December 5, 2016 meeting

6 Dec

Lenihan Intermediate Principal Kyle Young, left, introduces the student group Teen Outreach Program (TOP) to the board at the December 5 meeting. Students pictured standing with Young are, from left, April Wills, Taeviss Fite, Cody Garcia, Jayden Harrell, Ryan Ferneau and Preston Duncan. 

Student/Staff Showcase – Lenihan Intermediate School
Lenihan Intermediate School Principal Kyle Young presented a group of sixth graders that meet as part of a partnership between MCSD and Mid-Iowa Community Action known as the Teen Outreach Program (TOP).

“The goal of this group is to promote service learning opportunities and also some life skills,” Young said,

The group will organize a penny war before winter break to benefit the Animal Rescue League and House of Compassion.


Oath of Office
Mike Miller was elected to a one-year term on the board during the general election on November 8. He was given the oath by Board President Bea Niblock at the meeting. Miller was originally appointed by the board last January to fill a vacancy.



Kirk Niehouse, right and Jacque Wyant

Marshalltown High School art educator Kirk Niehouse has been selected to receive the Western Region Art Educator Award from the National Art Educators Association.

MHS Principal Jacque Wyant said Kirk does amazing things for students at the high school level, but also for students throughout the district and brings artists for the community. Niehouse talked about several art-related activities in the district.

Niehouse credited past art teachers and current art teachers at MHS for helping him earn the award.
“It took more than just me to do this,” Niehouse said.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

At Risk- Dropout Budget
Dr. Lisa Stevenson, Director of Instruction, presented the At-risk / dropout budget, which is $2.11 million (includes a 4 percent increase). Dr. Stevenson said there are five general ways we are intervening to address needs of at-risk students including 1. Credit content recovery, 2. Juvenile court liaisons, 3. Marshalltown Learning Academy, 4. In-school support services and 5. Literacy interventionists.

One of the main focal points is reducing the 12 percent of students who are chronically absent. The at-risk budget is funded by 75 percent property tax and 25 percent district funds.

Board members inquired about how the work is being quantified, what is the trend on many of the indicators and how the dollars are being used effectively. The board also talked about the district developing a plan to reach goals as part of the at-risk programming.

The board approved the $1,184,328 million tax portion of the budget.

For the presentation document, click here.

Transfinder License Agreement
Don Meyer, Director of Transportation, presented a proposal on a new transportation routing software program known as Transfinder. The district is paying approximately $12,000 a year for its current routing software.

Meyer said the Transfinder software would be $18,540 for the first year and $6,450 for every year after the first year. This program uses GPS programming to show pick up locations and appears to be more user friendly than the current software. The agreement was approved by the board.

Thank you to the board
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte thanked the board members for their involvement in the Roundhouse Phase 2 design meetings and the strategic planning community input meeting last week. On top of that, board members attended the Iowa Association of School Boards Conference last month.


Next regular meeting
The next board meeting will be at 5 p.m. on Dec. 19 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“When you have a relatively ‘new’ board – 3 directors with just over a year of experience and 2 directors with less than a year of experience – it’s important for the board to learn together. The board has been learning together in a variety of ways.

The most recent of which was attendance at the Iowa Association of School Boards Conference in November. Directors heard nationally recognized speakers engage us on topics of equity, culture, and advocacy for public schools. Each director also attended a variety of break-out sessions during the 2 day conference. Three of the directors shared their learning with the rest of the board at the most recent meeting and 4 individuals will share at the next meeting.

Not only has the board benefited from this conference, but the board and central office staff have begun a book study to continue their learning together. “How Not to be a Terrible School Board Member” will be read and, then, discussed at subsequent board meetings.

Your board continues to learn together and to provide sound leadership for the district.” – Bea Niblock






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