November 18, 2019 Board Meeting

19 Nov
New Board WEB

A new set of school board members took their seats at the board table Monday. Pictured, from left, are the winners of the 2019 board election being sworn in: returning board member Sean Heitmann and new board members Jan McGinnis, Sara Faltys and Bob Untiedt.

New board members take their seats
There are new faces on the Marshalltown School Board after three new members and one returning member were sworn in Monday evening. 

Local attorney Sean Heitmann was re-elected in the November board election. New members include longtime teacher Jan McGinnis, McFarland Clinic administrator Sara Faltys and IVCCD Orpheum Theater Center Director Bob Untiedt. The four were sworn in by Board Secretary Paulette Newbold. 

Outgoing board members honored
Three former board members were also recognized Monday. Outgoing board Vice President Janelle Carter and members Ben Fletcher and Ross Harris were presented with certificates of appreciation by Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. 

Representatives from the Marshalltown Education Association spoke during the meeting’s public comment section to thank the outgoing members for their years of service and to address the incoming board members. 

“We wanted to say welcome to the new board members,” said Lenihan teacher Alex Klyn of the MEA. 

Outgoing board WEB

Three former school board members were honored at Monday’s annual organizational meeting. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, second from left, recognized outgoing board Vice President Janelle Carter, left, and members Ross Harris, second from right, and Ben Fletcher, right.

Leadership elections held
With the new board members in place, the new board voted on which members would hold leadership positions. Incumbent Board President Bea Niblock was again chosen to lead the board. With former Vice President Janelle Carter leaving the board, Sean Heitmann was elected to take up the vice president’s position. 

Bea swear-in WEB.jpg

Bea Niblock, right, is sworn in as board president by Board Secretary Paulette Newbold Monday.

Heitmann swear-in WEB

Sean Heitmann is sworn in as board vice president by board President Bea Niblock. Heitmann replaces former board member and vice president Janelle Carter in the leadership position.

Calendar proposals for 2020-21 school year
Dr. Shutte presented two 2020-2021 school year calendar proposals to the board Monday. Option 1 closely mirrors the current 2019-20 school year calendar, including a spring break in March and an end to classes in early June, dependent on the number of snow days. The school year would start on Aug. 25, 2020. 

Option 2 has the same Aug. 25 start date, but does not include a spring break in March. There would be no school due to a professional development day April 1, 2021 and there would be no school on April 2 (Good Friday), nor on April 5-6. Barring snow days, the Option 2 calendar end date would be May 28, 2021. 

A survey will be sent out to parents and school staff to collect feedback on the two options. District administration and the school board will take the feedback into consideration and the board will make the final decision on which option to approve. 

The Option 1 proposal can be seen here

The Option 2 proposal can be seen here

Marshalltown Learning Academy showcase
Marshalltown Learning Academy Principal Eric Goslinga and teacher Nicole Critchfield shared facts and figures about the building’s academic program and students. Some highlights include:

  • MLA serves more than 100 students in grades 9-12 in a highly personalized learning environment. 
  • The school provides a quality learning environment for at-risk students using a non-conventional learning program. 
  • Semesters are treated as a set of standards for students to master rather than as a function of time. 
  • Students have access to work-based learning, industry credentialing, dual-credit courses (including in career and technical education areas). 
  • MLA’s program includes blended learning, in which some of the students’ work is done online and some is done in-person. 

For more information about the MLA educational program, click here

Student School Board Representative update
The three Student School Board representatives shared many updates with the board Monday. Included was information on the upcoming Holiday Stroll, a recent visit from educators from the country of Georgia, National Honor Society activities and the Marshalltown Area Healthcare Careers Club Asian Food fundraiser. 

One key part of the presentation included data about Marshalltown High School students taking dual-credit college courses. Currently, 10 students are on track to get their associate’s degree by the time they graduate high school. An additional 10-13 students will have at least one year of college done by the time they graduate high school. 

Click here for the full Student School Board representative update. 

Public hearing set for proposed use of SAVE funding on tennis courts
A revenue purpose statement for MCSD’s use of state Secure and Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) sales tax funding use was approved by district voters earlier in November. One project district leaders are considering for use of that funding is the reconstruction and expansion of the community tennis courts at the high school. 

For the funding to be allowed for use on an athletic facility, district Business Director Paulette Newbold said the board must hold a public hearing on the proposal. The board voted unanimously to set a public hearing for 5 p.m. Dec. 16, 2019 for the proposed use of SAVE funds. Newbold said more details about the tennis court project will be released prior to that public hearing. Click here for more information. 

Small vehicle purchase approved
After a recent regular vehicle check, district Transportation Director Rex Kozak reported one of the district’s small vehicles for transporting students was in need of replacement. Staff worked to repair the vehicle, he said, but it was decided a new vehicle was needed. 

The board approved the purchase of a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica from Dave Wright Auto in the amount of $25,675 to be paid out of the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) fund’s annual small vehicle replacement allocation. More information can be found here

Bond refinancing saves money
The board approved a recommendation to refinance debt ($7,329,000 in refunding bonds). With the approval, the debt now has a lower interest rate, resulting in more than $266,000 in savings to the district. Click here for more information. 

Communications
Communications Director Adam Sodders reviewed the good news from the district by sharing newspaper articles as well as school communications articles. That list can be seen here

Personnel items
For a list of personnel items approved Monday, click here

Donation accepted
The school board accepted a donation of $2,400 in the memory of late MCSD alum John Kunc. The funds will go toward Marshalltown High School Vocal Music. 

Policies
Initial review – 

  • New Policy – 508.2 Open Night (will come back for a first reading)
  • 102.E1 Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination (marked as reviewed)
  • 902.6 Board Proceedings (will come back for deletion at first reading)
  • 903.3 Building Visitors (will come back for a first reading) 

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Last night was the annual/organizational meeting.  The old board retired some colleagues and welcomed others to the board table.  Janelle Carter, Ben Fletcher and Niko Aguirre finished their service to the board and Sara Faltys, Jan McGinnis and Bob Untiedt joined the board.  Sean Heitmann was re-elected to his seat.  

Things start; things end. The end of one thing leads to the beginning of another. We will miss some of our colleagues and we welcome others to the board table.

My quote last evening came from Seneca, a Roman philosopher: ‘Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.’ Indeed!” – Bea Niblock. 

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. Third Ave.

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