October 17, 2016 board meeting

18 Oct

District art teachers presented a program update to the board at the October 17 meeting. Pictured seated is Kirk Niehouse. Standing, from left, are Wade Judge, Baily Miller, Lauren Williams, Maggie Parks, Laurie Mullen and Rebecca Erickson.

Marshalltown Schools elementary art teacher Maggie Parks recognized Marshalltown High School art teacher Kirk Niehouse, who was recently awarded the Outstanding Secondary Art Educator Award from the Art Educators of Iowa. Parks nominated Niehouse for the award.
Parks said Niehouse not only goes above and beyond for his students, but also for his friends and colleagues. She mentioned when her home was damaged due to a fire, Niehouse helped her extensively with cleaning it up.
“He’s so focused on all of the students’ needs and helping his colleagues in distress,” Parks said.
Niehouse said he enjoys what he does at MHS.
“It was an honor to be recognized by other art teachers,” Niehouse said.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

AEA 267 services overview


Kim Swartz

Kim Swartz, regional administrator from AEA 267, and AEA 267 board member (local representative) David Giese talked to the board about the services offered by AEA 267 and how it works together with the school district.
Giese emphasized that AEA 267 works as a partner with all the school districts in its area.
Swartz credited the staff in the Marshalltown Community School District for their collegial relationship.
“I think we are really working together to help support and improve student achievement for all students,” Swartz said.
Swartz handed out a brochure to the board of services that have been offered to the district. To view the brochure, click here.

K-12 Art Presentation
Art teachers in the district, including Lauren Williams, Laurie Mullen, Baily Miller, Kirk Niehouse, Rebecca Erickson, Maggie Parks and Wade Judge, gave an update on the art program district wide to the board. Their presentation document can be viewed here .
Niehouse said art is moving more into the digital area. Students are using Google slides to preserve artwork.
Williams said they meet regularly with the K-12 art group to have a cohesive program throughout the district.
“Art is considered a core subject,” Parks said.

Elementary Literacy Supports
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson and K-6 Curriculum/Professional Development Leader Shauna Smith shared with the board about Reading Corps and Lexia Core 5

Reading Corps
AmeriCorps employees are trained to become elementary literacy tutors as part of Reading Corps. These employees are 11-month employees of AmeriCorps so they can be utilized during the summer.
Anson Elementary was selected to pilot the program and a new tutor has started, Dr. Stevenson said. The hope is to expand it to other sites in the school district.

Lexia Core 5
This is an online personalized learning experience in six areas of reading instruction. More information on this can be accessed via an online video at www.lexialearning.com/products/core5.
“The key components of the program are the ability to scaffold the content for the student and track each click of the mouse,” Smith said.
Lexia costs approximately $24 per student per year. The district has secured a three- year license for all seven PK-6 sites funded through state grant funds (early literacy intervention).
Use of the program this year will be determined at the building level based on the need. Usage will be during the school day.
The November 14 professional development day will provide staff training for this.
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said he saw this program working in an inner city school in Washington, DC last year and was impressed.
“This is where things are headed in terms of how we leverage technology,” Schutte said.

School Improvement Advisory Committee Members for 2016-17
Dr. Stevenson presented the list of the School Improvement Advisory Committee, which is a state required committee. The list was approved by the board and can be accessed here.

Teacher Quality Committee for 2016-17
Dr. Stevenson presented this committee list, which is a state required committee which had its first meeting last week. The Teacher Quality budget is expected to be presented at a future meeting. The committee was approved by the board. The committee list can be accessed by clicking here.

Laundry fee issue at MHS
MHS Activities/Athletics Director Rollie Ackerman presented a proposal for a change to the MHS student handbook, which includes a change in fees. The laundry fee has been in existence for a long time and it’s a good service that is provided for students, Ackerman said. He said after discussion there was a need to reconfigure the fees for a tiered approach due to the different needs for laundry in each particular sport. The fee was raised from $10 previously to $20 this school year.
Moving forward in certain sports the fee will be $20, certain sports would be at the $10 level and other sports would have no charge for laundry (students have own jersey/warm up that they are responsible for).
The board approved the handbook changes which are activated immediately. The changes are outlined below.

Laundry Fee
A laundry fee will be charged to all participants in athletics based on the schedule below, with a maximum $60 per family. This fee must be paid before an individual may take part in practices or contests. This fee will be paid directly to the Main Office. Any individual who qualifies for the free or reduced lunch program will be exempt from paying this fee. Also students whose families are experiencing a temporary financial difficulty may be eligible for a temporary waiver of student fees. Persons who qualify for this exemption must notify the Athletic Office.

There will be no charge for which the student purchases their own jersey/warm-up and is responsible for its upkeep in the following; Boys Golf, Girls Golf, Boys Tennis, Girls Tennis, Boys Bowling, Girls Bowling.

There will be $10 charge for the following due to uniform/warm-up laundering, upkeep, inventory, and towels; Boys Cross Country, Girls Cross Country, Volleyball, Boys Soccer, Girls Soccer, Girls Swimming, Boys Swimming, Wrestling, Softball

There will be a $20 charge for the following due to uniform, warm-ups, practice equipment laundering, upkeep, inventory, and towels; Football, Boys Basketball, Girls Basketball, Baseball.

Board Policies
705.9 – Death of a Student, Staff Member or Board Director – Marked as reviewed.
301.3   – Superintendent of Schools – Functions – Approved as amended.
312.1   – Administrative Personnel Employment — Individual Contracts – Approved as amended (removal of last line)

The following list of policies are minor updates – that are in need of being updated due to the upcoming equity visit by the Iowa Department of Education. The following policies were accepted as amended and waived second reading as a group.

102   – Equal Educational Opportunity –
301.1  –   Superintendent of Schools — Qualifications & Recruitment –
401.1  –   Equal Employment Opportunity
401.1E –  Equal Employment Opportunity Grievance Form; Affirmative Action Grievance Form; Title VI Compliance Form; Title IX Compliance, Grievance Form; Section 504 Compliance, Grievance Form
401.1R –  Grievance Procedure
405.2  – Licensed Employee Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection
411.2   –  Classified Employee — Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection
500.1   – Objectives for Equal Educational Opportunities for Students
504.14  – Harassment — Students
504.14-R1 – Harassment Students (Investigation Procedures)
504.14-R2 – Harassment Students (Student Handbook Provision)
504.14.E1 – Harassment Complaint Form
504.14-E2 – Harassment — Witness Disclosure Form
504.14-E3 –  Harassment — Disposition of ‘Complaint Form
600.1    – Nondiscrimination
905.9    – Nicotine/Tobacco Free Environment –
102.E1   – Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination
102.E2   –  Continuous Notice of Nondiscrimination
102.E3    – Notice of Section 504 Student and Parental Rights
303.2    –  Administrator Qualifications, Recruitment, Appointment
501.12    – Pregnant Students
403.5, 403.5.R, 403.5.E1, 403.5.E2  _ Harassment and Bullying Policies, Regulation, Exhibits
402.3     – Abuse of Students for School District Employees –

Back to regular policy reviews…

602.12-R — Acceleration—Regulation – Minor changes made, will come back for first reading.
602.12-E1 — Acceleration Request Form – Marked as reviewed
602.12-E2 — Acceleration — Personalized Education Plan – Marked as reviewed.
602.12-E3 — Acceleration Report–Whole Grade – Marked as reviewed
602.12-E4 — Acceleration Report — Single Subject – Marked as reviewed
907 – United States Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag – This policy was presented by Dr. Schutte and would allow the opportunity for the pledge to be said at all school levels. The pledge is being done at lower grade levels currently. Leaders at Miller and MHS said they could make time in the day for the pledge. As part of the policy, the pledge will not be required for students to participate in, but the opportunity can be provided.
Board members differed on their views on this policy. While all seemed to indicate the opportunity to have the pledge for all students was fine, some did not agree with requiring staff to administer the pledge. No decision was made and this policy will come back as a first reading.
802.4 – Capital Assets Policy – Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz presented this policy. This is an accounting policy as a means of recording capital assets. The policy will come back for a first reading.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on November 8 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“What a busy board meeting we had.  The board continues to be a learning board.  Multiple presentations on a variety of topics moved the board forward in its learning.

Dr. Stevenson made presentations on two elementary literacy supports.  Through grant funding, the district is able to pilot 2 programs to assist students in becoming “readers by third”.  The Read by Third initiative has gotten a push from these pilot programs.

All PK-4 buildings will have the opportunity to provide individualized and personalized instruction in literacy to all students using the Lexia Core 5 computer learning program.  Daily lessons are geared to the personal needs of each child and are implemented through the one-to-one Chromebooks.  And Reading Corps, an extension of the AmeriCorps program, will be piloted in one elementary building.  It also targets early, individualized reading instruction.

We’re looking forward to increased achievement and proficiency of our early learners.” – Bea Niblock

One Response to “October 17, 2016 board meeting”

  1. dcdoyle@mchsi.com October 18, 2016 at 5:22 pm #

    Having spent most of my career in Marshalltown I appreciate getting The Board Report and keeping up on the progress being made educating students in these challenging times. Dr. Richard Doyle. Supt. Of Schools. Retired.

    Sent from my iPhone


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