June 1, 2015 board meeting

2 Jun

MHS teacher Jocelyn Frohwein, left, talks to the board about her selection into the Belin-Blank Fellowship Program at the University of Iowa during a meeting on June 1.


MHS English teacher Jocelyn Frohwein talked about being selected for the Belin-Blank Fellowship Program, where she will study this summer for five days at the University of Iowa. There is also online work involved in the program. “I’m really excited about the opportunity,” she said.

Frohwein said she is excited to learn about new ways to extend learning for her students beyond just what is being taught in class.

Woodbury Elementary Attendance Center plan

Principal Anel Garza presented along with Woodbury staff members Sue Cahill, Tanda Stanton, Elizabeth Overstake, Mary Harris and Olivia Romero. The staff talked about several initiatives at the school including the dual language program, reader’s workshop, Spanish literacy standards, SIOP and parent involvement. At Woodbury, 295 of the 345 students are English Language Learners (86 percent). Also at the school 90 percent of students are on free and reduced meals. The staff was pleased to report that parent teacher conference attendance was 98 percent in both the fall and winter.

Marshalltown Learning Academy

MLA Administrator Eric Goslinga updated the board on the school. MLA has reconfigured and reshuffled space to allow MLA and Four Oaks to have more separation in the facility. He said they are continuing work with personalized learning for students and “diving deeper into that.” There is also increased cooperation with Iowa Valley Continuing Education, he said. Goslinga also talked about a proposed dress code for MLA, which he said could be implemented for the 2016-17 school year.

Open Enrollment Request

Parents of two MHS students wanted to open enroll out their students past the March 1 deadline for the 2015-16 school year. Dr. Marvin Wade said it’s a different standard for open enrollment after March 1. Parents proposed the pervasive harassment clause as a means to get their request approved, after incidents involving the students. Dr. Wade said he did not feel it met that pervasive harassment clause. The board did not approve the request from the parents by a vote of 4-3.

School Improvement Advisory Committee

Dr. Susan Pecinovsky presented to the board the Annual Progress Goals.

Meal Prices for 2015-16

All elementary breakfast and lunches will be for no charge based on the Community Eligibility Provision for next school year. There will be a 5-cent increase for breakfast and lunch for grades 5-12 for next school year. There will be a 15-cent increase for breakfast and 25-cent increase for lunch for adult meals. The board approved the new meal prices.

Cell Tower Revenue

The district is now receiving $ 2,300 per month from the cell tower lease, which is given to the schools on a per pupil basis. It has allowed funds for opportunities for students such as field trips. This was an information item and no action was taken.

Ratification of Salary Settlement for Teachers for 2015-16

Lisa Koester presented the salary settlement between the district and the Marshalltown Education Association for teacher contracts for 2015-16. She said negotiations went well. The agreement calls for an increase to the bachelor’s base of $475 from $31,615 to $32,090 (teachers start at step 5 and not at the base). Three extracurricular positions were added and two were deleted. The increase in the base salary and teacher’s advancing on the salary schedule equates to a 2.95 percent increase over current year’s cost. The board approved the settlement 6-0, with one abstention.

Budget Amendment

A public hearing for a budget amendment was held. Kevin Posekany presented the reasoning behind this budget amendment, which was approved by the board.

Board Polices

905.9 – Smoking and Tobacco Use on School District Facilities-  Approved as amended and waived second reading

705.9 – Death of a Student, Staff Member or Board Director – Adopted new policy

For personnel items, click here

The board went into closed session for the superintendent evaluation. The next regular board meeting will be at 5 p.m. on June 15.

From Board President Kay Beach

Tonight we celebrated the fact that the legislature finally agreed on a budget allocation for Iowa’s schools for the coming year! Although it is not as much as we had hoped for, it is at least a solid amount (we hope!) on which we can base our spending for the upcoming school year. We also celebrated an agreement between the district and the MEA on a salary package for the coming year – accomplished in near-record time. We are grateful to the negotiators on both sides- who all really had the same goal in mind: to nurture students to become personally and intellectually empowered for citizenship in a changing world. – Kay Beach

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