Archive | December, 2015

December 21, 2015 board meeting

22 Dec

Extended Learning Program teacher Deb Christenson talks to the school board about the Hour of Code at the Dec. 21 meeting. Also presenting to the board were Franklin fourth grade students Adrian Juarez, left, and Ava Lucas.


Extended Learning Program Teacher Deb Christenson and Franklin Elementary School fourth graders Adrian Juarez and Ava Lucas presented on the Hour of Code. Elementary students throughout the district took part in the computer coding earlier this month. Adrian and Ava conducted a demonstration for the board on coding.

For Personnel items, click here

Iowa School Report Card

Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade talked about the Iowa School Report Card, which was called for by the 2013 Legislature.

The card was released by the Iowa Department of Education last week via a website (click here for website). He went over the format of the site and how much of the information can be accessed.

“There’s a lot of data on the report cards,” Dr. Wade said.

Dr. Wade said the next step is to figure out how to use this information for the continuous improvement throughout the district.

Super News

Dr. Wade gave his regular overview of his activities, which included dozens of meetings in the schools and community.

Urban Education Network and Iowa Association of School Boards Annual Conference

Dr. Wade, board member Sean Heitmann, and Board President Bea Niblock spoke about their experience at the conference, which was held in November.

Instructional Support Levy

Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz said the Instructional Support Levy has been approved every year. This resolution is proposed for five years.This generates over $2 million a year to be used for general fund purpose. A public hearing on this levy is planned for the Jan. 18 meeting. The board approved the resolution to support the Instructional Support Levy and move forward. 

Board Room Audio and Visual

Director of Buildings and Grounds Rick Simpson and Architect Dave Schulze presented on this topic to make visual and sound improvements in the board room. Two companies submitted proposals for the project. The recommended action from the architect was a total contract award of $65,250 to Tri-City Electric Company of Davenport, Iowa.

The motion for approval died for lack of a second from the board. Buildings personnel were asked to make some adjustments on the cost to bring it down. There was also a concern from some board members that only four board members were in attendance Monday and they haven’t seen a recent facilities plan. There is a plan to have a special board work session to learn more about the facilities plan.


905.1 – Community Use of School Facilities – Last two paragraphs on ICN need to be deleted, will be brought back.

905.1-R1 – Application for Use and Approval – Marked as reviewed.

905.1-R2 – Fees for Use of School Facilities – Increases in hourly rate schedule, will be brought back to board.

905.1-R3 – Regulations for Use of School Facilities – Proposed additional items, to come back.

905.1 –R4 – ICN Room Use Regulations – Policy eliminated by board. (no longer in use in district)

201.8 – Vacancies – Iowa Code language added to policy, to be brought back.

From Board President Bea Niblock

“We find ourselves a day away from winter break – a well-deserved respite from the work that each of you do each day. Travel safely on your journeys and come back to us rested and ready to tackle the challenges and joys that each day brings.

May each of you find the peace and tranquility that this season offers. Wishing all of you a joyous holiday and the most memorable of new years.” – Bea Niblock

December 7, 2015 board meeting

8 Dec

Miller Middle School Counselor Angie Radcliffe speaks to the board on Dec. 7 about why she nominated Marshalltown High School Counselor Lydia Arevalo, left, for the Iowa High School Counselor of the Year Award.



Marshalltown High School Counselor Lydia Arevalo was recognized by the board for her Iowa High School Counselor of the Year award from the Iowa School Counselor Association. Arevalo was nominated for the award by Miller Middle School Counselor Angie Radcliffe, who was also in attendance at the meeting.

“She goes above and beyond for (students) a lot ,” Radcliffe said of Arevalo.

For Personnel items, click here.

Included in the personnel items was the retirement of Becky Judge as attendance secretary. She has been with the district for 11 years

“We will miss what she’s done for the students of our district,” said Director of Human Resources Lisa Koester.

Rogers Elementary School Attendance Center Plan


Dr. Mick Jurgensen presented the annual attendance center plan from Rogers Elementary School to the board. 

Principal Dr. Mick Jurgensen presented his annual report on Rogers Elementary School to the board. The two main goals at the school include increasing reading and math achievement. The school is also heavily involved in Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP)

“A culture of SIOP definitely does exist at Rogers,” Jurgensen said.

While the grant for Rogers University (summer program) has ended, the school and other community partners are looking at ways to continue the successful program into year 6.

Jurgensen described the Rogers staff as unified, dedicated and hard-working. “We are completing our 137th year at Rogers with optimism and energy,” he said.

Teacher Leadership and Compensation

Dr. Susan Pecinovsky shared the new website for TLC, which is in progress. It will be linked from the Marshalltown Schools website.

The goal of TLC is to increase student achievement by strengthening instruction and retaining highly-qualified teachers.

Pecinovsky said the district would not be as far as we are in professional learning without TLC.

Vision Marshalltown

Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade talked about this community group, which has formed to take Marshalltown to the next level in many ways. The overriding theme of the group is “Marshalltown is primed for growth, ready to emerge and position for success.”

The Vision Statement of the group includes…

By the year 2020, Marshalltown will:

  1. Showcase exceptional educational opportunities.
  2. Offer a wide array of housing options and opportunities for families to reinvest in neighborhoods.
  3. Have and convey a culture of pride and respect, with a reputation as a great community in which to live, work and play.

The school board members voiced their support for this Vision Marshalltown group, which also includes School Board President Bea Niblock.

Urban Education Network and Iowa Association of School Board convention report

The board shared reports of these meetings held last month. The new board members said much was learned at the convention.

Finance- Budget Cycle

Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz said the budget process is continuous. The certified budget is due April 15, 2016. He said the tentative approval date of the budget will be at the April 4, 2016 meeting.

Roundhouse Fundraising

Dr. Wade said the Design Advisory Committee met last week and talked about the Roundhouse Phase 2. Phase 1 of the Roundhouse is done and Phase 2 includes the building of an auxiliary gym and wrestling room.

Fundraising is ongoing for Phase 2.  The committee remains fully committed to moving ahead with Phase 2.

Fundraising co-chair Gary Schaudt gave the board an update and said they have raised $2.65 million of the $3.85 million for Phase 2

“We are about 70 percent to goal, we are continuing to fundraise,” Schaudt said.


504.14-E-3 – Harassment –Students (Student Handbook Provisions)- Changes accepted, waived second reading

409.3-E1- Licensed Employee Family and Medical Notice to Employees- Marked as reviewed

505.7 – Fee Waivers- Marked as reviewed

904.2 – Sales Promotion Prohibited- Marked as reviewed

905.1 – Community Use of School Facilities – Remove ICN paragaphs (last two paragraphs) – Policy will come back to the board

Board resignation

President Bea Niblock announced the resignation of board member Jennifer Wilson, effective immediately.

District Attorney Rex Ryden is in talks with the Secretary of State’s office to see how the district needs to proceed on filling this vacancy. Legislation that was passed this past year has changed this process.

Wilson served for six years on the school board and had two years remaining on her term second four-year term.

Next meeting

The next regular board meeting is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Dec. 21 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock

“At each board meeting a quote is presented for those in attendance to think about. Monday’s quote was from Carl Rogers. “The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.”

The Marshalltown Community School District board of directors is definitely learning. Six directors attended the Iowa Association of School Boards convention in Des Moines in mid-November. Three began sharing their learning with everyone at Monday’s meeting. Three more will share their learning at the next meeting.

It’s one thing to learn new information, but it’s even better when you can share that new learning with others. A wealth of knowledge is coming back to this district to make the Marshalltown district an even better place for staff and students.” – Bea Niblock