Vol. 12 | Issue 6

7 Nov

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District seeks waiver to create innovative calendar

Marshalltown Schools are seeking a waiver from the Iowa Department of Education to create a “New Innovative Calendar” for the 2012-2013 school year.

Dr. Susan Pecinovsky, associate superintendent for student achievement, told the Board there was no definitive plan right now for what an innovative calendar would look like, but the waiver application is the first step in the process. Once it is approved at the state level the District can look at creating a calendar that better meets the needs of students.

In the application to the state, Dr. Pecinovsky explained that changes in the community mean a need for changes in the structure of the school year. Out of approximately 5,100 students, 15 percent leave for extended periods in the winter months to visit family in Mexico. Additionally, 41 percent of students are designated as English Language Learners and 66.2 percent are eligible for free and reduced lunch.

“We have quality instructional opportunities and are limited by the structure of our calendar,” Pecinovsky said in the application.

It is not known when the state will act on the application.

Board discusses voluntary early retirement program

The Board discussed continuing the voluntary retirement incentive program Monday night, reviewing the policies and planning to bring it back for formal approval at the Nov. 21 meeting.

The program offers qualifying early retirees continued insurance coverage until Medicare-eligible or for 96 months. The policy also states that the district will pay any insurance premium increases up to 5 percent – anything over that is covered by the retiree.

The early retirement incentive is paid through the district Management Fund, which is also used to cover workers’ comp and property/casualty insurance. Business Operations Director Kevin Posekany told the Board the fund continues to be healthy as each year approximately the same number of people leave the early retirement program as enter it.

The early retirement incentive is already in place for 2011-2012. Eligible employees looking to take advantage of the incentive this school year must apply by Dec. 1, 2011.

The policies (Board Policy 314.1 and 407.6) will be brought back for approval on Nov. 21, which would open the window for the 2012-2013 school year with a deadline of Dec. 1, 2012.

Notes from the Superintendent

By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

The Board Development portion of tonight’s meeting focused on board member committee reports and information obtained at an October 13 Iowa Association of School Boards (IASB) training session. It was pointed out that one item from the IASB training, Five School Board Basics, has relevance for the Board AND the entire Marshalltown Community School District:

1. Put students first.

2. Follow the law and your own policy.

3. Respect the chain of command.

4. Base decisions on shared, objective information.

5. Operate in the public eye.

I’d also like to wish everyone a wonderful “American Education Week” the week of November 13–19. Thank you for your unwavering commitment to “nurturing students to become intellectually and personally empowered for citizenship in a changing world.”

Notes from the Board

By Kay Beach, Board President

This evening Dr. Pecinovsky reported that the district has applied for permission from the state to have a more innovative school calendar for the 2012-2013 school year.  The application is the first step that has to be taken so we can begin to be more creative in ways to help all of our students reach their full potential.  We don’t know yet exactly what that innovative calendar may look like, but this writer feels confident that we will be seeing more flexibility in scheduling—perhaps more opportunities for summer learning, perhaps more opportunities for extended days, or perhaps more days in the school year.  This is good news for all of our students.



Jennifer McDonald, shuttle driver, effective Oct. 28, 2011.

Laura Stansberry, Franklin paraeducator, effective Dec. 22, 2011.

Gloria Stanton, MHS paraeducator, effective Oct. 31, 2011.

Ricardo Perez Ibarra, Anson Bilingual Tutor, effective Nov. 4, 2011.


Lucinda Coleman, Woodbury paraeducator, effective Oct. 19, 2011.


Allie Osmundson, MHS assistant girls basketball coach. Start date: Oct. 18, 2011, salary: $3,668.

Mary Ann Wallace, Miller food service. Start date: Oct. 3, 2011, salary: $9.58/hour.

Danielle Gavagan, Franklin food service. Start date: Oct. 18, 2011, salary: $9.58/hour.

Barbara Bringle, Woodbury food service. Start date: Oct. 14, 2011, salary: $9.58/hour.

James Johnson, substitute bus driver. Start date: Oct. 14, 2011, salary determined by route.

John Saunders, substitute bus driver. Start date: Oct. 20, 2011, salary determined by route.

Leslie Fisher, MHS paraeducator. Start date: Nov. 8, 2011. Salary: $8.47/hour, 7 hours/day (6 hours/day on Wednesday).

Juana Zacarias, MHS paraeducator. Start date: Nov. 8, 2011. Salary: $9.48/hour 7 hours/day (6 hours/day on Wednesday).

Wendi Hunt, Woodbury paraeducator. Start date: Nov. 8, 2011. Salary: $9.48/hour, 6.5 hours/day (5.5 hours/day on Wednesday).

Change of Contract

Tomarra McManus, food service. Start date: Aug. 22, 2011. Change to Miller.

Sandra Fetters, food service. Start date: April 8, 2011. Change to Lenihan.

Jodi Garcia, food service. Start date: Nov. 2, 2010. Change to Miller.

Angie Dickey, Lenihan paraeducator. Start date: Nov. 7, 2011. Change to 6.75 hours/day (5.75 hours/day on Wednesday).


First Reading

605.3 Student Promotion-Retention, waive second reading; 804.2 Video Surveillance and Electronic Monitoring, will bring back for second reading and review the regulations at the same time.

Initial Review

202.5 Board of Directors’ Conflict of Interest; 401.2 Employee Conflict of Interest; 401.5R Employee Records Regulation, new regulation; 701.3 Fund Balance Reporting and Governmental Fund Type Definitions; 801.6 Selection of an Architect, major revision; 705.1 Purchasing Policy, major revision.

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