Vol. 14 | Issue 11

20 Jan

Bobcat marching band vies for spot in Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

The Marshalltown High School Marching Band should know this spring if it’s heading to New York City in 2015. The band is applying to participate in the 2015 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

“This band does a wonderful job when they travel of making all of us look good,” said Bret Lee, director of bands. “They have on every trip I’ve been on.”

Lee said the application is due March 1, with notification coming in May. The trip will be 7-9 days. If they aren’t selected for Macy’s the band will be able to participate in the Fiesta Bowl Parade in Arizona over New Year’s 2015-2016.

“We almost have a standing invitation to the Fiesta Bowl thanks to the great tradition started by Jerry Ellingson,” Lee said.

The trip will cost approximately $1,500 per student. There have been two fundraisers already and more will be scheduled between now and the trip. Lee said they have always worked to make sure every student who wants to participate and who participates in fundraising is able to make the trip, even if they are unable to raise the entire amount.

Tullis shares update on Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative

For the past five years Marshalltown Schools have been part of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative, a $5.6 million Federal grant addressing “social, emotional and behavioral barriers to learning.”  As the District approaches the end of funding June 30, 2014, program director Matt Tullis shared an update with the Board Monday night highlighting the programs and positions funded through SS/HS and District’s next steps.

Since 2009 SS/HS has funded a variety of programs and services focusing on five areas:

  • Safe school environments and violence prevention
  • Alcohol and drug prevention
  • Student behavioral, social, and emotional supports
  • Mental health services
  • Early childhood social and emotional learning

Among the items were a district-wide security audit and the installation of security cameras at Miller Middle School and Marshalltown High School, 10 full-time Learning Supports Specialists, funding for mental health and substance abuse prevention and counseling, YWCA/YMCA Youth Outreach staff, early childhood PBIS coordinator and life skills curriculum and Aggression Replacement Training. The grant also funded a full-time director and project evaluator.

Tullis said the grant has allowed more students to receive more social and emotional supports, noting that 891 students received school-based mental health services during the 2012-2013 school year. The grant has also strengthened community partnerships and helped put in place support teams, ART teams, and support district initiatives like PBIS.

The District must now determine how these supports and services look after grant funding ends. Tullis noted that some services, like contracting mental health with Center Associates, were in place before the grant period, so it could be a matter of reassessing how much time is funded. It’s also a matter of determining the roles of current staff and how duties are aligned as the funding for the Learning Supports Specialists ends. Dr. Marvin Wade, superintendent of schools, told the Board there were many options they could look at, but the much of it will come down to determine how to use the resources (funds, people, etc.) to meet student needs.

Board approves continuing Instructional Support Levy

The Board approved continuing the Instructional Support Levy for another year. The levy provides support for general fund programs. In Marshalltown Schools the primary use is for the purchase of textbooks and related instructional materials, funding the student information system, funding building budget allocations, and information technology. The levy is an additional funding amount equal to ten percent of regular program costs (approximately $1.9 million for the 2013-2014 school year).

Framed copies of U.S. Constitution donated to MHS classroom

The Board accepted three framed copies of the United States Constitution given by Eileen Sudenga. The framed historical documents will be displayed is Mrs. Hovel’s government classroom at Marshalltown High School.


By Sherm Welker, Board President

Tonight the Board started the annual budget process with a work session following our business meeting. We reviewed new data for increased student count, open enrollments, increased State of Iowa per student funding, and our projected costs for the current and next school year.

Property assessments show a significant decrease in property values and will also need to be part of the formula for next year’s funding. Many of the pieces for funding are in place so we can begin the process of negotiating labor contracts, and eventually certifying the budget in April as mandated by Iowa code.


By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

Monday’s Board of Education meeting included a presentation by Director of Equity and Learning Supports Matt Tullis about the Safe Schools and Healthy Students Initiative Grant.

For the past four years this grant has supported MCSD efforts to remove obstacles that make it difficult for students to learn – barriers such as substance abuse, violence, and unmet mental health needs. The grant allowed us to strengthen our system of learning supports in many ways that will benefit students and families long after the grant goes away, though much remains to be accomplished.

Our Board is concerned about the well-being of all students and is fully aware that many of our students continue to have significant social, emotional and behavioral challenges that impact their ability to learn. With the Safe Schools/Healthy Students grant ending June 30, 2014, Monday’s budget work session was an important first step toward continuation of learning support services within the constraints of a leaner budget – a reality we’ve planned for since the grant was received in 2009.


First Reading

502.9 Gangs, approved.
502.10 Weapons, approved.

Initial Review

503.1 Student Government, mark reviewed.
503.2 Student Organization, will compare with IASB policy.
503.3 School Publications, look into regulations related to this policy.
503.4 Social Events, mark reviewed.
503.5 Intramural Activities, mark reviewed.
503.6 Interscholastic Competition, need to compare with MHS handbook to ensure consistency.
503.7 Attendance at Events Outside of School, bring back for first reading.
503.8 Student Honors and Awards, bring back for first reading.
503.9 Activity Ticket Funds, mark reviewed.
503.11 School Sponsored Camps, mark reviewed.
503.12/R Private Activity Camps, mark reviewed.

PERSONNEL – Click here and here.

The next regular meeting will be Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, at Anson Elementary. A tour of the building will begin at 5pm and the meeting will be called to order at 5:30pm.

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