Archive | May, 2012

Vol. 12 | Issue 19

22 May

View PDF version here.

New K-6 literacy program purchased

A new K-6 elementary literacy curriculum is headed to Marshalltown this fall.

The board approved purchasing Treasures, a literacy curriculum from McGraw-Hill Companies. The new curriculum will replace materials from 2003.

Dr. Susan Pecinovsky, associate superintendent for student achievement, says benefits of Treasures include online materials for teachers and online learning opportunitites for students. Treasures also has specific materials for Special Education and English Language Learners.

“This will be an opportunity for a seamless system for instruction [with Special Education, ELL, and core instruction materials],” Pecinovsky said.

The purchase price for the new materials is $497,608.

Federal program supports migrant student education

Approximately 280 migrant students are enrolled in Marshalltown Schools and Monday night the Board learned more about them and the Federal program  designed to help them succeed.

MCSD received $276,400 in Title I – Part C Federal funding this school year for the education of “migratory children”. This funding provides supplemental education and support services for eligible children face the challenges of disrupted education.

Rachel Inks, district English Language Learneing coordinator, reviewed the migrant program for the Board and the Federal eligibility requirements. Students must be under 22 years of age without a high school deploma or GED. His or her parent, spouse, or guardian must be a migrant agricultural worker and the child must have moved in the last 36 months to accompany them to seek temporary or seasonal work. The work must be with raw agricultural product and be the primary means of livelihood.

Iowa has nine school districts with migrant programs, each one in a community with a meat processing or packing plant.

Migrant students are identified at registration. Families are asked if they recently moved to Marshalltown seeking work in agriculture, food processing, etc. If yes, the District Migrant Recruiter interviews the family and completes a Certificate of Eligibility (CoE). This is reviewed by the District Migrant Coordinator and submitted to the Iowa Migrant Coordinator for approval.

The Federal program has “priority for service” guidelines to identify students with the most pressing needs. These include an interruption to education in the previous 12 months and if a student is failing or at risk of failing.

Funds received through the Migrant Program pay part of the salaries of some employees and provide supplemental services like tutoring, after school programs, ESL services, credit recovery, preschool and other instructional resources. Migrant students also receive free school meals and are eligible for translation and interpretation services and some supportive health services in cooperation with other agencies.

Franklin Field Gateway project, MHS classroom addition finished

The Board closed out two projects Monday night, approving the resolution of substantial completion for the Franklin Field Gateway Project and the Marshalltown High School second floor classroom addition.

The Franklin Field Gateway project was funded by community donations. Buildings & Grounds Director Rick Simpson told the Board the community volunteers had recently completed the landscaping for the project and had plans to supervise upkeep.

Both projects were completed by Hay Construction Services.

IPI measures student, teacher engagement

The spring Instructional Practices Inventory (IPI) data collection is complete, and the results are consistent with fall collections.

The IPI process is a set of strategies for profiling student engagement on six categories. This data helps teachers assess and enhance their teaching process to increase engagement and with it student achievement.

The District worked with consultants from Area Education Agency 267, which sent a team of certified trainers to collect the first baseline information in the fall. District staff members were then trained and conducted a spring collection.

The fall collection showed 86.43 percent of observations scored in the 3-6 range. The spring collection showed 87 percent.

Dr. Susan Pecinovsky, associate superintendent for student achievement, said this information will be used as the baseline to measure future progress in student engagement as part of the district Strategic Action Plan.

Notes from the Board

By Kay Beach, Board President

Whenever I am asked to list my hobbies, one of the activities that is high on my list is reading.  Reading is truly a passion of mine; being stuck somewhere with time on my hands and nothing to read is my idea of torture.  I remember clearly the hours I spent in first grade, looking at the alphabet letters along the top of the blackboard and repeating over and over their initial sounds; and I remember, too, the seemingly endless repetition of long and short vowel sounds.  When I was six years old my burning ambition was to be able to read (for myself!) the Sunday comics—“Lulu,” “Henry,” “Little Orphan Annie,” “Popeye,” etc.  Learning to read unlocked the doors to unlimited realms:  nature, the universe, fantasy, foreign lands, the past, the future….and the Sunday comics.  Today, reading remains the key to all other learning.  So, tonight, when the Board voted to spend nearly half a million dollars on pre-K through sixth grade literacy materials specifically designed to help all students, it was one of the most significant votes that we, as Board members, will ever make.

Notes from the Superintendent

By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

Dr. Pecinovsky’s report on student classroom engagement included data from observations conducted as part of our commitment to the use of the Instructional Practices Inventory.  Trained observers go classroom to classroom making determinations about the extent to which students are actively engaged in the learning process. Observations conducted during the current school year resulted in a district baseline of 86 percent engagement. Knowing that engagement is a crucial component for higher levels of learning, engagement targets have been set for the next three years.  District engagement targets for 2012-13, 2013-14 and 2014-15 are 92 percent, 97 percent and 100 percent classroom engagement respectively.

We look forward using IPI to gauge our progess as we work to make sure students and teachers are engaged in the learning process.



Teresa VandeLune Steensma, Miller 7th Grade Science teacher, effective at the end of the school year.
Daniel Lovell, MHS Special Education teacher, effective at the end of the school year.
Paula Pisney, Rogers ELL teacher/SIOP coach, effective at the end of the school year.
Carla Goettsch, B&G secretary, effective May 28, 2012.
Doug Bacon, MHS Boys Track Coach, effective at the end of the school year.
Sherry Glenney, Substitute Bus Driver, effective May 9, 2012.


Lisa Schneck, Miller Grade 7 math teacher. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012. Salary: BA Step 5.
Stephanie Lase, Miller Grade 7 Art teacher. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012. Salary: BA Step 5.
Lindsay Delagardelle, Miller Grade 8 Art teacher. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012. Salary: MA Step 5.
Caira Young, Miller Learning Supports Specialist. Start date: June 1, 2012. Salary: $35,000/year.
Michael Britt, computer tech/auditorium assistant. Start date: May 21, 2012. Salary: $30,000/year.
Carla Goettsch, B&G warehouse/receiving. Start date: May 29, 2012. Salary: $16.73/hour.
Mark Bohan, MHS assistant football coach. Start date: 2012-2013 school year. Salary: TBD.
Matthew Butler, MHS assistant boys basketball coach. Start date: 2012-2013 school year. Salary: TBD.

Change of Contract

Sara Reed, Special Ed Level II teacher. Start date: 2012-2013 school year. Change from Miller to MHS.
Kayleen Schwartzenburg, MHS paraeducator. Start date: 2012-2013 school year. Change of assignment at same position level.
Caitlin Ellis, Anson general education paraeducator. Start date: 2012-2013 school year. Change from Special Ed Level III paraeducator at Hoglan.


First Reading
201.8 Vacancies, major revision based on IASB policy, waive second reading
202.1 Code of Ethics, major revision based on updates to Iowa Code, waive second reading
701.5 Post-Issuance Compliance Policy for Tax-Exempt Obligations, new policy required for bond refinancing

Initial Review
202.5 Board of Directors’ Conflict of Interest, return for first reading
202.7 Individual Board Members, return for first reading
203.1 Formulation, Review & Revision of Policy, return for first reading
203.2 Adoption of Administration Rules & Regulations, mark reviewed
203.4 Ad Hoc Committees, mark reviewed

Vol. 12 | Issue 18

7 May

View the PDF version here.

District to save $1.7 million through bond refinancing

The Board approved the sale of two bonds Monday night, which will save the district nearly $1.7 million over the life of the bonds.

The district received bids Monday afternoon. Matthew Gillaspie from Piper Jaffray & Co. in Des Moines told the Board the district received an A+ rating from Standard & Poors, which made the bonds a desirable investment.

The first bond for $870,000 was sold to United Missouri Bank of Kansas City, Mo. The new interest rate of 1.86 percent will calculate to a $10,000-$20,000 savings each fiscal year, totally approximately $178,000 in total.

The second bond for $16.99 million was sold to Bankers Trust & Company in Des Moines. Since the bond is not eligible to be paid off for two years, the money is put in an escrow account for two years. The new interest rate is 2.55 percent, which will represent a savings of $1.5 million over the life of the bond.

MHS sending students to 5 national contests

Students representing five different groups came before the Board for two reasons Monday night. One was to ask permission for out-of-state travel. The other was to celebrate the reason for these trips: to represent Marshalltown on a national and international stage in five separate competitions.

Students from Envirothon, Poetry Out Loud, Math Team, National Forensics League and National History Day are heading to contests around the country soon after winning state and regional honors.

Envirothon students Molly Finn, Adam Willman, Brennan Goodman, Abby Snyder and Joe Metzger were state champions of the environmental competition and will compete at the Canon International Envirothon at Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Penn., June 22-28, 2012.

Finn and Snyder will also represent MHS at two other contests. Finn is the part of the MHS Math Team with XingXing Duan, Jaleb Jay, Nicole Lacina, Sumeet Panchal, Chandler Schmidt, James Talbert and Ben Anzis. The team qualified for the Great Plains Math League Regional contest May 18, 2012, in Kansas City, Mo.

Snyder is advancing to the National Speech & Debate Tournament June 10-15, 2012, in Indianapolis, Indiana. This is Snyder’s second year of qualifying for nationals in Legislative Debate.

Susie Pratt, Ellen Podhajsky and Hannah Stone are heading to the National History Day contest June 10-14, 2012, in College Park, Md. The trio qualified their group performance, “Carrie Chapman Catt: Leading the Woman’s Rights Revolution”, at Iowa National History Day April 30.

Gwen Morrison will travel to Washington, D.C., May 13-15 to compete in the National Poetry Out Loud contest. She was named state champion March 3, 2012.

New math curriculum for MHS

Marshalltown High School will implement a new math curriculum this fall.

The Pearson Series math curriculum was selected after a formal needs assessment in the fall of 2011. Members of the MHS Math Dept. reviewed the Common Core standards and benchmarks and looked at different options for good readability, differentiation and online support for students and teachers.

Angela Pierce, a high school math teacher who presented the curriculum to the Board, said the implantation will be gradual, with Pre-Algebra and Algebra classes for freshmen added in the fall. This way students who are already in the Integrated Math series can complete it.

The cost of the new math curriculum is approximately $100,000.

Board looks at Iowa Assessments

The Board reviewed the new Iowa Assessments Monday night, looking at both district results and how the new tests differ from the Iowa Tests of Basic Skills (ITBS).

This is the first major change in Iowa standardized testing in approximately 15 years. The Iowa Assessments are more rigorous than previous tests, said District Applications Specialist Ronnie Manis. The Iowa Assessments have new questions and new points of comparison. They are aligned to the Common Core standards and are reported using National Standards Scores (NSS).

NSS describe performance on a continuum from kindergarten through high school. The continuum is based on scores from testing thousands of students and determining where students at certain grade levels fall within a range.

The achievement continuum connected with the Iowa Assessments is divided into three categories: Non Proficient, Proficient, and Advanced. Using these scores allows teachers, parents and students to track not only proficiency at a test time, but year-to-year growth.

Manis and Dr. Susan Pecinovksy, associate superintendent for student achievement, told the Board the conversations with colleagues across Iowa show similar result trends as seen in Marshalltown: a decrease in scores in lower grades, with increased scores at the high school level.

Since this is the first year for the Iowa Assessments the district will use the results as baseline data in the Strategic Action Plan.  Scores will be sent home with students the week of May 14.

Garling  Construction selected for Support Services project

Garling Construction Company from Belle Plaine had the low bid for the Support Services Building addition and site development.

District architect Dave Schulze says all the bids came in higher than estimated, but the District was able to work with Garling to find $101,493 in cost-reducing items in the project. The cost for demolishing the 1925 portion of the old Anson Middle School was also below estimates, which helps offset costs.

The project cost is $1,603,507. The work prepare the former middle school for use as district offices, Board room, and meeting rooms.

Brycon, LLC, selected for west bus barn demo

Brycon, LLC, will tear down the west bus barn. The project will prepare the area for extra bus parking and include added security fences and lighting.

Total cost is $90,100.

Notes from the Superintendent

By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

May 7-11 is a week for recognizing a number of groups within the school district. At tonight’s Board meeting we kicked off School Board Recognition Week by presenting each Board member with a certificate of recognition in appreciation of their service to the students, parents and staff of MCSD. Serving on the Board requires each board member to work hundreds of hours every year without pay; to attend many meetings and school functions; to study a large number of agendas, proposals and reports; and to have ongoing discussions with members of our community.

May 7-11 also marks Teacher Appreciation Week. MCSD has many dedicated teachers who work hard every day to help our students achieve. While it may just be one week named “Teacher Appreciation Week”, their tireless efforts are valued year-round.

This is also National Nurse’s Week. Wednesday is National School Nurse Day, so make sure to thank your school nurses and health aides.

I hope others will join me in thanking our teachers, nurses and board members for their valuable contribution to the children and youth of our community.

I also want to remind everyone about the Marshalltown Education Association/Board Recognition Tea that will be held from 4:00-6:00 pm on Wednesday, May 16. I hope you will join us at Dejardin Hall on the Marshalltown Community College campus to honor retirees, MEA scholarship winners, the Friend of Education Recipient, and staff with 35 and 25 years of service.

Notes from the School Board

By Kay Beach, Board president

This evening’s group of young people who sought the Board’s blessing for their trips to various national competitions was certainly occasion for button-popping chests swollen with pride!  Theirs was one long

parade of bright, hard-working students who have earned the opportunity to continue their quests for excellence on the broader stage of “nationals.”  As Board members we wrestle constantly with the challenge of improving the quality of education in our community, and much of our focus is on ways to help those students who struggle to achieve even minimum competencies.  So, it is especially uplifting to be able to celebrate both the opportunities for students on the upper end of the competency scale and the successes of those who seize those opportunities and run with them.  Congratulations to the students (who have done the work), their teachers and mentors (who challenged them), and their parents (who supported and encouraged them)—we eagerly await the reports of your performances on that broader stage!



Vicki McKibbin, Hoglan Grade 3 teacher, effective at the end of the school year; has taught in MCSD 13 years.
Janice Dehrkoop, Woodbury LI Tutor, effective June 1, 2012; has worked in MCSD for 19 years.


Sharon McKimpson, Miller principal, effective June 30, 2012.
Sierra Herring, Hoglan kindergarten teacher, effective at the end of the school year.
Michelle Ritter, Rogers Special Ed teacher, effective at the end of the school year.
Luisa Rumero, Woodbury Grade 2 teacher, effective at the end of the school year.
Josh Russell, MHS art teacher, effective at the end of the school year.
Brian Bown, MHS Special Ed teacher, effective at the end of the school year.
Tayler Bovenmyer, MHS paraeducator, effective May 31, 2012.
Morgan Ellis, Anson paraeducator, effective at the end of the school year.
Joshua Menuey, Fisher paraeducator, effective April 16, 2012.
Brittany Peters, Franklin paraeducator, effective at the end of the school year.
Kayla Tate, Lenihan paraeducator, effective at the end of the school year.
Jennifer Witte, Lenihan food service, effective May 25, 2012.
Patty Nevarez, Franklin paraeducator, effective April 9, 2012.


Kathryn Jimenez, Anson Kindergarten. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012; Salary: BA Step 11.
Lydia Arevalo, MHS Guidance Counselor. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012; Salary: MA Step 5.
Sabrina Russell, Elementary Instructional Coach. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012; Salary: MA Step 7.
Mary Brown, Fisher Preschool teacher. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012; Salary: BA Step 6.
Fred Fehrman, Substitute Bus Driver. Start date: Feb. 15, 2012; Salary determined by route.
Kevin Goodman, MHS assistant softball coach. Start date: April 9, 2012. Salary: $3,190/year.

Change of Contract

Jennifer August, change from Franklin Grade 1 teacher to Elementary Instructional Coach. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012.
Kim Hurley, change from Anson Grade 4 teacher to Elementary Instructional Coach. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012.
Cedra Baccam, change from Special Ed Level I paraeducator to Special Ed Level II paraeducator at MHS. Salary: $9.48/hour.


701.5 Post-Issuance Compliance Policy for Tax-Exempt Obligations, initial review of new policy, will return for first reading.