February 20, 2017 board meeting

22 Feb

Lenihan teacher Vanessa Engel introduced flag essay winners Desy Sung, left, and Rogelio Ceren to the board.

Lenihan students Rogelio Ceren and Desy Sung were recognized for their award winning essays on the American flag during a contest held by the American Legion. Teacher Vanessa Engel presented the students. Rogelio and Desy each read their essays and received a certificate of recognition from Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

Personnel items
For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Emerge presentation
Lenihan teacher Leah Mattox, Joa LaVille of the Marshalltown Public Library and Lenihan student Mang Sang presented on the Emerge program. emergeoverview
Over 15 years ago, this collaboration was formed between the school district and the library. The program has sixth graders visit the public library once a month. Joa works with the kids and talks about the library’s offerings during Lenihan’s visits.
LaVille said the program is designed to help students become lifelong library learners.
Mang Sang came to U.S. and didn’t know English as a 9 year old. The public library helped him learn more about English. He now visits the library a few times a week.
“He is one amazing student,” Mattox said. “In two or three years his English is excellent.”
Another guest, Marco Andrade, a MHS graduate and current Primary Health Care employee, spoke about how this program helped him.
“I’ve been going to the library ever since Joa came to Lenihan.” Andrade said.
Andrade also spoke about memories of the summer reading program.
Mattox estimated they have reached 5,000 kids in this program in the past 15 years.
Joa LaVille was also thanked by the district with this video and with a certificate of appreciation.

Thought Exchange results
Tristan Read from Thought Exchange, presented via Zoom video. Thought Exchange took the survey results from staff, students and the community and had the groups rank results via stars.

Teachers and staff were by far the most talked about when it came to greatest strengths.
The top two greatest challenges and/or weaknesses were student behavior and discipline and parent involvement.

In the opportunities category, partnerships for career preparation was the leading theme
Under potential partnerships, those that help with career preparation was the leading theme. Under threats, funding and budget was the biggest theme. Read said a website will be ready to share with the community soon so they can look into the results as well.


Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson gives a CBE update with other administrators.

Competency Based Education update
Dr. Lisa Stevenson, Pam Brewer-Michael, Eric Goslinga, Pat Rial, Jacque Wyant, Dave Glenn and Kyle Young, gave an update on the CBE Collaborative.
Brewer-Michael said the biggest shift for her is that learning is the constant- where time and place and pace are not. This is meant to support all students no matter what their pace of learning.
Rial believes with standards based grading “Every kid is going to show more success as Miller.”
Wyant said letter grades at MHS will continue as they move to standards based grading and students will still have grade point averages.
There were several questions from the board on CBE. Board President Bea Niblock suggested that CBE be part of a board work session since there are more questions that need to be answered.

MHS art trip to Chicago
MHS art instructors Kirk Niehouse and Wade Judge asked the board for permission to take the annual art trip to Chicago on Saturday, March 25 to see the National Museum of Mexican Art, the Chicago Art Institute, and to Millennium Park to see the “Bean.”  Plans are to take 40-45 students by charter bus.
“We start at 4 in the morning and we’re home by midnight,” Niehouse said. “The kids get a lot out of it. It really puts a lot of meaning to what we do.”
The board approved the trip, which is funded by the students themselves and by fundraising if students can’t afford to go.

Audit Report 2015-16
Jason Doonan from Nolte, Cornman and Johnson presented the audit report. For the subjects he covered at the meeting, click on this document 2016-marshalltown-powerpoint

2017-18 certified budget preview
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz presented this item. The proposed tax rate would decrease two cents from $17.97 to $17.95 per thousand valuation.
Working in favor of the budget is the fact that valuations in the district have increased from $972,576,312 to $1,019,049, 272

Board Policies
102 E-1- Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination- Fixed typo to have it corrected- approved waived second reading
314.1- Administrator Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive- will come back to make sure dates are correct as far as decision dates. – New dates for all early retirement policies.
401.4- Employee Complaints- Marked as reviewed
401.5- Employee Records-Change to be made to custodian of employee records to Director of Human Resources- will come back with that change
401.5-R- Employee Records Regulation- Marked as reviewed
401.8 – Recognition for Service of Employees – Suggested for a rewrite- in process of changing employee recognition.
401.10 –Credit Cards- Marked as reviewed.

“How Not to be a Terrible School Board Member” book discussion
The administration again led a discussion on habits highlighted in the book.

Superintendent evaluation
The board then went into a closed session for the quarterly evaluation of the superintendent.

Next meeting
The next regular board meeting will be at 6 p.m. on March 6. Prior to the meeting at 5 p.m. will be a Roundhouse Phase 2 design open house meeting in the board room.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“It is always a pleasure for the board to hear from students themselves. And it was a special treat to have the American Legion flag winners read their personal essays. Desy Sung and Rogelio Ceren gave proud readings of their works. They helped each of us, board members and audience alike, to think about our national freedoms and the meaning that our flag stirs in all of us.
Leah Mattox and Joa LaVille helped the board understand the partnership between the public library and the students at Lenihan Intermediate School. Mang Sang shared how important the partnership and the program, Emerge, were to him and helping him become a reader.
Each of these presentations helped the board members to remember our own goal – to make decisions in the best interest of all children in the district.” – Bea Niblock

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