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December 16, 2019 Board Meeting

17 Dec
Lunches WEB.jpg

Brothers John Wise, right, and Tom Wise, left, speak about their part in an effort to raise funds to pay off outstanding student lunch account debt.

Community members recognized for addressing school lunch debt
Marshalltown residents Tom and John Wise were recognized for helping raise funds toward outstanding school lunch accounts as of Monday afternoon. The Wises followed the example set by Alfonso Medina, Jr., owner of La Carreta Mexican Grill. Several other community members and businesses have also contributed to the lunch account effort. Read more about their generous endeavor here

Next step taken on tennis court project
Marshalltown Schools took another step toward a project to replace and upgrade the community tennis courts at Marshalltown High School at Monday’s school board meeting. A public hearing for the proposed use of SAVE state sales tax funds for the project was held; the board subsequently voted to allow the use of SAVE revenue to pay for the project. Tentative plans, specifications, form of contract and estimated total cost of the project were also approved and a public hearing regarding those details was set for 5 p.m. Jan. 13, 2020.

For more information about the tennis courts project, click here

Woodbury kids WEB

Woodbury Elementary students showed off their literary skills in both English and Spanish at Monday’s board meeting. Woodbury is home to an excellent dual-language program. Pictured, from left: students Erandy Ibarra Madrigal, Sahily Gonzalez, Tate Williams, Maritza Barajas Hernandez, Aaron Tafolla, Theodore Lewis, Liliana Nunez and Woodbury Principal Anel Garza, standing. 

Woodbury Elementary School showcase
Woodbury Elementary Principal Anel Garza, counselor Heidi Williams and instructional coach Julie Thede brought a talented group of students to showcase their skills at Monday’s board meeting. 

The second- to fourth grade students each gave part of the presentation, some in English and some in Spanish. Woodbury is home to an incredible dual language program where students learn in both English and Spanish each day in class. 

The school’s presentation included an overview of the new Into Reading/Arriba la lectura curriculum and how it works to bridge new learning from one language to the other. The connection of concepts between the two languages contributes to increased biliteracy. 

First round of ISASP data released
Marshalltown Schools joined school districts statewide in the 2018-19 school year in implementing the Iowa Statewide Assessment of Student Progress (ISASP) assessment in grades 3-11. District Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson shared data from that first year of implementation at Marshalltown Schools. 

The ISASP was developed to align with Iowa Core educational standards and to ensure students of all backgrounds and abilities can take the test. For more information, click here

VM WEB.jpg

Vision Marshalltown co-chair Terry Buzbee, right, and Executive Director Kyley Leger, left, share information about post-2018 tornado growth strategies for Marshalltown. 

Vision Marshalltown leaders provide network update
Vision Marshalltown Executive Director Kyley Leger and co-chair Terry Buzbee shared a report from the network on its post-2018 tornado community growth strategies. Buzbee said Marshalltown is in a prime position to grow in the coming years and said MCSD will be a key part of future success. 

“With what you as leaders and what the administration has done, what the staff has done, we’re in a whole new place relative to education,” he said to school board members. “In my opinion, we very much have a great opportunity to grow.” 

Leger said Vision Marshalltown leaders met in July to revise the network’s strategies post-tornado. Along with education, she said other key focuses include growing housing, growing Marshalltown’s downtown area and growing community pride. 

Report shared on first year of Full Service Community Schools program
Allison Wilson and Sarah Kenkel of Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA) went over facts and figures from the first year of the Full Service Community Schools grant implementation at MCSD. 

The federal grant of $500,000 for five years (totaling $2.5 million) was awarded to MICA in 2018, and the local non-profit is investing those funds into programs at Anson, Rogers and Woodbury elementary schools. Wilson and Kenkel described how the programming strives toward three key outcomes: 

  • All children enter school ready to learn
  • Students are academically proficient
  • Students are safe, healthy and supported by engaged parents

Some strategies and programs designed to meet the above outcomes include the Bobcat University summer learning program, focusing on the transition from early childhood education to school, developing individual family attendance plans, referring families to community-based support services, among many others. 

For more information about the first year of the Full Service Community Schools grant implementation at MCSD, click here.

Voluntary early retirement program approved
The Marshalltown School Board voted to continue offering voluntary early retirement to qualifying district employees for the current school year. Eligible employees may submit a written application for voluntary early retirement to the superintendent by 5 p.m. Feb. 28, 2020.

Student school board WEB

Student School Board members Mia Barajas, left, and Carmen Araiza, right, share their report on the happenings at Marshalltown High School and around the district. 

2020-21 at risk budget proposal presented
Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented the at-risk budget proposal for the 2020-21 school year. The new budget, if approved at the Jan. 13 board meeting, would be increased to a total of about $2.4 million. 

Stevenson also shared data showing how the at-risk budget has helped Marshalltown students in recent years, including: 

  • An increase in graduation rate
  • A decrease in the number of students who drop out
  • A decrease in major behavior referrals/suspensions
  • A decrease in reports of bullying/harassment

For more information about the at-risk budget’s impacts, click here. For specifics about the proposed at-risk budget, click here.

School board supports research project
The board approved a letter of support regarding a wireless technology research grant being pursued by Brian Cox of the Iowa State University Research Foundation Inc. and a team of researchers. Cox said the research would be in partnership with MCSD as well as the local business community and would work toward developing an advanced wireless network. 

For more details about the research proposal, click here

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

Gifts and bequests accepted
A $10,000 STEM BEST Program Enhancement Fund grant from the Iowa Governor’s STEM Advisory Council awarded to Marshalltown Learning Academy was approved, as were donations from the community toward outstanding lunch account balances. 

Initial review – 

  • 903.5-R1 Distribution of Materials Regulation (changes needed, will come back before board)
  • 903.7 Parent-Teacher Associations (deleted due to redundancy, except for the last line which was added to 903.1)
  • 903.1 School-Community Groups (Last sentence from previous policy 903.7 added, will come back before the board)
  • 904.2 Sales Promotion Prohibited (Will come back for a first reading)

First reading –

  • 903.4 Public Conduct on School Premises-Conduct Counts (approved as amended, second reading waived)
  • 903.5 Distribution of Materials (approved as amended, second reading waived)

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The countdown has begun. Four more days until winter break! A well-deserved break for our district employees.

Time away from books, lesson plans and meetings for relaxation and rejuvenation. Working with young people is rewarding, albeit challenging and demanding. It is our lifework and the joys constantly outweigh the difficulties.

I wish for you the happiest and most restful holiday season, be it Christmas, Hanukkah, Solstice, Kwanzaa, or whatever you and yours celebrate. Return to us rested and enthusiastic to continue the remarkable work you do with the young people entrusted to our care.” – Bea Niblock. 

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday Jan. 13, 2020 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. Third Ave. It will be the only regular school board meeting in January. 

Dec. 2, 2019 Board Meeting

3 Dec
Robotics WEB

MHS Robotics Team member Jacob Swartz discusses the FIRST Tech Challenge with the board. He is accompanied by Robotics Team coach and MHS teacher Dori Pinkerton, left. The team received a $1,500 grant award from the Alliant Energy Foundation Monday. 

District reimbursed by IRS
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte and district Business Director Paulette Newbold were happy to announce the entirety of more than $642,000 in fines charged to the district by the Internal Revenue Service in 2018 was reimbursed Monday. Read more here

Certified Enrollment Count and Open Enrollment numbers show good signs
Marshalltown Community School District’s certified enrollment this school year is higher than in 2018-19. The enrollment numbers from Oct. 1 show a rebound since the same time last year, when around 90 students left the district due in large part to the July 19, 2018 tornado that devastated much of Marshalltown. 

“Once a year on Oct. 1,  we count all of our students and gather all this data,” Newbold said. 

She said the “certified enrollment” figure is determined by taking a headcount of all students and then applying certain Iowa Department of Education weightings, depending on some students’ classifications. 

There is also the “served enrollment,” which denotes all resident students, plus those who open enroll into the district but live outside the district, minus students who live within the district but open enroll out to a different district. 

Certified enrollment is important to school districts because the count determines how much funding districts get in the next school year. 

Takeaways from the enrollment count for 2019-20 include:

  • The number of students who open enrolled out of the district has gone down. 
  • The number of district elementary school students is down slightly since last year, but the number of middle school and high school students has increased. 
  • The grade with the largest number of students this year is sixth grade. 
  • The total certified enrollment county for MCSD this school year is 5,420 students

For more information and data, click here

Alliant Energy grant helps power MHS Robotics Team
An Alliant Energy Grant Foundation Award in the amount of $1,500 was accepted by the board Monday, and Marshalltown High School student and Robotics Team member Jacob Swartz shared how the funding fueled his team at the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Tech Challenge League Competition.

“This organization wants to inspire young people to be more interested in technology,” Jacob said of FIRST. 

Community tennis court project discussed
The board was given an estimated timeline on a construction project to upgrade the community tennis courts at Marshalltown High School. The next step is for the board to hold a public hearing on the potential project 5 p.m. Tuesday Dec. 16. After the hearing, the board will consider the approval of tentative plans, specifications, form of contract and an estimated total project cost. 

If those details are approved, there will be a 14-day waiting period in which the public may submit a petition to have the tennis court project – which would use state SAVE sales tax funding – on the March 3, 2020 ballot for voters’ consideration. Such a petition would have to include at least 914 signatures from eligible district electors and be turned in to Newbold, the board secretary. 

For more timeline details, click here

Board approves 2020-2021 school calendar
The MCSD 2020-2021 school year calendar was approved Monday night after board consideration and a survey of district staff. There were two calendar options presented for the board’s consideration. One option included a full spring break in March and a school year end date in early June. 

The other option, which the board approved Monday, does not include a spring break in March but instead has more days off around the Easter Holiday and comes with an end date of May 28, 2021, pending make-up days for weather. 

The staff survey showed a preference toward the no spring break option (55 percent) compared to those who preferred to keep spring break next school year (45 percent). 

More information on the survey and calendar can be found here

Lawmakers WEB

State lawmakers Rep. Mark Smith, left, and Sen. Jeff Edler, right, talked about the upcoming legislative session with the school board Monday.

State lawmakers talk upcoming legislative session
Local legislators shared their thoughts on the upcoming state legislative session in January. State Rep. Mark Smith and state Sen. Jeff Edler both discussed their intention to push for the amount of state supplemental aid to schools – which makes up a large portion of public school funding in Iowa – to be set early on in the session. Doing so makes it easier for school boards to set a budget for the upcoming school year. 

Edler and Smith also discussed mental health care access in the state, as well as the decision in the previous session to extend the SAVE sales tax sunset date to 2049, an increase of 20 years over the previous sunset date. The state law requiring a school start date on or after Aug. 23 was also discussed. 

Student School Board Representative update
Student School Board members Carmen Araiza, Mia Barajas and Diana Sanchez shared an excellent presentation on happenings across the district. Major takeaways include: 

  • Spotlights on Marshalltown High School students Kaci Uhde and Olivia Brintnall, both of whom are taking dual-credit college courses through the district’s partnership with Marshalltown Community College. 
  • An update on the recent poinsettia sales, with funds going toward improvement of the MHS Greenhouse. 
  • A recap of the Nov. 25 Science Bound meeting, which included a visit from an Iowa State University freshman student. The visitor discussed college life, coursework and balancing work and classes in college. 
  • A thank you to the district’s hardworking custodians. 

More information on these items and more can be found here

Cretsinger WEB

Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger shares the details of the district’s implementation of social-emotional learning.  

Update on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) Implementation, as presented at the Iowa Association of School Boards annual conference
District Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger shared a presentation over social-emotional learning strategies being implemented at Marshalltown Schools. Cretsinger gave the same presentation at the recent Iowa Association of School Boards annual conference. 

He said a team of MCSD staff researched behavioral science, neuroscience, mental health conditions and treatment, child development and the effects of trauma to enhance the district’s social-emotional system of supports. 

Cretsinger said the work is ongoing and several years of implementation are expected before full results can be seen. However, he shared several promising figures from the first full year of implementation, including: 

  • The number of major office referrals dropped from the 2017-18 school year to the 2018-19 school year. 
  • The dropout rate decreased from 17-18 to 18-19

For more information, click here

IAHSAA & IGHSAU School Classification Equity Resolution
The board voted to join more than 40 districts across Iowa in asking the Iowa High School Athletic Association and the Iowa High School Girls Athletic Union to consider changes to athletic competitions classifications for school districts based on socio-economic factors. 

“What this is asking for is for our respective state associations, similar to other states across the country, taking a serious consideration to providing a weighting factor relative to schools’ (federal) Free and Reduced Lunch percentages,” Schutte said. “The research as been pretty clear that money matters, both when it comes to educating children as well as in terms of their development for youth activities.” 

He said such a move by the IAHSAA and IGHSAU would mean schools with higher socio-economic needs would not face off against schools with fewer needs in state competition. Schutte shared figures showing higher-need school districts tend to be significantly outperformed by lower-need school districts statewide. Read more here


Class of 89 WEB

Marshalltown High School Class of 1989 members (from left) Amy Pollard, Julie Batterson, Alyson Hicks, David Hicks and Geoff Hubbard are recognized by Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, right, for their effort to get 700 books into the hands of district K-1 students. 

IASB awards WEB

Board President Bea Niblock, left, and former board Vice President Janelle Carter, center, were recognized for their Individual Achievement Awards from the Iowa Association of School Boards. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, right, was also honored with an Award of Honor from IASB. 

Hoglan Elementary School teacher Amy Pollard was recognized alongside fellow Marshalltown High School Class of 1989 members for a recent book giveaway effort. Pollard, David Hicks, Alyson Hicks, Geoff Hubbard and Julie Batterson were honored and thanked by Schutte and the board for their effort.

Board President Bea Niblock, former board Vice President Janelle Carter and Schutte were all honored with awards from the Iowa Association of School Boards. Niblock and Carter were recognized with Individual Achievement awards through IASB’s Better Boardmanship Awards Program. Schutte was recognized with an Award of Honor from IASB.

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 –

  • 402.6-R Staff technology use/social networking regulation (amended, second reading waived)
  • 903.3 Building visitors (amended, second reading waived)
  • New Policy 508.2 Open Night (adopted) 

Initial review – 

  • 903.4 Public Conduct on School Premises (marked as reviewed) 
  • 903.4-E Public Conduct on School Premises-Conduct Counts (Line added, will return for a first reading at the next school board meeting)
  • 903.5 Distribution of Materials (change made, will return for a first reading at the next school board meeting)

From Board President Bea Niblock
Monday’s board meeting was a night filled with good news. One of those highlights was the increase in enrollment.

The district lost 90+ students a year ago after the tornado, but has rebounded well with an increase of 72 students according to our certified enrollment count this year. And, our open enrollment out count has decreased. Our enrollment trend on both fronts is encouraging.
We all know that our future budgets are based on enrollment counts. And, state budget allocations have remained below 2 percent for the past 10 years. So, an increase in enrollment assures us an increased budget!” – Bea Niblock. 

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16  at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. Third Ave. 

November 18, 2019 Board Meeting

19 Nov
New Board WEB

A new set of school board members took their seats at the board table Monday. Pictured, from left, are the winners of the 2019 board election being sworn in: returning board member Sean Heitmann and new board members Jan McGinnis, Sara Faltys and Bob Untiedt.

New board members take their seats
There are new faces on the Marshalltown School Board after three new members and one returning member were sworn in Monday evening. 

Local attorney Sean Heitmann was re-elected in the November board election. New members include longtime teacher Jan McGinnis, McFarland Clinic administrator Sara Faltys and IVCCD Orpheum Theater Center Director Bob Untiedt. The four were sworn in by Board Secretary Paulette Newbold. 

Outgoing board members honored
Three former board members were also recognized Monday. Outgoing board Vice President Janelle Carter and members Ben Fletcher and Ross Harris were presented with certificates of appreciation by Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte. 

Representatives from the Marshalltown Education Association spoke during the meeting’s public comment section to thank the outgoing members for their years of service and to address the incoming board members. 

“We wanted to say welcome to the new board members,” said Lenihan teacher Alex Klyn of the MEA. 

Outgoing board WEB

Three former school board members were honored at Monday’s annual organizational meeting. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, second from left, recognized outgoing board Vice President Janelle Carter, left, and members Ross Harris, second from right, and Ben Fletcher, right.

Leadership elections held
With the new board members in place, the new board voted on which members would hold leadership positions. Incumbent Board President Bea Niblock was again chosen to lead the board. With former Vice President Janelle Carter leaving the board, Sean Heitmann was elected to take up the vice president’s position. 

Bea swear-in WEB.jpg

Bea Niblock, right, is sworn in as board president by Board Secretary Paulette Newbold Monday.

Heitmann swear-in WEB

Sean Heitmann is sworn in as board vice president by board President Bea Niblock. Heitmann replaces former board member and vice president Janelle Carter in the leadership position.

Calendar proposals for 2020-21 school year
Dr. Shutte presented two 2020-2021 school year calendar proposals to the board Monday. Option 1 closely mirrors the current 2019-20 school year calendar, including a spring break in March and an end to classes in early June, dependent on the number of snow days. The school year would start on Aug. 25, 2020. 

Option 2 has the same Aug. 25 start date, but does not include a spring break in March. There would be no school due to a professional development day April 1, 2021 and there would be no school on April 2 (Good Friday), nor on April 5-6. Barring snow days, the Option 2 calendar end date would be May 28, 2021. 

A survey will be sent out to parents and school staff to collect feedback on the two options. District administration and the school board will take the feedback into consideration and the board will make the final decision on which option to approve. 

The Option 1 proposal can be seen here

The Option 2 proposal can be seen here

Marshalltown Learning Academy showcase
Marshalltown Learning Academy Principal Eric Goslinga and teacher Nicole Critchfield shared facts and figures about the building’s academic program and students. Some highlights include:

  • MLA serves more than 100 students in grades 9-12 in a highly personalized learning environment. 
  • The school provides a quality learning environment for at-risk students using a non-conventional learning program. 
  • Semesters are treated as a set of standards for students to master rather than as a function of time. 
  • Students have access to work-based learning, industry credentialing, dual-credit courses (including in career and technical education areas). 
  • MLA’s program includes blended learning, in which some of the students’ work is done online and some is done in-person. 

For more information about the MLA educational program, click here

Student School Board Representative update
The three Student School Board representatives shared many updates with the board Monday. Included was information on the upcoming Holiday Stroll, a recent visit from educators from the country of Georgia, National Honor Society activities and the Marshalltown Area Healthcare Careers Club Asian Food fundraiser. 

One key part of the presentation included data about Marshalltown High School students taking dual-credit college courses. Currently, 10 students are on track to get their associate’s degree by the time they graduate high school. An additional 10-13 students will have at least one year of college done by the time they graduate high school. 

Click here for the full Student School Board representative update. 

Public hearing set for proposed use of SAVE funding on tennis courts
A revenue purpose statement for MCSD’s use of state Secure and Advanced Vision for Education (SAVE) sales tax funding use was approved by district voters earlier in November. One project district leaders are considering for use of that funding is the reconstruction and expansion of the community tennis courts at the high school. 

For the funding to be allowed for use on an athletic facility, district Business Director Paulette Newbold said the board must hold a public hearing on the proposal. The board voted unanimously to set a public hearing for 5 p.m. Dec. 16, 2019 for the proposed use of SAVE funds. Newbold said more details about the tennis court project will be released prior to that public hearing. Click here for more information. 

Small vehicle purchase approved
After a recent regular vehicle check, district Transportation Director Rex Kozak reported one of the district’s small vehicles for transporting students was in need of replacement. Staff worked to repair the vehicle, he said, but it was decided a new vehicle was needed. 

The board approved the purchase of a 2018 Chrysler Pacifica from Dave Wright Auto in the amount of $25,675 to be paid out of the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) fund’s annual small vehicle replacement allocation. More information can be found here

Bond refinancing saves money
The board approved a recommendation to refinance debt ($7,329,000 in refunding bonds). With the approval, the debt now has a lower interest rate, resulting in more than $266,000 in savings to the district. Click here for more information. 

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

Donation accepted
The school board accepted a donation of $2,400 in the memory of late MCSD alum John Kunc. The funds will go toward Marshalltown High School Vocal Music. 

Initial review – 

  • New Policy – 508.2 Open Night (will come back for a first reading)
  • 102.E1 Annual Notice of Nondiscrimination (marked as reviewed)
  • 902.6 Board Proceedings (will come back for deletion at first reading)
  • 903.3 Building Visitors (will come back for a first reading) 

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Last night was the annual/organizational meeting.  The old board retired some colleagues and welcomed others to the board table.  Janelle Carter, Ben Fletcher and Niko Aguirre finished their service to the board and Sara Faltys, Jan McGinnis and Bob Untiedt joined the board.  Sean Heitmann was re-elected to his seat.  

Things start; things end. The end of one thing leads to the beginning of another. We will miss some of our colleagues and we welcome others to the board table.

My quote last evening came from Seneca, a Roman philosopher: ‘Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end.’ Indeed!” – Bea Niblock. 

The next Marshalltown School Board meeting is set for 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 2 at the Central Administration Office, 1002 S. Third Ave.

October 21, 2019 Board Meeting

22 Oct

Marshalltown Schools Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented a check to Carrie Barr of the Marshalltown Youth Foundation in the amount of $1,619. The money was donated by Marshalltown Community School District staff during a recent jeans day.

MCSD staff donate $1,619 to the Marshalltown Youth Foundation

MCSD staff held a jeans day recently to raise money for the Marshalltown Youth Foundation. The money raised totaled $1,619. The check was presented to Carrie Barr of the foundation. The Marshalltown Youth Foundation helps families in need in the community in many different ways. It has an instrument lending program which helps many students participate in band and orchestra who otherwise might not be able to. The foundation also helps keep kids active by paying for registration fees for area youth sports for those families in need.

Other recognitions


MHS video production students from left, Jaime Lopez, Tristen Osburn, Ellie Draisey and Tyler Hoskins.

Video production students honored
MHS video production students and teacher Jocelyn Frohwein produced a video that helped local human service agency Central Iowa Residential Services, Inc. (CIRSI) win a $30,000 technology award. Students who were recognized include Jaime Lopez, Tristen Osburn, Tyler Hoskins and Ellie Draisey.
“It was a great collaboration,” said CIRSI Executive Director Jeff Vance.


Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte and MHS Principal Jacque Wyant

MCSD honored by Forecast5
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant and Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte had the pleasure of attending the Forecast5 National Conference in Schaumburg, Illinois last week to receive one of six 2019 National Project of the Year recognitions for Bobcat Ready!  District Instructional Design Specialist David Stanfield was unable to attend the conference but his efforts were instrumental to this work. The student report card that was developed; in partnership with 5Lab, and various recognitions presented at the high school to graduating seniors set us apart from other districts throughout the country that are doing similar work.
See more on the award at this link:

Iowa Valley Chancellor thanks MCSD
Iowa Valley Community College District Chancellor Dr. Kristie Fisher thanked the district for their partnership, especially when it relates to providing dual credit opportunities.
Last year, 489 students at MHS and 9 at MLA took Marshalltown Community College credit classes while attending high school which translated to $800,000 worth of tuition savings. Also, 25 percent of MHS graduates enrolled in MCC or Ellsworth Community College.

Communications Director honored
Andrew Potter, Director of Communications, was recognized for his time with the Marshalltown Community School District.

Personnel items
For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Hoglan Elementary School Showcase


Presenting an update on Hoglan Elementary School were, from left, Sara Nichols, Kami Uhde, Megan Turbiville, Abbe Hand, Heather Stanley and Amy Williams.

Principal Amy Williams and Hoglan teachers Sara Nichols, Kami Uhde, Megan Turbiville, Abbe Hand and Heather Stanley presented this showcase with a focus on the new CKLA literacy program. It stands for Core Knowledge Language Arts.
“CKLA was a huge learning curve for teachers as well as students,” Uhde said.
However, Uhde said that the recent parent-teacher conferences provided positive feedback from parents about the topics utilized in the curriculum.
“It’s been awesome to see the kids so excited,” Turbiville said.

Certified Nurse’s Aide Apprenticeship
District Curriculum and Professional Development Leader Dee Burt presented on the Registered Certified Nurse’s Aide Apprenticeship program at the Iowa Veterans Home in Marshalltown.
Burt said she hopes this is only the start of many apprenticeship offerings for high school students. The board approved the adoption of the CNA apprenticeship program.

Student School Board Representative Update
Student school board representatives Carmen Araiza, Mia Barajas and Diana Sanchez  presented this report.

Resolution Supporting the Proposed Issuance of Approximately $8,250,000 School Infrastructure Sales, Services & Use Tax Revenue Refunding Bonds
A public hearing was held earlier in the meeting with no public comment.
Director of Business Operations Paulette Newbold said due to low interest rates the district has the opportunity to refinance with a net savings of around $200,000. The board approved the measure.

Fiscal Year 2019 Special Education Deficit
Director of Special Services Matt Cretsinger spoke to seek authority from SBRC to address the district special education deficit. He presented this document.
During the 2018-19 school year the district provided special education to 661 students between the ages of 3-21.
The special education deficit is at $1.745 million, down from $1.922 million in the previous year.
After discussion, the board approved the request

MHS/Community Auditorium Name Change
The MHS/Community Auditorium Foundation met recently and recommended the approval of a new name for the auditorium. The recommended new name is the Marshalltown Performing Arts Center. The board approved the renaming.

MHS/Community Foundation Ad-Hoc Committee Request
This is to establish an ad hoc committee for the purpose of pursuing public art near the front entrance of the performing arts center. Board approved.

Security Management System Phase 3 Project
Director of Buildings and Grounds Chuck Springer presented bids for this project which will upgrade security at the elementary schools.
Two alternate bids were also recommended for approval including Alternate AC-02 for access controls at Lenihan in the amount of $73,714.56 and Alternate VS-01 for video surveillance (external) at all Elementary Schools in the amount of $112,827.62.
The board approved the bid from ADS in the amount of $532,897.57 for the Security Management System Phase 3 Project as presented. This includes alternates AC-02 and VS-01.

Board Policies
First Reading
402.6-R Staff Technology Use/Social Networking Regulation – To come back to a second reading after questions arose.
New 413.8 Twelve Month Operations, Maintenance & Transportation Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program – Adopted and waived second reading

Initial Review
900 – Statement of Guiding Principles – Delete first sentence and add IASB model policy language- To come back before board
902.1(new 607.3) Board – Community Relations – Rename and number – language of policy stays same- Marked as reviewed
New 902.1 News Media Relations – New policy from IASB- to come back
902.2 News Conferences and Interviews – Marked as reviewed
903.1 School-Community Groups – No changes. Marked as reviewed.

The board then went into a closed session for an expulsion hearing.

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on November 4 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Last night’s meeting saw a donation of a kind we have not seen before, but so desperately need with our student population. We have a number of students who have negative lunch account balances.
Alfonso Medina, owner of La Carreta Mexican Grill, donated $1,167.85 towards negative student lunch accounts at MMS and MHS. This donation is hoped to have a significant impact for those who need it. Mr. Medina hopes that students will be better prepared to focus on academics by providing them with nutritious food and reducing the financial burden to these families.
What a great example of a business giving back to the community in a way that enriches our students’ lives!” – Bea Niblock


October 7, 2019 Board Meeting

8 Oct

Marshalltown High School students talked to the school board on October 7 about their experience at the National Hispanic Institute over the summer. Pictured, from left, are Veronica Herrera, Stephanie Zavalza Flores, Carmen Araiza, Uriel Campos Padilla, Jolcey Santana and Itzary Avalos.

MHS students talk about experience at National Hispanic Institute

An MHS student group gave this presentation after attending two separate National Hispanic Institute (NHI) gatherings in Schaumburg, Illinois and Rock Island, Illinois over the summer.
Students who presented included Veronica Herrera, Stephanie Zavalza Flores, Carmen Araiza, Uriel Campos Padilla, Jolcey Santana and Itzary Avalos.
“In NHI, they really teach you on how to become a leader,” Herrera said.
MHS teacher Hector Campos is the group sponsor said this group of students are both future leaders in the community and academic leaders at MHS. They are looking to recruit more students to attend NHI in the future and into fundraising opportunities to offset the cost of the program.




Pictured from left, Buildings and Grounds Director Chuck Springer and custodians Eric Smith (Lenihan) and Loma Green (Hoglan).

Eric Smith (Lenihan), center,  and Loma Green (Hoglan) represented custodians in recognition of last week having National Custodians Day.
“Thank you for all that you do,” said Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.



Principals were honored as part of National Principal Month. Pictured from left are Dave Glenn, Eric Goslinga, Kyle Young, Amy Williams, Anel Garza, Liz Jurgensen, Jacque Wyant, Ronnie Manis, Mark Lee and Tim Holmgren.

Many school principals were in attendance to be recognized as October is National Principals Month.
“I can say wholeheartedly it’s just a phenomenal team to work with,” Schutte said of the principals.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.
Included in the personnel report is the retirement of William Myers after 37 years of service to the district.
“We are very grateful for his longtime service to our district,” Schutte said.

Student School Board Representative update
MHS seniors Carmen Araiza and Mia Barajas presented this report for the student school board representatives update.

Chromebook purchase
This is for the purchase of 150 Chromebooks from CDWG for use by paraeducators in the amount of $42,000. Benefits of Chromebooks for paraeducators include: These benefits include: time clock accessibility, improved communications, student work assistance, student reporting, ease of access to professional development/training and access to translation support. The board approved the purchase..

SAVE presentation
Dr. Theron Schutte talked about this information item only.
“These dollars are instrumental in order for us to move forward on our long range facilities plan,” Schutte said.
Long range needs include: Miller auditorium, MHS air conditioning, Anson enclosing classrooms and others.
See below for more information on SAVE and the Revenue Purpose Statement.

During the 2019 Legislative session, the Secure an Advanced Vision for Education sales tax (SAVE or statewide penny) was extended from 2029 through January 1, 2051.  As part of that extension, there is a requirement that each school district seek voter approval for renewing and/or revising their existing Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) on or after July 1st, 2019.

Renewing the Revenue Purpose Statement (RPS) is intended to allow for maximum flexibility as we continue to plan for infrastructure needs in the Marshalltown Community School District and is essential to our future.  The current RPS was approved by the voters in September, 2011. Adoption of a new RPS is required in order to use this funding through the extended sunset date in 2051.

In the Marshalltown Community School District, the proposed Revenue Purpose Statement is intended to be used for, but not limited to, the following:

  • To continue providing funds for property tax relief;
  • To provide funds for school safety and security infrastructure;
  • To provide funds to remodel, build, purchase and/or lease and furnish school buildings;
  • To continue to provide funds for the payment of principal and interest or retirement of general obligation bonds

If approved by a majority of voters, this Revenue Purpose Statement shall remain in effect until replaced or amended by the Marshalltown Community School District.

Ahlers Engagement Letter
This is to refinance 2013 bonds with the current interest rate market opportunity. Ahlers would be bond counsel for reissuance of bonds. The board approved the item.

Piper Jaffray Engagement Letter
Piper Jaffray would be fiscal agent for bond documentation to put out to bid. Anticipated savings for the district on refinancing the bonds is between $180,000-$230,000.
The board approved the item.

Series 2019 SAVE Refunding Bonds Participant Package
This is the document that Piper Jaffray to put out to market to refinance bonds.
The board approved the item.

Resolution for hearing on bonds
This is to set a public hearing for the refinancing of the bonds- The public hearing will be October 21. The board approved the setting of the hearing.

Buildings and Grounds Retirement Incentive
This policy for initial review. To come back before board.

Board Policies
Initial review
104-R2 Harassment-Students (Student Handbook Provision) – Marked as reviewed
104-E1 Harassment Complaint Form – Marked as reviewed
104-E2 Harassment-Witness Disclosure Form- Marked as reviewed
402.6R Staff Technology Use/Social Networking Regulation – Additional items added to policy on password protection. To come back before the board for first reading next time.

The next board meeting will be held at 5 p.m. on October 21.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Last night’s meeting gave the board the opportunity to interact with staff and students.  That is always an engaging time for board directors.

Principals were recognized during National Principals’ Month.  Custodial leaders from their labor management committee, as representatives of all custodians, were recognized for National Custodians’ Day.

Then, students shared their experiences at the National Hispanic Institute.  Their plans for fundraising so that more students could participate in these experiences was encouraging.  And the student board representatives gave an update on activities happening at the high school.

A pleasure, indeed, to recognize and hear from staff and students.” Bea Niblock

Click here for a video of the meeting.

September 16, 2019 Board Meeting

17 Sep

Lonnie Hogeland, left,  and David Adland were recognized at the school board meeting on September 16 for donating vests to the school district for use by staff outside of schools.

Local business leaders donate safety vests

Lonnie Hogeland from L. Hogeland Auto Plaza and David Adland from Adland Engraving and Screen Printing were recognized for donating new safety vests for our staff serving as crossing guards at our schools.

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte thanked them as we continue to look at ways to increase safety around our schools. Handheld stop signs have been purchased by the district for those helping at school crossings as well.

Personnel items
Click here for personnel items approved by the board.


Student School Board Representatives
School board representatives, from left, Carmen Araiza, Mia Barajas and Diana Sanchez presented their report on upcoming Homecoming week activities, band information and an athletics recap from the past week.


Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte

Reconstruction and Expansion of MHS Tennis/Pickleball Facilities
Dr. Theron Schutte presented this future proposed project which includes the  reconstruction and expansion of MHS tennis facility.  The courts have outlived their standard life time and are cracking in several places.

There is a need for quality courts in the future for not only MHS tennis programs, but for youth and community use.

The proposal would take the complex from an 8 court location to 12 courts plus the addition of pickleball courts, a restroom and parking. It would also make the facility ADA accessible.

The total preliminary cost of the project is at $2.2 million, which Dr. Schutte hopes can be split three ways between the school district, the city and a Martha-Ellen Tye Foundation grant. Sales tax funds would pay the district’s share of the project. There is a hope that half of the 12 courts can begin construction in the spring.

Dr. Schutte said he realizes there are more pressing facility needs in the district such as Miller auditorium and MHS air conditioning.  He said those are significantly higher priced projects and the reason why this tennis court project is coming before the board is the possibility of sharing the cost.

He will be presenting to the Marshalltown City Council on September 23. This was an information item only, no action was taken by the board on Monday.

Board Policies
Initial Review
102.E.6 Disposition of Disclosure Form –  Marked as reviewed
104 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harrassment Policy – Marked as reviewed
104-R1 Anti-Bullying/Anti-Harrassment Policy (Investigation Procedures) – Marked as reviewed

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on October 7.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The student board representatives gave their first presentation at Monday’s meeting.  Carmen Araiza, Mia Barajas, and Diana Sanchez shared a power point presentation with the board and audience.

The presentation included photos and information about Homecoming Week and sporting events.  The student reps have set a high bar for themselves in sharing high school news. We look forward to their participation in future meetings and sharing of presentations.” – Bea Niblock

Click here for the video of this meeting.

September 3, 2019 Board Meeting

4 Sep

Junior Achievement of Central Iowa presented the Marshalltown Community School District with the School District of the Year award. Pictured from left are Erica Finders and Pam Brewer- Michael receiving the award from Collin Lane of Junior Achievement.

MCSD awarded Junior Achievement School District of the Year

Junior Achievement Director of Central Iowa Programs Collin Lane presented Curriculum and Professional Development Teacher Leaders Erica Finders and Pam Brewer-Michael the recognition of the Marshalltown Community School District being awarded their 2019 School District of the Year Award.

In 2018-19, Marshalltown Schools had 150 classrooms participate in Junior Achievement, where community members present the curriculum and provide a taste of their career to the students. There were also special programs such as Junior Achievement BizTown attended by Lenihan students and other JA programs utilized by the district.

“That impacted 3,352 students in your district,” Lane said.

Finders said she has received positive feedback from community members, teachers and students involved in Junior Achievement.

“We’re really excited to get this award,” Finders said. “We have worked really hard in Marshalltown to implement this program.”

Computer Science

Pictured from left are Nicole Critchfield, Sue Cahill and Deirdre Murphy

MCSD staff earn Computer Science endorsement
MCSD staff who earned a Computer Science endorsement from the State of Iowa through the Computer Science grant were recognized at the meeting. Teachers include Sue Cahill, Tessa Cohen (not present), Nicole Critchfield, Deirdre Murphy, Anne Sellers (not present) and Alicia Patten (not present).  The program was through Northwestern College in Orange City.
“I think this will greatly enhance our understanding that all students need to be involved in computer science,” Cahill said.

Apgar Family donates $15,000 to MHS volleyball
Tom Apgar presented a donation to MHS Athletic Director Ryan Isgrig and Miller Athletic Director Jeff Tice in the amount of $15,000 in recognition of his father, the late Pat Apgar. The donation will help the middle school and high school volleyball programs.
The Apgars have been strong supporters of Marshalltown volleyball and the school district.
Click here to learn more about the donation.

Personnel items
For personnel items approved by the school board, click here.

Student School Board Representatives
MHS seniors Carmen Araiza, Mia Barajas and Diana Sanchez have been selected as the student school board representatives this school year. This is the second year the board has had student representatives. The board approved them as representatives. Learn more about them here.

Art Trip Out-of-State Travel Request to Chicago, Illinois
MHS art teachers Kirk Niehouse, Rebecca Erickson and Wade Judge made this request as they plan to take students on a trip to Chicago on October 4. They plan to take a chartered bus to Chicago to visit The National Museum of Mexican Art, the Contemporary Museum of Art, the Chicago Art Institute, Millennium Park and Navy Pier. The board approved the out of state field trip request.

2019 Summer Teacher Externship Recap
Dee Burt, Curriculum Professional Development Leader, gave this report on the summer Teacher Externship program.
“Four days of intense tours, panel discussions and conversations with business leaders in our community,” Burt said.
A total of 36 businesses and 48 teachers participated. The plans are for this to continue next year. Dr. Schutte commended Dee for leading this program and all of her hard work.

End-of-Year Report
Dr. Lisa Stevenson, Director of Instruction, presented this report. These are all data indicators we collected last school year.

  • Chronic Absenteeism went up to 20.8 percent of students overall. These are students who miss more than 10 percent of the total school days.

“It is a concern,” Dr. Stevenson said of the chronic absenteeism percentage. “We really are digging into this.”

  • Bullying/Harassment- Data-  stayed steady-
  •  Did reach the goal of decrease in major behavior referrals. 87 percent of students had 0-1 referrals.
  • Preschool- met goal of students of 58 percent not at risk-
  • Reading goals- “We are inching forward” Stevenson said, but goals were not met= though FAST is more rigorous than the previous Iowa Assessments.
  • Math- FAST system used currently- goals were based on previous Iowa Assessments- and were not met.
  • Graduation Rate- Goal was 90 percent graduation rate not met, but 87.9 percent is something to celebrate in our district.
  • Drop outs –  met the drop out goal of no more than 75- as drop outs last year were 64

Sale of Surplus Technology
The board approved this sale of surplus technology equipment after a public hearing was held on this earlier in the meeting.

Security Management System Phase 3 Project
This project is to further enhance our existing security entrance systems, add additional elementary school cameras and other upgrades. Bids will be let out and received by October 3. A public hearing was held earlier in the meeting. The board approved the plans specifications, form of contract and estimates of total cost for Phase 3. The bids will be considered at the October 7 board meeting.

Board Policies
102.E3 Notice of Section 504 Student and Parental Rights – Marked as reviewed
102.E4 Discrimination, Anti-Bullying, and Anti Harassment Complaint Form – Marked as reviewed
102.E5 Witness Disclosure Form -Marked as reviewed

The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on September 16 in the district board room at district offices, 1002 S. 3rd. Ave.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“September has arrived and we look forward to another great year for the MCSD.  We welcomed 3 new student representatives to the board, accepted donations to programs, heard from school district employees and received an award for the district’s participation in the Junior Achievement program.

But, a very significant part of the agenda for the evening was the approval of plans to upgrade the school district security management system.  This topic has been the subject of multiple meetings and a public hearing was held at last night’s meeting. The board approved the distribution of the RFP for the project.  This is a great step forward in securing our buildings and providing a safe environment for students and staff.” – Bea Niblock

Click here for video of this meeting