February 1, 2016 board meeting

2 Feb

Lindsey Upah, center, updates the board on the work of the Spread the Words-Read by Third community group at the Feb. 1, 2016 meeting. Also pictured at the table, from left, is Bettie Bolar, Karina Hernandez, Randy Wetmore and Emily Banks.

Spread the Words – Read by Third

Lindsey Upah, Emily Banks, Bettie Bolar, Karina Hernandez, Craig Van Pay and Randy Wetmore presented an update on the work of the Spread the Words – Read by Third group focused on improving literacy skills in youth.

Bolar talked about Munch and More, a summer reading program during the summer meals program. It started at Anson and has been added at Franklin and this year will go to Rogers.

“We get to share our love of reading and our love of books with these kids over the summer,” Bolar said.

Karina Hernandez from Mid-Iowa Community Action and coordinator for Rogers University, updated the board on this successful summer program. She reported third grade reading proficiency jumped to 82 percent in 2014-2015 from 58 percent 2013-14 in the Rogers program.

“That was our big success this year at Rogers University,” Hernandez said.

The group is still seeking funding for the 2016 summer for Rogers University as the grant funds that started the program have ended.

City Administrator Randy Wetmore talked about the work of the attendance task force, which works on cutting down chronic absence of students.

“We really work on trying to get the kids there every day,” Wetmore said.

Wetmore talked about attendance recognition meetings held at schools and the smiles he sees as students are awarded stickers for good attendance. It was noted that kindergarten tends to have the highest levels of chronic absence of the class levels.

Craig Van Pay of Mid-Iowa Community Action talked about school readiness goals and the importance of early childhood development. They have a community education campaign and neighborhood preschool camps as part of this effort.

District Preschool Coordinator Emily Banks talked about kindergarten teachers who partner with the programs to answer questions from preschool programs.

Budget Development Parameters

Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz and Superintendent Dr. Marvin Wade presented a budget update. The budget will depend on state funding and where employee groups settle with negotiations.

The budget for the 2016-17 fiscal year is due to the county by April 15.  Possible reductions will be discussed in the district in the coming weeks.

Roundhouse Update

MHS teacher and swim coach Mike Loupee and community member Tim Hoffman asked the board to consider naming the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse court after a Bobcat athletics legend to be announced at the Feb. 12 Roundhouse celebration.

Board policy indicates the person must be deceased to have a facility in his or her name, and the person Loupee and Hoffman want to honor is still living.

The policy indicates certain requirements of the policy can be waived at the board’s discretion if there is a gift. Loupee and Hoffman said they will raise $1,000 in donations as a gift. Their request to name the floor in honor of the Bobcat legend was approved by the board.

There will be a special Roundhouse celebration ceremony at the Feb. 12 basketball games against Ames, 51 years to the day after the first basketball game was played at the Roundhouse, which was also against Ames.

Meeting agenda

The meeting agenda was abbreviated to allow those in attendance the ability to caucus that night. The next regular meeting of the school board is scheduled for 5 p.m. Feb. 15 in district offices.


For personnel items, click here.

From Board President Bea Niblock

“The board had the opportunity to hear about the work of the Spread the Words—Read by Third! (RB3!) Committee. Lindsey Upah and the steering committee shared the work of this community partnership in its work to improve literacy skills of young children in Marshalltown.

RB3! has been in operation since Marshalltown was given the status of All American City in 2012. The RB3!’s plan to boost those literacy skills includes improving school attendance, building a solid foundation for school readiness and creating summer learning opportunities.

The work of this group is just one of the partnerships that the school district has with the community. It will take this “whole village” of Marshalltown to increase the literacy opportunities and growth of our young people.” – Bea Niblock


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