March 18, 2019 Board Meeting

19 Mar

Miller Middle School Principal Pat Rial talks to the school board at the meeting on March 18. Also pictured are Miller staff, from left, Creighton Jenness, Christine Gilbertson, Jen O’Neal and Dave Glenn.  Not pictured is presenter Lucas Johnson.

Miller Middle School Showcase – Defined STEM presentation

Miller Principal Pat Rial presented along with Miller staff David Glenn, Creighton Jenness, Christine Gilbertson, Jen O’Neal and Lucas Johnson. The group talked about how Defined STEM is a K-12 project based learning solution that provides engaging, authentic lessons built around careers. Cross-curricular projects provide opportunities for students to deepen understanding and apply their knowledge in real world scenarios. It is implemented to all students at Miller and will continue to grow along with Project Based Learning.

Mrs. Gilbertson said their class project was attempting to make ice cream healthy enough for school lunch. She said the students learn real world application skills.

“The kids were excited about it, they got into it,” Mrs. Gilbertson said. “They learned a lot and really useful information as well.”

Mr. Johnson’s composition class had them work as a tour operator to encourage people to come to Marshalltown. Students created a travel blog, a commercial and website. Mr. Johnson said it helped students take a positive approach to the community.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Adding to this list personnel changes: Add resignation of Jolene Kubli – music teacher at Franklin and Rogers- She has been with the district for 13 years.

Student School Board Representative Update
MHS senior Jane Ragland presented the update on MHS including the National Honor Society book drive, Yatnia Hernandez selected for All-State speech, spring sports beginning, the upcoming spring play Sherlock Holmes.


Pictured from left are Dan Terrones, Juliana Ibarra Lemus and Fatima Perez Negrete of the Marshalltown Area Healthcare Careers Club.

Out-of-State Field Trip Request – Marshalltown Area Healthcare Careers Club
Dan Terrones, Dean of Students at Marshalltown High School presented this along with MHS seniors Fatima Perez Negrete and Juliana Ibarra Lemus.

Mr. Terrones said they plan to take 45 students in the club trip to Chicago from April 11-13. They plan to visit the University of Chicago Medicine.

They have learning activities beginning Friday which will include tours and hands on activities, with a learning emphasis in the areas of ER, Diagnostic Imaging and the variety of nursing opportunities. All MHS students attending this trip are pursuing healthcare as their career option. Sightseeing and shopping will round out the experience.

Fatima said she is very passionate about health and nutrition and wants to be a dietician. They are still continuing to do fundraisers and are also supported by Trio, McFarland Clinic Medical Staff and Gear Up. This group takes one out-of-state trip a year. This was approved by the board.

MCSD Digital Learning Plan
This plan was presented by Dr. Lisa Stevenson, Paula Johnson and Josh Wesley

“This has been a group effort,” Dr. Stevenson said.

One of the outcomes by 2023 is to have a living digital learning plan as part of the Strategic Action Plan, Stevenson said. The plan has five areas including leadership, teaching, learning, assessment and infrastructure.

“Our technology is so strong in our district,” Johnson said. “This (plan) will help us drive that technology for the future.”

The group will seek feedback on the plan from district staff and the plan will come back to the board for approval at a later date.

Certified Budget
Paulette Newbold, Director of Business Operations, presented this item.
The proposed property tax rate $18.33 cents per thousand valuation, which is 1.9 percent increase in property tax rate. This is a proposed a 34 cent increase – (24 cents is part of the budget guarantee).

Newbold said the district’s solvency ratio is low and it’s important to get that moving in the right direction. While taxable valuation was up in the district, the future of that looks in jeopardy after the tornado.

Marshalltown ranks as the 9th lowest taxable valuation per student in the state out of 330 districts, making us a property poor district.

The proposed consolidated tax rate is at $40.97, for the consolidated rate it’s a 2 cent increase. This takes into account the county, city, college and other tax rates for a Marshalltown resident.

Lengthy discussion was held with the board regarding the budget.

The board approved the publishing of the school budget summary with a $18.33 tax rate and set a public hearing for the budget on April 8 (special board meeting).

Dental and Vision Rates
Paulette Newbold presented these new proposed rates. The dental increases are due to the fact the plan has been running a 118 percent loss ratio since 2014, Newbold said.

The recommendation is to treat all eligible employees equally, similar to health insurance benefits.   The district will pay for single dental coverage for those eligible and the single dental amount towards family coverage if elected. The district will pay for 50% of single vision coverage for those eligible and the same amount towards family coverage if elected.

There will be a presentation on health insurance at noon on Monday, March 25 at the MHS/Community Auditorium. The board approved the dental and vision rates.

Board Policies
First Reading
405.2 Licensed Employee Qualifications, Recruitment, Selection – Adjusted made- from IASB recommendation – after new collective bargaining law- Approved and waived second reading
405.5 Licensed Employee Work Day – Adjustment made from collective bargaining IASB recommendation Approved and waived second reading
405.6 Licensed Employee Certification and Assignment – Approved and waived second reading
405.7 Transfers – Approved and waived second reading
405.8 Evaluation – Approved and waived second reading
406.3 (new 408.1) Licensed Employee-Professional Growth -Approved and waived second reading
704.5 Tuition Fees – deleted
705.3 Requisition and Purchase Order (old)-deleted
705.3 Payment for Goods and Services – New number from IASB model policy- no changes since last meeting- Approved and waived second reading
705.3-R Payment for Goods and Services – same changes from last meeting- Mark as amended
705.4 Receiving Supplies and Equipment – deleted

Initial Review
201 Elections – policy amendment by IASB – to Come back before board
201.6 (new 202.3)Term of Office- policy amendment by IASB – to Come back before board
202.1 (new 204) Code of Ethics – policy amendment by IASB – to Come back before board
203.6 Legal Counsel – to be deleted – to come back before board
New Policy 207 Board of Directors’ Legal Council -To come back
New Policy 401.6 Limitations to Employment References- To come back
409.3 Licensed Employee Family and Medical Leave -Amended to reflect current practice – To come back
409.8 Absence Without Pay-Licensed- no changed- marked as reviewed
412.4 Annuities-Classified  – Adjustment to align with IASB – to come back
705.1 Purchasing-Bidding – reinserting E-Rate language- To come back
705.5 Approval and Payment for Goods and Services -to be deleted
705.6 Unpaid Warrants- to be deleted
705.7 Special Assessments – to be deleted
705.8 (new 709) Insurance Program (new and old) – 709 – new to come back
705.8-R Insurance Program – Regulation – to be deleted

The board then went into an exempt session for negotiations.

The next regular board meeting is April 1 at 5 p.m in district offices. There will be a special board meeting at 5 p.m. April 8 for a public hearing and approval of the budget.

From Board Vice President Janelle Carter
“I always enjoy our board meetings when we have more emphasis on Education than on Business.  With complicated budgets and difficult decisions, it seems like that has not been the norm lately.  Tonight we had an enlightening program from Miller Middle School on Defined STEM, a project based learning system with lessons built around cross-curricular projects. It sounds like both the staff and the students enjoyed the experience.  That is a win.

A request for an Out-of-State field trip for the Marshalltown Area Healthcare Careers Club to the University of Chicago School of Medicine is now on the docket with more than 40 students planning to go along.  This is another win. As a board member I have watched this group gain speed and was thrilled to see the enthusiasm from the students on their next adventure to the big city and to a first class university.

For the board’s perusal tonight was the rollout of the Digital Learning Plan for the District. Planning to get the most out of technology is another win.  This plan is a great start to using technology to drive instruction and achievement.

We wrapped up the night with the 2019-20 budget proposal, which has now been approved to go to a public hearing on April 8th.   With a difficult budget year behind us, the board supported a budget to help us recover from a loss of students, mainly due to the tornado, control fund balances to maintain cash flow and improve solvency.” – Janelle Carter

Click here to view the entire video of the Board Meeting

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