Archive | February, 2018

February 19, 2018 board meeting

20 Feb

Anson Elementary School students display to the board how they incorporate music, dancing and exercising to stay active during the February 19 school board meeting.

Anson Elementary School presentation
Anson Principal Ronnie Manis introduced a varied showcase from AnsonHe said the theme for this year at the school is  “All in for all Kids,” which is displayed on a poster near the Anson entrance with the names of all staff.


Teachers Andrea Quiesner and Sarah Lauer helped introduce a Kahoot quiz along with students Ruben Fuentes, above right and Jain Carlo Lopez, left, for the board and audience featuring historical facts on Rosa Parks.


The new preschool yoga in the classroom program was displayed by students and teacher  Jordan Wentzien.


Extended Learning Program teacher Nicole Holman and student Jorja Janssen presented a project on coding using an electric guitar.

Music teacher Heather Dean and PE teacher Alex Black then introduced a group of students who displayed how they use music and dancing to get them up and moving. Anson attendance center plan.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Thesis approval
Lenihan ELL teacher Joan Fujanic is getting her master’s and for her thesis she is collecting information on Lexia Reading Core 5 results at Lenihan. She was instructed by Board President Bea Niblock to get approval from families as she is using individual scores, but not their names.

Updates for 2017-18 School Year Goals
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented this report on the first semester.
Dr. Stevenson presented information on attendance , behavior referral totals, K-6 FAST reading scores, 5-6th math, preschool IGDIs, progress on other school improvement goals and more.
“All the buildings are really deep in trying to figure out the chronic absenteeism,” Stevenson said. “(Attendance) is the foundation of all of this other work.”
Stevenson said she is encouraged overall by the district’s reading scores, as were board members.

Lexia Information
Dr. Stevenson, and Curriculum and Professional Development Leaders Pam Brewer-Michael and Erica Finders presented this report on the Lexia online reading program.
At Lenihan, 201 students in 5th grade have worked their way through 5th grade skills on Lexia Core5.
Lexia PowerUp Literacy at Miller Middle School started on Monday, according to Brewer-Michael. Brewer-Michael said they feel PowerUp Literacy will meet the needs of all Miller learners.

MHS Roundhouse Phase 2 update
Director of Building and Grounds Chuck Springer and FEH Architect Kevin Eipperle updated the board on the progress. Excavation for the basement was completed on February 12.

“We will start seeing concrete toward the end of next week,” Eipperle said.

Substantial completion of the project is still expected by November 19.

“Right now they are telling us they can meet the schedule,” Eipperle said of Ball Team, the project’s general contractor.

There was also discussion on the costs of the project.

Board Book Study
The board continued its discussion on “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” by Eric Jensen, this time focusing on Chapter 2 – How Poverty Affects Behavior and Academic Performance.

Board Policies
First reading
503.1-New number becomes 504.1 – Student Government- Approved as amended, waived second reading
502.9- Interview of Students by Law Enforcement and Outside Agencies Combination of a couple of policies, and added IASB language- Approved as amended waived second reading.
501.13- Students of Legal Age- IASB policy adopted and waived second reading
502.5- Student Lockers – Adopted and waived second reading
505.5 – Interviews of Students by Outside Agencies -Deleted (replaced by 502.9 )

Initial review
503.2 – Student Organization number becomes 504.2- Changes to come back before board
503.3 becomes 504.3 -School Publications- Some changes – added paragraph from IASB to come back before board
503.4 new number 508.3 – Social Events- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.5- becomes 508.4 – Intramural Activities- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.6 – becomes 504.6 – Interscholastic Competition- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.8- becomes 505.3 – Student Honors and Awards- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.9 becomes 508.5 – Activity Ticket Funds- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
504.3-R1 – New regulation- Student Publications Code- adopted code from IASB
505.2- becomes 704.5 – Student Activity Fund- taken out of student section – to finance section of board policies. Marked as reviewed.

The next regular board meeting will be at 5 p.m. on March 5 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The board received reports on a number of academic topics. Data on the goals of the strategic plan and Lexia provided the board with a glimpse of how things have proceeded this first semester.

The historical data for the strategic plan is encouraging as significant growth is seen. And fall and winter scores show that we are on the right path, albeit not exactly where we would like to be at this point.

Lexia Core5 data shows us accelerated growth for a majority of students who actually receive the suggested amount of curricular instruction. And Power Up looks to be a major improvement for middle school students.

These points are all encouraging to the board. We are hopeful in seeing even more growth with the curricular changes and the strong staff that we have working with the students in our district.” – Bea Niblock


February 5, 2018 board meeting

6 Feb

Rogers Elementary School kindergarten teachers Megan Cutright, right, and Susan Eggleston display some calming techniques with Rogers students at the school board meeting. Rogers has a routine in the morning to get students ready for the day.

School Board member Karina Hernandez read the proclamation for the Week of February 5, 2018, which is “National School Counseling Week.” Thank you to our school counselors!

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.
Included in the personnel items were three more retirements including:
Sharon Baughman- curriculum secretary who has been with the district for 28 years.
Jody Brintnall, business office manager, who has served 25 years in the district.
Cheryl Dunham, ELL teacher at Rogers, has been in the district for 26 years.

“We’re losing some expertise, it will be hard to replace,” said Board President Bea Niblock.


Rogers Principal Dr. Mick Jurgensen, teacher librarian Erin Faas and counselor Mark Church are pictured presenting to the board.

Rogers Attendance Center Plan
Rogers Principal Dr. Mick Jurgensen, teacher librarian Erin Faas and counselor Mark Church presented the Attendance Center Plan.

Rogers continues to work on school climate to help all students be successful, Jurgensen said.  Faas said they focus on building resilient learners and ways to overcome adverse childhood experiences, among other tactics.

Kindergarten teachers Megan Cutright and Susan Eggleston demonstrated the morning gathering with a group of students. It includes the Rogers pledge, the Pledge of Allegiance, breathing to music and other activities to get students ready for the school day.

Art Club trip
The Marshalltown High School Art Club sought board approval for a trip to Kansas City which is planned for Friday, March 2. The group will visit the Kemper Art Museum, Sheery Leedy Contemporary Art, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center and the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum and return home late at night.
Cost is $65 for students. So far 18 students have signed up but there is room for 46 students.  The board approved the trip. Out of state school trips are required to have board approval.

Preschool Program
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson requested board approval for a change in preschool programming from four half days to five half days for next school year. This is a follow up to her presentation on preschool at the January 16 meeting. Total increase in programming is estimated to cost $19,500. The board approved the changes to the preschool program as presented.

2018-19 School Calendar
The school calendar survey results were presented to the board. The board approved this 2018-19 school calendar, which includes a full week of spring break and added eight full day professional development days, eliminating Wednesday early outs for the 2018-19 school year. There is a possibility that the state legislators will move the mandatory earliest school start date up from August 23 to earlier that week. If that measure is taken, the calendar may be brought back before the board with an earlier start date.

Board Book Study
The board and administrators are reading the book “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” by Eric Jensen. The board and administrators tackled several questions as part of the book study discussion on Chapter 1. The board discussed how information from the book is applicable to our district and how living in poverty affects our students.
The group also discussed what the district can do and is doing to assist those living in poverty.

Grandwood Consortium Program
Matt Cretsinger, Director of Special Services, requested the board approve the application to the School Budget Review Committee in the amount of $3,044.88 for special education administrative costs associated with the Grandwood Consortium program for the 2018-19 school year. The Grandwood program serves students whose needs can’t be meant by our district in the Woodward area. Currently one student from Marshalltown attends the program. The board approved the item.

Board Policies
First reading
502.5-R-new number is 502.1R – Student Dress Code – Cross reference change – Approved and waived second reading.
502.6 – New number is 604.11 –  Temporarily Disabled Students – minor changes- Approved and waived second reading.
502.7- New numbers is 503.4R1-Student Conduct in Extra-Curricular Activities – Few language modifications- Approved and waived second reading
503.4 – Good Conduct Rule (new policy ) IASB policy – Approved as amended and waived second reading.
401.10R- Credit Cards- Revision of policy and changes made- Approved as amended and Waived second reading.
401.7- Employee Travel Compensation- Newly crafted policy combines old 401.7 and 401.11-  Minor of changes approved as presented waived second reading and  deleted old policies 401.7 and 401.11.

Initial review
502.12 new number is 502.7-Smoking, Drinking, Drugs- Marked as reviewed
503.1 – new numbers is 504.1 – Student Government – Added paragraph from IASB policy – To come back before board.
505.5- Interviews of Students by Outside Agencies – old policy deleted
502.9 -Interviews of Students by Law Enforcement and Outside Agencies – To come back
501.13- Students of Legal Age- IASB policy, to come back
502.5 – Student Lockers- New policy from IASB format – To come back from board

The board then went into exempt session for negotiations.

The next regular meeting of the board will be at 5 p.m. on Monday, February 17. The board will also meet from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 8 for an expulsion hearing.


From Board President Bea Niblock
“The board has embarked on a book study of “Teaching with Poverty in Mind,” by Eric Jensen.  We discussed the first chapter at our Monday meeting.

The board, central office administrators, and building administrators present engaged in a rich discussion bringing each person’s perspective to the table.  Many have had years of experience with this segment of our student population and brought personal stories to the discussion to help all understand the nature of poverty and its presence in Marshalltown.

These discussions will give every board member an opportunity to be more knowledgeable regarding what many students live through and the challenges brought to the learning environment.” – Bea Niblock