Archive | October, 2014

Vol. 15 | Issue 4

6 Oct

MHS graduate discusses internship in Nepal

Last year Marshalltown was honored to have two students selected for the World Food Prize International Internship Program. Before heading off to college this fall Abby Snyder returned to MHS to discuss her experience living and working in Nepal.

Board approves property purchases, demolition near Rogers Elementary

The Board approved purchasing four properties on the same block as Rogers Elementary School, the final steps in a multi-year process to make the entire block part of Rogers.

The four properties will be purchased for $214,800 and notices will go out for bids to demolish the houses. The district is also working with the city on closing an alleyway on the block. Dr. Mick Jurgensen, Rogers principal, the process began more than 12 years ago when a group of Rogers parents came together advocate for purchasing properties and making the entire block part of Rogers school. Several properties have been purchased and razed since that time and the four purchases approved Monday represent the final remaining properties.

Buildings and Grounds Director Rick Simpson told the Board the space will allow for adding adequate parking, green space, and room for growth. The school currently has a parking variance from the city because there are not enough spaces for the size of the building.

MHS leaders discuss work underway

Marshalltown High School leadership came before the Board Monday to discuss the many ways MHS is working to increase student achievement and make the school a safe, welcoming environment for students and staff.

This year 50 students are part of a 9th grade academy, placing a cohort of students in block classes for math/science and reading/social studies. Associate Principal Deb Holsapple said several of the students have told her they find great benefit in the structure.

Sophomores receive targeted interventions. Any student falling below a C- in language arts is case managed by classroom teachers. For math, low proficiency students receive support in the Math Center.

The 8th Hour Program is held Monday and Tuesday 4-6pm, featuring core instruction in English, math, science and social studies, as well as a component recovery option. A drop-in extended day program is held 3:30-5pm Monday, Tuesday and Thursday and 2:30-4pm on Wednesdays. Held in the learning center, this program offers tutoring and computer accessibility for classwork or online courses.

MHS also offers the Academic Support Center (ASC) for core instruction support and study skill development and Egenuity, online coursework focused on credit recovery.

A student resource specialist, social worker and juvenile court liaison work with students and families to provide support, wrap-around services, and alternative programming when appropriate.

MHS is now in year two of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS), strengthening the Tier I foundation and building a system of Tier II supports.

See the full presentation online.

District purchases two maintenance vehicles

The Board approved purchasing two 2015 Ford F250 4×4 trucks from Jensen Ford in Marshalltown for a total price of $45,678.

The trucks will replace a 1994 suburban and a 1995 pickup truck.


By Kay Beach, President

Occasionally I find myself in the midst of a group of people who are discussing a subject about which I know almost nothing. I can nod my head and pretend to understand; but pretty soon I mentally “check out,” and my mind leaves the room. This is essentially what happens in a classroom when a student is unable to relate what is being taught to anything in his/her mental database. This evening two of the district’s TLC coaches (who are funded through a Teacher Leadership & Compensation grant) told us about the efforts they are making to help our teachers bridge that gap between what their students know/understand and what those students are supposed to be learning. The gap may be caused by a language barrier or simply a lack of experience-based vocabulary. The coaches’ dedication to continually improving the quality of teaching in all of our classrooms and the passion with which they spoke about the importance of training superior teachers was truly inspiring. I am compelled to borrow a statement which I often hear Dr. Pecinovsky use: “This is good work!”


First Reading

703.3 Preparation of the Working Budget Document, approve as amended, waive second reading.

Initial Review

701.5 Post-Issuance Compliance Policy for Tax-Exempt Obligations, changes coming in January – mark reviewed for now.
704.5 Tuition Fees, add line reflecting other programs with tuition fees.
704.6 Educational Material Fees, mark reviewed.
705.1/R Purchasing, mark reviewed.
705.3/R Requisition and Purchase Order, mark reviewed.
705.4 Receiving Supplies and Equipment, mark reviewed.
705.5 Approval and Payment for Goods and Services, mark reviewed.
705.6 Unpaid warrants, mark reviewed.
301.4 Evaluation of the Superintendent, changes based recommendations at the state level, bring back for first reading.

PERSONNELClick here.