Archive | February, 2019

Feburary 18, 2019 Board Meeting

19 Feb

Hoglan Elementary School staff talked about how they are making students Bobcat Ready at the school board meeting held on February 18. Pictured from left are Abbe Hand, Sara Nichols, Amy Pollard, Amy Williams, Laura Eberly, Lacie Moore and Heather Stanley.

Hoglan helps students get Bobcat Ready

Hoglan Principal Amy Williams was joined by other Hoglan staff including, Laura Eberly, Abbe Hand, Sara Nichols, Amy Pollard, Heather Stanley and Lacie Moore for this presentation.

Bobcat Ready was one of the main themes in an update from Hoglan Elementary.

“What are we doing in elementary schools to make our students Bobcat Ready and to give them experiences?” Williams said.

Other topics from the Hoglan group included Garden Club which meets once a month, Cafe Hoglan, where parents come to read with their child, High School helpers which visit Hoglan regularly, fourth grade leaders, the Holiday Caring Project and ROARS (Respect, Open Hearted, Achiever, Responsible and Safe) assemblies.


Nicole Gaughan was honored at the meeting for attaining certification as a Behavior Analsyst.

Nicole Gaughan, Behavior Strategist for the district, recently completed a master’s program through Drake University in Applied Behavior Analysis and then also successfully passed the international Board Certified Behavior Analyst or BCBA exam.  This is a prestigious accomplishment and one of the highest levels of education possible in the area of behavioral science. She is the only educator within our region of the state, and one of very few across Iowa, who has successfully obtained this endorsement.

Below are personnel items approved by the board

Maralyn Schulze, Special Education Paraeducator Level II/III at Franklin Elementary; Effective June 11, 2019. Maralyn has 25 years of service to the district.
Darlene Gilliland, Food Preparation for Food Service at MHS; Effective March 29, 2019; has been with the district for 26 years.

Stacy O’Hare, head girls basketball coach

Scott Byers, Substitute Bus Driver for Transportation
New Position
Salary: Determined by Route
Start: February 13, 2019

Amelia Ramble, Bus Monitor for Transportation
New Position
Salary: $9.90/hr
Start: January 23, 2019

Scott Johannes, Head Boys Soccer Coach at MHS
Replacing Chris Fuchsen
Salary: $4,586/yr
Start: March 11, 2019

Landon Wood, ESL Teacher at MHS
New Position
Salary: MA/5
Start: March 1, 2019

Spencer Gritsch, Substitute Teacher
Salary: $115/day
Start: February 4, 2109

Mykal Wildman, ESL Teacher at MHS and Fisher
Replacing Abi Burkhead
Salary: BA/5
Start: TBD

Change of contract
Rebecca Neimann, Bus Driver for Transportation
Add on Pre K Route
Salary: $2,609.52 in addition to current contract
Start: January 24, 2019

Public Comment
Several teachers spoke during public comment asking the district to delay decision on the insurance plan changes citing the need for getting more information on premiums amounts and other information on changes.

Student School Board Representative Update
MHS senior and Student Board Representative Jane Ragland presented the MHS update to the board including sports updates on state wrestling and state bowling and basketball.

2018-2019 School Calendar & Weather Related Lost Instructional Hours Update
With 5 full days of school lost- plus 19 additional hours lost- due to heat or cold weather and snow, there is a need to make up 3 full days due to our student hours accrued, said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.
Dr. Schutte recommended the district add three student contact days at end of school year to move last student day to June 7.
To regain staff time lost, Dr. Schutte proposed extending the teacher contract by 15 minutes a day Monday through Thursdays in months or March, April and May.
The last teacher day, Monday, June 10.

2019-2020 Marshalltown High School Course Guide Additions
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant presented changes to the course guide including adding intro to criminal justice, and Senior Year Plus alternate assessment to show proficiency.
The board approved the additions.

Leaders of Learning: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement” Board Book Study
The board and administrators continue with chapter 9 of the book study, which is the final chapter of the book.

Time Tracking Software Proposal
Paulette Newbold, Anthony Spurgetis, Randy Denham and Tammy Ellis, presented this proposal. This was a recommendation for a time clock solution for hourly employees, substitute teachers and additional payments.

The annual software cost proposed is $23,940 and there is a one time implementation and training fee of $11,000.  The recommendation is to pay for this with PPEL funding (allowable as non-instructional software). As a participating agency with US Communities purchasing cooperative the District can save about $1,000 per year by going through the existing procurement contract with Kronos.  The above cost includes an optional module for FMLA tracking.

Discussion was held on why this is needed. The goal is to have summer staff using it and then have it up and running full for hourly employees in the fall.
The board approved the purchase.

Health Insurance
Due to rising costs of healthcare, and plans that have been underpriced in the past, there is need to make some increases in the health insurance costs for all employees. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said equity between plans and equality among plan costs are two main goals the board has given the district.

“We need to ensure that these plans are solvent and sustainable financially,” Schutte said.

Several teaching staff and retired staff  spoke on health insurance, asking the board to delay a decision until more details are presented.  There was clarification given to the concerned staff that the board was merely approving further direction to get true numbers on the cost increases and not approving the cost increases Monday.

The board approved the authority for the consultant (Mark Becker and Associates) to move forward with pricing of plans.

Reopening Voluntary Retirement Program
The board approved to reopen the voluntary retirement incentive program effective February 19, 2019 to March 8, 2019 – due to rightsizing of the TLC budget and changes to the voluntary 4 year old preschool program

Board Policies
First reading
204.10 (new 213-R1) Community Participation in Board Meetings – To come back before board a next meeting.
204.11 General Complaints by Citizens- Deleted- already covered in another policy
New Policy 213 Public Participation in Board Meetings – IASB policy- Adopted and waived second reading – presented at last meeting
New Policy 213.1 Public Complaints- IASB policy- Adopted and waived second ready – presented at last meeting
402.5 Public Complaints About Employees- Deleted – covered in another policy
703.5 (new 707.6) Finance Committee – Approved as amended – no changes since last meeting- Waived second reading.
New Policy 701.3 Financial Records – Presented at last meeting- IASB recommends- Adopted and waive reading.

Initial review
312.3-E1 Fringe Benefits-Administrators/Supervisors – Change to reflect current practice- To come back
New Policy 400 Role of and Guiding Principles for Employees- To come back (IASB recommended)
New Policy 411.4 Classified Employee Licensing/Certification- To come back (IASB recommended
New Policy 508.1 Class or Student Group Gifts – To come back  (IASB recommended)
706.1 Payroll  Periods- No changes- marked as reviewed
706.2 Payroll Deductions- Adjusted to reflect current practice and match IASB langage- To come back before board
New Policy 712 Technology and Data Security – from IASB- To come back
New Regulation 712-R1 Security Requirements of Third-Party Vendors Regulation- from IASB- to come back

704.2 Sale of Bonds- Removed- not necessary – Deleted
704.4 Gifts, Grants, and Bequests- Changed to mirror IASB- To come back
704.4-R Gifts, Grants, and Bequests-Regulation- Removed – deleted.
704.5 Student Activities Fund- Changes to mirror IASB- To come back

Closed session
The board then went into a closed session for the quarterly evaluation of the superintendent.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on March 4 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
With health insurance being an agenda item at last night’s meeting, the board room was filled with employees wanting to express concerns and share personal stories in light of any changes that might be made.

‘In accordance with board policy, board members may not respond to your comments in order to comply with open meeting laws.’ That is stated before each meeting by the board president, but be assured that each board member listens intently and values the input of the public.

It is also good for audience members to remember that a school board meeting is a meeting held in the public. It is not a public meeting/forum. Spontaneous applause, whistling and verbal comments from the audience are not appropriate. The board has business to conduct.

The board values input from the community and takes each comment to heart. Board members are elected officials and want to hear what community members have to say in the proper setting with respect for all concerned.” – Bea Niblock


February 4, 2019 Board Meeting

5 Feb

Speaking to the school board on February 4 is Franklin Elementary School Principal Tim Holmgren. Also presenting from left, are teacher leaders Amy Phillips, Mallori Ghent, Amanda Goings, Ashley Moeller and Teri Hungerford.

Franklin’s buddies program helps build connections among students

For personnel items approved by the board, click here. One late addition to this list is the retirement of Rollie Ackerman, activities director with MHS at the end of the school year.

The personnel items included five more early retirements including:
Jeff Hoogensen, 7th grade social studies teacher at Miller- 28 years with district
Michael Eggleston- PE teacher at Fisher Elementary School-19 years in the district
Deborah Friday – 2nd grade teacher at Hoglan Elementary School – 19 years with the district
Elda Reyes, ELL teacher at Franklin Elementary – been with district with 15 years.
Leah Mattox, 6th grade teacher at Lenihan-  been with district 28 years

Franklin Elementary School Presentation
Franklin Principal Tim Holmgren, along with teacher leaders Amy Phillips, Mallori Ghent, Teri Hungerford,  Ashley Moeller and Amanda Goings, presented.
This meeting they decided to highlight the buddies program at Franklin, where students are paired with mentors two grades above them or serve as mentors to students two grades below them.

“They have opportunities to problem solve with the their buddy, they can learn with their buddy.” Holmgren said.

Other skills learned are academics, social skills and relationship-building. Kindergartners are paired with third grade buddies and 1st graders are paired with fourth grade buddies.

“They are always excited to go to buddies (time),” said fourth grade teacher Ashley Moeller.

Second graders are not involved in the buddy program, but they go to the Iowa Veterans Home every year which is a great way to work on their social skills.

Dual Language Program Iowa Assessment Results
Jon McKenzie, Director of Assessment &  Comprehensive Improvement from Central Rivers AEA  completed a program evaluation for the dual language program in Marshalltown.
He presented along with Rachel Inks, ELL Coordinator and Lisa Stevenson, Director of Instruction.
He talked about the differences between the dual language students and non-dual language students in the district.
Overall, McKenzie found there are no significant differences across grade levels.
“When looking at the differences of reading, math and science scores on the Iowa Assessments across students in the Dual Language program and students not in the Dual Language school who are all ELL students there is no differences in scores across grades, even though scores in these subject areas increase dramatically for all groups of students from the early grades to higher grades in late middle school to high school,” McKenzie said.
The district continues to work to improve the dual language program, Stevenson said.
Board Member Mike Miller said the district should do more work to promote the dual language program to differentiate it from other area school districts.

Marshalltown High School Roundhouse Phase II Budget Update
Architect Kevin Eipperle of  FEH Design presented this budget summary.
He said it appears they are on track to be in line with the $100,580 contingency fund to pay for change orders.

Marshalltown High School Roundhouse Phase II Change Order
The board approved the change order as presented.

Student School Board Representative Update
Jocelin Sharfnejda, America Dominguez and Jane Ragland presented an update on MHS.
They talked about the district speech contest, science bowl, boys swimming district meet and upcoming school activities.

2019-2020 Marshalltown High School Course Guide
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant presented this course guide for the 2019-20 school year including several new courses.
The board approved the course guide.

“Leaders of Learning: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement” Board Book Study
The board and administrators continued discussion on the book with a focus on Chapter 8.

Depository Resolution
Paulette Newbold, Director of Business Operations, presented this document, which this is something the board is asked to approve annually.
The board approved the resolution.

Application to the School Budget Review Committee
Matt Cretsinger, Director of Special Services, said this is part of a consortium that shares administrative costs of Grandwood. Marshalltown’s cost is $2,766.24. Grandwood works with students with significant intellectual disabilities and behavior needs.
The board approved the application.

Board Policies
204.10 (new number 213-R1) Community Participation in Board Meetings – What the policy has been, changed from a policy to a regulation.  To come back for first reading
New Policy 213 Public Participation in Board Meetings- Model IASB policy for public participation in board meeting- To come back for first reading at next meeting.

First reading
605.4 (new 505.5) Graduation Requirements -Not revised since last time before board, Adopted and waived second reading
704 2-New Policy – Debt Management Policy – Adopted and waived second reading
701.5 (new 704.2-R1) Post-Issuance Compliance Regulation for Tax-Exempt Obligations (new and old) – no changes since last meeting,Adopted and waived second reading
Delete 701.5
703.3-R Financial Planning Calendar Adopted and waived second reading

Initial review
204.11 General Complaints by Citizens- Delete policy next meeting
New Policy 213.1 Public Complaints – IASB language – To come back before board
402.5 Public Complaints About Employees – Delete policy next meeting
701.3-Financial Records- New policy – Recommended by IASB – To come back
703.4 Fiscal Management-Performance Measures and 703.4-E Fiscal Management-Performance Measures will be deferred to a later meeting-
703.5 (new 707.6) Finance Committee- new number and significant changes- To come back
704.1 Local-State-Federal-Miscellaneous Revenue- No changes except for references – Marked as reviewed

The next regular school board meeting will be held on Monday, February 18 at 5 p.m. in the district offices.

The board will hold a special meeting on the district insurance plan at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, February 6.


The first wrestling practice was held in the Allie Morrison Wrestling Room on February 4.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Monday was the first day that wrestlers had practice in the new facilities of the Roundhouse.  Can you imagine the excitement that filled the room as wrestlers took to the mat? Setbacks from weather and supply delays made the use of the facility an even bigger reward.
The board received a budget update on the Roundhouse Phase II project from FEH Design at Monday’s meeting.  The latest change orders were discussed and approved. We are nearing completion of the project with the sincere hopes of finishing within the budget!
A new facility long overdue and within the budget!  What a success for this district!” – Bea Niblock