July 19, 2021 Board Meeting

20 Jul
MCSD Food Service Director Lynn Large shares the annual Food Service Department update at the July 19 board meeting

Food Service director commends staff in annual report
Over the past 16 months, the MCSD Food Service Department has continued to provide excellent service to Bobcat students, both at school and in the neighborhoods of Marshalltown. 

In her annual departmental report at the Monday, July 19 Marshalltown School Board meeting, Food Service Director Lynn Large highlighted staff members’ incredible teamwork and dedication during the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic.

“I’m really proud of the Food Service team and how we handled all those challenges,” Large said.

Despite the challenges, she added there were plenty of positive accomplishments from the end of the 2019-20 school year and into the 2020-21 school year, including:

  • Meals were provided at no cost for all students ages 18 and younger
  • Grab-and-Go meals were served to hybrid and virtual students
  • The Meals Close to Home program ensured students had access to nutritious meals during school closure
  • Staff members grew their skills with cross-training opportunities
  • The department grew stronger as a team

Large said the USDA Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Program also continued last school year, and Food Service staff were celebrated during Lunch Hero Day 2021. She said she is excited for the upcoming school year.

2021 Bobcat Golf Fundraiser a massive success
The Bobcat Golf Fundraiser returned stronger than ever in 2021 after being cancelled last summer.

MHS Activities/Athletics Director Ryan Isgrig said the June outing brought together community members and Bobcat alumni at the American Legion Golf Course, all for the benefit of Bobcat students. In total, more than $25,000 was raised for Bobcat activities/athletics.

To see the full story on this year’s record-breaking Bobcat Golf Fundraiser, plus more photos and results, click here.

MHS Activities/Athletics Director Ryan Isgrig shares details from the this year’s record-breaking Bobcat Golf Fundraiser.

Legislative priorities set for 2021
The board approved the District’s legislative priorities for 2021 at Monday’s meeting. The areas of equity for all children, mental health, school funding policy, supplemental state aid, and COVID-19 remediation were emphasized on this year’s list.

Key construction projects discussed, change orders approved
Several exciting facilities projects are underway across the District this summer, with contractors, architects, and District staff working hard to ensure their timely completion.

Some obstacles have come up as the projects progress, including delays in the delivery of certain pieces of equipment and parts, as well as work reflected in recent change orders.

Superintendent Dr. Schutte said the District built contingency funds into the project budgets to address such change orders, and that a small portion of the projects’ contingency funding has been used thus far.

In addition to hearing the projects update, the board approved change orders for projects at MHS and Anson Elementary at Monday’s board meeting.

Update, follow-up steps shared regarding recent personnel matters
Dr. Schutte expressed the District’s extreme disappointment following two separate allegations regarding improper employee-student relations announced recently, as well as the significant follow-up steps the District is taking to ensure the safest, most enriching learning environment is provided for students.

“These allegations fly in the face of the law, our employee code of conduct, and the foundation of what our District stands for,” he said.

While the District’s selection and hiring processes and procedures were found to be thorough and robust upon review, Dr. Schutte said extensive efforts will be made to strengthen those processes wherever possible.

“We will still leave no stone left unturned as we evaluate all of our policies, practices, and procedures to make sure that our employees fully know and understand District expectations and conduct themselves in an appropriate and professional fashion at all times,” he said.

The District is looking into providing trainings on employee ethics and responsibilities, as well as proper use of social media, both of which have been presented to staff in recent years. The District is also investigating ways to strengthen policies and practices related to employee-student communications, and to ensure students are informed about reporting and getting help if a concerning situation were to arise.

“We have a wealth of community agencies that provide support in a variety of ways,” Dr. Schutte said. “We’ll be reaching out to CAPS – Child Abuse and Prevention Services – to access and take advantage of any other student and/or employee supports.”

He said the many action steps outlined Monday will be part of an ongoing process in alignment with the District’s number one priority – student safety.

District staffing needs discussed, employee handbooks approved
Human Resources Director Dr. Nora Ryan shared an overview of the District’s current staffing needs Monday evening.

She said MCSD is experiencing the same challenges in filling open positions as many other schools. Despite the challenges, Dr. Ryan said strong efforts are being made to proactively reach out to potential candidates. 

The District’s available positions can be viewed at https://iowa.schoolspring.com/ (search the Marshalltown zip code – 50158 – to see our career opportunities), as well as at https://marshalltown.tedk12.com/hire/index.aspx

Additionally, the 2021-22 employee handbook presented by Dr. Ryan in June received the board’s approval on Monday evening.

Small vehicle purchases strengthen District fleet
The board approved the purchases of two vans at the July 19 meeting, both part of the Transportation Department’s annual replacement cycle. Transportation Director Rex Kozak said PPEL funding will be used to fund the purchases.

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

  • 403.1 Employee Physical Examinations (amended, second reading waived)
  • 404.1-R1 Employee Dress Code (amended, second reading waived)
  • 605.6 Internet-Appropriate and Safe Use (amended, second reading waived)
  • 703.1 Budget Planning (amended, second reading waived)
  • 704.1 Local-State-Federal-Miscellaneous Revenue (amended, second reading waived)
  • 704.6 Online Fundraising Campaigns – Crowdfunding (amended, second reading waived)
  • 707.2 Treasurer’s Annual Report (amended, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 702 Cash in School Buildings (will come back for a first reading)
  • 706.3 Pay Deductions (will come back for a first reading)
  • 706.3-R1 Pay Deduction Regulation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 203 Board of Directors Conflict of Interest (will come back for a first reading)
  • 707.4 Audits (will come back for a first reading)
  • 707.5-R1 Internal Controls Procedures (will come back for a first reading)
  • 801.4 Site Acquisition (will come back for a first reading)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“During the summer meetings, the board hears reports from the various departments throughout the district. Last night’s meeting heard the Nutrition Services report.

It seems that the pandemic has reached near and far and impacted everyone. Because no students attended school for several months, food service employees took meals ‘on the road’ to be sure that all students still had the opportunity to receive meals as they would have in school.

And when we returned to school in the fall, many students chose to continue to learn online or only came to school every other day in a hybrid model. This necessitated decreasing the food service work staff as revenue decreased by nearly $46,000. We have high hopes that the fall will see nutrition services return to near normal.” – Bea Niblock

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 2, 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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