Archive | May, 2017

May 15, 2017 Board Meeting

16 May

Marshalltown High School staff and one student talked about the PIER Program at MHS, which helps students recover credits and puts them on track to graduation. Pictured, from left, are MHS student Alex Pruitt, Dan Terrones, Scott Johannes, Laurie Rink and Lydia Arevalo.

PIER Program at MHS
Dan Terrones, Lydia Arevalo, Scott Johannes, Laurie Rink  and student Alex Pruitt (10th grader) presented on this program which started this school year.
The PIER Program provides support for students who need direction or are at-risk of not graduating as this helps them earn credits. It provides for a smaller learning environment.
The program served 77 students served so far who have earned 668 semester credits.
Before this program, students in the program were surveyed and 65 percent indicated they were in fear of not graduating.
Now, 93 percent of students feel that graduation is going to happen, Johannes said.
“This is really an amazing program to allow students to recoup credits and get back on track as quickly as they have this year,” Arevalo said.
Alex said being able to go at his own pace is beneficial for him.



Founding members of the Marshalltown Auditorium Foundation were recognized at the board meeting. Pictured standing, from left, are Rex Ryden, Fran Hermanson, Dave Norris and Tommy Thompson. (Greg Brown not pictured). Seated are Nan Ryden and Betsy Macke.

Auditorium Foundation
Several Marshalltown Auditorium Foundation founding members were recognized at the board meeting for 35 years of service. A plaque with the founding members of the committee will be placed in the MHS/Community Auditorium.
Honored at the meeting included Tommy Thompson, Fran Hermanson, Rex Ryden, Dave Norris and Greg Brown (not present).
Foundation President Betsy Macke called this group “visionary community leaders” for their support of the first class auditorium facility at the high school.


MHS student Javier Ramirez and teacher Mike Lazere present on the ACE Mentors project.

MHS ACE Mentors project
MHS teacher Mike Lazere and student Javier Ramirez presented about a shelter being designed by the ACE mentors program.
ACE stands for Architecture, Construction and Engineering. Mentors from the community in these fields are working with students on a project to get a shelter designed and built on the cross country course at MCC in honor of retired athletic director Tim Bell.
“The hope is to maybe break ground as early as the fall,” Lazere said.
It’s possible MHS construction students will build the shelter.


Miller Middle School Extended Learning Program teacher Ann Jackson talks next to eighth grader Marek Jablonski. Marek presented his synchronized holiday light display project to the board.

Miller student holiday light display
Miller Middle School eighth grader Marek Jablonski was selected to present at the recent AEA Technology Conference. Marek created a synchronized holiday light display.
It took about four hours of coding per minute of song to program the display.
Marek, who was joined by MIller Middle School Extended Learning Program teacher Ann Jackson, shared the board a video of the display.

Personnel items
For personnel items approved by the board, click here.
Of note, Melissa Keeler is retiring as Franklin Elementary secretary after 41 years in the district.

Out of State Field Trip request (Chicago)
Tim Johnson, MHS teacher asked or permission for an out of state trip to Chicago June 7-9 for a trip of the Delegation for the Advancement of History.
Stops include The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium and the Chicago Art Institute. It was approved by board.


MHS junior Jacqueline Wahl with her National History Day exhibit.

Out of State Field Trip Request (Maryland)
MHS teacher Susan Fritzell and Jacqueline Wahl presented. Wahl was named a national qualifier for National History Day, which will be held in College Park, Maryland in June 11-15.
“She has a passion for history, she has a passion for learning,” Fritzell said of Jacqueline.
Jacqueline presented her exhibit to the board.
The board approved the request.

2017 MHS graduates list
Principal Jacque Wyant presented a list of 312 MHS students on track for graduation. Graduation is May 28 at 2:30 p.m. at the MHS Roundhouse. (UPDATED SENIOR LIST AS OF 5-8-2017)

Alliant Energy Community Grant Award
This was a $2,000 grant accepted by the district to secure funds for supplies in the biomedical sciences as part of Project Lead the Way.

K-6 math curriculum adoption
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented the adoption timeline. Go Math was selected by the math curriculum team for  K-6. Adoption is 6 years with a total cost of $320,281. A total of 1,942 students will be served by this program. The budget approval will come back for the next meeting.

Teacher Leadership and Compensation System for 2017-18
Dr. Stevenson presented the list of TLC positions for 2017-18. Approved by the board.

Drivers Education Contractor
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz said they contracted out for a bid for these services. Three proposals were received and Test Drive was selected for a three-year contract to begin with the 2017-18 school year. It is led by Mark Bohan, who is current drivers ed instructor. The contract was approved by the board.

Clarity Survey Results
Instructional Design Specialist David Stanfield from a survey that analyzes technology
“It gives us measures to gauge our technology integration efforts,” Stanfield said.
Respondents included 402 staff and 2,849 students (grades 3-12).

Chromebook Replacement
Director of Technology Josh Wesley sought approval to pursue a purchase 1,805 Chromebooks and licensing and 17 additional carts. There are two different ACER Chromebooks.  Total cost includes $570,275. New replacements are for the elementary 3 & 4 grade students and 7th grade students.  Pre-K through 1st grade would have touch screen Chromebooks.
Concern was brought up by the board about the major expense of these Chromebooks and the problems that occur if students do not have home internet access. Other questions were also presented by the board.
The board approved for the district to pursue a possible purchase of Chromebooks. The board also approved the request by Mr. Wesley to suspend Board Policy 705.1. This would allow for the district to move forward with bids without the 15 day publishing notification.Bids will come back to board for possible approval.

E-Rate Update
Joshua Wesley, presented on the current status of the E-Rate filing process. MCSD has filed five 471 applications for Internet, fiber, telephone, wireless access points and firewall services. MCSD is waiting on funding commitment decision letters from USAC before proceeding with the purchase of a new firewall and wireless access points.

Forecast 5 (3-year agreement)
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented about this agreement. One tool currently being used is a financial forecast. Another tool to access to databases to do comparability studies was approved by the board.

Ratification of Salary Settlement for Food Service for 2017-18
Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis and District Attorney John Veldey presented this item. The total salary package increase is 3.42 percent, for a cost of  $29,891 to the district.

Ratification of Salary Settlement for Paraeducators for 2017-18
Included in this agreement is an overall salary package increase of 7.54 percent for a total cost of $200,778. This was a substantial increase in paraeducators pay this year as the district is on its way to make para pay more fair and equitable.

Board Policies

First reading-
401.8 – Recognition for Service of Employees- Revised to what is happening in the district. Amended and waived second reading
405.6 – Certification and Assignment- Changed to meet IASB standards. Amended and waived second reading
405.7- Transfers – Amended and waived second reading
405.10 – Access to Buildings- Changed to reflect current district practices – Amended and waived second reading
906  – Unmanned Aircraft- Drones- IASB policy and added FAA guidelines – Adopted and waived second reading.
906.R-1 – Unmanned Aircrafts- Drones Regulation – Adopted and waived second reading

Initial Review
405.12 – School Nurse functions- Minor wording adjustments- Will come back next meeting
406.1- Employee Salary Schedule- Added IASB language- Will come back next meeting
406.3- Licensed Employee – Professional Growth -IASB language- New policy replaces – Will come back
406.4- Licensed Employee Compensation for Extra Duty – Additional language added from IASB – Will come back
406.5- Licensed Employee Group Insurance Benefits- Changes made- to come back
406.6- Annuities- Policy will be rewrote by IASB- Tabled until IASB reworks it.
705.1- Purchasing- Taking out 15 days before bid opening publishing – To come back together with other bid policies in front of the board.

The board then went into exempt session for negotiations.

The next regular board meeting is June 5 at 5 p.m. in district offices. The board is planning a  for special board meeting on the strategic plan at 5 p.m on June 1.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The board had the pleasure of hearing from 4 high school staff members and a participating student regarding the PIER Program at MHS.  These individuals gave the board an opportunity to see what standards based instruction and individualized educational opportunities look like in practice.  Those strategies are used in a venue to help students recover credits to move with their class to the next grade or to graduate.

The students served in the program closely mirror the demographics of the high school.  This year, 77 students have been served with 20 seniors on track to graduate.  PIER is another opportunity provided to students in the MCSD who work and learn best in an alternative environment.

Student and parent comments indicated their appreciation for this program and the opportunity to recover credits and to walk across the stage and receive their diploma.” – Bea Niblock  

May 1, 2017 Board Meeting

2 May


Franklin Elementary School third grader Braylon Draisey talks to school board members Ross Harris and Janelle Carter during the student/staff showcase at the board meeting on May 1.

Student/staff Showcase – Franklin Elementary School
Franklin Principal Tim Holmgren led off the presentation and had students and staff introduce themselves. Dozens of students attended as well as their families and Franklin staff.

The presentation then went into Extended Learning Program students displaying the roving robot they programmed and the introduction of the Franklin Battle of the Books team which won the district contest recently.

The students then broke into groups and spotlighted the following at these grade levels.
Kindergarten –  Fluency/word work
1st –  Math fact games
2nd – Poetry and community experience at Iowa Veterans Home
3rd –  Personalized learning/Writing
4th –  Writing Conferences







May is School Board Recognition Month. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte recognized the school board members as part of this month.


Marshalltown School Board

Board President Bea Niblock recognized Andrew Potter for his school public relations association award for the Bobcat Pride 2017 video.

Ms. Niblock also read a proclamation for National Teacher Day which is May 9.

Dr. Theron Schutte said the district will be sending cookies to each of the buildings as part of National Teacher Day next Tuesday.

Thank you teachers and the school board!

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

Strategic Action plan update
Dr. Schutte presented a very preliminary draft of potential strategy areas as work continues on the next strategic action plan.
Input was gathered from community members, staff and students as part of Thought Exchange, also taken from other sources to come up with the very preliminary information.
The board plans to have a special work session on the topic in May as work continues on the plan.

Increase of Student Registration Fees for Miller Middle School and Marshalltown High School
Miller Middle School registration fees to increase from $50.00 to $60.00. Marshalltown High School and MLA registration fees to increase from $50.00 to $70.00. The elementary level will remain at $40.
Dr. Schutte said costs of materials and supplies continue to go up and the fees haven’t been adjusted to match these increases in recent years.
After asking several questions on these fee increases, the board approved them.

Ratification of Salary Settlement for Food Service
This item was tabled to allow time for district attorney to review the agreement, per the request of the board.

Ratification of Salary Settlement for Paraeducators
This item was tabled to allow time for district attorney to review the agreement, pre the request of the board.

MHS Roundhouse Phase II bid issuance
Director of Building and Grounds Brett Purvis and FEH architect Kevin Eipperle presented bid documents on the Marshalltown High School Roundhouse Phase 2 project.
The bid documents will be issued to contractors and posted on the district website with bid opening planned for May 30.
It’s possible board approval on bids will occur at the June 5 board meeting, which will also include a public hearing on the project.
The board approved the bid document issuance and the notice of public hearing.

Board Policies
First Reading
404.1 – Employee Appearance- No changes- Approved
404.1-R – Employee Dress Code – Approved
404.1 -R-2 -Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics Regulation- New regulation incorporating BOEE code of conduct and ethics for licensed employees Approve
404.1-R-3 – Code of Rights and Responsibilities Regulation – New regulation incorporating  BOEE code of conduct and ethics for licensed employees
402.6 – Staff Technology Use/ Social Networking (New) – Adopted
402.6 R- Staff Technology Use/Social Networking Regulation (New) Adopted
604.1 – Student Guidance and Counseling Program –  Changes and additions made in relationship to equity visit – Adopted by board
604.1-.R – Student Guidance and Counseling Program – Regulation -Changes and additions made in relationship to equity visit – Adopted by board

Initial Review
405.5 – Licensed Employee Work Day – Marked as reviewed
405.6 -Certification and Assignment- Changes combination of Certification and Assignment policy from IASB – To come back for reading at next meeting
405.7 -Transfers – Changes made to add part of IASB policy – To come back for next meeting
405.8 – Evaluation-  Marked as reviewed
405.10 – Access to Buildings-  Minor adjustments to wording to match current practices – To come back for next meeting
405.11 – Teacher – Functions-  Marked as reviewed.
906 – Unmanned Aircrafts- Drones- New policy matching IASB policy- To come back next meeting
906.R-1-Unmanned Aircrafts- Drones Regulation

The board then went into exempt session for negotiations.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“A proclamation was issued at the board meeting recognizing all teachers.  National Teachers’ Day, May 9th, is a day that the teachers of the district will be honored.  On that day I ask that you remember the teachers who made a significant contribution to your own life, as well as the teachers in Marshalltown who, daily, take the challenge of educating the youth of our community.
As Rita Pierson, renowned educator, stated, ‘Every child deserves a champion; an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power and connection and insists they become the best they can possibly be.’
Thanks, Marshalltown educators.  You are, indeed, champions of children.” – Bea Niblock