Archive | December, 2018

December 17, 2018 Board Meeting

18 Dec

English Learner Coordinator Rachel Inks, right, talks to the school board about the new Seal of Biliteracy alongside Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson at the December 17 meeting.

Seal of Biliteracy
Dr. Lisa Stevenson, Director of Instruction, and Rachel Inks, English Learner Coordinator presented this document about the upcoming Seal of Biliteracy which came down from Governor Kim Reynolds. It is an award given by a public school district to recognize students who have attained proficiency in two or more languages, one being English, by high school graduation.

“We have an exciting time coming up for us where we will be able to acknowledge our students with a Seal of Biliteracy,” Inks said.

In order to receive the seal on transcripts and their diplomas, students will have to demonstrate they can speak and write in two languages. Inks said this is something to celebrate at MHS.

“The majority of our Class of 2019 is already well positioned to earn this seal,” Inks said.

Dr.  Stevenson said she is excited as our district’s diverse population stands to benefit from this seal.



Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte and Business Manager Randy Denham

Randy Denham, Business Manager, was honored at the fall conference of the Iowa Association of School Business Officials in Altoona on October 31, 2018. Randy received recognition for achieving proficiency on all levels of the four-year sequence of classes offered through Iowa State University’ Iowa School Business Management Academy.

Public Hearing on 2019-2020 School Year Calendar
MHS teacher Jo Frohwein talked about spring break and requested in the future aligning it with Regent Universities and area schools.

Personnel Items approved by the board
Stephanie Collins, Special Education Teacher at Woodbury Elementary; Effective December 14, 2018.

Scott Johannes, High School Asst. Girls Basketball Coach at MHS
Replaces: Emily Hunt
Start: December 4, 2018
Salary: $4,104/year

Woodbury Elementary Presentation (Anel Garza, Principal)


Woodbury Elementary Principal Anel Garza, right, and Instructional Coach Julie Thede, presented this, which highlights the MTSS Framework intervention time at the school. The two talked about the 30 minutes block of intervention support. Teachers “flood” 30 minute blocks which are staggered depending on grade level
“We are looking at all the data we have available for our students to be able to group them accordingly,” Garza said.

Student School Board Representative
Jocelin Sharfnejda, America Dominguez and Jane Ragland presented this MHS update,
including information on the STEP program, Student Senate Adopt a Family, School Dance, holiday concerts and more

2019-2020 School Year Calendar
The 2019-20 school calendar was approved by the board. It was presented to the board for discussion at a previous meeting.

Communication/ Marketing Plan
Andrew Potter, Director of Communications, presented this plan with strategies to further promote the district and provide better avenues for communication with parents and the community. Discussion was held regarding the plan. The board approved the plan.

Meeting with legislators


State Senator Jeff Edler, right, and State Representative Dean Fisher addressed the board as they prepare for the 2018 legislative session.
Elder talked about SAVE Extension mental health services, school transportation equity, and State Supplemental Aid (SSA).
Fisher said it is their goal to the SSA done early.
“The (state) budget is looking at little bit better this year than the last couple of years,” Fisher said.
“Hopefully we can do a little better than we have the past couple of years,” (on SSA). The board also presented the IASB legislative priorities and spoke on a few of those priorities.

Application to School Budget Review Committee for Special Education Administrative Costs associated with River Hills Consortium Program for the 2019-2020 School Year
Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold presented this item.
This is a consortium which go before SBRC for approval for administrative services for special education.

At-Risk Budget 2019-2020 School Year
Dr. Lisa Stevenson, Director of Instruction, presented details on the at-risk program at the December 3 board meeting and the budget for approval at this meeting. The board approved the at-risk budget.

“Leaders of Learning: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement” Board Book Study
Dr. Lisa Stevenson, Anel Garza and MHS Dean of Students Dan Terrones and board members continued its discussion on the book.

Department of Transportation Purchase and Small Vehicle Fleet Update
Rex Kozak, Director of Transportation, requested permission to move forward with purchase of four vehicles.
The board approved the purchases of a 5 Passenger Vehicle from Jensen Ford 2019 Fusion for $17,289.00 Vans: from Dave Wright Auto 2019 Grand Caravan SE $20,700.00 and 2019 Grand Caravan $20,500.00 and a 9 Passenger from Clemons 2019 Suburban $39,639.00 Total $98,128.00

E-Rate Funding Item Request
Director of Technology, Josh Wesley,  presented on E-Rate funding item requests for the 2019-2020 school year. He requested  approval to publish an RFP, in conjunction with the E-Rate form 470, for 27 HP POE switches and 4 Cisco core switches and installation services. Total estimated cost is $90,000. Estimated total cost after E-Rate funding commitment is $18,000.

State Auditor’s Report; Special Investigation Report
Paulette Newbold, Director of Business Operations, and Randy Denham, Business Manager, gave a summary of the continuous improvement processes to the board on the heels of  State Auditor’s special investigation. The investigation was requested by the district as a result of payroll taxes that were not filed on time from a former payroll specialist and a penalty of more than $600,000 from the IRS.
Newbold said the district has spent a lot of time over the last 6 months evaluating oversight procedures to mitigate this from ever happening again.
“It is our goal to make sure everything in that whole entire payroll cycle has oversight,” Newbold said.
Discussion was held about the improvements and other items revealed in the investigation.

Board Policies
Second reading
312.3-E1 Fringe Benefits-Administrators/Supervisors – No Changes since last meeting, Approved as presented

First reading
New Policy 505.6 Early Graduation- New policy from IASB, Adopted and waived second reading
505.7 Commencement – Approved as amended, waived second reading
605.2 (new 605.8) Accountability Test Integrity/Test Preparation – Approved as amended waived second reading
605.4-R (new 505.5) Graduation Requirements – Pulled from agenda- To come back later

Initial reading
New Policy 605.4 Technology and Instructional Materials – Mandatory policy – To come back before board
New Policy 606.6 Insufficient Classroom Space – Mandatory policy- to come back
701.4 Governmental Accounting Practices and Regulations – Marked as reviewed
904.1 (new 504.4) Public Performances by Students – New number and added IASB language- TO come back before board
605.8 Media Centers – Number change to 605.5 – small changes- Marked as reviewed with changes
605.9 Physical Education – New number 603.6 and other changes added from IASB- To come back
700 Statement of Guiding Principles – Added IASB language and name change – To Come back
701 Financial Accounting System  – Deleted.
701.1 Depository of Funds – Marked as reviewed

The board then went into a a closed session to discuss strategy with legal council in matters presently in litigation, or where litigation is imminent as provided in Iowa Code 21.5 (1)(c). Roll call required.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on January 14.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“A precious few days remain before young and old, alike, are off enjoying the winter break.  My quote from last night’s meeting comes to us from Norman Vincent Peale – “Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”

A well-deserved break is almost upon you.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or any other holiday tradition, may you have the merriest of holidays.  May your soul be filled with softness and beauty. Come back to us safe and rested. We have lots of work to continue to do together!” – Bea Niblock


December 3, 2018 Board Meeting

4 Dec

Marshalltown High School student board representative America Dominguez updated the board on MHS activities during the December 3, 2018 school board meeting.

Student School Board Representative Update
MHS student America Dominguez updated the board on MHS activities including information on boys swimming, the French Club, a Veterans Day display, Tree ornaments from Student Rotarians, the poinsettia sale and upcoming events.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte was recognized as it was his birthday.

For personnel items approved by the board see below.

Stacy Betts, Special Education Paraeducator Level II at Lenihan, Effective November 28, 2018
Kanjana Hahn, General Food Service Worker at Franklin, Effective November 26, 2018
Curtis Jarrell, Bus Driver for Transportation, Effective November 21, 2018
Ann Collison, Special Education Paraeducator Level III at Hoglan Elementary, Effective December 31, 2018
Stephanie Anderson, General Education Paraeducator – Study Hall at MHS, Effective November 26, 2018

Tanya Viles, Special Education Paraeducator Level II at MHS, Effective November 21, 2018

Christian Tuttle, LI/T1 Para at Anson Elementary
Change of Contract Hours
Start: November 27, 2018
From: 7 hrs/day
To: 7.5 hrs/day

Barb Arends, Special Education Paraeducator Level I at Hoglan Elementary
To: Special Education Paraeducator Level II at Hoglan Elementary
Start: December 4, 2018
Salary: $16.34/hr

Yaisha Erwin, BD Paraeducator at MHS
To: Special Education Paraeducator Level II at Anson Elementary
Change of Location
From: MHS
To: Anson

Connor McKibben, Substitute Bus Driver with Transportation
From: Bus Monitor with Transportation
Salary: Depends on Route Driven
Start: November 16, 2018

Gary Lurvey, Bus Driver at Transportation
Change of Route which changes Salary
From: Preschool Driver with 3 routes/day
To: Special Education Driver with 2 routes/day
Salary: $12,990.03/yr

Student School Board Representative Update
MHS student America Dominguez updated the board on MHS activities including information on boys swimming, the French Club, a Veterans Day display, Tree ornaments from Student Rotarians, the poinsettia sale and upcoming events.


State Representative Mark Smith

State Representative Mark Smith
State Representative Mark Smith addressed the board as he prepares for the 2019 legislative session.

“I feel like I’ve always been a strong supporter of public education,” Smith said.

Representative Smith said it appears to be a “tough budget year again.”

Dr. Schutte talked about unfunded and underfunded mandates – such as financial literacy that needs to be implemented soon. Also discussion was held regarding SAVE ( the statewide penny sales tax which sunsets on December 31, 2029), mental health, school calendars, the school funding formula  and more.

The board also presented Representative Smith the Iowa Association priorities and school board priorities.  State Senator Jeff Edler and Representative Dean Fisher are expected to address the board at the December 17 board meeting.


Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson talks about the At-Risk Budget program and budget while Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger looks on.

2019-2020 At-Risk Budget Overview
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson and Director Of Special Services Matt Cretsinger presented this report as information only. This is a result of work of an at-risk committee, which meets monthly.
Dr. Stevenson reported while we made headway in increasing the graduation rate and decreasing the  dropout rate, we still have work to do.

“At least our trajectory is moving in the right direction,” Dr. Stevenson said.

She said, they continue to look to improve on chronic absenteeism, behavior issues, overall proficiency in reading and math and credit recovery. Two of the new priorities are to expand Bobcat University and expand the i-JAG at high school. The budget is near the same amount requested the previous year. Board and administrator discussion was held.  Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold also went over the budget.
The proposed dropout prevention and at-risk budget will be brought before the board for possible approval at the December 17 meeting.

2019-2020 School Year Calendar
Dr. Theron Schutte and Communications Director Andrew Potter presented a feedback results summary from parents and staff on the tentative 2019-20 calendar. While the results varied, spring break seemed to be the most talked about topic in the feedback.

Board President Bea Niblock said in the future she would like to see two calendars for staff to vote on as was done in the past. A public hearing on the proposed calendar will be held at the December 17 board meeting.

Authorization To Seek Bids for School Buses
Transportation Director Rex Kozak sought authorization from the board get bids for three new school buses
Mr. Kozak will report back to the board with bids he received. The board granted authorization to seek bids.

Board Policies
First reading
312.3-E1 Fringe Benefits-Administrators/Supervisors – Add past practice that administrators can carryover 10 days, TO come back before board
604.6 ( new 604.1) Competent Private Instruction – Adopted IASB policy and renumbered, Adopted and waived second reading
New Policy 903.1 School-Community Groups – Presented at last meeting – Adopted and waived second reading
New Policy 904.1 Transporting Students in Private Vehicles – new policy  -Adopted and waived second reading

Initial Review
New Policy 505.6 Early Graduation – New policy that supports current and past practice- To come back to board for approval
505.7 Commencement – Change made due to deletions in 600 series – To come back before board
704.6 Educational Material Fees – Deleted by board- (Information from it added to policies in 500 and 600 series)
605.1 (new 505.1) Student Progress Reports and Conferences – New number, Minor change, Marked as reviewed
605.2 (new 605.8) Accountability Test Integrity/Test Preparation – Changed from old No Child Left Behind, to come back before board
605.4 – Graduation Requirements – Graduation Ceremonies- Deleted (added to other policy)
605.4-R (new 505.5) Graduation Requirements –Changes made to come back before board.
605.5 Education Records – Deleted –

The board then went into a closed session to conduct a quarterly evaluation of the superintendent.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on Monday, December 17 in district offices (1002 S. 3rd. Ave.).

From Board President Bea Niblock

“This is the time of the year when our legislators are invited to visit with the school board. Last night, Representative Mark Smith joined the board for a conversation.
The board shared its legislative priorities with Representative Smith and he shared his expectations for the 2019 session.

He indicated that this will be another year of low state aid. That is not good news for us as we have been working with a limited budget for a number of years now. Other items discussed included underfunded mandates, mental health concerns, and the continuation of the penny sales tax (SAVE).

Senator Jeff Edler and Representative Dean Fisher will be present at the December 17th board meeting for a similar discussion. Take up advocacy for our public schools and join us at our next meeting.” – Bea Niblock