Vol. 14 | Issue 2

5 Aug

Digital Conversion on schedule

The District is moving forward with its Digital Conversion initiative and the work continues to gain momentum.

Digital Conversion is the initiative to bring Samsung Chromebooks into classrooms and integrate technology into learning. In January 2014 all Grade 7-12 science classrooms and all third and fourth grade classrooms will be outfitted with Chromebooks for students, with access to a wide variety of learning tools.

LogoJeff Weinberg, director of information technology, told the board the infrastructure necessary to make Digital Conversion possible is nearly complete, with the new fiber optic network in place since February and work on the dense wireless network 95 percent complete.

Weinberg reported that Monday afternoon the District increased its Internet capacity from 60MB to 200MB.

“It grows year-to-year anyway, but this is a big jump,” Weinberg said.

The District purchased 1,500 Chromebooks and will spend the first semester training staff and preparing for implementation in second semester. Dr. Pecinovsky, associate superintendent for student achievement, said if teachers feel prepared for early implementation they’ll have the opportunity to do so.

“We can use technology as a way to personalize learning,” said Superintendent Marvin Wade. He told the Board the District is continuing to explore options for funding more technology and increasing access, including a possible application for Race to the Top funding.

Special Education Committee approved

The Board approved a committee of teachers, AEA 267 representatives, and parents to provide feedback on the District Special Education Service Delivery Plan.

The plan, which is reviewed every five years, will be later posted online for a period of public comment before the committee makes final recommendations to the Board.

Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL)

On Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2013, voters in the Marshalltown Community School District will be asked to vote on the renewal of the PPEL program which allows school district across Iowa to collect revenue for specific uses within their district.

In MCSD, PPEL has been used for a number of projects over the course of the years, including:

–       Playground resurfacing

–       Bobcat Boulevard

–       Roof replacements

–       Parking lot improvements

–       Bus replacements

–       Technology infrastructure upgrades

–       Classroom remodeling

The levy cannot be used for staff salaries or supplies.

Renewal of the PPEL will not increase property taxes. The district is asking for approval to continue the voter-approved rate that has been in place for the past 10 years so that we may continue to fund maintenance and upgrades to district facilities. The current rate is $0.67 per $1,000 of taxable property valuation.

The current levy expires June 30, 2016. The voter-approved PPEL program provides approximately $676,000 per year for district upgrades and maintenance.


By Sherm Welker, president

MCSD has requested a vote on renewal of the PPEL for 2016-2026 during our upcoming school district board election. The PPEL (Physical Plant Equipment Levy) has been in place for many years and allows the district to purchase buses, equipment, and pay for building maintenance and improvements (such as new roofs, door replacement, window repairs, etc). Currently the district receives 67 cents per $1000 of valuation on property within the district. We are requesting the same amount of PPEL be extended so that we can provide quality facilities / equipment and continue with district improvements. The election and vote is scheduled for Sept. 10, 2013, and MCSD will have several information meetings to discuss the district plan for physical improvements at those meetings. We will announce the location and schedule at a later date and appreciate the feedback and comments from the constituents that can attend.


By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

The board meeting included a discussion about conducting a review of MCSD facilities to ensure highest priority needs will be met in the near future and that cost estimates are updated to current market rates.  It is anticipated that this review/revision can be completed quickly (by Sept. 23, 2013) because a great deal of work was already done for the long-term Capital Improvement Project List in July 2012 and the short-term Facilities Plan approved by the Board on Oct. 15, 2012. We look forward to this “management audit” as an important component of our overall strategy for continuous facility improvement.


First Reading

412.1 Salary Schedule, changed to add paraprofessional, approved.

Initial Review

411.2 Classified Employee – Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection, change to say all applications are made online.
412.3 Insurance, initial review.
412.4 Annuities – Classified, mark reviewed.
413.2 Retirement, correct policy reference numbers.
413.3/E/R Termination or Suspension of Classified Employees, include paraeducator contract.

PersonnelClick here. 

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