Vol. 13 | Issue 1

9 Jul

View PDF version here.

One million served

Food Service report shows increased meals, expanded programs

No kids will go hungry if Vickie McVey can help it.

The District Director of Food Services leads a crew of 76 who served approximately one million meals during the 2011-2012 school year.

Marshalltown School Food Service served 268,273 breakfasts and 713,535 lunches, an increase of 22 percent and 7.5 percent respectively.

The breakfast increase comes from the addition of Breakfast in the Classroom at Woodbury Elementary. The program began at Anson Elementary in the 2006-2007 school year and has gained popularity, providing free breakfast to every student regardless of family financial status.

McVey says teachers noticed an increased focus among students, and school nurses noted fewer morning stomachaches and headaches.

New to MSFS this year was a fresh fruit and vegetable program which provided a wide variety of snacks to elementary and preschool students. A total of 234,432 snacks were served, including figs, Chinese long beans, star fruit and bok choy among others.

The popular Summer Feeding Program, which runs through the end of July, averaged 698 lunches per day in 2011. The program also offers breakfast and snacks – all at no cost to students.

On the financial side, expenditures were 87 percent of revenues, with food costs at $1.24 per meal. Other costs per meal were labor ($1.39) and miscellaneous supply and equipment expenses ($0.27).

Sixty-eight percent of students qualified for free and reduced meals, with 3,048 students qualified for free meals and 366 for reduced. The negative account balance at the end of the school year was $12,178, a decrease from 2011 and from the all-time high of $26,380 in 2009.

McVey said the MSFS goals for 2012-2013 are to continue expanding food service availability and increasing breakfast participation. MSFS will also integrate with Infinite Campus to allow parents to view account balances through the Parent Portal. McVey says they will also continue to work on compliance with the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 and on the District Wellness Policy and US Healthier Schools Challenge.

Board reviews Strategic Action Plan indicators

The Board reviewed Strategic Plan indicators during the first meeting of the 2012-2013 school year.

Indicators are the measures used to track progress toward the Strategic Plan goal and objectives. Data was highlighted according to progress: read meant a target was not reached, green meant it was, and yellow meant there wasn’t enough information yet to make that determination.

Many items remain in the “yellow” range because indicators are based on the Iowa Assessments, which were new this year. With the new assessments, it is hard to measure progress from a previous year when students took different tests.

The district is on track to meet its goal of 95 percent attendance, exceeding the progress indicator set for 2011-2012. The district also met the indicator for decreasing expulsions, though had increases in in-school and out-of-school suspensions.

Several items like graduation rate aren’t available until the state releases the figures in the fall. Superintendent Marvin Wade said the district will continue to track progress and gather data when it’s available so a formal progress report can be made to the community in the fall.

District-wide initiatives progressing

Five major initiatives are underway in Marshalltown Schools, with each building at different steps on the way to full implementation in four years.

The five initiatives are:

  • Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (PBIS) – a decision-making framework that guides practices for improving academic and behavior outcomes for all students.
  • Sheltered Instruction (SIOP) – evidenced-based framework for improving academic achievement of English Language Learners.
  • Response to Intervention (RTI) – a process to increase capacity for making decisions matched to student needs.
  • Common Unit Design (CUD) – method of designing curriculum by setting goals before choosing activities and content for teach.
  • Literacy Framework – implementing the Comprehensive Literacy Model and Comprehensive Intervention Model to increase the number of students who are proficient in reading and writing and to close the achievement gap between diverse groups while accelerating literacy learning for all students.

Dr. Susan Pecinovsky, associate superintendent for student achievement, showed the Board where each building was implementing these initiatives and the work they would be taking on during the upcoming school year.

District secretaries receive pay increase

The Board approved a 3.63 percent salary package increase for district secretaries Monday night.

The package reflects similar percentages received by district teachers and administrators. The total budget increase will be $51,837.

Strategies for parent, community collaboration discussed

District administration updated the Board on work under Strategy 4 of the Strategic Action Plan, which calls for collaboration with parents, community and business leaders to support increased student achievement.

There are five actions tied to the strategy:

  1. Identify and promote opportunities for parent engagement.
  2. Promote partnerships with community agencies and organizations
  3. Promote business and education partnerships.
  4. Research, develop and implement educational choice options to meet student and community needs and interests.
  5. Implement plan for ongoing communication with internal and external audiences.

District administrators told the Board about numerous projects and initiatives going on under this umbrella, including work with the Business-Education Alliance and the extensive network of partnerships throughout Marshalltown.

Notes from the Superintendent

By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

Tonight’s board meeting provided an excellent transition from last year to the 2012-2013 school year which began July 1, 2012.  Presentations included information about efforts to improve collaboration with community partners, progress toward full implementation of five district initiatives, and data for the ten progress indicators of our Strategic Action Plan. These reports clearly conveyed that major themes of 2011-2012 -higher expectations, narrowed focus, and increased accountability- will remain a driving force for improvements important to us all – increased student attendance, engagement, achievement and graduation.

Notes from the Board

By Kay Beach, Board President

Our district’s Mission Statement is “To nurture students to become intellectually and personally empowered for citizenship in a changing world;” and we usually think of that “nurturing” as being academic or social in nature.  Tonight we were reminded that our school’s Food Service does a yeoman’s job of nurturing our students’ bodies as well.  And as if serving over a million meals (breakfasts and lunches) weren’t enough, Ms. McVey and her staff are educating our youngsters about different foods and training their palates to enjoy all kinds of different fruits and veggies.  Because of our national concern regarding childhood obesity, the meals are planned with both variety and caloric content in mind.  It is both reassuring and inspiring to learn about the care and concern that is behind this service that many of us just take for granted.

PersonnelView PDF here.


Initial Review

204.1 Regular Meetings, mark reviewed
404.2 Special Meetings, mark reviewed
204.3 Closed Sessions, strike “by the Board Secretary” from the section regarding who takes detailed notes.
204.4 Annual Meeting, strike several sections of redundancy with 201.7

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