Archive | July, 2013

Vol. 14 | Issue 1

15 Jul

View PDF version here.

K-3 Innovative Grants for At-Risk Students awarded to four schools 

Iowa Department of Education grants totalling $280,736 will assist with funding summer programs and other educational supports at four elementary schools next year.

Anson, Hoglan, Rogers and Woodbury elementary schools will each receive $70,184 in funding. The four buildings were eligible to apply for the K-3 Innovative Grant because of Free and Reduced Meal numbers.

Anson and Hoglan will use the funds to create summer programs similar to Rogers University. Rogers, which has separate grant funding for its university program, will use the Innovative Grant to fund a certified teacher to provide additional literacy support during the school day.

Woodbury Elementary will continue to use grant funding to support bilingual staff in kindergarten and first grades with increased instructional opportunities for Spanish-speaking and English Language Learners.

“Once you have an opportunity to participate in this grant the history would tell us you have a very good opportunity to receive it again,” said Dr. Susan Pecinovsky, associate superintendent for student achievement.

Six CTE strands offered at MHS

Marshalltown High School offers six strands of Career and Technical Education (CTE) as defined by the Iowa Department of Education, but the programs and course offerings go far beyond the areas defined by the state.

Dr. Susan Pecinovsky, associate superintendent for student achievement, reported on CTE programs as part of a Strategic Action Plan update to the Board Monday evening. She told the Board MHS offers a number of courses that fall under some of the CTE departments and designations, but may not fit into a specific strand as defined by the DOE. An example of that is Financial Literacy, a Business Department course that teaches essential 21st Century skills, but doesn’t fit into the defined business strand. Other CTE strands include manufacturing engineering, drafting and design, family and consumer science, construction trades and marketing.

Project Lead the Way, which offers courses in engineering and biomedical studies, also doesn’t fall under the state definition of CTE offerings because the teacher is certified in science, not CTE.

Last year MHS had 454 students considered CTE “concentrators”, meaning they had completed three semesters of coursework in one CTE strand. There were 57 students considered “completers”, meaning they’d completed six semesters of CTE classes.

Pecinovsky said the next steps for the District include clarifying the purpose of the CTE Advisory Committee, which is made up of parents, students, teachers and administrators. The committee will provide recommendations to the Board about CTE programs.

Strong partnerships evident in MCSD

District administration provided updates on Strategy 4 of the Strategic Action Plan Monday evening.

Strategy 4 focus on strong partnerships, looking to “collaborate with parents, community and business leaders to support increased student achievement.” A collaborative attitude is strong in Marshalltown, according to administrators, who cited many examples including the Teach Them to Swim program with Lenihan Intermediate and the Community Y, work with Iowa State University to develop STEM programming (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), work with the University of Northern Iowa Jacobson Center to improve literacy and create demonstration classrooms in every elementary school, and the continued work of the Marshalltown Business Education Alliance.

Much of this work will continue in 2013-2014, as the MBEA begins examining the Strategic Action Plan for both MCSD and Marshalltown Community College and the STEM implementation gets underway with Project Lead the Way. Other work to begin in 2013-2014 are the demonstration classrooms set up through work with the Jacobson center, investigation into the possibility of online payment and registration systems for families, and the development of a DVD highlighting Marshalltown Schools.

PLTW classroom bid awarded

The Board voted 5-1 to approve work on Project Lead the Way classrooms at Marshalltown High School.

Hay Construction will complete the project, which will cost $540,600. This was the second time the project has gone to bid. The first time bids returned significantly higher than architect estimates. The project was retooled and sent to bid again, though the second round also produced higher bids than anticipated.

Board Member Jason Jablonski cited concern with these discrepancies, saying he couldn’t vote to approve the project unless he knew money was available to fund it. He also cited concern with the project not being in the District Facilities Plan.

The Board agreed to meet in August to review the Facilities Plan, including updating cost estimates to align with current economic influences.

Substantial completion is slated for mid-October.


By Sherm Welker, Board President

This evening the Board was given the “state of the district transportation department” report. This past year, MCSD operated 95 vehicles, traveled 100,000 miles, performed daily services on 39 different routes, and transported teams, clubs, and field trips for over 2500 special events. We value their experience, professional driving abilities, and thank all of you for the safe transport of our most valuable assets here at MCSD.

In late May of 2013, we experienced flooding events that limited our ability to transport north of the Iowa River. Many of the road and bridge closings were occurring on a daily, hourly, and minute by minute basis and we thank the City, County, and Iowa DOT for helping us keep safe travel at the paramount of our efforts. The staff, students, and families were also very adaptable with each changing condition and notification. We will have an emergency plan ready for the upcoming year should road and bridge closures hamper our bus routes in the future. More details will be announced as the new school term approaches.


By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

This evening’s meeting included reports about increased opportunities that will be available to our students during the 2013-2014 school year. Project Lead the Way will be expanded into Marshalltown High School and elementary schools will be able to increase services for at-risk students because MCSD was able to obtain over $280,000 in additional grant funding. The Board also heard about a critical component for the success of our students – efforts to increase collaboration between the school district and the Marshalltown community. These efforts -and others that are already underway- will allow us to surpass the successes of 2012-2013 during the coming year. I hope everyone is having an enjoyable summer and look forward to seeing staff and students return in August.

Contracts approved for paras, B&G

The Board ratified contracts with district paraprofessionals and buildings and grounds Monday evening.

The para contract includes a new wage scale based on job classification and years of service. All existing fringe benefits remain unchanged. The total package increase comes to 3.55 percent, or $108,000.

The B&G contract there will be no regular wage increases, but two additional steps will be added to the wage scale and the amounts of each step will be increased, ranging from 10 cents per hour to 40 cents per hour.

Health insurance will remain the same, with District paying 100 percent of individual and 68 percent of family coverage. The total package increase for the B&G contract is 3.6 percent.


Initial Review

411.1 Definition of Classified Personnel, marked reviewed, mark reviewed
411.2 Classified Employee – Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection, tabled until Aug. 5
411.7 Evaluation, mark as reviewed
411.9 Terms of Employment, mark as reviewed
412.1 Salary Schedule, change to include paraprofessionals and bus drivers/monitors

PERSONNELClick here.