Archive | April, 2011

Vol. 11 | Issue 17

18 Apr

MICA receives grant to begin ‘Rogers University’ extended learning program

The 21st Century Learning Community Grant received by Mid-Iowa Community Action will kick off this summer with “Rogers University”.

MICA has worked closely with Rogers Elementary in recent years using the Harlem Children’s Zone model, focusing on creating a 21st Century school with structured after school time, increased community involvement and accountability for students, teachers and families.

The Rogers Elementary neighborhood was one of six in the state to receive one of the 5-year grants. Rogers University will be a 6-week summer program beginning June 20, 2011.

Days will reflect the regular school day in structure, but content will focus on three areas: remedial education, academic enrichment and family literacy.

Remedial work will help students meet district standards in reading and math using individualized learning plans. Sections will have a 5- to-1 student to teacher ratio.

Community partners, licensed teachers and Learning Supports Specialists will lead enrichment activities. Rogers University will fund Red Cross swimming lessons, including transportation. Participating students will also be able to utilize the Community Y Kids Fit Program, SATUCI Life Skills training, Orpheum Children’s Theatre drama education and MICA service learning. Art and science enrichment will include lessons on the rain forest. Technology lessons will include the opportunity for students to create unique personal projects.

Family literacy will be assisted by the Education and Training Center with ESL, GED and other adult education offerings.
Rogers University will be available for 100 students entering grades 1-4 in the fall. Additional funding from the Martha Ellen Tye Foundation will support a two-week mini Rogers University for 40 preschool and kindergarten age students.

Notes from the Board

By Kay Beach, Board President

I want to share some reflections on a task that School Board members face that I hate:  expulsion hearings. I hate listening to the details of students who repeatedly disrupt the learning of others or engage in activities that are against the law. I hate the convoluted excuses that they give for breaking both school rules and state/federal laws. I hate the thought that our children find themselves so needy for recognition, attention, or escape that they succumb to the sleaze bag who convinces them that drugs will solve all their problems.  And I hate having to decide whether or not the possible salvation of one child/violator is worth more than the safety of many. Our school district has taken a stand against drugs and against violence.  We have pledged to make our schools safe places; we have drawn a line in the sand. Expulsion is the ultimate penalty that we can assess upon those who cross that line.  I hate having to even consider it; but, in the end, the safety of 5,000 young people is worth the stomachache it gives me.

Notes from the Superintendent

By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

Tonight’s presentation about Mid-Iowa Community Action receiving a 21st Century Community Learning Center grant came at an excellent time. The district continues to be concerned about the amount of time it takes at the start of every year to get student skills back to a level where they were at the end of the previous year. By keeping students engaged in educational activities during six weeks of the summer break, Rogers University should lessen the “learning loss” at the start of next school year. I look forward to having representatives from MICA and Rogers Elementary report back in the fall about their findings in this important aspect of closing the achievement gap.



Marie Mysliwiec, Lenihan Special Ed. teacher, effective at the close of the 2010-2011 school year.
Dena Ryner, Hoglan paraeducator, effective April 1, 2011.
Andrea Schaa, Woodbury Learning Supports Specialist, effective April 15, 2011.
Monica Schneider, recording secretary, effective June 30, 2011.
Donna Stone, Miller food service, effective at the close of the 2010-2011 school year.
Clare Willsher, bus driver, effective April 12. 2011.


Sandra Fetters, Woodbury food service. Start date: April 18, 2011. Salary: $9.35/hour, 2 hours/day ($9.55-11/15/11, $9.85-4/18/12).
William Hansen, District HVAC/Plumber Technician at B&G. Start date: May 1, 2011. Salary: $18.30/hour, 8 hours/day.
Aimee Hennigh, Franklin Kindergarten teacher. Ms. Hennigh graduated from Kansas State University with a BS degree in 2009. She completed her student teaching experience in the Manhattan, Kansas, School District. Start date: Aug. 17, 2011. Salary: BA Step 5 (TBD by 2011-2012 salary schedule).
William Preston, MHS custodian. Start date: April 18, 2011. Salary: $12.50/hour, 8 hours/day.

Vol. 11 | Issue 16

4 Apr

High school students share State Science Fair projects

Marshalltown High School students Maddison Wignall and Molly Finn told the Board about their experiences presenting research at the State Science & Technology Fair of Iowa.

MHS Extended Learning Program teacher Susan Fritzell told the Board the students have worked all year on their research and were selected out of 100 projects to be presented in seminar. Each placed sixth in their divisions.

At the State Science Fair Wignall also was an honorable mention in the medicine and health category and Finn placed second in physics.

Wignall researched the effects of contact lens solution on the antibacterial properties of natural tears. Finn researched the effects of arm size and placement on a dancer’s pirouette turns.

Their research will be on display in MHS Room 106 during the Community Open House Thursday, April 14.

MHS Community Night 2011

Marshalltown High Schools is once again opening its doors for Community Open House Thursday, April 14, 2011, from 1 to 7 p.m.
This is the second annual Community Open House, a chance for parents and community members to tour the school, see learning in action, and take part in a variety of activities that illustrate the wide array of services and opportunities MHS has to offer.

During the school day (1-3:30 p.m.) there will be opportunities to observe classes in session. Beginning at 4 p.m. there will be information booths from community agencies, as well as information about MHS programs like dual credit and the Healthy Kids Act. The MHS Library will also host the Scholastic Book Fair from 4 to 7 p.m.

From 4 to 7 there will also be activities throughout the building, including a school history scavenger hunt, plant sale, I-JAG bake sale, and fine arts demonstrations to name a few. The Student Senate and Bobcat Boosters will also have Bobcat gear for sale.
Tours will be available throughout the day.

All guests will be entered in a drawing to win a 2011-2012 Bobcat Activity Pass and those completing a brief survey will receive a free ticket to the Bobcat Boys Soccer home games that evening.

More details can be found at

Budget approved

The Board of Education approved an $89 million budget for 2011-2012.

The budget leaves the tax rate at $17.84 per $1000 taxable valuation and is based on 0 percent allowable growth from the state legislature.

District joins Urban Education Network as associate member

The Board approved joining the Urban Education Network as an associate member Monday night.

The UEN is comprised of the eight largest school districts in Iowa. By becoming an associate member MCSD is able to participate in lobbying efforts, attend the annual meeting, and have job alike opportunities for administrators to shadow individuals in similar roles in other large districts.

Bids approved for MHS second floor classroom addition

Hay Construction was awarded the contract to build the second floor classroom addition at Marshalltown High School Monday night.

Hay had the lowest bid at $1.7 million. Work will begin as soon as school is out this spring.

Bids approved for MHS west entrance landscaping work

The Board approved a project to improve the landscaping near the main entrance to Marshalltown High School.

Graff Landscaping, LLC, of Toledo was awarded the project to remove existing turf and install professional grade paving brick landscaping to three green areas at the west main entrance. Red color brick will be used to spell out MHS BOBCATS in the design.

All work is scheduled for completion before the start of school in the fall. The cost is $36,400.

Notes from the Superintendent

By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

This evening the Board accepted an invitation for the Marshalltown Community School District to become an Associate Member of the Urban Education Network of Iowa (UEN).

Establishing this relationship with the UEN does not affect our affiliation with the Iowa Association of School Boards or School Administrators of Iowa – it merely provides us an opportunity to work more formally and closely with other districts having similar demographics and challenges.  Partnering with the eight largest school districts in the state will allow us to benefit from a shared lobby, work sessions around timely issues, and job-alike meetings with peers having comparable responsibilities in the other districts.

Notes from the Board

By Kay Beach, Board President

It was both entertaining and encouraging to listen to MHS science students Maddison Wignall and Molly Finn as they described their Science Fair projects this evening.  These young ladies are prime examples of the opportunities that our high school students have to go above and beyond the basic scope of their classroom studies.  Their presentations were based on questions from their own inquiring minds about their own lives.  They brought science from the realm of the academic to the practical; they brought relevance to their education.  They are prime examples of what can happen when young minds are engaged in their classroom experiences.  They are members of the student body at Marshalltown High School—where it is quite possible to achieve both education and distinction!