July 13, 2020 Board Meeting

14 Jul

MCSD Return to Learn plan update shared R2L logo
The Marshalltown Community School District Return to Learn plan for 2020-21 was a major topic of discussion at Monday night’s school board meeting. 

Several District leaders shared updates on the work done by each of the six Return to Learn teams since early June. While the school board did not approve a final Return to Learn plan Monday, they did hear the current MCSD recommendation for Return to Learn this fall.

“The Marshalltown Community School District currently plans on offering parents and their children two options: on-site learning for those willing and able, or online learning for those unable or unwilling to come on-site,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. “A decision for children to access online learning will require a minimum semester commitment and can be re-evaluated at that time.” 

Modified on-site learning would include an abundance of safety measures, including required face masks or face shields for all staff and students (with limited exceptions), social distancing, frequent hand washing, making hand sanitizer available throughout all school buildings, daily deep-cleaning in each building, and signage posted throughout the district sharing the enforced safety measures. 

The plans and recommendations presented Monday may change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information on Monday evening’s Return to Learn update and for the latest information on Return to Learn, please visit the MCSD Return to Learn webpage

Student Reps 20-21

MHS students Itzary Avalos (left), Klaudia Hernandez (center), and Haley Reed (right) were selected as the 2020-21 Student School Board Representatives Monday evening.

Three new Student School Board members named for 2020-21 school year
Three exemplary Marshalltown High School upperclassmen were chosen as Student School Board Representatives Monday.

Junior Haley Reed and seniors Itzary Avalos and Klaudia Hernandez are all involved in several school and extracurricular activities, and will keep the school board updated on the many happenings at MHS throughout the year. 

MHS Parking Lot improvement project approved
The school board approved the MHS Parking Lot improvement project and awarded the work to Manatt’s Inc. in the amount of $193,000. District Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold said the bid came in significantly under the estimated project budget of $225,000. 

Board approves legislative priorities
This year’s Marshalltown School Board legislative priorities were adopted in a resolution Monday. The four priorities this year include: 

  • School Funding Policy – supporting a school funding formula that provides sufficient and timely funding, equalizes per-pupil funding, addresses transportation cost inequities, reflects actual cost for special education services, and more.
  • Mental Health – supporting efforts to establish comprehensive community mental health systems to offer preventative and treatment services and comprehensive school mental health programs.
  • English Learners – supporting sufficient, timely funding for English learners until the students reach proficiency.
  • Early Childhood Literacy – Supporting continued development and funding for research on best practices for improving proficiency in early literacy strategies, continued funding for professional development and classroom intervention strategies focused on best practices for early literacy in grades PK-3, additional funding for programs designed to ensure all students meet literacy expectations by the end of third grade, and more. 

For more details on this year’s adopted MCSD legislative priorities, click here

English learner education spotlighted in end-of-year report
District English Learner (EL) and Migrant Coordinator Rachel Inks shared data on the English Language Proficiency Assessment for the 21st Century (ELPA21) with the board. 

The EPLA21 is used to determine English language learner (ELL) students’ home language, provide a placement screener, and get a summative measure of students’ English language proficiency. Teachers are also given professional learning modules to support the implementation of Iowa’s English Language Proficiency Standards. 

To check out the ELPA21 report presentation from Monday’s meeting, click here

School board meeting dates set for 2020-21
The Marshalltown School Board meeting dates for the 2020-21 school year were approved Monday. They can be found here or on the MCSD School Board web-page

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:
– 710.4-R1 – Meal Donation Allocation Regulation (adopted, second reading waived)

Initial Review: There were no policies up for initial review at the July 13 board meeting. 

From Board President Bea Niblock
“About 90 minutes of time was spent discussing the Return to Learning plans for the district. Seventy-two people – administration, teaching staff and community people – gathered together in six different committees to draw together resources, develop protocols for safety, and determine professional development to prepare staff. 

During the meeting, eight chairs/co-chairs went through the information compiled in the six committees. They will continue their work, get answers to board and community questions, and present a plan for approval at the Aug. 3 board meeting. 

The plan will be one that emphasizes student, staff and family safety, follows the procedures of CDC, WHO and medical experts, and brings our students back to learning! March 6  was a long time ago!”  – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 3, 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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