Vol. 13 | Issue 7

19 Nov

View PDF version here.

College credit opportunities expanding

Students have more opportunities to earn college credit while at Marshalltown High School and the ways students can achieve those credits are expanding, according to a report the Board received Monday night.

Dr. Susan Pecinovsky, associate superintendent for student achievement, reported on college coursework as part of objective two in the District Strategic Action Plan: Increase readiness for further education and employment.

In 2011-2012 31.87 percent of MHS students took college coursework. That number serves as a baseline, with the district looking to increase that number each year.

MHS students have four ways to earn college credit:

Post-Secondary Enrollment Options (PSEO) allows juniors, seniors, or students in the Extended Learning Program to enroll in college courses at Marshalltown Community College, earning college credit and high school credit. Students can earn a maximum 11 credits per semester.

Shared Credit Courses are taught at MHS (sometimes at MCC) by qualified instructors and also provide dual credit.

Career Academies allow juniors and seniors to enroll in college courses in a vocational field, earning college and high school credit.

Advanced Placement courses are designed for students who have demonstrated competence by achieving a high level in college preparatory courses. Students earn high school credit and can receive college credit by passing an AP test after completing the course.

MHS offers seven AP courses, including two new courses this year in the English department.

“It allows students to perhaps access more than they could have a year ago,” Pecinovsky said.

Pecinovsky said the district is working to increase options for college credit, including coursework linked to Project Lead The Way.

Dates amended in 2012-2013 early retirement policies

The Board approved amending the early retirement policies for 2012-2013 to extend the deadline for notification and the date to qualify.

The eligibility requirements now read that an employee must turn 55 prior to Aug. 14, 2013. Previously the date had been set at July 1. Iowa Code only says the date has to be after July 1, but before the start of the next school year, so the changed date will allow people who turn 55 during that period to potentially qualify. Each year when the policy is reviewed a new date will be chosen according to when the veteran teaching staff members are scheduled to return for that school year.

The date for notifying the district about early retirement was moved to Jan. 4, 2013.

District plans for site visit

The Department of Education will visit Marshalltown Schools for a site visit Jan. 15-17, 2013.

Site visits occur every five years and look at compliance, as well as assessing continuous improvement. The results of the site visit will be a list of strengths and a list of recommendations for improvement. If something is found out of compliance the DE will provide guidance on how to fix it.

“We look forward to having another set of eyes look at what we’re doing,” said Dr. Susan Pecinovksy, associate superintendent for student achievement.


By Sherm Welker, Board President

This evening we accepted the completed version of the facilities improvement plan for 2013-2017. The current schedule calls for the start of the plan with work on several projects this summer.

  •  The first phase of the Roundhouse with renovations to the locker rooms, main gym area, roofing, electrical, heating and cooling upgrades, and the addition of a fire sprinkler system.
  • MHS will also have upgrades to the electrical services to most of the building.
  • Support Services will  see the next phase of renovation on the upper two floors for District Administration offices.
  • Miller Middle School will have renovations to the 1957 classroom addition to upgrade the finishes, doors, and new ceilings with lighting. The heating system will be replaced and cooling added throughout this wing.

The board worked on numerous policies during our meeting as we had fallen behind schedule with other pressing business of the district. One of the main functions of the board is to keep our policies and practices current with regulations and standards. Some policies can be reviewed and passed without revision, but others require changes. We rely on policy from the Iowa Association of School Boards and the Iowa Department of Education when we are creating new standards and modifying policy.

Last week was the annual IASB (Iowa Association of School Boards) meeting in Des Moines with conferences and training sessions. Your board team and administrative staff attended many of the events and came back with knowledge and information on new practices.

Many thanks to the staff and to the school board members for the increased time commitment this fall. We have added work sessions for planning that are needed to prepare the way for change and improvement.


By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

During its Nov.19, 2012, meeting, the Board approved changes to the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program for Licensed Teaching Staff, Twelve-Month Secretaries, and Administrators (Policies 314.1, 407.7 and 413.7, respectively). All three programs have been discontinued for the 2013-2014 school year as one of several measures being taken to offset the loss of funds created by declining enrollment.

The Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program remains in effect for all three employee groups for the 2012-2013 school year – with two important date changes approved by the Board:

  1.  To be eligible, an employee, prior to Aug. 14, 2013, must have attained at least 55 years of age and must have been employed by the District for at least 15 years. This eligibility date was changed from July 1, 2013 to Aug. 14, 2013, at the Nov. 19, 2012, board meeting.
  2.  Eligible employees have until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 4, 2013, to notify the District of their intent to take voluntary retirement at the end of this school year. This notification of intent date was changed from Dec. 1, 2012, to Jan. 4, 2013, at the Nov. 19, 2012, board meeting.

Licensed Teaching Staff, Twelve-Month Secretaries, and Administrators contemplating early retirement are encouraged to closely examine the applicable Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program policy. These policies may be found on the District website by going to http://www.marshalltown.k12.ia.us, clicking on the “School Board” tab, and then clicking on the links under the heading “Board Policy.”


First Reading
413.7 12-Month Secretary Voluntary Retirement Incentive Program/314.1 Admin Voluntary Retirement/407.6 Licensed Teaching Staff, change notification date to Jan. 4, 2013, and eligibility requirements to being 55 prior to Aug. 14, 2013.
206.1 New Board Member Orientation, approve as amended, waive second reading.
504.11 Wellness, changes due to Federal guidelines, approve as amended, waive second reading

Initial Review
300 Statement of Guiding Principles for Administration, mark reviewed
301.1 Superintendent of Schools – Qualifications and Recruitment, minor grammatical changes, add “military service” after the word veteran so it is clarified, bring back for second reading
301.2 Superintendent of Schools – Contract and Contract Non-Renewal, bring back for second reading
301.3 Superintendent of Schools – Functions, replace “e” with portions of IASB policy, change “r” to reflect organizational chart, strike sentence referencing finance committee (second L), bring back for second reading,
301.4/E/R Evaluation of the Superintendent, John Johnson and Anne Paullus will work on aligning the policy closer to the Iowa guidelines adopted in 2008
302.1 Associates to the Superintendent – Positions, 302.2 Associates to the Superintendent – Qualifications, 302.3 Associates to the Superintendent – Appointment, bring back for first reading.
302.4 Associates to the Superintendent – Functions, mark reviewed

PERSONNELClick here.

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