February 6, 2017 meeting

7 Feb

Anson students showcase a variety of school activities


Anson Elementary School Extended Learning Program students, standing, from left, Shayna Garcia, Jordan Scheid and Olivia Holmgren display a robot to the board. The robot moved around the board room and even told a joke.

Student/Staff Showcase- Anson Elementary

Anson Principal Ronnie Manis, staff and students showcased a wide array of activities going on in school. Manis said every day teachers work hard to inspire students, but the inspiration is also two-way.
“Every day when we work with these kids they inspire us,” Manis said.

Fourth grade teacher Abby Stanfield and students talked about a pen pal program where students are sending actual letters to students in Italy.


Anson fourth grader Chau Thai talks about the pen pal program next to his teacher Abby Stanfield.

ELL teacher Jennifer Janssen talked about ELL strategies and showed a video of first graders telling a story.

Counselor Ashley Chyma and Manis talked about several things going on at the school including ways to produce healthy and happy students. They talked about the walk the entire school did to the high school, the sprinkle happiness event the students did at the corner of Third Avenue and Anson Street, tree planting projects, the Anson gardens project with Hy-Vee and the Anson Food Pantry.

Anson Extended Learning Program teacher Nicole Holman brought three XLP students, Olivia Holmgren, Jordan Scheid and Shayna Garcia. The three showed the robot they programmed to move about the board room – and the robot even told a joke.

For personnel items approved, click here. The personnel items approved two retirements below:

Lynnda (Kathy) Ferguson – 3rd Grade Teacher at Franklin Elementary
Kathy has been with the district for 34 years and is a master educator. Prior to her work at Franklin she taught at Woodbury. She also was a student teacher in the district while enrolled at Iowa State University.

Marilyn Rhodes, Executive Assistant to the Superintendent.
She has retired after 65 years of service. Marilyn started in March of 1952, the same year she graduated from Marshalltown High School. Marilyn worked for seven superintendents.
“Her passion for our district and the Iowa Hawkeyes was second to none,” said Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis.

Look for more information on Marilyn’s career in the future and also a public recognition event is being scheduled for April 14 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the team room of the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse.

District Culture Study Results
Brad Black, President of HUMANeX, Ventures spoke to the board. The company was utilized to do the district staff culture survey. There were some good indicators as a result of the staff survey.


Brad Black of HUMANeX Ventures

Participation level was 87 percent of staff in the district which Black said “phenomenal” A total of 725 staff members provided input to 88 questions.
Black said results typically would be 1/3 people who describe they are highly engaged , inspired and satisfied in their studies. In MCSD, the survey indicated 55 percent who were highly engaged, inspired and satisfied.

Results: Top 5 full district items- Questions which got the most positive response.

  • I am fully engaged in the work that I do
  • I feel great pride in the wok that I do
  • I am committed to the success of my school district
  • In my role I have the opportunity to do things that I both do well and enjoy
  • I am continuously seeking ways to improve my overall productivity.

Bottom 5 – Received the least positive response

  • I have received meaningful recognition in the past 10 days
  • In the past three months, my principal/supervisor has discussed my successes and progress with me.
  • I am provided personal coaching from my principal/supervisor
  • I am provided the opportunity to spend quality time with my principal/supervisor
  • Marshalltown Community School District has a genuine concern and interest about me as a person.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said action plans will be worked on to address the areas in need of improvement

To view the presentation document- click the following link marshalltown-insightex-2017-board-presentation-2-2.

New Science Standards Study Team
Dr. Lisa Stevenson and Pam Brewer-Michael presented about the need for new secondary science curriculum to meet the new standards.
Dr. Stevenson said Marshalltown science teachers invested a significant amount of time in this process.
The standards reflect a shift to more “hands on and minds on” science which is reflective in the kinds of things they are requesting.
This was not an action item but in the future it’s anticipated the curriculum could cost $313,629.

Board Book Study
The Board continued its book discussion on “How Not to Be a Terrible School Board Member” This was the third installment of this discussion, each chapter led by a different board member at this meeting.
The board talked about 7 different habits in the book and the lessons learned from each habit.

Forecast 5 License Agreement
This was a request by Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz to approve $11,000 to be spent on financial projection software.
Bartz said this software will make the business office more efficient.
The board approved the license agreement.

E-Rate Funding
Director of Technology Josh Wesley  presented about E-Rate funding and a project proposal.
For 2017, he requested E-Rate funding be utilized for fiber connections between buildings, Internet and phone services, and expansion wireless access points and MHS and Miller
While MCSD would receive $50,000 of services, it is expected to cost the district approximately $10,000, due to E-Rate funding. Click her for more information.
The board approved the proposal.

FEH Contract Amendment
This item will have architect FEH serve as additional construction oversight for the MHS Roundhouse Phase 2, instead of hiring a full construction manager.
This amendment has a cost up to $72,000 for 30 additional visits by the architect as far as construction oversight.
If less is needed, “we can always back off” Dr. Schutte said.
Board members such as Vice President Janelle Carter said this will provide “additional oversight” on the project, without having the cost of a construction manager, which could be three to four times the cost of this amendment.
The board approved the FEH Contract amendment.

Board Policies
There were no policies reviewed at the meeting.

The next Board meeting is at 5 p.m. February 20 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“As you know, I close each board meeting with a quote. I have mentioned it before in my comments to you.
Last night’s quote, in honor of Black History Month, comes from Oprah Winfrey. ‘For every one of us that succeeds, it’s because there’s somebody there to show you the way out. The light doesn’t always necessarily have to be in your family; for me it was teachers and school.’
We are, indeed, thankful for our public schools and our great teachers. We draw our commitment to quality education from creative teachers, the ones who make it interesting to go to class each day, the ones who smile and know the needs of their students, the ones who come to work each day to make a difference in the lives of Marshalltown’s youth, and the ones who tirelessly push our students to greater achievement.
We are thankful for every staff member – administrator, teacher, para, nurse, secretary, custodian, bus driver or lunch lady – who inspires our youth day after day and loves our children.’ – Bea Niblock

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