Archive | February, 2023

Feb. 6, 2023 Board Meeting

8 Feb

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.

Plan for making up missed school days due to weather, illness gains board approval – watch recording
The Marshalltown School Board approved a plan regarding make-up days due to school cancellations at the Monday, Feb. 6 regular meeting. 

The District has seen three canceled school days so far in the 2022-23 school year – two due to high levels of illness and one due to inclement weather. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said students will not be required to make up those three canceled school days; a fourth canceled school day also would not have to be made up by students. However, students would need to make up any further canceled school days, which would be added after the current last day of school on May 31.

According to the plan, teachers will make up one of the three missed days with asynchronous professional development. The other two days will not need to be made up, and teachers will still receive payment for those days. Additionally, 12-month employees, food service, transportation, substitutes with 50+ days worked, and paraprofessionals – those who work when students are in session – will be provided with a two-day per diem payment using ESSER funds.

If a fourth school day is canceled, an additional staff PD day will be added after the currently-scheduled teacher work day on June 1. Any additional school cancellations beyond that will require staff to make up those missed days at the end of the school year, along with students.

Eric Weeden

Eric Weeden hired as new District Safety & Security Coordinator – watch recording
A familiar face will be taking on the newly-created role of District Safety & Security Coordinator after board action on Monday evening. Current MHS Juvenile Court Liaison Eric Weeden is set to transition to the new position later this semester, with a current target date of March 1.

Weeden has provided his knowledge and expertise in his current position since 2015.

“We’re really happy to offer that position to Eric,” Dr. Schutte said. “He’s been instrumental in helping develop and implement a lot of the safety and security measures we’ve had in place.”

In his new role, Weeden will lead the District’s efforts to prioritize and act upon recommendations from recent, state-supported safety/vulnerability assessments. Another important part of the role is coordinating directly with local agencies, such as Marshall County Emergency Management, the Marshalltown Police and Fire departments, and other emergency responders.

MHS sophomore Izaiah Wilder recites a poem at Monday’s meeting.

MHS sophomore Izaiah Wilder recognized ahead of state Poetry Out Loud bid – watch recording
Marshalltown High School sophomore Izaiah Wilder will represent the Bobcats at this year’s state Poetry Out Loud competition, and he was recognized by the board on Monday. During his recognition, Wilder gave a recitation of the poem “No, I wasn’t meant to love and be loved” by Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib (translated by Vijay Seshadri).

Wilder will look to continue a recent trend of strong Bobcat performances at the state contest. MHS alum Elijah Thiessen won the state title in 2021, while Wilder’s classmate Landon Stanley was crowned the 2022 state winner. The 2023 state POL contest is scheduled for Sunday, March 5 in Des Moines – please help us cheer on Izaiah Wilder!

2023-24 school year calendar approved watch recording
The 2023-24 MCSD School Year Calendar gained board approval on Monday evening, after a public hearing on the matter yielded no public comments. Some key dates from next year’s school calendar include:

  • First Day: Aug. 23, 2023
  • Thanksgiving Break: Nov. 22-24, 2023
  • Winter Break: Dec. 22, 2023–Jan. 2, 2024
  • Spring Break: March 11-15, 2024
  • Last Day: May 30, 2024 (pending any necessary make-up days)

Dr. Schutte said next year’s school calendar is structured very similarly to the current school year calendar. A draft of the calendar was presented at the Jan. 17 school board meeting. One detail that was changed in the final, approved calendar was to move a staff professional development day from May 13, 2024 to April 16, 2024. 

That move was made to allow MCSD to host an exciting professional learning event with Solution Tree from April 15-16, 2024.

“These are highly popular conferences, so it will be a big economic boost for the community to host this over these couple of days,” Dr. Schutte said.

For further calendar details, please see the full 2023-24 school calendar.

$1,000 retention incentive approved for qualifying certified staff – watch recording
The board approved a $1,000 retention incentive for qualifying certified staff who sign and submit their contracts for the 2023-24 school year.

The incentive payments will be funded using Teacher Quality (TQ) dollars. The use of TQ funding for the incentive is possible due to a high level of annual fund carryover in recent years. In order to qualify for the incentive, a certified staff member must sign and submit their 2023-24 contract within 21 days of issuance.

Dr. Schutte said the incentive will bring a healthy balance to the TQ fund, while also rewarding certified staff – including teachers – for remaining with MCSD next school year.

“We’ve looked at the numbers really carefully to make sure that we’re going to be able to accomodate everything that we want to do, and then some,” he said of the overall TQ fund.

See the recording link above for full details about this exciting new incentive!

Pictured, from left: Director of Instruction Shauna Smith, MHS College & Career Readiness Coordinator Kendey Manners, MHS senior Ava Augustine, and Woodbury Elementary administrative assistant Anay Avila discuss the exciting TPRA program.

Teacher Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship Program offers students, staff opportunity to pursue education careers – watch recording
MCSD has embarked on an exciting effort to provide students and current staff members with opportunities to grow into high-quality education careers.

Director of Instruction Shauna Smith was joined by MHS College & Career Readiness Coordinator Kendey Manners, MHS senior Ava Augustine, and Woodbury Elementary administrative assistant Anay Avila during Monday’s presentation of the Teacher Paraeducator Registered Apprenticeship program (TPRA). 

Two education career tracks are available through the TPRA program – a student-to-paraeducator pathway and a paraeducator-to-teacher pathway, represented by Augustine and Avila, respectively. Both tracks provide access to coursework and on-the-job training, staff mentors, and are funded with federal ESSER dollars.

The Marshalltown CSD is leading a consortium with eight other school districts for the student-to-paraeducator pathway. The District is a member of another consortium which oversees the paraeducator-to-teacher pathway. 

Smith said the TPRA program is a great tool for developing high-quality, home-grown school staff. After the update, the board approved a $500 stipend per semester for program mentors.

Permanent MHS Baseball head coach announced – watch recording
The board approved the hiring of Colton Hanke as the permanent MHS Baseball head coach on Monday. Hanke is an MHS Class of 2015 alum and former Bobcat baseball player. 

At the collegiate level, Hanke played for the Augustana University Vikings in Rock Island, Illinois. He will bring experience as both a player and coach with him to MHS. The board appointed Allen Mann as the MHS Baseball interim head coach in January. Hanke is set to begin his tenure as permanent head coach in the summer season of 2024, with plans to also become a full-time teacher at MCSD.

Bid approved for MHS video scoreboard project, public hearing set for MHS Athletic Complex project – watch recording
Another major step was taken toward the installation of a high-quality video scoreboard at the MHS Athletic Complex on Monday evening, as the board voted to approve a bid for the scoreboard by vendor Insane Impact.

Architect Kevin Eipperle of FEH Design said the video scoreboard project was bid as an alternate of the larger, planned MHS Athletic Complex project. Eipperle said the new, 32-foot-wide scoreboard is set to be installed about 80 feet west of the current scoreboard location.

“Because the scoreboard would be used at all different kinds of events, we’re recommending using a combination unit that is a digital display video scoreboard above and a fixed scoreboard below,” Eipperle said.

One way the District plans to offset the cost related to the video scoreboard is through engaging with local advertisers. Advertising revenues would first be used to offset project costs, and then to support the MHS Activities Fund in the longer term.

The board also voted to set a public hearing on the plans, specs, form of contract, and estimated cost of the larger MHS Athletic Complex project for the regular meeting on Feb. 20 at 5 p.m. Eipperle said more information will be presented to the board regarding the Athletic Complex project at that meeting as well.

School counselors recognized during National School Counseling Week – watch recording
This week, February 6-10, is National School Counseling Week! The District’s excellent team of school counselors were recognized on Monday evening. School counselors play a critical role at each of their buildings by providing students with appropriate social and emotional supports, helping them focus on potential career paths, assisting with class schedules, and much more. Thank you to all of our great school counselors!

Yessenia Alvarez Zamora provides an update from MHS

Student School Board Representatives’ report – watch recording
Student School Board Representative Yessenia Alvarez Zamora shared an update on student activities and events on Monday evening. See the recording above for the full presentation!

Sodders steps down as Communications Director – watch recording
The board accepted the resignation of Director of Communications Adam Sodders on Monday evening, effective February 15. Sodders came to the District in 2019, and he expressed his appreciation to the board and the District for the opportunity to serve in the role.

Marshalltown High School update presented – watch recording
Marshalltown High School Principal Jacque Wyant presented an update from high school at Monday’s board meeting. Wyant was joined by Associate Principal Mark Finken and Instructional Coach Janelle Hawk.

The MHS presentation highlighted new programs for students, including Girls Wrestling and the Bobcat Esports programs introduced this school year. The school’s curricular offerings, Bobcat Ready framework, student achievement data, and student engagement efforts were also important discussion items.

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 Tuesday, click here.

First Reading – 

  • 503.1 Student Conduct (amended, second reading waived)
  • 503.1-R1 Disciplinary Procedures and/or Penalties (Responsibility) (amended, second reading waived)
  • 503.1-R2 Student Suspension (amended, second reading waived)
  • 506.2 Student Directory Information (amended, second reading waived)
  • 506.2-R1 Use of Directory Information (amended, second reading waived)

Initial Review – 

  • 503.2 Student Expulsion (marked as reviewed)
  • 503.2-R Student Expulsion (will come back for a first reading)
  • 503.3 Fines, Fees and Charges (marked as reviewed)
  • 503.3-R Student Fee Waiver and Reduction Procedure (marked as reviewed)
  • 503.3-E Standard Fee Waiver Application (marked as reviewed)
  • 405.7 Licensed Employee Transfers (will come back for a first reading)
  • Policy Primer 216.2 Board of Directors’ Member Development and Training (will come back for a first reading)
  • 607.1 Student Guidance and Counseling Program (will come back for a first reading)
  • New 701.5 Fiscal Management (will come back for a first reading)
  • New 701.5-R1 Financial Metrics (will come back for a first reading)
  • 705.1 Purchasing-Bidding (will come back for a first reading)
  • 705.1-R2 Using Federal Funds in Procurement Contracts (will come back for a first reading)
  • New 804.7 Radon Mitigation (will come back for a first reading)
  • New 804.7-R1 Radon Mitigation Regulation (will come back for a first reading)

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20, 2023 at the District Administration Office, 1002 S. 3rd Ave. The meeting will be available to watch via live stream through the MCSD website, Facebook, and Twitter pages.