November 2, 2015 board meeting

3 Nov

Marshalltown High School Student Resource Specialist Scott Johannes spoke to the board along with MHS students who attended a recent Latino Youth Summit. Pictured are, front row, from left, Jenny Chavarria, Martha Ortiz, Johannes, Irene Castellanos and Luis Ledesma. Back row standing is Carlos Dorado.


Scott Johannes, Student Resource Specialist at Marshalltown High School brought students who took part in the Latino Youth Summit at the University of Iowa. Speaking at the meeting were Irene Castellanos, Jenny Chavarria, Carlos Dorado, Luis Ledesma and Martha Ortiz.

They talked about goals such as helping out in the community, learning more about colleges and careers and other activities they have planned. The group is tentatively named the MHS 4H Club and there is a focus on building leadership.

Lenihan Intermediate School Attendance Center Plan

Lenihan Intermediate School Principal Kyle Young presented the annual Attendance Center Plan from Lenihan to the board. He said they are focused on four main terms in their work at the school, which are: Connected, Accountable, Tolerant and Safe. (CATS).

“A lot of what we do is centered around these four terms,” Young said.

Young also shared 2014-15 Iowa Assessment scores and goals in literacy and math. He also spoke on the Lenihan Action Plan to boost student achievement.

Student Enrollment Count

Director of Human Resources Lisa Koester presented the certified enrollment figures for the 2015-16 school year. The report indicates there are 5,322 students in the district, which is down 65 students from the previous year. Koester said when looking at recent enrollment numbers, the district’s enrollment numbers are considered steady by the state.

There was also a lengthy discussion on open enrollment numbers, especially the open enrollment out figure.

To see more enrollment figures shared at the meeting, click here.

Sample Individualized Education Plan

Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger presented a sample Individualized Education Plan to the board to help them become more familiar with the work of teachers in special education. Each special education student in the district has an IEP to guide the district in providing services to meet their needs.

Strategic Action Plan

Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade gave an overview of the Strategic Action Plan. To view the plan, click here.

The plan process began with community meetings and other meetings to narrow the focus of the plan. The plan was approved in March 2012 by the board. The plan’s one main goal is to increase student achievement. Dr. Wade talked about the objectives under the goal and some of the indicators under these objectives.

The plan was originally set up to run through June 2015, but this past year it was extended one more year. The extension was due to state indicators to be released in the next year and the new state assessment to come on board next year.

Board Policies

310.4 – MCSD Organizational ChartThe policy was put on hold. At a future board meeting, the Central Office Administrators roles and responsibilities will be presented.

802.7-R- Energy Conservation GuidelinesChanges made on policy, more may need to be made, will be brought back.

504-14-R – Harassment – Student (Investigation Procedures) – Changes made, will come back at next meeting for first reading.

409.3R2 – Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave – Definitions.  – Marked as reviewed

504-32-R – Special Health Services for Students- Administrative RulesChanges made, to be brought back

Personnel items

For Personnel Items approved at the meeting, click here.


Andrew Potter, Communications Director, said the MHS girls will compete at the state swim meet this weekend at the Marshalltown YMCA-YWCA. Included in the state-qualifying group is Raechel Hannam who broke a school record in the 100 breaststroke last weekend in Johnston. Other state qualifiers include Emily Vest, Shakira Herrera, Zoe Beals, Taylor Hrabak and Lena Sporing.

Also, the MHS drama department will perform the fall play “Almost, Maine” this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. in the MHS/Community Auditorium.

From Board President Bea Niblock

At the end of each meeting we ask the question, “What have we done tonight to enrich the education of our students?”

Included in board member comments were a variety of things. Students who attended the Latino Youth Summit at the University of Iowa in October made a short presentation of the knowledge that they brought back to the district and how they were translating that into community service and exploration of careers. We hope that anyone who attends a training brings information back to our district that enriches what we do.

Also mentioned was the learning that occurs when volunteers work in our buildings – learning to the students and to the volunteers alike. A small group of Emerson/Fisher employees are reading with students at Lenihan Intermediate School. It’s a win-win situation with both students and volunteers being enriched. Volunteers in the buildings help spread the word into the community of the great learning that is going on each day.

What story can you share with the board about how our students’ lives are being enriched? – Bea Niblock

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