Archive | August, 2017

August 21, 2017 Board Meeting

22 Aug

Marshalltown High School junior Sam Estrada spoke to the school board on August 21. He had a busy summer which included the STEM Academy at Emerson and the National Hispanic Institute Youth Legislative Session in Elmhurst, IL. Sam has an interest in studying mechanical or electrical engineering in college.

MHS junior talks about his busy summer
Marshalltown High School junior Sam Estrada talked about his busy summer as he was recognized by the board at the meeting. Estrada participated in the STEM Academy at Emerson and the National Hispanic Institute’s Lorenzo De Zavala Youth Legislative Session in Elmhurst, IL this summer.  

Sam said they passed motions and made bills in the mock legislative session. Sam is no stranger to Emerson either as he already completed an internship there a year ago.

Sam has an interest in studying mechanical or electrical engineering in college. Emerson employee Sam Ibarra also attended the meeting and spoke of Sam Estrada’s involvement at Emerson.

Roundhouse Phase 2 bids
A public hearing was held for the Roundhouse Phase 2 project of a wrestling room and auxiliary gym at Marshalltown High school. Representatives from Garling Construction expressed  concern over the use of voluntary alternates in the bid process.
After consultation with legal counsel, the board tabled approval of the bids for the project, pending further study on the issue and further legal counsel.
Before tabling the bid approval, the board approved plans, specifications, form or contract and estimated cost of the project.

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

Donations for cross country shelter
The board approved a list of donations for the new cross country shelter house (named in honor of Tim Bell) and to purchase the new varsity girls cross country uniforms.

Literacy materials for Special Education

Cretsinger, Matt copy

Matt Cretsinger

Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger requested to purchase literacy materials for special education students to help meet the needs of the students.
Approved by the board was the purchase of curricular items Really Great Reading for $39,597 and System 44 NG (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) for $63,748.59.



Superintendent and School Board goals
These goals were established during previous board and superintendent work sessions and other discussion. The board approved the goals.

2017- 18 Legislative priorities for Iowa Association of School Boards
The board approved these priorities which will be presented to IASB to take into consideration in their delegate assembly as they decide what issues to lobby for during the 2018 legislative session.

Air Conditioning unit at Miller Middle School
An A/C unit is no longer functioning at Miller.  The board approved the bid of a new chiller of $110,683 from Kapaun & Brown of Marshalltown. This bid was accepted because it included installation within a week of bid approval.

Board Policies

First reading
411.1 – Definition of Classified Personnel- deleted old policy and adopted new which mirrors Iowa Association of School Board’s policy
411.7 – Evaluation – Delete old policy and adopt IASB policy
411.9 – Terms of Employment – Amended and approved
412.1 – Salary Schedule –  Minor terminology change via legal advice- Amended and approved.

Initial reading
412.4- Annuities- Classified –  Tabled review of this based on recent law changes and awaiting IASB guidance.
413.2- Retirement- Deleted the brief policy-(combine it with 413.6)
413.3- Dismissal and Suspension of Classified Employees – Slight changes to title and number for consistency with discipline policy. Reviewed.
413.3R- Dismissal and Suspension of Classified Employees Regulation- Changes on number and slight title/wording changes, To come back at next meeting.
413.6 -Classified Employee Retirement – Combine with 413.2 policy- language made consistent with other retirement policy- to come back before board.

Next school board meeting
The next regular meeting of the school board is at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, September 5 in district offices, 1002 S. 3rd. Ave..

School Board candidate forums
The Marshalltown Education Association will host a school board candidate forum at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 26 at the Fisher Community Center. The chamber is sponsoring a candidate forum at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, August 24 at Fisher Community Center.  

From Board President Bea Niblock
“At last evening’s board meeting, the board approved a number of donations. Donations ranged from a few dollars to $1000. These donations were approved for the Cross Country Shelter House and the Varsity Girls Cross Country uniforms.

Donations have been received for a variety of things in the past. Without the support of our community and their generosity, a number of activities would not happen and a number of things would not be purchased.

As the state has provided less and less over the last few years to the increased funding in the public schools, the school districts’ budgets have been stretched thinner and thinner. So, the board is most delighted to accept these donations for things that we might not otherwise be able to afford.” – Bea Niblock


August 7, 2017 Board Meeting

8 Aug

Cross country shelter to honor Tim Bell under construction


Marshalltown High School staff member Eric Weeden talked to the school board on August 7 about the new cross country shelter house being constructed on the Marshalltown Community College campus to honor Tim Bell.



Tim Bell

Marshalltown High School juvenile court liaison Eric Weeden gave an update on the cross country shelter house, which is currently under construction on the Marshalltown Community College campus, just southwest of the dorms. Construction is expected to be completed in a matter of days. MHS hosts meets at the MCC cross country course.

The shelter will include a commemorative plaque as it is named in honor of Tim Bell, the longtime coach and athletic director at MHS who retired in 2013.




Sara McCue

Lenihan Intermediate School vocal music teacher Sara McCue was recognized by the board. She attended the Rock and Roll Forever Foundation workshop in New York City this summer.

She spent four days learning about how to teach rock and roll to students to keep them engaged. For more on the workshop, click here.

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

Public Comment
Miller Middle School teacher Steve Hinderhofer spoke to the board. He thanked the district  for the opportunity he has been given to teach here. He said they have a great staff at Miller and are like a family there. He said he looks forward to seeing the students every Monday morning. He also thanked the board for all they do to help the district.

Legislative priorities for Iowa Association of School Boards
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented this document of his potential legislative priorities. The board will provide input on these priorities and present a final list for board approval at the August 21 meeting.

That priority list would then be provided to the IASB as they compile priorities from across the state to see what to focus lobbying efforts on for the 2018 legislative session.

School Board and superintendent goals for 2017-18
These goals were developed at two work session meetings.
This will be brought back for the August 21 meeting as an action item for board approval.

Board Room Audio-Visual System
Director of Technology Josh Wesley presented a request to submit a Request for Proposal for upgrades to the audio and visual systems in the board room.
As part of the RFP, there are two options – one to upgrade audio system and the other to upgrade the audio and visual systems.
The audio only project has an estimated cost of $20,000-25,000 and the audio and video project is estimated at $50,000-55,000.
In a 5-2 vote, the board approved to move forward with publishing an RFP to see what bids come back and make a decision at that time whether to move forward with the project.

Board Policies
First reading
409.3-E-2 – Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave – Adopting up to date policies from IASB.  Amended and approved.
409.8 – Absence Without Pay- Amended and approved

Initial Review
410.7- Exchange Teachers- Marked as reviewed
411.1- Definition of Classified Personnel- To come back with IASB policy additions
411.7 -Evaluation- To come back with IASB policy
411.9 – Terms of Employment-  Change last paragraph from head custodian to supervisor. Also 40 hours indicated in policy as a normal work week is not reflective of summer hours. Discussion was held around summer hours for 12-month employees, which includes Fridays off. To come back before board after consultation with Director of Human Resources and Superintendent.
412.1 – Salary Schedule – Change “salaries” to “base wages.
412.3 –  Insurance- Needs to be changed since insurance can’t be bargained for any more.

The board then went into a closed session for a student readmission request.

The next regular board meeting is at 5 p.m. on August 21.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Over the past couple of months, the board has been involved in its own self-assessment and setting of goals for the coming year. After 2 lengthy work sessions, the board has decided on its goals. Without that focus, the board is set adrift and deals only with the current issues that cross its bow.

The needs of the board and of the district have been discussed and the items of strongest interest have been worded into 3 goals with underlying objectives and activities defined. The goals are 1) Focus on improved student achievement for all students, 2) Prepare for negotiations implemented through collective bargaining changes, and 3) Renew its commitment to self-development and education.

Everyone needs goals to chart their course. Your board has goals, too. Watch us during the school year to make sure that we are focusing on our defined goals. ” Bea Niblock