Vol. 12 | Issue 21

18 Jun

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District begins partnership with UNI’s Jacobson Center

The University of Northern Iowa’s Richard O. Jacobson Center for Comprehensive Literacy has selected Marshalltown Schools to take part in its Partnership in Comprehensive Literacy (PCL).

“We’re one of the few districts in the state that’s going to be moving this work forward,” said Dr. Susan Pecinovksy, associate superintendent for student achievement.

Pecinovsky and several principals and literacy coaches traveled to Council Bluffs earlier this year to see the positive impact of the literacy program. Council Bluffs schools, while twice the size of Marshalltown, have similar demographics and were also had several Schools In Need of Assistance (SINA). There, the district partnered with the University of Arkansas to reconfigure literacy instruction. The result was dynamic instruction and student learning that consistently pushed scores up and the buildings off SINA lists.

The research from Arkansas is the foundation of the work at the Jacobson Center. So far Marshalltown has received funding to train three literacy coaches and one district-level coach. The District has applied for funding to train three additional teachers.

The PCL model has 10 distinct features: a framework for literacy, model classrooms, high standards, comprehensive assessment system, system interventions, collaborative learning teams, well-designed literacy plan, technology for learning and spotlighting and advocacy.

This fall the three trained coaches will being working at Hoglan, Anson and Franklin elementary schools, with the goal of adding three more (or one per elementary) by 2013-2014.

More information about the Jacobson Center can be found at http://www.uni.edu/jccl

New math courses designed for Special Education students

Newly configured math instruction will help meet the diverse needs Special Education students.

Dr. Ken Hayes, associate principal at Marshalltown High School, and Pam Brewer-Michael, MHS chemistry teacher and Common Unit Design facilitator, described the revamped curriculum to the Board. It relies on the use of Wikis, or online sites to allow students with different skill levels in different areas of mathematics to work in the same classroom.

Brewer-Michael said a curriculum team comprised of Special Education teachers from MHS and Miller and math content teachers did lot of research while developing these wikis, including studying district data, examining other models and reading about best practices.

“This new system is going to allow students to start where they need to be and if they can advance quickly through an algebra strand they’ll be able to do that,” Brewer-Michael said.

Students will have online accounts where they can access teacher-created instructional videos designed for specific content and skill-level. Pre- and post-testing will help teacher monitor progress. When students aren’t making the expected progress, small-group and one-on-one teaching will take place in the same classroom.

There will be seven sections of the class this fall, with no more than 17 students in a section. Hayes said the structure has made scheduling simpler for these students, since the diversified online instruction allows students at various skill levels to be in the same section.

Board reviews baseline data on kindergarten readiness

Associate Superintendent Susan Pecinovksy presented baseline information on kindergarten readiness, one of the facets of the Strategic Action Plan.

Objective 1 of the SAP is to improve academic performance, so monitoring kindergarten readiness as defined and measured by the Gold Assessment gives the district a clear picture how students are prepared for learning.

The Gold Assessment is given to all students in the District preschool program and measures age-appropriate skills including social-emotional development, physical/fine motor skills, language, cognitive skills, literacy and mathematics.

Pecinovksy said breaking the Gold Assessment down into these categories allows the District to identify specific areas where more instruction needs to occur.

Memberships, admin salaries approved

Salary increases for district administrators and the superintendent were approved Monday night, as well as membership in the Urban Education Network and Iowa Association of School Boards.

Administrators were given a 3.63 percent total package increase, which includes a 3.59 percent salary increase and the remainder reflecting mandatory IPERS increases. This package increase was the same as given to the certified teaching staff.

Superintendent Marvin Wade was also given a 3.59 percent salary increase and had his contract extended an additional year to June 30, 2015.

The Board also approved membership in the UEN for $5,000 and IASB for $10,459.

Fisher change orders approved

The Board approved three change orders on the Fisher Elementary construction project Monday night.

The change orders total $36,400.75 and include some HVAC, masonry work and door transom repairs.

Architect Dave Schulze told the board the change order costs still fall below the 5 percent contingency built into the project budget. The project is slated for completion before school begins this fall.



Jennifer Dwyer, Franklin teacher librarian, effective at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.
Brianna Yates, Grade 5-8 vocal music, effective at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.
Kathy Stalzer, Miller paraeducator, effective June 1, 2012.
Wendi Hunt, Woodbury paraeducator, effective at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.
Jim Lewis, Lenihan custodian, effective July 5, 2012.
Blair Benefield, 8th Grade volleyball coach, effective at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.
Tyler Hellmann, 8th Grade assistant volleyball coach, effective at the end of the 2011-2012 school year.


Mallory Kern, Fisher preschool. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012; Salary: BA Step 5.
Collette Murphy, Anson 1/2 Special Ed, 1/2 Title I. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012; Salary: BA+15 Step 5.
Blake Cutright, Hoglan PE (0.5 FTE). Start date: Aug. 15, 2012; Salary: BA Step 5.
Jacob Borton, Miller Language Arts. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012; Salary: BA Step 5.
Jade Musgrave, Franklin Grade 4. Start date: Aug.15, 2012; Salary: BA Step 5.
Tracy Steere, Hoglan Special Ed. Start date: Aug. 15, 2012; Salary: BA+15, Step 11.
Cheri Bolar, Title I at Hoglan (1/2) and Franklin (1/2). Start date: Aug. 15, 2012; Salary: BA Step 7.
Mark Krukow, District Network Specialist. Start date: June 11, 2012; Salary: $51,295.
Craig Luttrell, MHS speech director. Salary: $957/year.
Dana Craft, Anson paraeducator. Start date: Aug. 16, 2012; Salary: $9.48/hour.
Bruce Vopava, 7th grade boys track coach. Salary: $2474/year.

Change of Contract

Debra Christenson, Fisher, Rogers, Woodbury ELP (change from Franklin Grade 4), start date: Aug. 15, 2012.
Cindy Martin, .75 FTE Hoglan Homebound Special Ed Level III (change from Anson Special Ed), start date: Aug. 15, 2012.
Julie Thede, Anson Grade 2 (from Anson Grade 1), start date: Aug. 15, 2012.
Lacie Moore, Hoglan Grade 3 (from Anson Grade 1), start date: Aug. 15, 2012.
Katie Troskey, Franklin Special Ed (from Franklin preschool), start date: Aug. 15, 2012.
Stephanie Goos, Hoglan Kindergarten (from Franklin Special Ed), start date: Aug. 15, 2012.
Gladis Gonzalez, Woodbury Grade 2 Spanish (from Lenihan Grade 6), start date: Aug. 15, 2012.
Maiea Milot, Woodbury paraeducator (from Woodbury bilingual tutor), start date: Aug. 16, 2012.
Martha Munoz, Woodbury paraeducator (from Woodbury bilingual tutor), start date: Aug. 16, 2012.
C’Yanna Ochoa, Fisher paraeducator (from Woodbury paraeducator), start date: Aug. 16, 2012.


First Reading
203.5 School Improvement Advisory Committee, waive second reading.
203.6 Legal Counsel, waive second reading.

Initial Review
203.9 Gifts to Board of Directors, mark reviewed
203.10 Board Self Evaluation, mark reviewed

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