Vol. 14 | Issue 17

19 May

Donations accepted for Project Lead the Way

Alliant Energy and DEIMCO Finishing Equipment each presented the District with checks Monday night supporting Project Lead the Way.

Kirk Shirar presented a check for $6,000 from DEIMCO and David Vollmar from Alliant Energy presented a check for $5,000.

Middle school pair headed to National History Day

Miller Middle School students Victoria Johnson and Jacqueline Wahl are heading to the nation’s capital next month to compete in the National History Day contest.

The students were recognized before the Board Monday evening along with Ann Jackson, Miller Extended Learning Program teacher. The Board also approved the duo’s out-of-state trip request to compete at nationals, which take place June 15-19, 2014, at the University of Maryland.

Read more about their exhibit here.

Preschool program shifts to 4-day structure

Marshalltown Community School District preschoolers will not have classes on Wednesdays starting this fall.

Emily Banks, district preschool coordinator, told the Board the change will provide for better teacher collaboration, time for Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings, and required home visits. It also alleviates some equity issues with Wednesday classes, as schools dismiss one hour early, so students in the afternoon preschool classes are at school a shorter amount of time than students in the AM sections.

Banks said this change, which was communicated through the registration process in April and during IEP meetings, has been well received since the short Wednesday afternoon classes have been a transportation and daycare headache for parents.

The State of Iowa requires preschool students receive 10 hours of instruction each week following the Quality Preschool Programming Standards. Class sizes are capped at 20 students. Marshalltown Schools has nine preschool classrooms with 18 sections, with classes held in the morning and afternoon.

First TLC positions filled

The Board approved hiring the first slate of teacher leadership positions Monday night as part of the Teacher Leadership Compensation Plan.

Marshalltown Community School District is in the first group of Iowa school districts selected to launch teacher leadership systems next school year.

Teacher leadership systems will allow teachers to work in greater collaboration with colleagues and school administrators to improve instruction and increase student achievement. Out of Iowa’s 346 school districts, 146 applied to start teacher leadership systems in 2014-15 and 39 were selected.

Marshalltown’s teacher leadership model includes model teachers, instructional coaches and curriculum and professional development leaders working together to support the District goal of increasing student achievement. Monday evening the Board approved hiring the instructional coaches and curriculum/professional development leaders.

Instructional Coaches

  • Anson: Kim Hurley
  • Hoglan: Lora Kester
  • Fisher: Jennifer August
  • Franklin: Melanie Knoll
  • Rogers: Sabrina Russell
  • Woodbury: Elizabeth Overstake
  • Lenihan: Erica Finders, Jenny Allen
  • Miller: Sammi Jo Luse, Cherilyn Reed
  • MHS: Dee Burt, Kristyn Kell

Curriculum/Professional Development Leaders

  • Elementary: Shauna Smith
  • Secondary: Pam Brewer-Michael

Instructional coaches will receive an additional $5,000 stipend and 10 additional contract days. Curriculum/PD leaders receive an additional $10,000 stipend and 15 additional contract days.

The District will next select model classroom teachers, who will receive a $2,000 additional stipend and 5 additional contract days.

Paraeducator contract approved

The Board approved a contact with the union representing paraeducators Monday.

The total package increase for 2014-2015 is 3.59 percent, approximately $113,000 in additional costs.

The agreement increases immediate family illness leave from two days to four, “for purposes of administering to the needs of sick minor children or dependent adult children.” The agreement also adds grandchildren to the list of immediate family for bereavement leave purposes.

The wage scale will be condensed from 27 steps to 15 and include an across-the-board increase totaling 3.59 percent.

Board moves forward with Miller locker room remodeling

The boys’ locker rooms at Miller Middle School will receive an upgrade this year. The Board approved a project to renovate the facilities, with work slated to being in late June and conclude in early October.

The project includes reinforcing the existing roof to accept new rooftop air handling and energy recovery units. The bulk of the existing locker rooms have not been remodeled since the 1960s, so most of the interior will be updated and made handicap accessible.

Construction costs are expected to be near $414,000.

While work is in progress a room near the gym will be converted to a temporary boys locker room.


By Sherm Welker, Board President

Tonight the Board approved the renovation plans for the Miller Middle School Boys Locker Rooms. Many remember the area where this renovation will happen and the need to upgrade the remaining areas of the 1927 building. We appreciate the time is has taken to do a full renovation at Miller and we are now closing on the final phase of work in the Auditorium.

The Roundhouse renovation is continuing even with weather delays from the past winter and spring. We are planning to close the building after graduation and have been told to expect the work complete about Thanksgiving of this fall. Please, bear with us as parking and access to the Roundhouse will be a challenge this graduation. We expect a spectacular result and air conditioning when the building reopens.


By Dr. Marvin Wade, Superintendent of Schools

The majority of staff are aware of the importance Marshalltown Schools places on improving the “instructional core”- the classroom environment where engaged students, quality teaching and challenging content combine to influence student success. Monday’s Board of Education meeting included an update on two opportunities to significantly influence the instructional core: Teacher Leadership and Compensation System, and Iowa Competency-Based Education Collaborative.

Teacher Leadership and Compensation allows Marshalltown Schools to expand leadership opportunities for teachers in ways that will accelerate district-wide implementation of Comprehensive Literacy Model and Sheltered Instruction, as well as alignment of curriculum with the Iowa Core.

Competency-Based Education (CBE) is a logical extension of our work in Common Unit Design because CBE promotes a shift from seat time and Carnegie Units to a focus on student progression at a rate consistent with the student’s individual learning needs. “Personalized learning” is one term often used in CBE.  Others are “anytime/anyplace,” “real world” and “24/7” learning. Regardless of which term is preferred, CBE will serve an important role in our Mission “to nurture students to become personally and intellectually empowered for citizenship in a changing world.”

Online payment option to be implemented next school year

Marshalltown Schools will be able to accept online payments for things like lunch accounts this fall.

The District has researched online payment and online registration options this year and reported its progress to the Board Monday night. Jason Staker, communications director, told the Board they had reviewed online payment systems, talked to other districts, and had presentations and discussions with vendors. There are a few more steps to take before the committee is prepared to select a single vendor for online payment, but Staker reported the consensus was a choice would be made and ready for implementation in the fall.

“Online payment was the first step,” Staker said. “It sounds like a simple thing, but in fact there are a lot of questions that go into it, including understanding bank accounts and how and where money is deposited.”

Staker told the Board online payments could be done without having online registration, but not vice versa. Online registration is the next item the group will address. Staker and David Stanfield, instructional design specialist, told the Board they will work with the registrar and Human Resources department in order to determine how best to implement an online registration component.

The committee that looked into online registration included Staker; Stanfield; Kevin Posekany, director of business operations; Jody Brintnall, business office manager; and Jeff Weinberg, director of information technology.


First Reading

402.6, 402.6R, 402.6R1 Social Media Responsibility, waive second reading.
602.3 Senior High School Curriculum, waive second reading.

Initial Review – Tabled until June 2 meeting.

PERSONNELClick here.

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