August 1, 2016 Board Meeting

2 Aug

Open House
There will be an open house to meet the several new administrators in the Marshalltown Community School District from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on August 16 in the team room of the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse. For more information on this event, click here.


New MHS Activities/Athletics Director Rollie Ackerman talks to the board during the August 1 meeting. Also pictured at the table, from left, is new Miller Associate Principal David Glenn, new Miller Principal Pat Rial and new Buildings and Grounds Director Brett Purvis.

New Administrator/Director Introductions
Several new administrators and directors introduced themselves at the board meeting on August 1 including Rollie Ackerman, David Glenn, Pat Rial, Brett Purvis, Anthony Spurgetis and Dr. Theron Schutte.
Activities/Athletics Director Ackerman said he is planning a fall sports kickoff with team scrimmages on August 19.
Glenn, the new associate principal at Miller Middle School, said his immediate goal will be to continue the work which has been started, especially with standards based grading and supporting PBIS.
Purvis comes from the Iowa Valley Community College District and is the new director of buildings and grounds. “I look forward to serving you,” Purvis said.
Pat Rial, new principal at Miller Middle School, comes from the associate principal post at Miller. He said project based learning and standards based grading will continue to be a focus.
“I’m excited to build on the positive relationships I’ve had at Miller,” Rial said.
Anthony Spurgetis, new director of human resources, arrived from Des Moines Schools.
“Very excited to be here, very excited about our new admin team,” Spurgetis said.
New Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said his welcome has been “unbelievable” in the community.
Dr. Schutte said he is excited to move forward this fall with crafting a renewed strategic plan for the district.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here. Spurgetis said one hire on this list, John Pelzer, has decided not to take the assistant football coach position.


Woodbury Teacher Librarian Sue Cahill, left, reports on the findings of the continuous learning calendar committee to the board. Also pictured giving the report at the table, from left, is Arlene McAtee, Karina Hernandez and Jenny Fisher.

Continuous Learning Calendar Committee Recommendation
Arlene McAtee and other members of the continuous learning calendar committee presented to the board including Sue Cahill, Jenny Fisher and Karina Hernandez.
Several other committee members were also in attendance.
The 18-member committee spent more than 14 months looking at the possibility of a continuous learning calendar or a balanced calendar in Marshalltown.
The majority of the committee (80 percent) recommended MCSD should move from a 12 week summer break to an 8 week summer break to help cut summer learning loss.
The committee also recommended the following: that the change be made gradually, to commit to the alternative calendar for no less than three years, intersessions created through an additional break time and some of the summer break be used in whole or in part for remediation and enrichment, have baseline data and measure changes over time.
McAtee said the committee members were all in agreement that the district consider having a broader community dialogue to get community input on this potential change.
The board had several questions for members of the committee regarding their research, which was extensive with school districts that have implemented a balanced calendar out of state. No current Iowa school district is on a balanced calendar though some have certain buildings on a type of calendar like this.
Dr. Schutte gave some background on a school that used a balanced calendar in Bettendorf.
“It most helps a challenged demographic population,” Schutte said.
Dr. Schutte asked about whether this calendar is feasible at the state level, according to Iowa Code.
McAtee said they talked with legislative advisors and weren’t told exactly that they couldn’t do this.
“We were given the impression that it was possible to do this,” McAtee said.
The board thanked the calendar committee for their many months of work and meetings.

Next step
Board President Bea Niblock said the next step is for the board to take this information and work with the central office cabinet to provide for focus groups at the community level. President Niblock said there is a need to investigate together and move out in the community for a broader community perspective on this issue before making any decision to pursue this type of calendar.

To view the report from the committee, click here.

Operations/Maintenance Report
New Buildings and Grounds Director Brett Purvis gave a brief update on his department as we are three weeks away from the start of school on August 23.
“We look very capable of hitting all of our goals,” Purvis said as they get ready for the start of school.
Purvis said he is working to get the grounds of the schools looking better.
“We kind of like to pick up the curb appeal,” Purvis said of the appearance around schools.

Board Policies
204.6 – Notice of Board Meetings – Marked at reviewed, check on legal reference
204.7 – Quorum for Meetings – Marked as reviewed
204.8 – Rules of Order – Marked as reviewed
204.9 – Agenda and Order of Regular Business Meetings – Marked as reviewed
204.10 – Community Participation in Board Meetings – Marked as reviewed

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The board had the opportunity to hear from the continuous learning calendar committee at Monday’s board meeting. The committee, made up of educators and community people, had worked for 14 months to interview school districts which used the continuous calendar model and to do the necessary research on summer learning loss and other pertinent topics.
The recommendation, from the majority of the committee, was to encourage MCSD to move from a 12 week summer break to an 8 week summer break. This would create short intersessions during the school year to be used for remediation and enrichment. It was recommended that the change be made gradually and methodically.
The board accepted the committee’s research and data and agreed to work with the Central Office cabinet to further investigate the possibility for such a move in the district. This would include community focus groups to gather the impressions and opinions of a broader segment of the community. Watch for further information on this process from the MCSD Board of Education.” – Bea Niblock

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