Vol. 13 | Issue 13

4 Mar

View the PDF version here.

CHECK-MMSC

MMSC supports Project Lead the Way at MHS

Marshalltown Medical & Surgical Center donated $30,000 toward implementation of Project Lead the Way at Marshalltown High School.

Dr. Terry Briggs, chairman of the MMSC Board of Trustees, presented a check to School Board President Sherm Welker Monday night. Funds will go to support the implementation of a Biomedical Sciences program at MHS.

Graduation rate increases 8% 

The Marshalltown Community School District graduation rate increased nearly 8 percent from 2011 to 2012 according to figures released by the Iowa Department of Education this week.

Read the full story on on our news blog, Bobcats Making Headlines.

District looks at updating safety procedures 

Marshalltown Schools are partnering with the Marshalltown Police Department to review safety policies and train staff in new approaches to school safety.

Police Chief Mike Tupper and high school associate principal Deb Holsapple told the Board about training held with district administration Saturday, March 2, on ALICE: Alert Lockdown Inform Counter Evacuate.

ALICE is a system to respond to an active shooter threat inside an office, school, etc. Tupper said it’s a system many in law enforcement have believed in for years and it’s now gaining momentum across the country.

Instead of the traditional lockdown model, where students and teachers hide in a classroom, ALICE encourages people to evacuate as soon as possible, as well as fight back if necessary by throwing chairs, barricading doors, etc.

“These are things I’ve been teaching my kids for 20 years,” Tupper said. He was adamant ALICE was not about teaching children to fight armed gunmen. Instead, it was about teaching staff how to be alert and letting children know it’s okay to escape, even if it means breaking windows.

“It’s important to arm your staff with options beyond lockdown,” he said. “If we don’t teach people that there are options, they won’t know.”

Lisa Koester, director of human resources, said the next step for the district is to review the district safety plans. These were developed in 2000 and are reviewed annually by schools, but the district will now do a more comprehensive review with the MPD.

Buildings and Grounds director Rick Simpson also noted some safety upgrades across the district that have already been implemented in recent years, such as security cameras at the high school and more secure entrances at several buildings.

Pedro Gomez, who won the Class 3A 285-pound state wrestling title, was recognized in front of the School Board Monday night, along with his coach, Mike Mann. Gomez plans to attend Ellsworth Community College after graduating from Marshalltown High School, where he will play football and wrestle. Gomez is the first Bobcat to claim a state wrestling title since 2003.

Pedro Gomez, who won the Class 3A 285-pound state wrestling title, was recognized in front of the School Board Monday night, along with his coach, Mike Mann. Gomez plans to attend Ellsworth Community College after graduating from Marshalltown High School, where he will play football and wrestle. Gomez is the first Bobcat to claim a state wrestling title since 2003.

Board approves 2012 audit report

Mary Babinat from accounting firm Nolte, Cornman & Johnson presented the 2012 district audit report Monday night.

The report showed General Fund revenues increased by $2.67 million in fiscal year 2012 and expenditures increased by $2.55 million. The district solvency ration, which is the unassigned fund balance divided by revenues (minus AEA flow-through funds) increased to 6.94 percent from 6.21 percent in 2011. Board President Sherm Welker noted the Board’s new financial planning committee has set a goal of increasing the solvency ratio to between 8 and 10 percent.

The audit had some recommendations for the district, including segregation of duties, making sure all contract changes and fundraisers are approved by the board and the Board president signs all contracts.

NOTES FROM THE SCHOOL BOARD

By Sherm Welker, Board President

Tonight the MCSD Board had a safety and security briefing from staff and Chief Tupper on our district buildings and policies. We will continue to train and educate our staff and students on the latest standards being developed on violent intruder procedures. As Chief Tupper stated, we have fire and tornado drills even though the last loss of life for fire in a school happened in 1958, and tornado loss in in 1978. We need to actively train for violent attacks as they are predominately a much larger threat in today’s world. We will continue to coordinate our procedures with local law enforcement so they will know what we are doing should they be called to respond. We are encouraged that our local officials have our security at the paramount of their thoughts and actions.

We are very fortunate to live here in Marshalltown and for years have seen living in the Midwest as a “safe haven” free from the tragedies we see in the news. We can no longer depend on the safety of our location and must prepare for the worst case. While the district has always had a plan for such an occurrence, many thoughts and procedures have changed since the latest tragedies have taken place.

As always, this is a great place to live and raise our families. We will strive to keep our policies strict to the possibilities, but gentle to those we are privileged to educate and serve.

NOTES FROM THE SUPERINTENDENT

By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

While Federal and State officials publicly grapple over issues such as sequestration and allowable growth, our local Board of Education has diligently focused on developing a budget for the 2013-2014 school year. Instructional Support Levy and Budget Guarantee resolutions have been approved, the budget will be presented as an informational item on March 18, and both Public Hearing and Budget Adoption will occur April 1. As other elected officials struggle for control, it is reassuring to see MCSD board members work closely together to provide the best possible education for the students and families of our community.

I encourage everyone to attend the Marshalltown High School Community Open House on Thursday, March 7, from 5:00-8:00 pm. The fourth annual MHS Community Open House is a project of MHS Parent Networking to showcase our great students and school to community members – especially those who may have limited contact with Marshalltown High School.

POLICY

Second Reading

703.4/E – Fiscal Management – Performance Measures, adopted as amended.

First Reading

403.1 – Employee Physical Examinations, add paragraph on blood-borne pathogens, waive second reading.

403.4 – Hazardous Chemical Right to Know, add “or designee” after superintendent, waive second reading.

403.5 – Harassment – Employees, add “or designee” after superintendent, waive second reading.

703.5 – Finance Committee, waive second reading.

Initial Review

403.6/E/R – Substance-Free Workplace, mark reviewed.

404.1/R – Employee Appearance, mark reviewed.

PERSONNELClick here.

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