Feb. 1, 2021 Board Meeting

3 Feb

School year calendar approved for 2021-22
The Marshalltown School Board approved the 2021-22 school year calendar at Monday’s regular meeting. Here are a few key highlights from next school year’s calendar: 

  • First day of school: Aug. 24, 2021
  • Last day of school: June 1, 2022 (barring potential inclement weather days)
  • Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 24-26, 2021
  • Winter Break: Dec. 23, 2021 to Jan. 2, 2022
  • Spring Break: March 14-18, 2022
    (aligned with state regent universities & Marshalltown Community College) 

“[The calendar] incorporates 190 teacher contract days, 177 of which are student contact days,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. “We’ve got 11 teacher professional development and/or work days built in.” 

The 2021-22 school calendar is available to view now on the MCSD website.

Resolutions adopted for A/C projects at MHS, Anson Elementary
Marshalltown High School and Anson Elementary School are set for major upgrades after the board adopted plans, specifications, and forms of contract for projects at each building Monday evening. 

The main focus of both projects will be the buildings’ air heating and cooling systems. Additional work to be done as part of the projects includes window improvements at Anson and upgraded LED light fixtures at MHS, among other items.

The board also adopted a resolution for $10 million in school infrastructure, sales, services, and use tax revenue bonds in order to finance the important projects at MHS and Anson. Public hearings on the both projects and on the bond resolution yielded no comments.

District will not move forward with proposed staggered school start/end times
A proposal for staggered school start/end times at the PK-4 and 5-12 grade levels did not gain board approval Monday.

With the removal of hybrid learning for grades 7-12 beginning Tuesday, Feb. 16, the District will continue to implement safety measures such as mask wearing, frequent deep clearing and sanitation of school buildings and, as much as possible, social distancing of at least 3-6 feet, among other measures.

AT LEFT: Rogers Elementary third-graders Bennett Thede, right, and Vayda Smith, left, have put some serious miles on the Rogers track as part of the school’s Mileage Club program this school year. AT RIGHT: Rogers P.E. teacher Nicole Boliver discusses the success and benefits of the Mileage Club.

Rogers Elementary Mileage Club program recognized
Rogers Elementary P.E. teacher Nicole Boliver has seen impressive participation in the school’s Mileage Club program, which seeks to get kids outside and active by logging the distance they walk, jog, or run over the course of the school year. 

As of last month, the Rogers students have logged more than 600 combined of miles this school year. 

Two students who have covered a lot of distance on the Rogers track joined Boliver as the program was recognized Monday evening. Third-graders Bennett Thede and Vayda Smith said they’ve enjoyed putting in the miles this year, and look forward to adding even more before the end of the second semester.

Learn more about the incredible Rogers Mileage Club program here!

School counselors’ crucial work spotlighted
This week, Feb. 1-5, is National School Counseling Week. At MCSD, we are blessed with a top-notch team of caring, smart, and supportive school counselors.

Board member Jan McGinnis recited a board proclamation celebrating the important work school counselors do every day. Learn more about how they help guide Bobcat students to success here!

Student School Board Representative update
Student school board representatives Itzary Avalos and Haley Reed shared an update from Marshalltown High School with the board. Their report included: 

  • Highlights from recent events, including the virtual MHS Orchestra Concert and the recognition of MHS Class of 1981 alum and wrestling icon Larry Jackson last month
  • A preview of the upcoming National Honor Society “Piece of Mind” project, which will focus on student mental health in March
  • A roundup of Bobcats basketball, boys swimming, and wrestling events, as well as a look ahead to soccer and girls track and field this spring
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant shares information about the new courses added to the 2021-22 MHS Course Guide.

MHS course guide for next school year approved
The Marshalltown High School Course Guide for the 2021-22 school year got the board’s nod Monday evening, and there will be three new classes offered to MHS students.

The three new classes are AP Art History, Prep for College English, and a new College and Career Readiness seminar. In addition, MHS Principal Jacque Wyant said students in the Fire Science program will have the opportunity to earn an EMT certification next school year thanks to a partnership with the Marshalltown Fire Department. 

Students who earn the EMT certification would be able to apply to join the MFD as a professional firefighter.

Steps taken toward upgrade projects at Lenihan, Franklin Elementary
Two proposed projects are moving forward with the board’s approval Monday evening.

One proposal is for design work outlining an audio/visual and intercom renovation project at Lenihan Intermediate School. The other proposal is for the services related to the demolition of the bleachers on the Franklin Elementary School campus, along with paving work.

The Lenihan A/V and intercom upgrades would be paid for out of ESSER Part 2 funds, while the proposed bleacher demolition and paving project at Franklin would be paid out of PERL funds.

Technology items approved
District staff and members of the Marshalltown community will join forces as part of the new Technology Advisory Committee approved Monday. The committee, made up of 17 members, will advise the MCSD Technology and Curriculum departments on the use of technology by students and staff.

The District Technology Department also gained approval to seek bids for wireless networking equipment. Director of Technology Amy Harmsen said the federal e-Rate program will help cover a significant amount of the cost for the equipment. 

Additionally, the board accepted a bid for Acer Chromebooks and related equipment for students in grades 2, 5, and 10. A bid was also accepted for PC laptop computers to replace teachers’ current desktop workstations. Both the Chromebooks and the laptops were purchased as part of the District’s normal technology replacement cycle. 

Harmsen said the PC laptops will allow teachers more mobility and convenience compared to their current desktop workstations. She said the Chromebooks teachers currently have will not be replaced by and will still be available for use.

Special education overview presented
Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger and Central Rivers Area Education Agency Executive Director of Special Education Amy Knupp shared an overview of Chapter 103 of the state’s administrative rules.

Cretsinger said MCSD staff have completed updated training based on Chapter 103, and the board recently approved several updated policies to align with the regulations within the chapter.

MHS student set for early graduation
MHS senior Skye Johnson will graduate early this school year after board approval. She will join several other Bobcat high schoolers who have successfully worked toward early graduation.

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 – 

  • 204.8 (new 210.7) Rules of Order (amended, second reading waived)
  • 205.1 (new 216.3) Compensation for Expenses (amended, second reading waived)
  • New 210-7-R1 Rules of Order Regulation (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 312.3-E1Fringe Benefits-Administrators/Supervisors (amended, second reading waived)
  • 409.2 Employee Leaves of Absence (amended, second reading waived)
  • 507.2 Administration of Medication to Students (amended, second reading waived) 
  • 507.2-R Administration of Medication to Students (deleted)
  • New 604.10 Online Courses (adopted, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 205.3 Board of Directors and Elected Officials (marked as reviewed)
  • 403.3-E1 Hepatitis B Vaccine Information and Record (will come back for a first reading)
  • 507.2-E1 Authorization Asthma or Airway Constricting Disease Medication or Epinephrine Auto Injector Self-Administration Consent Form (will come back for a first reading)
  • 507.2-E2 Parental Authorization and Release Form for the Administration of Medication to Students (will come back for a first reading)
  • 501.3 Compulsory Attendance (marked as reviewed)
  • 501.4 Entrance Requirements-Evidence of Age (will come back for a first reading)
  • 502.8 Search and Seizure (will come back for a first reading)
  • 502.8-E1 (new 502.8-E1) Search and Seizure Checklist (will come back for a first reading)
  • 603.1 Basic Instruction Program (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.4-R (new 505.5) Graduation Requirements (will come back for a first reading)
  • 604.6 Instruction at a Post-Secondary Education Institution (will come back for a first reading)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, Feb. 15, 2021 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the Bobcat News Network (BNN) YouTube channel.

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