March 16, 2020 Board Meeting

17 Mar
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MCSD Lead Nurse Stacey Tool-Crawford, left, and Marshall County Public Health Nurse Pat Thompson, right, discuss the district’s Pandemic or Infectious Disease Plan at Monday’s meeting.

School board approves MCSD Pandemic or Infectious Disease Plan
Marshalltown Schools is closed until April 10 in response to concerns about the spread of the COVID-19 virus after Marshalltown School Board action Monday. The board also approved the district’s Pandemic or Infectious Disease Plan as another key step in response to the pandemic. 

“I think taking the most prudent, proactive actions will help Marshalltown mitigate what otherwise could occur,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. 

The full plan includes strategies to prevent and reduce the spread of infectious diseases in school facilities, procedures for canceling school due to an infectious disease outbreak, and considerations for reopening schools. 

Stopping germ spread, frequent hand washing and staying home when sick are among the strategies outlined in the plan. 

Marshall County Public Health Nurse Pat Thompson and MCSD Lead Nurse Stacey Tool-Crawford spoke about the importance of having a plan in place and why it is so crucial to take steps toward preventing and slowing the spread of pandemics. 

“This is a very fluid situation. It’s not just changing daily, we’re looking at things hourly,” Tool-Crawford said. “We will make it through this. This is uncharted territory for all of us.” 

For more information on the district’s response to COVID-19, click here

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The successful Lenihan intramural program was spotlighted at this week’s Marshalltown School Board meeting, and several staff members talked about the program’s growth. Pictured, from left: Sue Cahill, Matt Butler, Casey Moberly and Kyle Young.

Lenihan showcase includes info on Computer Science is Elementary grant, intramurals
Lenihan Intermediate School students have excellent opportunities in multiple areas of education thanks to new programming led by dedicated staff. 

One of those opportunities, intramural activities, was launched in 2018 and student participation has continued to grow. Sports include golf, basketball, soccer, volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, tennis and much more. In addition, Lenihan students can also take part in coding and Makerspace intramural activities, bolstering their computer science and creativity skills. 

The students’ computer science education is further enhanced by the $50,000 Computer Science is Elementary state grant, which was awarded to Lenihan and five other schools statewide last spring. 

For more information on the Computer Science is Elementary grant program, click here.  

Public hearings set on 2020-21 certified MCSD budget, current year budget amendment
District Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold and the entire Finance Department have been hard at work preparing a certified budget proposal for the coming 2020-21 school year. The board approved a public hearing on the budget proposal for 5 p.m. Monday, April 6 in the board meeting room in the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. 

Here are some highlights from the presentation

  • Next year’s state supplemental aid increase of 2.3 percent equates to about $158 more in state funding per student than the current year. That brings the district cost per pupil up to $7,069. 
  • The estimated budget proposes a school district property tax rate of $18.34 per $1,000 in assessed valuation. That is the same rate as this year.

The board also approved setting a public hearing for an amendment to this fiscal year’s budget. That public hearing will also take place during the board meeting April 6. 

D.A.R.E. program discussed

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Deputy Tim Hungerford, left, has been teaching D.A.R.E. in at MCSD since 2005

Marshall County Sheriff’s Deputy Tim Hungerford shared background and information on the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program at MCSD. Hungerford said D.A.R.E., which has been taught in Marshalltown since 1998, has had a positive impact on many students. 

He said D.A.R.E. teaches students about making good decisions when it comes to avoiding drug and alcohol use, resisting peer pressure, and preventing bullying. 

Check out Hungerford’s presentation on the program here

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.

Policies
First reading: 

  • 104 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment Policy (approved, second reading waived)
  • 104-R1 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harassment Investigation Procedures (approved, second reading waived)
  • 402.2 Child Abuse Reporting (approved, second reading waived)
  • 403.3 Communicable Diseases-Employees (approved, second reading waived)
  • New Policy 604.3 Program for Talented and Gifted Students (approved, second reading waived)

Initial review:

  • 401.1-R Grievance Procedure (deleted)
  • 402.6 (new 401.13) Staff Technology Use/Social Networking (will come back for first reading)
  • 402.6-R (new 401.13-R1) Staff Technology Use/Social Networking Regulation (marked as reviewed) 
  • 403.6 (new 403.5) Substance-Free Workplace (marked as reviewed)
  • 403.6-R1 (new 403.5-R1) Substance-Free Workplace Regulation (marked as reviewed)
  • 403.6-E1 (new 403.5-E1) Substance-Free Workplace Notice to Employees (marked as reviewed)
  • 710.2 Free or Reduced Priced Meals Eligibility (marked as reviewed)
  • 906 Unmanned Aircrafts-Drones (Bea Niblock) (marked as reviewed)
  • 906-R1 Unmanned Aircrafts-Drones Regulation(Bea Niblock) (marked as reviewed)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“We live in challenging times. Every day brings something new to the table as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. Our country has not been faced with anything of this nature for over a hundred years.

We ask your patience and calm as our administration and board grapple with the changing factors day by day and hour by hour. Decisions were made regarding the school calendar during the board meeting and by the end of the board meeting, the ‘landscape’ had already changed.  

Be kind to yourself and reach out to help those who need it. Don’t allow the restrictions of the pandemic to harden and close you, but to bring out your compassion and caring. 

‘Helping others in need is not only a responsibility of life, it is what gives meaning to life. – Mollie Marti’” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, April 6, 2020 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S.Third Ave.

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