Nov. 2, 2020 Board Meeting

3 Nov
Kevin Eipperle of FEH Design discusses the MHS and Anson improvement projects at Monday’s board meeting.

MHS air conditioning, Anson Elementary improvements & tornado safe room projects move forward
Projects to add air conditioning at Marshalltown High School and improve Anson Elementary School classroom spaces will move forward after Marshalltown School Board action at the Monday, Nov. 2 regular meeting. 

The board adopted a resolution supporting the issuance of approximately $10 million School Infrastructure Sales, Services and Use Tax Revenue Bonds for the projects; the board also approved schematic designs for the planned work at Anson and MHS. 

Along with building-wide air conditioning, MHS would see the addition of energy efficient LED lighting, which is expected to lower overall operating costs. Anson Elementary’s HVAC system is set to be upgraded as well, and several walls are planned to be built in classrooms surrounding the school’s media center area, among other improvements.  

Kevin Eipperle of FEH Design gave an overview of both projects Monday, as well as a presentation on the early plans for a proposed tornado safe room at the MHS Sports Complex. The District is pursuing a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) grant which, if awarded, would fund 85 percent of the cost to construct a tornado safe room. 

The safe room project would not only provide a secure structure in the event of hazardous weather; it would also provide space for team rooms, new restrooms, concessions, a meeting room, training and first aid rooms, and more. Planning work for the safe room will continue as the District seeks the FEMA grant. 

Aguirre approved to fill school board vacancy
Nicolas “Niko” Aguirre was appointed to serve on the school board at Monday’s meeting; he will take up the seat previously held by former board member Bob Untiedt. 
Aguirre, the Human Resources Director at JBS Marshalltown, has previously served on the board.

MHS student’s achievement in National French Contest highlighted
MHS junior Rebekah Stone was presented with a silver medal and prize check she earned with an impressive performance at the National French Contest last spring. She ranked in the top 10 statewide at level 2A and also earned recognition in the national rankings. This year was the first time MCSD students participated in the contest, titled Le Grand Concours

MHS junior Rebekah Stone, left, donned the silver medal she earned at this year’s National French Contest. MHS teacher Naomi Musal, right, gave Stone the medal during board meeting recognitions Monday.

Preliminary 2020-21 certified enrollment data shared
District Director of Finance Paulette Newbold presented the preliminary certified enrollment numbers for the 2020-21 school year, and the data showed a decrease in certified enrollment equal to 86.5 students.

Newbold said that number represents the decrease in certified enrollment as calculated in the state’s education funding formula; the formula includes weighted funding for various student groups.

The decrease in enrollment comes after a challenging several months for many District families. Newbold said unless the state legislature approves a 2.7 percent increase in state supplemental aid to school districts, MCSD will be on the state Budget Guarantee Program in FY 2022 in order to offset the loss of per pupil funding.

The Budget Guarantee Program relies on property tax funding and Newbold said there will be continued conversations regarding the District’s budget for next fiscal year. 

The enrollment presented Monday data also showed that fewer students open enrolled out of the District this school year, continuing a trend seen over the past four years.

MHS Class of 1960 graduate Anita Elmore presents a donation to high school athletics and fine arts

MHS Class of 1960 presents donation for high school athletics and fine arts
Marshalltown High School Activities Director Ryan Isgrig accepted a generous donation from the MHS Class of 1960 alumni at Monday’s board meeting. The donation, totaling $1,1750.73, was presented by Class of 1960 graduate Anita Elmore and will go toward MHS athletics and fine arts.

Board recognizes District’s military veteran employees
Next Wednesday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day, and the school board recognized and thanked MCSD’s military veteran employees for their service. 

Sidewalk Safety Murals project update presented
Marshall County Arts and Culture Alliance Executive Director Amber Danielson shared an update on the Sidewalk Safety Mural public art project at school buildings across Marshalltown. Several murals have already been put in place at school buildings, with more expected in the coming days and weeks.

The Sidewalk Safety Murals project honors the memory of Franklin Elementary student Christian Maxon and calls for vigilance and caution from pedestrians and drivers in Marshalltown, especially around school buildings. 

Arts and Culture Alliance Executive Director Amber Danielson shares an update on the Sidewalk Safety Murals project happening at multiple MCSD school buildings

MCSD Equity Committee members approved
Dozens of District employees and parents were confirmed as members of the MCSD Equity Committee for 2020-21 Monday. The list of Equity Committee members can be seen here.

Chapters 9-14 of “Schools Cannot Do It Alone” by Jamie Vollmer discussed
Board members and administrators discussed chapters 9-14 of Jamie Vollmer’s book “Schools Cannot Do It Alone” at Monday’s meeting.

The chapters discussed included information on the important relationship between a school district and the larger community. Discussion on further chapters will take place at the Monday, Nov. 16 board meeting. 

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 Wednesday, click here.

First Reading
– 203.5 (now 103.1) – School Improvement Advisory Committee (amended, second reading waived)
– 203.7 – Administration in Absence of Policy (amended, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 
– 203.9 (new 217) – Gifts to Board of Directors (marked as reviewed)
– 203.10 – Board Self Evaluation (will come back for a first reading)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“For many years, the district has been looking at how we could achieve AC at the high school.  And, now that time has come.

The board looked at preliminary designs and cost estimates from FEH Architects for AC installation at the high school, HVAC updates at Anson Elementary and a tornado safe area at the sports complex. After some discussion, the board voted to approve the move to the development phase with FEH. 

The board also approved the issuance of $10,000,000 school infrastructure, services and use tax revenue bonds to fund these projects. It looks like much needed AC at the high school and Anson Elementary are in our future.” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. The meeting will be held in-person with social distancing and other safety measures in place. The meeting will be available to watch via YouTube live stream. 

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