May 4, 2015 board meeting

5 May

Pictured is an example of the type of Dell Chromebook that will be offered to students as an individual device at Marshalltown High School this fall.

Next wave of Digital Conversion

Jeff Weinberg, Dr. Susan Pecinovsky, Kyle Young, Pam Brewer-Michael and Jacy Large presented to the board a progress report on the Digital Conversion. The next wave in the Digital Conversion will see the district purchase 1,190 Dell Chromebooks as part of a 1:1 effort (individual student devices) at Marshalltown High School.

“Chromebooks have really hit their stride in the educational market,” Weinberg said.

The estimated cost per unit is $290. Two funding streams to support this are textbook adoptions funds and computer replacement funds. Young said teachers have thanked him at Lenihan Intermediate School, saying the Chromebooks are such an integral part of their classroom.

“They are pretty widely used,” Young said.

This was a non-action item on the agenda as they will now go out to bid.


Lenihan Intermediate School teacher Paul Sibbel talked to the board about the use of iPads in music instruction.

Instrumental Music iPad Integration Project

Paul Sibbel, Lenihan instrumental music instructor, gave a demonstration on the use of iPads in instruction, especially as a tool for evaluating his students. The board approved the bid for 48 Apple iPad Air2 64GB from Apple Inc. for $27,592. A Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation grant will pay 50 percent of the cost and the district will pay the other 50 percent of the cost.

Rogers Elementary Attendance Center Plan

Dr. Mick Jurgensen presented the annual attendance center plan for Rogers Elementary School. The school recently completed an IPI assessment on student engagement that showed Rogers met or exceeded numbers that are in line with effective schools.

“We are doing pretty well,” Jurgensen said.

Jurgensen presented results of this year’s Iowa Assessment in reading and math. Jurgensen said he was pleased with the work staff has done on student attendance rates. They have reduced the percentage of chronically absent students each year for the past five years at the school. The summer learning program Rogers University will enter the fifth year of a five-year grant this summer. Jurgensen said they are looking into other sources of funding to keep the program going in future years.

Teacher Leadership and Compensation System

Pecinovsky presented the 53 teacher leadership positions for this fall as part of the TLC system. The board approved the list. To view the list, click here.

School Handbooks for 2015-16

Lisa Koester presented handbooks for the elementary schools, Lenihan Intermediate School and Marshalltown High School to the board of approval for the 2015-16 school year. Also presenting for the elementary were Anel Garza from Woodbury, Mick Jurgensen from Rogers and Ronnie Manis from Anson.

Kyle Young and Liz Jurgensen presented with Mrs. Koester on the Lenihan handbook. Some minor changes were requested by the board and the handbooks for the elementary schools and Lenihan were approved.

Ken Hayes from MHS assisted with the high school handbook presentation. Hayes said they are not going to print the high school handbook for all students for next school year, but they will be put on the website and paper copies will be available at the high school office and library upon request. The MHS handbook was approved with minor changes by the board.

Eric Goslinga from Marshalltown Learning Academy presented the handbook for MLA, which is new to the school. Mr. Goslinga will come back to the board on May 18 to talk more about MLA. The board approved the handbook, minus the section of the dress code, which will come back to the board at a later date for approval.


The board approved the creation of the Johnson-Engel Scholarship Endowment in Engineering. This scholarship will be for MHS students heading to Iowa State University and was created by MHS graduates Dale and Janice Johnson.

The board also approved the contributed funds from anonymous MHS graduates who want to create a STEM camp for elementary students to attend.


905.9- Smoking in the School District facilities-  Changed to say use of tobacco prohibited on all school property Change title to “Smoking and Tobacco Use On School District Facilities” Will be brought back to board for approval.

705.9 – Death of a Student, Staff Member or Board Director (new policy)  – Strike last three sentences and be brought back to board.

For personnel items, click here.

From Board President Kay Beach

“For me, the highlight of tonight’s meeting was watching the faces of administrators from Lenihan, Miller and MHS as they described the excitement among their teachers over the impact of the 1:1 availability of computers in their classrooms.  Those faces were glowing with pleasure as they talked about improved student engagement in learning and the analytical/critical thinking skills they see growing in our young citizens of tomorrow.  Just imagine the possible positive impact of a generation of young leaders capable of creating new solutions to society’s oldest problems–who have truly been “empowered for citizenship in a changing world.” – Kay Beach

The next regular meeting of the board is at 5 p.m. on May 18

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