayed how they use music and dancing to get them up and moving. Anson attendance center plan.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Thesis approval
Lenihan ELL teacher Joan Fujanic is getting her master’s and for her thesis she is collecting information on Lexia Reading Core 5 results at Lenihan. She was instructed by Board President Bea Niblock to get approval from families as she is using individual scores, but not their names.

Updates for 2017-18 School Year Goals
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented this report on the first semester.
Dr. Stevenson presented information on attendance , behavior referral totals, K-6 FAST reading scores, 5-6th math, preschool IGDIs, progress on other school improvement goals and more.
“All the buildings are really deep in trying to figure out the chronic absenteeism,” Stevenson said. “(Attendance) is the foundation of all of this other work.”
Stevenson said she is encouraged overall by the district’s reading scores, as were board members.

Lexia Information
Dr. Stevenson, and Curriculum and Professional Development Leaders Pam Brewer-Michael and Erica Finders presented this report on the Lexia online reading program.
At Lenihan, 201 students in 5th grade have worked their way through 5th grade skills on Lexia Core5.
Lexia PowerUp Literacy at Miller Middle School started on Monday, according to Brewer-Michael. Brewer-Michael said they feel PowerUp Literacy will meet the needs of all Miller learners.

MHS Roundhouse Phase 2 update
Director of Building and Grounds Chuck Springer and FEH Architect Kevin Eipperle updated the board on the progress. Excavation for the basement was completed on February 12.

“We will start seeing concrete toward the end of next week,” Eipperle said.

Substantial completion of the project is still expected by November 19.

“Right now they are telling us they can meet the schedule,” Eipperle said of Ball Team, the project’s general contractor.

There was also discussion on the costs of the project.

Board Book Study
The board continued its discussion on “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” by Eric Jensen, this time focusing on Chapter 2 – How Poverty Affects Behavior and Academic Performance.

Board Policies
First reading
503.1-New number becomes 504.1 – Student Government- Approved as amended, waived second reading
502.9- Interview of Students by Law Enforcement and Outside Agencies Combination of a couple of policies, and added IASB language- Approved as amended waived second reading.
501.13- Students of Legal Age- IASB policy adopted and waived second reading
502.5- Student Lockers – Adopted and waived second reading
505.5 – Interviews of Students by Outside Agencies -Deleted (replaced by 502.9 )

Initial review
503.2 – Student Organization number becomes 504.2- Changes to come back before board
503.3 becomes 504.3 -School Publications- Some changes – added paragraph from IASB to come back before board
503.4 new number 508.3 – Social Events- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.5- becomes 508.4 – Intramural Activities- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.6 – becomes 504.6 – Interscholastic Competition- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.8- becomes 505.3 – Student Honors and Awards- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.9 becomes 508.5 – Activity Ticket Funds- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
504.3-R1 – New regulation- Student Publications Code- adopted code from IASB
505.2- becomes 704.5 – Student Activity Fund- taken out of student section – to finance section of board policies. Marked as reviewed.

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

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The board received reports on a number of academic topics. Data on the goals of the strategic plan and Lexia provided the board with a glimpse of how things have proceeded this first semester.

The historical data for the strategic plan is encouraging as significant growth is seen. And fall and winter scores show that we are on the right path, albeit not exactly where we would like to be at this point.

Lexia Core5 data shows us accelerated growth for a majority of students who actually receive the suggested amount of curricular instruction. And Power Up looks to be a major improvement for middle school students.

These points are all encouraging to the board. We are hopeful in seeing even more growth with the curricular changes and the strong staff that we have working with the students in our district.” – Bea Niblock