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

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