Vol. 13 | Issue 14

18 Mar

View PDF version here.

R.S. Stover presented the District with a check for $5,000 Monday to support the implementation of Project Lead the Way at Marshalltown High School.

R.S. Stover presented the District with a check for $5,000 Monday to support the implementation of Project Lead the Way at Marshalltown High School.

Huegel next MHS activities director

Craig Huegel will be the next activities director at Marshalltown High School.

Read more here.

Board reviews proposed budget

The Board reviewed the proposed district budget for 2013-2014 Monday.

The budget is based on zero percent allowable growth and the 1 percent budget guarantee. Since the state legislature has not set allowable growth for the next year, the budget is based on “worst case scenario”. Finance Director Kevin Posekany told the Board this uncertainty was also the reason for a 30-cent increase per $1000 valuation in property taxes to $17.84. He said the Board could always go back and reduce the tax levy after the state sets allowable growth, but they cannot go back and increase them, which is why it is set higher to start. He told the Board once allowable growth is set they should be able to reduce the tax levy back to 2012-2013 levels.

The Board will vote on adopting the budget at the April 1 meeting.

Four Oaks to provide intensive services for At-Risk students 

Four Oaks, a non-profit organization that provides a variety of educational and therapeutic services to At-Risk youth, will house three classrooms at Marshalltown Learning Academy beginning next year.

Matt Cretsinger, director of special services, told the Board about this partnership, which will include two conduct disorder settings and one therapeutic classroom to serve up to 35 students.

“It’s the best way to support our students,” Cretsinger said of the partnership. “They’re willing to adjust to what our needs are.”

Currently the District sends six students out of the district to receive the services Four Oaks can provide, the cost of which is $55,000 to $105,000 per student. Cretsinger noted that with outside placement the District has no say in the education provided and it makes for successful transition back into the regular school setting difficult. Many outside service providers are also closing or changing the scope of their services. Bringing Four Oaks to classrooms within the district means the students will receive the services they need using district curriculum and without the need for extended daily travel.

“[Students] have to be set up for success in an environment where they can learn,” Cretsinger said.

Four Oaks will provide three Special Education teachers, six youth counselors and one program coordinator. Cretsinger will oversee the program for the district. He says having the classrooms at MLA will also provide more opportunities for district staff to learn about intensive instruction.

“They want to be a partner to our district,” he said. “They want to meet our needs.”

The contract with Four Oaks is for one year, with the potential to review up to three years. The cost for the first year is $571,000, which will be covered by funds previously needed to enroll and transport students with outside service providers.

Superintendent Marvin Wade said having Four Oaks in district allows all students to receive services they need.


By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

The Board’s approval of a contract with Four Oaks will allow MCSD to provide specialized services to a select group of high need students within our District. Four Oaks will be housed in the same building as Marshalltown Learning Academy, but will serve a different group of students than MLA. MLA will continue its focus on assisting students who are at-risk of not graduating, while Four Oaks will serve up to 35 students who have conduct disorders or mental health therapeutic needs, and some students who are at-risk of expulsion. The addition of this program is one of many steps taken by MCSD to meet our objective of “providing a safe and supportive environment for learning.” I look forward to future reports about the success of Four Oaks and MLA in meeting this objective.


By Sherm Welker, Board President

Tonight we met our new Activity Director, Craig Huegel and family: wife, Jen; son, Andrew (6); and daughter, Kerigan (20 months).

Craig will be taking the lead of Athletics during a very critical time in our district as the new Roundhouse project starts this summer. He is highly qualified and will have full support of the administration and staff as he begins a new legacy here in Marshalltown. Many thanks to Tim Bell for his long and successful tenure here in Marshalltown with students, athletics, coaching and programs. As with all of the of the retirees, we attempt to replace their skills and abilities, and know that we create challenges and possibilities for new people to come here to our community and educational programs. Welcome to Craig and family!

The budget remains a big topic of our work on the Board. As many know, the legislature and Governor’s office have been debating education finding policy for over a year without much success. We are negotiating with our employees, setting budgets for expenses all without knowing if we will get any additional funding from the state. We all agree that education funding needs to be changed, but lack of action and disagreement will not help us get where we need to be anytime soon. We will keep you posted on our plan as this continues.

MHS activity ticket price raised

The Board approved increasing the price of high school activity passes for 2013-2014.

All season adult activity passes will increase $10 to $90. Senior citizen passes (age 62 and up) will also increase $10 to $50. The cost for employee and employee spouse passes increases $5 to $20. High school student passes will increase $5 to $45. Middle school student passes will increase to $40.

Passes for students in grades K-6, as well as district retirees will remain free.

Food service truck purchased

Food Service will purchase a new truck from O’Halloran’s in Altoona for $80,570.

Two bids were received for the truck. A second bid, from Freightliner, was $1,801 less than O’Halloran’s, but did not meet the specifications needed. The O’Halloran’s truck can also be serviced in Marshalltown.

Food service will sell its 1996 truck and use its 2000 truck as a backup. The new truck will be used for delivering breakfast and lunch to the elementary schools from the satellite kitchen at Marshalltown High School. Food Service Director Vickie McVey told the Board the truck delivers about 2,400 lunches daily.

Bus purchased from Hoglund

The District will purchase a 2004 32-passenger bus from Hoglund Bus Company for $22,000.

Transportation Director Don Meyer said the buss needed two thermal window panes replaced, but otherwise was in good working order and had been inspected by the district mechanic.

Purchase of the used bus saves $50,000-$60,000. The regular replacement schedule had plans to replace one preschool/special education bus and two 65-passenger buses 2013-2014, but there was a need for two of the smaller 32-passenger uses.

Purchasing the used bus now means the district will purchase one 65-passenger bus and an additional preschool/special education bus after July 1, 2013.

Two projects move into bid process

The District will send to bid two projects – an electrical upgrade at Marshalltown High School and the 1957 wing remodel at Miller Middle School.

The electrical upgrade includes underground conduit and conductors, new transformers and new secondary service and electrical panel boards. Work on this project is some of the infrastructure required to begin the Roundhouse renovation.

The Miller project includes remodeling 9,258 square feet on two floors, including classrooms and restrooms. The project will also add air conditioning to the 1957 classroom addition.

Both projects are part of the District Facilities Plan and will no go to the bidding process. Both are scheduled for completion before the start of the 2013-2014 school year.

PersonnelClick here.


Initial Review

405.2 Licensed Employee Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection, mark reviewed.

405.3 Licensed Employee Individual Contracts, modify to say contracts will be not more than one year.

405.4 Licensed Employee Continuing Contracts, mark reviewed.

405.5 Licensed Employee Work Day, mark reviewed.

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