May 4, 2020 Board Meeting

5 May


National School Board Recognition Month/”Public School Proud!”
The Marshalltown School Board recognized several outstanding students, employees, and community efforts at Monday’s board meeting, including National School Board Recognition Month

This year, the recognition of school board members is being given a new twist under the unique circumstances brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to recognizing locally-elected school board members for their hard work on behalf of Bobcat students, the theme “Public School Proud!” is also being celebrated. 

“Thank you for your commitment to living up to our district’s mission and vision, and the countless hours you put in,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte to the board members. “Thank you to all of you on behalf of Bobcat students, parents, employees and the community as a whole.”

Board President Bea Niblock said public schools are a key piece in the lives of thousands of Iowa students. She thanked MCSD employees for their work to continue to provide for students during the current crisis.

“This includes 592 educators – teachers, paraeducators and secretaries – for innovating to provide online learning and support for students; 58 food service staff for providing meals for students and families; 62 Transportation staff for delivering meals to students and families; 1 superintendent and 15 principals for providing excellent leadership; 38 Central Office staff for managing day-to-day operations; and 41 operations and maintenance staff for ensuring buildings and facilities are safe, clean and sanitized,” Niblock said. 

Teacher Appreciation Week celebrated
Teacher Appreciation 1May 4-8 is Teacher Appreciation Week, an annual celebration of teachers for the crucial role educators play in the lives of their students. MCSD teachers do an outstanding job under typical circumstances and have been doing excellent work during the current COVID-19 situation.

To celebrate, MCSD administrators recited the poem “A Child’s in Need of Us” by retired Pella Community Schools Superintendent Mark Wittmer. A video of the poem reading premiered at Monday’s board meeting and is available on the MCSD YouTube channel

Math Team WEB

These MHS Math Team students qualified for the Math Leauge Midwest Regionals. Top left – senior Jay Drummer; Top right – Ketcham brothers Trevor (left) and Derek (right); Bottom left – junior Marek Jablonski; Bottom right – senior Zach Swartz.

MHS Math Team qualifies for Midwest Regionals contest
Marshalltown High School Math Team members Jay Drummer, Trevor Ketcham, Zach Swartz, Marek Jablonski and Derek Ketcham shared their experience at the recent state Math League competition. The group’s impressive performance led to a qualification for the Midwest Regionals contest. 

Read more about the MHS Math Team’s accomplishment here

A caring community
Though the current circumstances are challenging to communities all over Iowa, the U.S. and the world, Marshalltown community members continue to show how much they care for MCSD and Bobcat students. 

  • Marshalltown Mayor Joel Greer recently proclaimed May 2020 as Marshalltown Senior Class Month, helping recognize the perseverance of senior students through the COVID-19 situation.
  • Shomo-Madsen Insurance and IMT Insurance donated $500 to the MCSD Nutrition Department in a gesture of gratitude for the district’s feeding programs at school sites and mobile routes. 
  • April 19-25 was National Volunteer Week. Service through volunteerism is a staple of Marshalltown Schools and the broader community, from 2018 tornado recovery to providing services through the current global pandemic. 

Board adopts updated Pandemic Response resolution
An updated MCSD Pandemic Response resolution was adopted by the board. The resolution reaffirms the district’s commitment to continuing to pay employees during the COVID-19-related closure, to provide voluntary educational enrichment opportunities to students, and to continue to hold school board meetings virtually. 

Additionally, the resolution reaffirms the district’s commitment to following the Iowa Department of Education’s guidance by submitting a “Return to Learn” plan by July 1. To read the full resolution, click here.

Important steps taken on district technology
The school board was presented with several important items related to technology Monday. The board approved the replacement of Chromebooks, as well as related  device cases and carts, in accordance with the district’s annual technology replacement cycle. Additionally, the board approved $31,250 for the Marshalltown High School Project Lead the Way (PLTW) lab.

The board also approved technology expenses due to COVID-19, which include Chromebooks to replace lost or broken items as well as cases. The board also approved the purchase of internet hotspots for summer school students.

For more details about the annual replacement cycle purchase, click here. For more on the technology-related actions taken in response to COVID-19, click here

Public hearing set on Instructional Support Program renewal
The state Instructional Support Program allows school districts to increase their general fund budgets by up to 10 percent of the regular program district cost. With the current five-year Instructional Support Program board resolution set to expire in June of 2021, Director of Finance Paulette Newbold recommended adoption of a new five-year resolution so the district can continue to utilize the program. 

The board set a public hearing on the matter for 5 p.m. Monday, May 18. More information on the program can be found here.

Multiple 2020-21 school year handbooks approved
After being presented to the board in previous meetings, several MCSD handbooks for the 2020-21 school year got final approval on Monday. They include the handbooks for the Transportation Department, preschool and elementary students, Lenihan Intermediate School, Miller Middle School and Marshalltown High School.

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

First reading

  • 211 Open Meetings (adopted and second reading waived)
  • 711.10 School Bus Passenger Restraints (adopted and second reading waived)
  • 201.7 (new 200.1) Organization of the Board (will come back for a first reading)
  • 201.8 (new 202.4) Vacancies (amended and second reading waived) 
  • 204.4 (new 210.1) Annual Meeting (amended and second reading waived) 
  • 204.5-R (new 200.1-R1) Organizational Meeting Procedures (amended and second reading waived) 
  • 204.6 (new 210.5) Notice of Board Meetings (amended and second reading waived) 
  • 204.9 (new 210.10) Agenda and Order of Regular Business Meetings (amended and second reading waived) 
  • 204.7 (new 210.6) Quorum for Meetings (amended and second reading waived) 
  • 204.12 (new 215) Minutes of Meetings-Publication of Proceedings (amended and second reading waived) 
  • 206.1 (new 216.2) New Board of Directors’ Member Development Training (amended and second reading waived) 
  • 404.1-R2 (new 404.1-R1) Code of Professional Conduct and Ethics Regulation (amended and second reading waived)  

Initial review

  • 506.2-R1 Use of Directory Information (will come back for a first reading)
  • 506.2-E1 Authorization for Releasing Student Directory Information (will come back for a first reading)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“May finds National School Board Recognition and Teacher Appreciation Week at its core. Since 2007, IASB has led the charge in celebrating school board members, but this year, in the midst of a global crisis, our school board wishes to thank all educators, administrators and district staff for their profound efforts to continue the education, feeding and meeting the needs of Marshalltown’s youth and families.

This year’s motto for School Board Recognition Month is ‘Public School Proud!’ We are, indeed, proud of the work of all members of the MCSD family. Your efforts have not gone unnoticed and have been essential to providing our students and families the support they need. Thanks to each of you for the things you do in this complex and challenging time.” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, May 18, 2020. The meeting will be held virtually via Zoom and a live stream of the meeting will be available via YouTube. 

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