June 7, 2021 Board Meeting

9 Jun
MHS graduates Ruth Tha, left, and Diana Espinoza, right, discuss their experiences earning both a high school diploma and a college degree this spring. Other Bobcat dual grads this year are Madison Hunter and Klaudia Hernandez.

Class of 2021 dual graduates recognized
Four outstanding Bobcat dual graduates were highlighted at the Monday, June 7 Marshalltown School Board meeting; Diana Espinoza, Klaudia Hernandez, Madison Hunter, and Ruth Tha each earned an associate’s degree from Marshalltown Community College this spring, in addition to their high school diplomas.

Espinoza and Tha shared their experiences in the dual-credit program. Diana Espinoza’s mother, Melissa Espinoza, also spoke highly of MCSD’s dual-credit opportunities; she said the program – which allows students to take college courses at no cost to them – saved money and gave her daughter an edge as she looks to continue her college education.

To learn more about these excellent students and the valuable dual-credit program with MCC, click here!

Lenihan staff show benefits of Computer Science is Elementary programming
Lenihan Intermediate School welcomed Computer Science Is Elementary programming in 2019-20, and staff members gave an overview of the great computer science learning fifth- and sixth-grade students receive at Lenihan.

Computer science curriculum, integration of computer science into other core subject areas, and the District-wide efforts to expand computer science learning were key areas touched upon. Examples of students’ computer science projects were also shared, including a fifth grade student’s digital rendition of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Thirty-five Bobcat graduates earn Seal of Biliteracy
Also recognized Monday were 35 Bobcat graduates who earned a State of Iowa Seal of Biliteracy this year. The Seal signifies that a student displays proficiency in two or more languages by the time they graduate high school.

We are incredibly proud of this year’s Seal of Biliteracy honorees – learning and becoming proficient in a different language takes much study and practice.

The biliterate skill set these students bring with them after high school will help them not only in career paths, but also in connecting with others. Congratulations!

New board member Bonnie Lowry participates in first meeting
Former MHS principal and longtime educator Bonnie Lowry officially took her seat on the Marshalltown School Board at Monday’s meeting. Lowry was appointed to replace former member Niko Aguirre in May, and she said she is excited to continue serving MCSD students.

Modern Woodmen donation to assist MHS Pool Ceiling/Lighting project
One of the many exciting facilities upgrades taking place this year is the MHS Pool Ceiling and Lighting project, and MHS Swimming Coach Mike Loupee graciously accepted a $500 Modern Woodmen of America donation toward LED lighting for the project at Monday’s meeting.

MHS senior and swimmer Stephen Blom presented the donation to his coach during the recognition. We are grateful to the Modern Woodmen for this generous donation!

MHS Swimming Coach Mike Loupee, left, accepts a $500 check from the Modern Woodmen of America on behalf of the District. MHS student and swimmer Stephen Blom, right, presented the check to his coach. The funds will go toward the MHS Pool Ceiling/Lighting Project.

Student’s impressive showing at National French Contest spotlighted
MHS sophomore Denise Montealegre had a successful performance at this year’s Le Grand Concourse (the National French Contest). She placed second statewide in level 2A of the contest. 

MHS French teacher Naomi Musal said she is incredibly proud of Denise and all of the French students who took part in Le Grand Concourse this year. 

MHS French teacher Naomi Musal, right, hands student Denise Montealegre, left, a check she won at this year’s National French Contest. Denise placed second statewide in the contest’s 2A level.

Discussion held on MasteryConnect platform
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant shared information on the MasteryConnect platform with the board on Monday. The program compiles student data to identify gaps in student learning as a result of quarantine due to COVID-19; professional development is also included with the program.

No action was taken regarding MasteryConnect Monday evening, and the board is set to vote on the recommendation at the June 21 board meeting.

Master contract with MEA approved
A master contract between the Marshalltown CSD and the Marshalltown Education Association (MEA) gained board approval. The agreement spans the 2021-22, 2022-23, and 2023-24 school years.

Wage changes for facilities projects allow federal funding access
In order to access federal funding for eligible HVAC improvements at MHS and Anson Elementary, the board voted to approve payment of Davis Bacon Act wages for the projects. That action will allow the use of American Rescue Plan (or ESSER III) funding to support those important projects.

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

  • 312.3 (new 303.4) Administrative Personnel – Compensation/Benefits (amended, second reading waived)
  • 405.4 Licensed Employee Continuing Contracts (amended, second reading waived)
  • 701.2 Transfer of Funds (amended, second reading waived)
  • 701.3 Financial Records (amended, second reading waived)
  • 706.2 Payroll Deductions (amended, second reading waived)
  • 803.1 Disposition of Obsolete Equipment (amended, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 312.4 Administrator Evaluation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 312.5 Administrative Personnel-Professional Development (will come back for a first reading)
  • 303.3 (new 303.12) Building Principals an Associates (will come back for a first reading)
  • 303.4-E1 Fringe Benefits-Administrators (will come back for a first reading)
  • 907-R1 District Operations During a Public Health Emergency Regulation (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 908 United States Flag Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag (adopted, second reading waived)
  • 908-R1 United States Flag Procedure for Displaying the Flag and Respect for the Flag (adopted, second reading waived)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“If June, July and August are summer months, then we had our first board meeting of the summer last night. My meeting quote came from author, Harper Lee:

‘Summer was our best season: it was sleeping on the back screened porch in cots, or trying to sleep in the treehouse; summer was everything good to eat; it was a thousand colors in a parched landscape.’

It’s been a challenging year for everyone. The board thanks each and every one of you for your hard work and the extra effort that you put forth to make this year a success.

Wishing you a delightful summer away from lesson plans and school challenges. May your summer be filled with happy memories of summers past and the opportunities to make happy memories.” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, June 21, 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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