Archive | April, 2017

April 17, 2017 Board Meeting

18 Apr

Woodbury Elementary School students are pictured presenting to board member Ben Fletcher, left. Reading at center is Nintee Tarr. Also pictured is Woodbury music teacher Sarah Wherry and students Jezell Ruiz and Max Reed. Woodbury students presented in small groups as part of the Student/Staff showcase at the April 17, 2017 board meeting.



Applebee’s general manager Doug Chaloupek presents a check for $5,050 to MHS student Olivia Ryan for the MHS prom.

Doug Chaloupek, general manager of Applebee’s restaurant, presented a check of $5,050 to Olivia Ryan of student senate for MHS prom. The restaurant raised the money during a Bobcat night recently.

Marshalltown High School art teachers Kirk Niehouse and Wade Judge and three MHS students presented a recap of the art trip to Chicago, which was March 25. The group visited The Metropolitan Museum of Mexican Art, The Chicago Art Institute and Millennium Park.


MHS art teachers Wade Judge, left, and Kirk Niehouse, recognize student Jill Podhajsky for her awards from the recent CIML art show.

MHS student Jill Podhajsky was recognized as she received a Best in Show award at the recent CIML conference art show.


The next Fisher Elementary Principal Mark Lee is introduced to the board via Google Hangouts.

The next Fisher Elementary School Principal Mark Lee was introduced via video conferencing from Alaska.
“There’s tremendous opportunity as well as great things going on in Marshalltown as well as Fisher Elementary,” Lee said.
For more information on Mr. Lee’s appointment, click here.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here


Woodbury kindergartner Brooklynn Hazen reads to board member Sean Heitmann.

Student/Staff showcase from Woodbury Elementary School
Woodbury Principal Anel Garza led off the presentation by the school.
“This year we made it a goal to set accelerated growth with every student in our building.” Garza said.
Garza said they have very dedicated teachers at Woodbury.
Students and staff broke into groups and visited board members to talk about their goals and their work at the school.


School librarians including Sue Inhelder and Jeni Sloan (seated) presented to the board.

School librarians presentation
Teacher librarians in the district presented to the board including Sue Cahill, Bruce Lawrence, Jeni Sloan, Beth Steffa, Sue Inhelder, Erin Faas and Alicia Patten. April is school library month.
Hoglan students presented projects including Cuong Nguyen – kindergarten, Thaw Ta Soe – 3rd grade and Lily Marquess – 4th grade.
Sue Inhelder presented a video with photos from Miller and MHS focused on technology in action in learning.

2017-18 STEM Scale-up
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented about the STEM Scale-up grant and an update on STEM teacher positions. Three new STEM K-4 science teachers to implement elementary Project Lead the Way are being hired for the fall. Also, 99 educators will be able to participate in ST math professional development.
More information will come out in the future on how to get teachers trained and curriculum implemented, Stevenson said. The district is investigating options for funding to get this program off and running.

2017-18 Military Science & Leader Education Course (Marshalltown Learning Academy)
MLA Principal Eric Goslinga MHS Principal Jacque Wyant  presented this proposal for a full elective credit class at MLA. Goslinga said 5-7 percent of students might choose the military as a career path.
Wyant also presented addendums to the school course guide that will include this as well as to replace a pre-algebra course to a two-year algebra 1 course.
The course was approved by the board.

MHS Athletic and Activities brochure
Activities Director Rollie Ackerman presented this brochure, which was recently printed.
Ackerman said they were  looking for ways of letting students know about the different activities that go on at Marshalltown High School to get more participation.
The brochure also includes the eligibility policies for student athletes.
“I think we offer enough programs at the high school for every student to find their own niche,” Ackerman said.

Food Service meal prices for the 2017-18 school year
Director of Food Service Lynn Large presented the meal prices for the 2017-18 school year. Elementary meals will again be at no charge for all students.
Secondary breakfast will be up 10 cents from $1.50  to $1.60, Secondary lunch will go up 10 cents from $2.45 to $2.55. Adult breakfast will go up 5 cents to $1.85 and adult lunch will go up 15 cents to $3.65. The board approved the meal prices.

Board policies
501.12- Transfers out or Withdrawals – Approved waived second reading
502.2- Search and Seizure – Approved waived second reading
501.16- Homeless Children and Youth – Approved waived second reading

405.3 – Licensed Employee Individual Contracts- Reviewed
405.4 – Licensed Employee Continuing Contracts – Reviewed

402.6 – Staff technology use/Social Networking- New technology/ soclal media policy based on IASB with some aspects of old MCSD policy mixed in.  Approved
402.6 -R – Staff Technology Use/Social Networking Regulation – New regulation based on IASB. Approved
405.3 – License Employee Individual Contracts – Marked as reviewed
405.4 –  Licensed Employee Continuing Contracts – Marked as reviewed

404.1 -Employee Conduct and Appearance-  to come back for first reading
404.1.R1-Employee Dress Code – To come back for first reading
404.1R2 – Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics Regulation -To come back for first reading
404.1R3 -Code of Rights and Responsibilities Regulation – To come back for first reading
These  policies will be moved to a separate agenda item.

403.5  – Harassment-Employees – Reviewed
403.5- R -Harassment-Employees – (Investigation Regulation)- Reviewed
403.6 – Marked as reviewed
403.6- R1 -Substance-Free Workplace Regulation- Marked as reviewed
403.6 E1- Substance-Free Workplace Notice to Employees- Marked as reviewed

604.1 – Student Guidance and Counseling Program – To come back for first reading
604.1R -Student Guidance and Counseling Program Regulation- To come back for first reading


This Anson Park parking lot will be the future site of the bus transfer for the district.

City of Marshalltown Lease Agreement
This is a lease agreement with the school district and the city to use the Anson Park parking lot on the east side as the next bus transfer location. The current bus transfer location will be the future home of the new police and fire building.
The lease is a $1 per year for 10 years. Initial improvements to the site will be made by the district including the removal of concrete barriers (dividers) in the parking lot.
The city will have to have a public hearing and bring the lease before council for approval.
The school board approved the lease agreement.

Meeting report
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Board member Janelle Carter and Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis talked about information they received at a Iowa Association of School Board collective bargaining information session.

Exempt session
The board then entered into an exempt session for negotiations.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. May 1 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“What a busy, packed agenda we had at last night’s meeting! The seating in the board room was in an overflow capacity. There were many presentations to be made and many students, staff and families were present for those presentations.

That is what makes the board agenda a treat for board members – hearing from the staff and students of the district. Students from the high school art department were present to share the benefits of their trip to Chicago, Jill Podhajsky received art awards, Applebee’s presented a check to the prom committee, students from Woodbury presented their growth goals and achievements to individual board members, students made presentations of media projects that they were working on and we were able to meet the new Fisher Elementary principal, Mark Lee, through the wonders of Google Hangouts.

Isn’t it great for board members to be involved in the wonderful events happening throughout the district?” – Bea Niblock

April 3, 2017 Board Meeting

4 Apr

Rogers Group.jpg

Several Rogers Elementary School staff, students and families are pictured at the school board meeting on April 3. Rogers presented the student/staff showcase at the event.


Donovan Gavagan

Marshalltown High School freshman Donovan Gavagan was recognized for being selected to be part of the Congress of Future Science and Technology Leaders, which is this summer in Boston.
He was selected for his outstanding academic record and leadership potential. Donovan is interested in working in the medical field.


Lenihan Intermediate School custodian Roger Johnson, right, presents Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte with a plaque at the board meeting. Johnson is a veteran and wanted to thank Dr. Schutte for honoring the veterans last fall.

Veterans Roger Johnson and Matt Tullis recognized Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte for recognizing staff who are veterans on Veterans Day last fall. Johnson is custodian at Lenihan and Tullis is a special education teacher. Johnson had a plaque made to honor Dr. Schutte and gave it to the superintendent at the meeting.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

An addition to the personnel list was the approval of the announcement of the next Fisher Elementary School principal.

That role will go to Mark Lee, who is a current elementary principal in Sitka, Alaska. Lee’s annual salary is $92,000 plus $2,000 in moving expenses if he chooses to reside in district boundaries.

He has a wide rage of previous teaching experience including three years in the Spokane, Washington Public Schools with a background focusing in music, special education and reading.

Mr. Lee holds a bachelor’s degree in music from Concordia University and holds three master’s degrees including one in educational leadership and administration from Western Governors University in Washington.

Student/Staff Showcase- Rogers Elementary School
Rogers Principal Dr. Mick Jurgensen said he brought  “12 future star” students to the meeting along with staff members. Chelsea Kasal, Julie Underhill, Erin Faas and Deb Christenson. Several Rogers families were also in attendance as part of the busload Rogers brought to the meeting.

Second graders read biographies on famous people such as Helen Keller and  Alexander Graham Bell.


Rogers second graders presented, from left, Sherlyn Gutierrez Arce, Thomas Lian, Van Cin and Alejandra Granados Raya and teacher Julie Underhill and Chelsea Kasal.

Three fourth graders led by Extended Learning Program Teacher Deb Christenson presented a Lego STEM project. They built and programmed a mechanical finish line and race cars.

Rogers Lego.jpg

LEGO STEM presentation by Rogers students, from left, Alexis Garcia Vasquez, Shawn Hagele and Matthew Scharpenter and Rogers Extended Learning Program teacher Deb Christenson.

Erin Faas brought the Battle of the Books team from Rogers, The team answered questions from Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, who himself is a former Rogers Elementary School student. The team will compete in the district Battle of the Books on April 20.


Rogers Battle of the Books team with Rogers teacher librarian Erin Faas.

2017 Bus Bids
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz presented bus bids. The board approved the purchase of two 77-passenger buses and one 65-passenger bus from Hoglund Bus Company of Marshalltown. The district also traded in three buses.
“This is our normal trade-in procedure,” Bartz said.
Total cost was $228,341

Ratification of Salary Settlement for Buildings and Grounds for 2017-18
The wage increase is at 2.77 percent with a total package increase 1.65 percent, as the district is contributing less to insurance on their plan than previously. It was approved by the board

Certified Budget 2017-18
A public hearing for budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year was held. The 2017-18 budget sets the levy rate at $17.9493 per thousand assessed valuation. The levy rate lowered three cents from the current year.
Bartz said this levy rate puts the district in good shape going forward. The board approved certified budget.

Board Policies

Second Reading
314.1       Administrator Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program – Adjusted date to Oct. 30 – Approved
401.12     Employee Use of Cell Phones – adjusted to correlate with current practice – Approved
401.12-R  Employee Use of Cell Phones – Administrative Regulation – Approved
402.2       Child Abuse Reporting – Adjusted to coincide with IASB policy – Approved
402.2-R    Child Abuse Reporting – Regulation – Approved
407.6       Licensed Teaching Staff Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program – Adjusted date to Oct. 30 – Approved
413.7       Twelve-Month Secretary Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program – Adjusted date to Oct. 30 – Approved

First reading
501.10     Open Enrollment – Receiving District – In line with IASB – Approved waived second reading
501.10-R  Open Enrollment – Receiving District Regulation – In line with IASB – Approved, Waived second reading
501.11     Transfers In – In line with IASB – Approved, approved waived second reading
501.16 Old    Homeless Children and Youth – Dropping policy
501.16 New   Homeless Children and Youth – To come back
502.2 Old  Search and Seizure – Dropping policy
502.2 New Search and Seizure – To come back

Initial reading

402.6- R- Employee Social Media Expectations and Guidelines – Working on new policy  table
402.6-R-1- Employee Social Media Expectations and Guidelines – Working on new policy – table
403.1 – Employee Physical Examinations- Marked as reviewed
403.3 – Communicable Diseases – Mark as reviewed
403.4- Hazardous Chemicals to Know – Marked as reviewed

The board then went into an exempt session for negotiations.

The board will meet on Wednesday, April 12 at 5 p.m.  for a work session on standards based grading.

The next regular board meeting will be at 5 p.m. on April 17

From School Board President Bea Niblock

“Spring brings budget work. Budget work brings discussion of property taxes. And discussion of property taxes brings discussion of the certified budget for the 2017-18 school year.

Yesterday’s board meeting was preceded by a public hearing for the 2017-18 budget. Hearing no remarks from the community, the board approved the certified budget as presented by district Finance Director, Brian Bartz.

That approval is the first step in the process of district administration in determining the line item budget for the next academic year. Soon the budget will be completed in all areas and district directors, building administrators and department chairs can begin the process of creating their own individual budgets within the overall certified budget. A long process has just begun.” – Bea Niblock