June 15, 2015 board meeting

16 Jun

Jeff Weinberg presented information to the board on the Dell Chromebooks heading to the high school this fall

Samsung Galaxy Tablets

Jeff Weinberg presented the bids for 170 new Samsung Galaxy Tab Education units, which will be used in kindergarten through third grade in the district and will be paid for by Microsoft settlement funds. He said the pricing was favorable. The board approved the bid of $42,857 from Global Gov/Education Solutions of Fletcher, OH.

Bid recommendation for Dell Chromebooks

Weinberg said the district also received favorable bids on the 1,190 Dell Chromebook units heading to the high school as part of the 1:1 next year, where all students will have access to their own Chromebook. The board approved the bid of $292,740 from Tierney Brothers, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn. The units will be paid for through technology funds and curriculum funds.

Urban Education Network

The board approved renewal for MCSD to be part of the Urban Education Network, which is made up of the largest school districts in the state. The membership fee is $5,000 a year in the UEN and it provides lobbying, networking and other learning opportunities for MCSD staff.

Discipline data for 2014-15

Lisa Koester presented the discipline data, which was mostly positive. She said the district continues to make good progress in decreasing in-school and out-of-school suspensions. Out-of-school suspensions dropped from 243 last year to 153 this past school year. Expulsions also remain lower than they were a few years ago. Koester said the district continues to look at ways to make students accountable for their actions, but still allow them time in school.

Strategic Action Plan Indicators for 2014-15

Dr. Marvin Wade led this discussion and matched Iowa Assessment scores on how they fall on 10 different indicators in the Strategic Action Plan. The numbers talked about included fourth, eighth and 11th grade proficiency, growth and accelerated levels in reading and math, attendance rates, students taking college level coursework, classroom engagement and more. To view the numbers, click here.

Legislative Priorities for 2016

The board talked about legislative priorities to submit to the Iowa Association of School Boards for work during the 2016 legislative session. The board selected eight from a list provided by IASB which they felt are important to the district. The list includes the following:

– Supports adequate and on-time funding for English-language learner (ELL) students until the students reach proficiency. (No. 4 on IASB list)

– Supports an increase in funding to ensure all 4-year-olds have access to a high quality public school preschool program. The increase should include transportation and facility development costs. We should continue to allow 4-year-olds to be included in the enrollment count if those programs can demonstrate meeting the collaboration and quality standards requirements of the statewide voluntary preschool program. (No. 6 on IASB list)

-Supports returning to three-year school board member terms with less than a majority of the school board elected in any one year. (No. 12 on IASB list)

-Children’s Mental Health System: Supports increased statewide access to and funding for mental health services for children. Students are struggling in school and there are not adequate resources, financial and human, for necessary services. It is often unclear whose role it is to provide the services and to provide funds for programming. Neither the education nor children’s mental health delivery systems have the resources to meet current needs. The legislature also needs to clarify roles and secure full funding.(No. 15 on IASB list)

-Supports setting supplemental state aid (replaces the term allowable growth): a. 400 days (or 14 months) prior to the certification of the school district’s budget; b. at the rate of 6 percent to encourage continuous school improvement and reflect the actual cost increases experienced by school districts and AEAs. Our priority is to increase the state cost per pupil and the spending authority associated with it to build a strong base for future education resources. (No. 17 on IASB list)

– Supports offering incentives to school districts to provide extended days and/or innovative calendars. School districts receiving these incentives will evaluate and determine the impact on student learning. (No. 25 on IASB list)

– Supports sufficient state revenues to adequately fund public education as Iowa’s number one priority. IASB opposes erosion of the existing tax base. IASB supports a full accounting every two years by state government of the costs of all exemptions, credits or deductions for the income tax, sales tax or property tax. Any proposed or existing tax credit must undergo an independent cost benefit analysis. (No. 28 on IASB list)

– Opposes any new mandate that does not provide sufficient and sustainable funding for successful implementation and supports the repeal of existing unfunded mandates. (No. 42 on IASB list)

Board President Kay Beach will work on getting the eight pared down to 5 for the next meeting, possibly combining some of them as well.

Click here for the full IASB priorities options available to the board.

MCSD Commitment to Equity

Matt Tullis gave an annual presentation as part of the Commitment to Equity. He said the Equity Advisory Committee met three times this school year. The committee wants to make sure the policies are made clear to the public. Tullis will work with the communications manager Andrew Potter on a clear link on the district website to access equity information. Tullis went through data and also presented the Affirmative Action Plan, which can be viewed by clicking here. He said one thing concerning in the data is there are 60 percent minority students in the district though only 6 percent of minority teachers. Tullis said the district continues to look at ways to recruit more minorities to MCSD. The board approved the plan.

Roundhouse progress report

Rick Simpson and other project personnel gave an update on this project. Susan Jones of CPMI said the majority of the Roundhouse work is completed. One hold up on the project is tile remediation, with new tile to take three months to install. Jones said the some of the seams on the roof were not installed as expected. It is the goal of all involved that the gym will be ready for volleyball season this fall.

Hoglan 2015 upgrades – Water and storm drainage control project

Rick Simpson and Dave Schulze presented bids received on the water and storm drainage control project at Hoglan Elementary School, which also will work to add cooling inside the school. The board approved the bid to Hay Construction of Marshalltown of $488,250. The board also approved an increase in the construction contingency from $24,415 to $85,000 on the project to replace aging furnaces if they are deemed in need of replacement, after a request to do so was made by board member Sherm Welker. Schulze said he will ask the HVAC subcontractor to assess the status of the furnaces and their condition, as originally the project called just to add cooling capability to them.

Board policy summary

Superintendent administrative assistant Marilyn Rhodes put together a listing of policies and the date in which they were last reviewed. It was recommended by Rhodes to delete policies no longer in the policy book such as: 205.2, 401.9, 403.2, 405.9, 406.2, 407, 903.6, 904.6 and 905.3. Board member Bea Niblock will work with Rhodes to make sure the policies online and in the book are updated and the right ones are deleted. They will also work to make sure the updated policies are kept in one main place.


Andrew Potter talked about the parent rallies featuring Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, which are June 23 and 24 at Marshalltown High School. They will be held from 5:30 to 8 p.m. in the media center and all are invited.

For personnel items, click here.

A work session followed the regular meeting to discuss administrative salaries. No action was taken by the board on the salaries.

From School Board President Kay Beach

“Tonight as we examined the 2014-2015 indicators from the district’s Strategic Action Plan, one fact was underscored for me: we have a very complex student population, and improving their test scores is often an uphill battle. But we ARE winning; our students ARE gradually becoming “intellectually empowered” as they grow into true and complete citizenship in this ever-changing world.” – Kay Beach

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