Archive | June, 2017

June 19, 2017 board meeting

20 Jun

Successful tutoring program presented to school board


This group presented to the school board on June 19 about the Emerson tutoring program held at Lenihan Intermediate School. Pictured, front row, from left, are Lenihan students Moo Taw, Aunt Aung and Enlin Garcia Hernandez. Back row, Connie Jensen (Lenihan paraducator), Lynn Jensen (Emerson), Julie Hitchins (Emerson), Sara Duncan (Emerson), Leah Mattox (Lenihan teacher), Jennifer Frye (Emerson), Angie Lovell (Lenihan teacher) and Sam Ibarra (Emerson).

Representatives from Emerson’s valve manufacturing plant and Lenihan Intermediate School staff and students talked to the board about the Emerson tutoring program at the school. The company lets employees visit Lenihan during the school day and tutor students in math and reading.

The program started three years ago with 10 tutors from Emerson. This past school year, the number of tutors reached 38. The program is led by Lynn Jensen of Emerson and his wife, Connie Jensen, a paraeducator at Lenihan.

“Being able to give back to the school system was really rewarding,” said tutor Sara Duncan from Emerson.

This year, students were also able to turn the tables and visit the Emerson staff at the Governor Road plant and learn about what they do.

“The students are also seeing a career opportunity right here in Marshalltown,” said Lenihan teacher Leah Mattox.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

School handbooks
Statements added to handbooks as part of allergy awareness and other recommendations from District Nurse Stacey Tool-Crawford. To come back before board.

2017-18 Student/parent transportation handbook
Director of Transportation Don Meyer said no changes to this handbook aside from adding the new non-discrimination policy. Approved by board.

2017-18 Bus Driver/monitor handbook
Also updated non-discrimination policy. The board encouraged that staff have a sign off sheet for the drivers and monitors to ensure they have read the handbook. Approved by board.

Iowa Public School Insurance Program
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz presented this resolution in follow up with the approval of the district’s property and workers compensation insurance program that occurred at the last board meeting.

Superintendent contract for 2017-18
The board approved a 1.7 percent total package increase and a 3-year contract for Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

Bid document issuance approval- Roundhouse Phase II
This item updates the timeline for Roundhouse Phase II, since the last bids were rejected. The plan is to reissue documents in July. Plans are changing to cut approximately $1.3 million from the project after bids came in higher than expected recently.
“We feel very confident that we have a good shot of coming in at the project budget that we originally established,” Dr. Schutte said.
Dr. Schutte said the district is hopeful to take action on the bids at the second board meeting in August. The project completion date would be right on the heels of the winter sports season in 2018.

Playground equipment proposal
Director of Buildings and Grounds Brett Purvis presented bids for Woodbury Elementary and Franklin Elementary for new playgrounds. The board approved the following bidders for the projects: National Playground- Woodbury project ($71,022) and Boland Recreation- Franklin project ($65,250).

Bus drivers and monitors tentative agreement
Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis said this is the final employee agreement this year and includes a 2.97 percent total package increase.
Attorney John Veldey said it was overall a good contract settlement.

Board Policies
First reading
407.1 – Resignation- Suggested change from last board meeting- Amended and waived second reading
407.4 – Dismissal and Suspension of Licensed Employees- Changes made to IASB language. Amended and waived second reading.
407.4 R- Discipline of Licensed Employees-  Marked as reviewed
407.4 E- Disciplinary Guidelines – Licensed Personnel- Table until next meeting – Director of HR to review with attorney.
705.1 -Purchasing- Changes discussed as previous meeting- Amended and waived second reading
312.3 E-1- Fringe Benefits – Administrators/Supervisors – Made suggested changes at previous meeting- Amended and waived second reading

Initial reading
407.6- Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program – Marked as reviewed
408.3- Tutoring- Marked as reviewed
409.1- Licensed Employee Vacation-Holidays-Personal Leave – Policy to be trimmed up or can be covered in contract- Will take a look at it and compare it to IASB- to come back to board.
409.2- Sick Leave- Sick leave updated from 200 days to 140 and add licensed employees in policy title- To come back for a first reading
409.3- Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave- Marked as reviewed.
409.3-R1 – Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave-Regulation. Marked as reviewed.

Solar Car coming to Marshall County Courthouse Square
District Communications Director Andrew Potter said there is a Solar Car on the Square event from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Marshall County Courthouse on Saturday, June 24. See the flyer below for more details, or for a video on the event, click here.

Solar Car New Poster.jpg

Solar Car on the Square, June 24

Next regular meeting
The next regular board meeting will be held at 5 p.m. July 17.

The board will hold a self assessment special meeting on June 26 at 5 p.m and a
July 24 special board meeting at 5 p.m. for board goals and superintendent goals.


June 5, 2017 Board Meeting

6 Jun

Tuesday Musical Club members, from left, Mary Giese, Colette Benge and Julie Paustian, presented a check at the board meeting as part of support for school music programs.

Tuesday Musical Club donates $5,000 to district’s music programs
The Tuesday Musical Club has contributed nearly $5,000 in support of the district’s music programs this year. The money was raised through contributions and free-will donations made by community members and organizations for special musical performances by club members throughout the the year. The Tuesday Musical Club members  Mary Giese, Colette Benge and Julie Paustian presented District Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte with a check at the meeting.
The money will fund three different projects: summer camp scholarships for music camps, award each Marshalltown music teacher a gift of $125 to be used to enhance their music program and to help fund half of the repair of the grand piano at the MHS/Community Auditorium.
“Music is a subject that benefits students their entire lives,” Paustian said.

James Madison Fellow
Brad Rahmiller, MHS social studies teacher, was recognized for his selection as a James Madison Fellow.  For more information on this honor, click here.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Public Comment
Retired teacher Donna Appel talked during the public comment portion talked about more support is needed for school-aged Special Olympics athletes.

K-6 Math Budget Approval
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented the K-6 math curriculum for approval. At the last meeting Dr. Stevenson presented additional information on this proposal at the previous meeting.
The GO Math curriculum, which costs $320,280,31, was approved by the board.
For more information, click here.

School Handbooks
Handbooks for the 2017-18 school year were presented, many with minor changes and updates.
Handbooks presented included: Preschool (Emily Banks), Elementary Schools (Tim Holmgren Mick Jurgensen and Anel Garza, Lenihan (Kyle Young), Miller Middle School (Pat Rial), Marshalltown High School (Jacque Wyant) and Marshalltown Learning Academy (Eric Goslinga).
The handbooks were approved by the board as presented.

Banking services provider
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz recommended moving banking services to Great Western Bank. There were 6 requests for proposals sent out with 2 banks returning a proposal. Great Western Bank was chosen over 1 other proposal based on the services offered, fees and interest rate on deposits.
Bartz said there is a potential increase in revenue and reduction of expenses of $100,000 by switching banks.
This was approved by the  board.

Property/Workers Compensation Insurance
Two quotes were received with a recommendation to go with Iowa Public School Insurance Program. The board approved the  $642,732 for the 2017-18 school year and the 3-year commitment.

Cisco SMARTnet
Director of Technology Josh Wesley presented a support and maintenance agreement for the Cisco networking equipment.
There are cost savings to move from two vendors to one single vendor, of approximately $6,700.
The board approved the agreement to SMS technologies for a cost of $27,928.10 and to suspend board policy for 705.1 for this project only to allow for quicker purchasing.

Board room audio and video
Wesley presented this item as the sound and video in the board room has been an issue in the past. He received some quotes for TVs and upgrade audio equipment for a better quality rebroadcast and for visitors at the board meetings.
He presented two quotes- $45,118.31 (Conference Technologies) and  $51,797.11 (Communications Engineering Company)
Wesley gauged interest from the board if should be continue to pursue this as this was not an action item.



Director of Technology Josh Wesley displays an example of the Chromebook cases the district plans to purchase to protect the 1,805 new Chromebooks approved for purchase by the board.

Chromebooks Purchase
Wesley presented a proposal to purchase 1805 new Chromebooks (a continuation from last meeting’s’ discussion).

  • Elementary 3rd and 4th grade students and 7th grade students would receive new Chromebooks to replace existing units.
  • The number of devices to the number of students would be at Pre K– 1st tablets and computers would be replaced with new touch screen Chromebooks.

Four bids were received for Chromebooks. They came in below the estimated cost.
Wesley recommended going with the low bid of $463,184.80 from PC Connection.
He also presented protective cases for Chromebooks at a cost of $16,840 from STS Education.
Total cost $463,184.80 + $16,840 = $480,024.80. It was approved by the board.

Secretarial and Administrative Assistant Wages
Director of Human Resources Anthony Spurgetis presented the new wage structure for secretaries and administrative assistants. The total package increase of 3.3 percent was presented for this year. The board approved.

Administrators, directors and other wages for 2017-18
Dr. Theron Schutte recommended a total package increase of 1.7 percent for administrators and directors, which mirrors the increase of the teachers. “Others” category had a 3 percent increase including server specialist and network and security specialist and 5 additional days vacation.

Roundhouse Phase 2 bids
Bids came in higher than estimated for this project, which includes a wrestling room and auxiliary gym at Marshalltown High School. All bids were more than $8 million for base bid, which was projected to be less than $7 million.
There are plans to rebid this project later in the summer with still time to have it completed by October 2018. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said they are looking at ways to value engineer this project, to bring costs down. FEH Architect Kevin Eipperle said he expects at least four of the six bidders on the project to rebid. The board rejected all bids.

Public Improvement bids for Anson Park lot and next bus transfer location
Resurfacing is needed for the new bus transfer lot at the Anson Park parking lot, which will start next fall. A bid was approved by Central Asphalt for $44,481.25 to do the work.

Summer project list
Brian Bartz presented the list of Summer projects 2017  for the district. The biggest project is the bus transfer lot but many are minor maintenance projects.
Not all projects will be addressed this summer due to time and money. The board held a discussion on the list and had concerns  about the process on how projects were selected to be done. There was no action requested by the board and more information will be presented to the facilities committee.

Board Policies

First reading
405.12- School Nurse – Functions-  Changes to identify person in the lead – District Nurse -Amended and waived second reading
406.1- Employee Salary Schedule – Language changed to mirror IASB policy – To come back – Amended and waived second reading
406.3-Licensed Employee- Professional Growth- modeled after IASB language- Adopted new policy
406.4- Licensed Employee Compensation for Extra Day – Designates superintendent to make recommendations to the board – Amended and waived second reading
406.5- Licensed Employee Group Insurance Benefits – New version of policy modeled after IASB policy -Adopted and waived second reading
705.1 – Purchasing – Line added to website- for bids – To come back as first reading
801.5- Construction contract bidding- New policy
801.5-E-1 – Updated effective year.

Initial Review of Board Policies
406.7 – Prior Service- Marked as reviewed
407.1- Resignation- To remove a year requirement, To come back
407.3- Retirement- Marked as reviewed
407.4- Dismissal and Suspension of Licensed Employees – Wording changed to with pay or without pay suspension, strike hearing, To come back to board.
407.4 – R-Discipline of Licensed Employees- added “ethics” to rules, and regulations line in the start.- Tom come back to board
407.4-E-Disciplinary Guidelines- Licensed Personnel – Anthony Spurgetis to look at it and it will come back to board.
313.3- Administration Personnel- Compensation/Benefits – Marked as reviewed
312.3-E-1- Fringe Benefits – Administrators/Supervisors -Changes to be made to be consistent with other employee reduction of cumulative number of sick days, 5 days annually for immediate family illness. Increase cell phone stipend from $25 to $50 a month. Also change Wellmark Blue Cross/Blue Shield listing to to “scheduled benefits.” To come back before board.
312.E-2 – Fringe Benefits – Administrators/Supervisors – Request Form – Form to change to reflect changes in reimbursement rate for cell phone.Starting July 1.
710.4- Meal Charges- New policy – Motion to adopt and waive second reading.

The board then went into a closed session for a superintendent evaluation

Next board meeting is planned for 5 p.m. on  June 19.  A special board meeting is planned for June 26 as part of the Roundhouse Phase 2 rebid.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The end of another school year has arrived.  ‘You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place.  Like you’ll not only miss the people you love, but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and this place, because you’ll never be this way again.’  Anonymous
As you end this school year, take a minute to remember all of the things that you have taught and all of the things that you have learned.  You have met our students where they were and with all of the baggage that they carried to school.  You persisted; you collaborated; you loved the young people in your care.  You will, indeed, be a different person when you return in August.
Wishing you the summer time to renew your drive and your spirit to continue the hard work that each of you do every day during the school year!”- Bea Niblock