Nov. 7, 2022 Board Meeting

8 Nov

To watch the full board meeting discussion of the below items, please click the “watch recording” link next to each item. The links will take you to the start of each of the below agenda items/topics from the board meeting recording.

Moment of silence held in honor of four students lost on Friday, Nov. 4 – watch recording
The Monday, Nov. 7 Marshalltown School Board meeting started with a 2-minute moment of silence in honor of four students – siblings Linette and Yanitza Lopez, and siblings Adrian and Isacc Lara Mendoza – whose lives were lost in a vehicular accident on Friday, Nov. 4.

As the students’ families, friends, and the entire school community continue to process these losses, the Marshalltown CSD and several partner organizations will continue providing grief counseling services to students this week at Miller Middle School and Marshalltown High School. Additionally, District staff members have access to same-day grief counseling appointments through the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

Step taken toward establishing Marshalltown FFA Chapter – watch recording
A Marshalltown Future Farmers of America (FFA) chapter is one step closer to being a reality after board action at Monday’s meeting.

MHS agriculture and biology teacher Tara Leytham – as well as junior students Lydia Colwell and Isabella Storjohann – presented on the benefits of creating a Marshalltown FFA chapter. They discussed the organization’s focus on leadership, community, and agriculture. With the board’s approval, the group will submit a request to the Iowa Future Farmers Association for the creation of the Marshalltown FFA.

MHS student Lydia Colwell, left, agriculture & biology teacher Tara Leytham, center, and student Isabella Storjohann share the benefits of creating a Marshalltown FFA Chapter.
Vania Madrigal Ibarra discusses her recently-published article, which centers on empowering youth to become leaders.

MHS student’s Spanish-language article published in Hola America Newswatch recording
MHS junior Vania Madrigal Ibarra was recognized by the board after her article, “Tomando Control de Nuestro Legado” (“Taking control of our heritage”) was published in both Spanish and English in Hola America News.

Madrigal Ibarra said she wants to be a positive representative of the Marshalltown Community, and a central focus of her article was building up youth leadership. The article demonstrates not only her commitment to youth leadership, but also to developing her biliteracy skills.

Vision shared for future MCSD Welcome Center – watch recording
Director of Instruction Shauna Smith and English Learner & Migrant Coordinator Rachel Inks shared the District’s vision for the upcoming Welcome Center facility at Monday’s meeting.

Plans for the new Welcome Center have been in development for several months. Smith and Inks described the future facility as “A school and community hub within the Orpheum specializing in whole-student and whole-family registration and intake.” 

The Welcome Center’s purpose, proposed staffing, footprint, and service goals were all major points of discussion. The Orpheum Theater facility, which will house the Welcome Center, is set to officially come into the District’s possession in January 2023. The new Welcome Center is anticipated to open in July of 2023.

For more details on the District’s exciting plans for the new Welcome Center, click “watch recording” above.

Proceeds from Bobcat Burger sales donated to MHS Activities Department – watch recording
MHS Activities Director Ryan Isgrig accepted a generous donation from local Legends American Grill Manager Brady Ridout on Monday. The donation of more than $1,200 was raised through sales of the restaurant’s signature Bobcat Burger. For each Bobcat Burger purchased, $1 was added to the donation funds.

Legends American Grill Manager Brady Ridout, left, presents a donation of $1,200 to MHS Activities Director Ryan Isgrig.

Marshalltown Youth Foundation makes positive impact – watch recording
Marshalltown Youth Foundation Board President Terry Gray and board member Andrew Potter shared information about their organization’s positive impact on the lives of qualifying District families.

Gray said the Foundation takes two main approaches in supporting community youth – the first is by helping cover community sports/activity registration fees, and the second is by providing a musical instrument lending library.

Early notification incentive approved – watch recording
The District will continue to offer an Early Notification employee incentive for the 2022-23 fiscal year. The goal of the incentive is to post the positions of those who have already made the decision to leave as early as possible, allowing more time to ensure highly-qualified applicants are hired earlier in the year than normal. 

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said the incentive proved useful after it was first introduced last year, with high-quality hires made in the vast majority of cases where the incentive was invoked. He said the incentive is intended only as a short-term tool at a time when many employers are challenged to fill available positions.

Staff highlighted in celebration of upcoming American Education Week, Veterans Day – watch recording
Fifteen military veteran District employees were honored and thanked for their service at Monday’s board meeting. Veterans Day is on Friday, Nov. 11, and thank you cards will be delivered to staff members who served.Also highlighted was American Education Week, a celebration of the many school staff who provide students with a quality public education. This year, American Education Week runs Nov. 13-19.

School Board President Sean Heitmann, right, swears in Director of Business Operations Randy Denham as the new Marshalltown School Board Secretary on Monday.

Denham appointed as new Board Secretary – watch recording
Randy Denham returned to the Marshalltown CSD in October, taking up the role of Director of Business Operations. As part of his new role, Denham was officially sworn in as the new Marshalltown School Board Secretary on Monday evening. Both positions were previously held by Paulette Newbold, who departed after several years of excellent service to the District.

We are excited to welcome Mr. Denham back to Marshalltown!

Public hearing set on lease of Arnold’s Park – watch recording
The board set a public hearing for 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, regarding the proposed lease of Arnold’s Park to the City of Marshalltown.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said the District has leased Arnold’s Park to the City of Marshalltown since 1954, and it is necessary to renew that long-standing lease agreement with the City. Arnold’s Park, a former school site and current neighborhood park, is located off of South 7th Street, between Church and Linn streets.

Board approves seeking bids for installation of vape detectors – watch recording
Bids will be sought on a project to install vape detectors throughout the District’s secondary-level school buildings after board action on Monday. Dr. Schutte said the move is intended to deter vaping at school.

MHS Band trip to Disney World approved – watch recording
MHS Band students will travel down to Disney World in Orlando, Florida, next spring after the board approved an out-of-state travel request at Monday’s meeting.

MHS Band Director Brett Umthun said valuable learning opportunities on the trip will include the Soundtrack Session Instrumental Workshop, the Disney Dancing Workshop, and the large-scale Marching Band Parade at the Magic Kingdom. He said the previous trip to Disney World, taken in 2020, proved very valuable for students.

Architect agreement for MHS Athletic Campus approved – watch recording
Another important step was taken toward a proposed project to upgrade the MHS Stadium complex on Monday evening. The board approved an agreement for architectural and engineering services with multiple firms, including FEH Design, KCL Engineering, and the Marshalltown-based Clapsaddle-Garber Associates.

“Essentially, it’s the same team we’ve been working with on the last couple of large projects,” Dr. Schutte said.

He also said the District is awaiting notification from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regarding a grant to fund the separate, proposed Tornado Safe Team Room project; he shared hopes that such notification arrives prior to Winter Break.

Student School Board Representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board Representatives Yessenia Alvarez Zamora, Natalie Andrade, and Jaxson Eisenbarth shared an update on student activities and events on Tuesday evening.

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 on Monday, click here.

Initial Review – 

  • 501.15-R Open Enrollment-Receiving District Regulation (amended, second reading waived)

First Reading – 

  • 502.1 Student Appearance (mark as reviewed)
  • 502.3 Student Expression and Student Publications (mark as reviewed)
  • 502.3-R1 Student Expression and Student Publications Code (mark as reviewed)
  • 502.2 Care of School Property-Vandalism (will come back for a first reading)
  • 401.14 Employee Expression (will come back for a first reading)
  • 402.2 Child Abuse Reporting (will come back for a first reading)
  • 408.1 Licensed Employee Professional Development (will come back for a first reading)
  • 601.2 School Day (will come back for a first reading)
  • 602.1 Curriculum Development (will come back for a first reading)
  • 602.2 Curriculum Implementation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 602.3 Curriculum Evaluation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.1 Instructional Materials Selection (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.1-R1 Selection of Instructional Materials (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.2 Instructional Materials Inspection (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.3 Objection to Instructional Materials (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.3-R1 Objection to Instructional and Library Materials – Reconsideration of Instructional Materials Regulation (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.3-E1 Instructions to the Reconsideration Committee (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.3-E2 Reconsideration of Instructional Materials (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.3-E4 Request to Prohibit a Student from Checking Out Specific Library Materials (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.4 Technology and Instructional Materials (will come back for a first reading)
  • 605.5 School Library/Media Centers (will come back for a first reading)
  • 802.4 Capital Assets (will come back for a first reading)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 21, 2022 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

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