Archive | September, 2016

September 26, 2016 board meeting

27 Sep

Rogers Elementary School staff members Ann Soetenga, left, and Bill Roberts talked to the school board about the Rogers Garden project.

Rogers Elementary staff members Ann Soetenga and Bill Roberts presented about the Rogers Garden. Food from the garden was served to students and families during a special event on September 20.
The garden will be named after the late Martha Shibe during a dedication ceremony planned for the spring. Shibe lived in the Rogers neighborhood and was a big supporter of the school.

For personnel items approved, click here.

Public Comments
Matt Nevins, 7th grade math teacher at Miller Middle School, advocated for the reactivation of the early retirement incentive. Nevins said the early voluntary retirement incentive allows for savings for school district and a benefit to staff.
He said 92.5 percent of staff surveyed, who are Marshalltown Education Association members, said they were in favor of reinstating the early retirement incentive.

Voluntary Early Retirement Programs
The board held a discussion on the reactivation of this policy, which was recommended by Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.
Schutte said the timing is a problem as it’s hard to know budget-wise until the certified enrollment count date of October 15. Schutte said next year the district would look at pushing out this decision by the board until after this enrollment count.
This plan allows for staff to get health insurance for 8 years or until they turn 65 years of age if they qualify for early retirement. Qualifications for secretaries, teachers and administrators include 55 years of age or older and at least 15 years of service to the district.
There is a possibility this incentive will be extended to other employee groups to make it more equitable among all staff groups in the future. Also, the date of the time the board will make the decision each year is expected to move back to later in the year in the future. Changes will be discussed at future meetings of the board.
The incentive program was approved by the board 5-0 for qualifying staff retiring at the end of this school year.


Settlement of Secretary/Treasurer Reports for Fiscal Year 2016
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz put together a financial health report. Click here for the report.
Bartz said the general fund had “good things happening” as far the health of that fund.
Revenues were up $1.01 million from the previous year and expenditures were up $681,953, which meant the year ends on the good side to the tune of $328,618.
Overall, most of the budget numbers were improvements from last year, Bartz said.


Board Policies
300- Statement of Guiding Principles – Marked as reviewed.
301.1- Superintendent of Schools- Qualifications and Recruitment- Marked as reviewed.
301.2- Superintendent of Schools – Contract and Contract Non-Renewal – Marked as reviewed.
310.3 – Superintendent of Schools – Functions – Add building principals to evaluation duties, will be brought back at next meeting to change language.
302.1- Associates to the Superintendent – Positions – Marked as reviewed.

Board calendar
Board Vice President Janelle Carter had two recommendations for the board calendar. She proposed the board eliminate the January 9, 2017 meeting and just have one meeting in January. She also proposed for next September to have the meeting the Tuesday after Labor Day, instead of waiting a whole week. Board members agreed to these changes.

Interviews for vacancy
The board then interviewed four candidates for the open board vacancy including Carol Geil of the Marshalltown Community College Foundation, Ben Fletcher of Emerson/Fisher, retired teacher Peggy Niedermann and AEA staff member Kathleen Goslinga.
The board will interview three more candidates in open session beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 27 including Edie Rierson, Dwight Martin and Brittany O’Shea. The board is expected to make a decision to fill the vacancy at the October 3 meeting.


From Board President Bea Niblock
“After a good deal of discussion, the board approved the reactivation of the Voluntary Retirement Incentive Programs for the 2016-17 school year. This gives eligible staff members another tool in their personal retirement planning. Notification will need to be given to the superintendent by February 1, 2017, indicating an individual’s intent to participate in the program.
The board has indicated a desire to look at the Voluntary Retirement program over the next few months to determine if any changes would be appropriate for the financial health of the district. If retirement planning is in your near future, make it a point to stay informed of those board discussions.”   – Bea Niblock

September 12, 2016 Board Meeting

13 Sep



Marshalltown High School art teacher Wade Judge talks about his design which was selected for an art piece for the pedestrian walkway in downtown Marshalltown at the school board meeting on September 12.


Walkway art project
Marshalltown High School Art teacher Wade Judge talked about the pedestrian walkway art project he designed in a former alley. It is located between the Fiddle and Whistle and Apgar Photography off of Main Street. Judge said there were several volunteers who helped paint the piece on the ground and said there is more art to come downtown.

“I’m really proud to be able to put my thumbprint to be part of Marshalltown,” Judge said.


MHS Student Senate members Morgan Van Staalduine and Trevor Lewis talked about Homecoming events going on this week. Both encouraged the community to come out to the events and show their Bobcat spirit.

“It’s a way for the whole community to come connect together,” Van Staalduine said.

Board Director Resignation
The board accepted the resignation of board member Ben Stansberry. The board will be accepting letters of interest (sent to Brian Bartz at district office) for those wishing to fill this vacancy until September 21. More information is forthcoming on this process, which could also be filled via an election if a petition is filed with the required signatures by September 28.

New Administrator
Josh Wesley introduced himself as the new Director of Technology. Josh is from St. Paul, Minnesota and was a technology supervisor for a school district in that area. He started at MCSD on September 1.

Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis presented this personnel list which was approved by the board. He noted two changes to the list including Ashlea Dall is not resigning as paraeducator at MHS and Miriam Rodas will stay as a bus monitor.

Depository Resolution
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz presented this item. This is a yearly requirement to list the financial institutions in which public funds may be deposited.

310.1 – Administrative/Management Team – Marked as reviewed
310.3- -Administrative Structure- Marked as reviewed
312.1 – Administrative Personnel Employment – Individual Contracts – Recommendation to delete last line “The contract shall automatically continue in force for one year following expiration unless mutually modified or terminated.”
This would make all administrative contracts rolling one year contracts like the teachers. (instead of two years). This is expected to come back as a first reading next meeting.
312.3 – Administrative Personnel – Compensation/Benefits – Marked as reviewed
705.9 – Death of a Student, Staff Member or Board Director – Board President Bea Niblock suggested add to this policy that flowers be sent to a funeral that we know about for current students, staff members or board directors. Business Director Brian Bartz said this action has been written up by auditors in the past at a different district. This policy will come back with some revision to have some way to offer sympathy.

Election of Board President for 2016-17 year


Brian Bartz reads the oath of office to Bea Niblock after she was elected Board President.










Bea Niblock was re-elected Board President for the next year and took the oath of office.

Election of Board Vice President for 2016-17 year


Board President Bea Niblock reads the oath of office to Board Vice President Janelle Carter.

Janelle Carter was re-elected Vice President for the next year and took the oath of office.

Annual Appointments for 2016-17

-Appointed Brian Bartz as Board Secretary

-Appointed Cartwright, Druker and Ryden as School Attorney and John Veldey as collective bargaining counsel spokesperson

-Appointed Ahlers and Cooney as additional legal counsel

-Appointed TSP as architect of record

Board Work Session
The board held a special work session with the superintendent search firm McPherson and Jacobson and Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte to set up superintendent goals. This is part of the follow up work by the search firm. The goals established include: Improve Culture, Improve Communication, and Improve Student Development (student achievement, participation and performance).

Next Meeting
The next regular meeting of the school board will be held at 5 p.m. on September 26 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Monday’s board meeting allowed us to see two of the ways that staff and students are reaching into the community and sharing of themselves and the educational community, as well.
MHS art teacher, Wade Judge, told the board of his design, which was selected to help beautify a pedestrian walkway in downtown.  The talents of our staff reach far beyond teaching students and into the community to make it a more enriched place to live and work.
Senior class officers, Morgan Van Staalduine and Trevor Lewis shared a preview of the activities that are happening at the high school and in the community for Homecoming Week.  It’s a wonderful highlight of the spirit and enthusiasm of the student body.
Great things are happening in our schools and the successes are being shared with our school community and the Marshalltown community at large!” – Bea Niblock