April 2, 2018 Board Meeting

3 Apr

Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte gets ready to present a check for $2,229 to Assistance League members, from left, Kristin Polley, Shannon Naughton and Kathy McCune. The district raised $2,229 for the M project of the Assistance League by participating in a staff jeans day.

Assistance League M Project donation
A recent jeans day by MCSD staff raised $2,229 for the Assistance League M project. Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented a check to Assistance League members Kristen Polley, Shannon Naughton and Kathy McCune.M’s have been placed outside schools and the goal is to have them at 30 locations in town to build Marshalltown pride. They are close to reaching their goal of getting them at all schools and 30 total locations around town.


Public hearing on the 2018-19 certified budget and budget projection
No comments from the public during the public hearing

These personnel items were approved.
Included in the items was the retirement of Patricia Moore, paraeducator at Anson Elementary who has been with district with 33 years.
“That’s quite a contribution,” said Board President Bea Niblock said. “I had the pleasure to work with her, so I’m sure she will be missed in that building.””

Public Comment
Retired teachers and current substitute teachers Sally Jansen and Julie Miller made themselves available as a resource to provide information on helping with the substitute shortage.

Summer project list
Director of Buildings and Grounds Chuck Springer presented this list of summer projects. The list is ambitious given the time frame.Among the many projects are: Anson playground upgrade, Rogers walking track, Franklin roof replacement, Hoglan window replacement, Lenihan gym bleacher replacement, Anson window replacement and more.

“This is a pretty aggressive list,” Springer said. “We are very hopeful that we can get these done this summer.”

The projects  were presented as informational to be done in the future, but the board did approve bids for one of the projects – the Lenihan bleacher replacement from SAAFE of Minnesota for $36,925 and $2,500 for old bleacher removal.

Board Book Study
The board and administrators discussed chapter 5 of the book “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” by Eric Jensen.

2018-19 Certified Budget and Budget Projection
Former Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz went through this budget via video conference. The tax rate is $17.95 per $1,000 valuation, which will remain steady.
“The rate has been stable the past three years,” Bartz said.
The board approved the 2018-19 budget as presented.

Board Policies

First reading
504.5 now 502.10 -Use of Motor Vehicles-  changes to mirror IASB model policy- Approved as amended and waived second reading
504.7 now 507.10 – Emergency School Closings – – Rewritten to conform to current practice- Approved as amended waived second reading
507.6 – Student Insurance- combines policies 504.8 and 504.9- MIrror IASB policy- Adopted and waived second reading

202.6 -Student School Board Representatives –  All new three policies reviewed at last meeting- (these three) – All adopted and waived reading
202.6R – Student School Board Representatives – Regulation
202.6E – Student School Board Representatives – Application

Initial review
All 7 of the policies below were marked as reviewed policies no language changes, only changes to numbers
504.10 – becomes new number 507.12- School Safety Patrols
504.11 – new number  507.9 – Wellness
504.11R- new number is 507.9R1 – Wellness-Regulation
504.14 – new number is 104 – Anti Bullying/Anti-Harassment Policy
504.14R1 – new number is 104-R1 – Anti-Bullying/Anti Harassment Investigation Procedures
504.14R-2- new number is 104-R2 – Harassment-Students (Student Handbook Provision) Initiations, Hazing, Bullying or Harassment
504.14E1 -new number is  104-E1- Harassment Complaint Form

The next regular board meeting is at 5 p.m. on April 16 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The certified budget was presented and approved at Monday’s meeting.  When all is said and done, the budget for the 2018-19 school year guarantees that the tax levy will see only a negligible change.  For less than a penny increase in the tax levy, the district budget has been approved. That is absolutely remarkable for a district our size with a mere 1% growth in state aid!

In addition to budget work, the board also heard about anticipated summer projects at all of the school buildings.  Many of the projects on the list are long overdue and will be a welcomed change in the physical environment in our schools.  Also approved was the replacement of the bleachers at Lenihan Intermediate School. School assemblies and activities at that building will be much improved with safer seating.

It’s a win-win situation when the board and administration can find a balance among the needs of our district.” – Bea Niblock


March 19, 2018 Board Meeting

20 Mar

Woodbury Elementary School Principal Anel Garza presents an update on the school’s dual language program to the board. Also pictured are Woodbury instructional coach Julie Thede, left, and teacher Becky Jacobson.

Brian Bartz was recognized for his work for the district as Director of Business Operations and Board Secretary.  This was his last board meeting with the district as he heads to the Marion independent School District.
“Unquestionably the district has been in great hands,” Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte said of Bartz’s work.

The new video “Proud to be Diverse” was shown at the meeting. Recognized was MHS teacher Jocelyn Frohwein, who wrote the poem years ago and the video produced by Communications Director Andrew Potter shows students throughout the district reciting the inspirational poem “I AM.”


MHS state speech participants Bianca Nuradrina, left, and Phoebe Osgood, presented their state-qualifying speeches.

Public hearing
The board held a public hearing for the sale of obsolete chromebooks and tablets. No public comments were made.

Personnel items
For personnel items approved by the board click here.
Personnel items included retirements of Merlyn “Kaye” Ruport, who is currently in food service at Lenihan and worked for the district for 21 years and Sammi Jo Luse, current instructional coach at Miller, who has worked  in the district for 19 years.

Woodbury Elementary School Presentation
Woodbury Principal Anel Garza, teacher  Becky Jacobson and instructional coach Julie Thede presented this for the school.
The focus of the presentation was on the dual language program Woodbury, particularly how they use the bridge program. The premise is that content can be taught in one language and bridges into the other language, without having to reteach the entire content again in a different language.
“The bridge is a phenomenal time to see as a teacher,” Jacobson said.
They then showed this video of this work in action at Woodbury.

Bobcat College & Career Readiness Dashboard Update
Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte presented on this item including this flyer with more information. Dr. Schutte said this is based on the national effort to redesign college and career readiness for students with certain indicators.
No one test score or grade point average defines readiness, Schutte said.
Students who meet the criteria would be recognized as being Bobcat Ready or college and career ready through a recognition on their transcript.
The board approved the Bobcat Ready, College and Career Readiness dashboard.

College and Career Readiness and Senior Dismiss
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant spoke on this presentation, related to college and career readiness and the current practice of senior dismissals. Jacque said they continue to focus on Individual Career and Academic Plans, which exposes students to career exploration in high school.

As far as senior dismissal goes, it will not go away but proof of work experience, volunteer experience or other activities as they leave school for open periods will need to be provided. “We just want their senior dismiss to be very purposeful,” Wyant said. This was an information item only.

2016-17 Audit Report
Jason Noonan from auditors Nolte, Cornman and Johnson to presented the 2016-17 audit report for review.

New Policy for Student School Board Representatives
Dr. Schutte presented this policy, with an idea of having 3 high school students serve as board representatives starting this fall.  Dr. Schutte said he  thinks it will be great leadership experience and provide student voice on issues the board discusses. Students would not be voting members or be part of closed sessions and other confidential matters. The board agreed that this was an idea that is welcome. This will come back at next meeting as a first reading board policy

Marshalltown Community School District Hall of Honor Program
Dr. Schutte proposed this program he would like to start and Alumni Hall of Honor program which will recognize graduates who have gone on to do great things.
“With as many great things that our graduates have done I think it would be very good for us to start recognizing our graduates” Dr. Schutte said.
The board approved the hall of honor program.


Paulette Newbold, right, is sworn is as the new board secretary-treasurer by Board President Bea Niblock.

Appointment of Secretary-Treasurer
Paulette Newbold, the new Director of Business Operations, was appointed as Board Secretary-Treasurer and sworn in. Paulette joins us on Monday, April 2.
She has served as Business Director and Board Secretary at the Boone School District for the past 10 years.

Board Book Study “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” by Eric Jensen
The board continued its book study discussion this time with Chapter 4.

eRate Updates
Josh Wesley, Director of Technology, presented this update on bid tallies and bids awarded which will utilize eRate funds for wireless access points, internet access and a new firewall for the district.
For wireless access points a bid was awarded to SMS Tech Solutions  for 306 wireless access points for $153,91.60. With the eRate discount the district’s estimated cost is $30,792.32.
For internet access, a bid was awarded to Mediacom Business for a three-year contract at $60,500. With the eRate discount the district’s estimated cost is $12,100.
For the firewall, a bid was awarded to Heartland Business Systems for $55,276.58. With the eRate discount the district’s estimated cost is $11,055.32.

Board Policies
First reading
503.120-R- to become new number 504.8-R – Private Activity Camps Regulation- Accepted as amended, waived second reading
504.1 now 507.1- Student Health and Immunization Certificates. Changes as recommended by lead nurse, Approved and waived second reading

Initial review
504.4- now 508.6- Use of Bicycles-  Marked as reviewed
504.5 now 502.10 -Use of Motor Vehicles- Changes to align with IASB policy. To come back before board.
504.6 -Work Permits- Policy deleted
504.7 now 507.10 -Weather-Related School Closings, Delays, and Early Dismissals. Rewrote based on current weather communication, to come back before board
504.8- becomes 507.6- Student Insurance – 504.8 and 504.9 made into this policy – (to delete 504.9) To come back before board

The board went into closed session to discuss the sale of real estate.  The board also held an exempt session for negotiations.

The next regular meeting of the board is at 5 p.m. on April 2 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Dr. Schutte presented the board with the possibility of adopting new policies which would allow up to 3 high school students (sophomores, juniors, seniors) to participate as non-voting board members.  To apply for these positions, students must fulfill certain requirements and demonstrate leadership, listening and communication skills.

The board is interested in seeking out and considering student ideas, viewpoints and opinions regarding the district’s educational programs.  The student representatives would be eligible to participate in discussions, but not vote, during all regular board meetings held in open session.  Not only would students bring ideas to the board, but they would also be responsible for communicating board decisions and information back to the student body.

The board looks forward to the participation of student representatives in September.” – Bea Niblock



March 5, 2018 board meeting

6 Mar

Healthcare Careers Club plans trip to Kansas City


Marshalltown High School Dean of Students Dan Terrones talked to the board about a planned trip to Kansas City for the Marshalltown Area Healthcare Careers Club. Also pictured are students in the club, from left, Aracely Aguilera, Juliana Ibarra Lemus, Daisy Klaas and Geovany Rivera

MHS Dean of Students Dan Terrones, who leads the Marshalltown Area Healthcare Careers Club, presented a request for a trip to Kansas City along with students in the club. They have a trip planned to Kansas City from April 5-7 to get on-site learning at the Truman Medical Centers. For more information on the trip, click on this link. Terrones said he is excited about the real world experience the students are going to get on this trip. The trip, which is paid through fundraising and contributions from the McFarland Clinic Physicians Group,  was approved by the board.



Three members of the MHS Class of 1977 presented a donation check to the district totaling $1,600. From left, Ann Isgrig, Jeff Isgrig and Grant Brintnall presented the check with $800 going to the Roundhouse Phase II project and $800 going to the fine arts programs.


Members of the Class 3A state runner up boys bowling team were recognized along with coaches Roger Taylor and Stacy Galema. Present from the team were Ray Wiegand, left, and Lucas Kramer. Also present was ShayeLyn Pickett representing the girls team.  Coach Taylor called it a fantastic season for the bowlers.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Paulette Newbold was approved as the next Director of Business Operations and Board Secretary.  Paulette has been the Director of Business Services and Board Secretary/Treasurer of the Boone Community School District since 2008. Prior to that, she was the District’s Accountant/Office Manager, a Board member, and a Certified Public Accountant for an accounting firm.  She will begin at MCSD on April 2, replacing Brian Bartz who is leaving at the end of this month.

2019 MHS graduation date
The Marshalltown HIgh School graduation date for 2019 was approved for Sunday, June 2, 2019.  


Board Book Study
The board continued its book study discussion on “Teaching with Poverty in Mind,” this time with Chapter 3 of the book. Chapter 3 is titled “Embracing the Mind-Set of Change.”
One of the many takeaways from the chapter is the fact how exposure to the arts can help expand the mental capacity for children coming from low income homes.

E-Rate Bid Tally
Director of Technology Josh Wesley said bids received for wireless access points, firewall and internet services will need further clarification from vendors.
Due to the timing of this and the E-Rate funding deadline, he proposed the board exercise policy 705.1, which allows the superintendent to approve purchases on the board’s behalf. He will submit a summary to the board at a later meeting.

MCSD Phone System Upgrade
Mr. Wesley also presented this item. He said the current district phone system is 13 years old, is no longer supported and replacement parts are difficult to obtain. He asked for approval to do a Request for Proposal for a phone system upgrade. The board approved publishing an RFP as presented.

Auditor Selection for the 2017-18 School Year
The district received four bids for auditors and business office staff went through a matrix on the bidders. They recommended auditor’s Nolte, Cornman and Johnson of Newton for a 1-year contract for $15,700. The firm has served as auditors for the district for several years.  It was approved by the board.

Certified Budget for 2018-19
Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz presented this as an information item on the budget projection. The budget needs to be approved by the county auditor by April 17. Taxable valuation is $1,044,212,286, which is up approximately $25 million. The proposed tax rate for 2018-19 is $17.95 per thousand valuation, which is steady from the previous year. A public hearing for the certified budget will be held at the April 2 board meeting.

Board Policies

First reading
503.3 becoming 504.3 -School Publications. Approved as amended and waive second reading
503.2 becoming 504.2- Student Organization. Changes as suggested by attorneys, approved as amended and waived second reading

Initial reading
503.11 – becomes 504.7 -School Sponsored Camps. Marked as reviewed
503.12 – becomes 504.8  Private Activity Camps- Marked as reviewed
503.12-R- becomes 504.8R-Private Activity Camps Regulation- Slight change, to come back before board.
504.1 becomes 507.1- Student Health and Immunization Certificates- District Nurse making proposed changes- to come back before board
504.2- becomes 507.3-Exclusion for Communicable Diseases. Marked as reviewed
504.3- becomes 507.4- Injury or Illness at School.  Marked as reviewed.

The board then went into closed session for a quarterly evaluation of the superintendent. The next regular board meeting is at 5 p.m. March 19.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“ I want to take this opportunity to talk a bit about my colleagues on the board.  They are, indeed, a professional and caring group of people who come to each board meeting to do what they feel is best for all kids.

At last night’s board meeting, we continued our discussion of Eric Jensen’s “Teaching with Poverty in Mind.”  If you had the opportunity to listen to that discussion, you would have heard the passion in the voices and comments of the board members.  They ask thoughtful questions to understand. You would have known that this is a group of individuals with compassion and concern for providing the best education possible for every student in the district.

It is a pleasure to sit on the board with such a great group of individuals.  They truly believe that all children can learn and it is our responsibility to provide the environment and opportunities for each child to do that.” – Bea Niblock



February 19, 2018 board meeting

20 Feb

Anson Elementary School students display to the board how they incorporate music, dancing and exercising to stay active during the February 19 school board meeting.

Anson Elementary School presentation
Anson Principal Ronnie Manis introduced a varied showcase from AnsonHe said the theme for this year at the school is  “All in for all Kids,” which is displayed on a poster near the Anson entrance with the names of all staff.


Teachers Andrea Quiesner and Sarah Lauer helped introduce a Kahoot quiz along with students Ruben Fuentes, above right and Jain Carlo Lopez, left, for the board and audience featuring historical facts on Rosa Parks.


The new preschool yoga in the classroom program was displayed by students and teacher  Jordan Wentzien.


Extended Learning Program teacher Nicole Holman and student Jorja Janssen presented a project on coding using an electric guitar.

Music teacher Heather Dean and PE teacher Alex Black then introduced a group of students who displayed how they use music and dancing to get them up and moving. Anson attendance center plan.

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.

Thesis approval
Lenihan ELL teacher Joan Fujanic is getting her master’s and for her thesis she is collecting information on Lexia Reading Core 5 results at Lenihan. She was instructed by Board President Bea Niblock to get approval from families as she is using individual scores, but not their names.

Updates for 2017-18 School Year Goals
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented this report on the first semester.
Dr. Stevenson presented information on attendance , behavior referral totals, K-6 FAST reading scores, 5-6th math, preschool IGDIs, progress on other school improvement goals and more.
“All the buildings are really deep in trying to figure out the chronic absenteeism,” Stevenson said. “(Attendance) is the foundation of all of this other work.”
Stevenson said she is encouraged overall by the district’s reading scores, as were board members.

Lexia Information
Dr. Stevenson, and Curriculum and Professional Development Leaders Pam Brewer-Michael and Erica Finders presented this report on the Lexia online reading program.
At Lenihan, 201 students in 5th grade have worked their way through 5th grade skills on Lexia Core5.
Lexia PowerUp Literacy at Miller Middle School started on Monday, according to Brewer-Michael. Brewer-Michael said they feel PowerUp Literacy will meet the needs of all Miller learners.

MHS Roundhouse Phase 2 update
Director of Building and Grounds Chuck Springer and FEH Architect Kevin Eipperle updated the board on the progress. Excavation for the basement was completed on February 12.

“We will start seeing concrete toward the end of next week,” Eipperle said.

Substantial completion of the project is still expected by November 19.

“Right now they are telling us they can meet the schedule,” Eipperle said of Ball Team, the project’s general contractor.

There was also discussion on the costs of the project.

Board Book Study
The board continued its discussion on “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” by Eric Jensen, this time focusing on Chapter 2 – How Poverty Affects Behavior and Academic Performance.

Board Policies
First reading
503.1-New number becomes 504.1 – Student Government- Approved as amended, waived second reading
502.9- Interview of Students by Law Enforcement and Outside Agencies Combination of a couple of policies, and added IASB language- Approved as amended waived second reading.
501.13- Students of Legal Age- IASB policy adopted and waived second reading
502.5- Student Lockers – Adopted and waived second reading
505.5 – Interviews of Students by Outside Agencies -Deleted (replaced by 502.9 )

Initial review
503.2 – Student Organization number becomes 504.2- Changes to come back before board
503.3 becomes 504.3 -School Publications- Some changes – added paragraph from IASB to come back before board
503.4 new number 508.3 – Social Events- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.5- becomes 508.4 – Intramural Activities- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.6 – becomes 504.6 – Interscholastic Competition- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.8- becomes 505.3 – Student Honors and Awards- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
503.9 becomes 508.5 – Activity Ticket Funds- Renumbered, marked as reviewed
504.3-R1 – New regulation- Student Publications Code- adopted code from IASB
505.2- becomes 704.5 – Student Activity Fund- taken out of student section – to finance section of board policies. Marked as reviewed.

The next regular board meeting will be at 5 p.m. on March 5 in district offices.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The board received reports on a number of academic topics. Data on the goals of the strategic plan and Lexia provided the board with a glimpse of how things have proceeded this first semester.

The historical data for the strategic plan is encouraging as significant growth is seen. And fall and winter scores show that we are on the right path, albeit not exactly where we would like to be at this point.

Lexia Core5 data shows us accelerated growth for a majority of students who actually receive the suggested amount of curricular instruction. And Power Up looks to be a major improvement for middle school students.

These points are all encouraging to the board. We are hopeful in seeing even more growth with the curricular changes and the strong staff that we have working with the students in our district.” – Bea Niblock


February 5, 2018 board meeting

6 Feb

Rogers Elementary School kindergarten teachers Megan Cutright, right, and Susan Eggleston display some calming techniques with Rogers students at the school board meeting. Rogers has a routine in the morning to get students ready for the day.

School Board member Karina Hernandez read the proclamation for the Week of February 5, 2018, which is “National School Counseling Week.” Thank you to our school counselors!

For personnel items approved by the board, click here.
Included in the personnel items were three more retirements including:
Sharon Baughman- curriculum secretary who has been with the district for 28 years.
Jody Brintnall, business office manager, who has served 25 years in the district.
Cheryl Dunham, ELL teacher at Rogers, has been in the district for 26 years.

“We’re losing some expertise, it will be hard to replace,” said Board President Bea Niblock.


Rogers Principal Dr. Mick Jurgensen, teacher librarian Erin Faas and counselor Mark Church are pictured presenting to the board.

Rogers Attendance Center Plan
Rogers Principal Dr. Mick Jurgensen, teacher librarian Erin Faas and counselor Mark Church presented the Attendance Center Plan.

Rogers continues to work on school climate to help all students be successful, Jurgensen said.  Faas said they focus on building resilient learners and ways to overcome adverse childhood experiences, among other tactics.

Kindergarten teachers Megan Cutright and Susan Eggleston demonstrated the morning gathering with a group of students. It includes the Rogers pledge, the Pledge of Allegiance, breathing to music and other activities to get students ready for the school day.

Art Club trip
The Marshalltown High School Art Club sought board approval for a trip to Kansas City which is planned for Friday, March 2. The group will visit the Kemper Art Museum, Sheery Leedy Contemporary Art, Leedy-Voulkos Art Center and the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum and return home late at night.
Cost is $65 for students. So far 18 students have signed up but there is room for 46 students.  The board approved the trip. Out of state school trips are required to have board approval.

Preschool Program
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson requested board approval for a change in preschool programming from four half days to five half days for next school year. This is a follow up to her presentation on preschool at the January 16 meeting. Total increase in programming is estimated to cost $19,500. The board approved the changes to the preschool program as presented.

2018-19 School Calendar
The school calendar survey results were presented to the board. The board approved this 2018-19 school calendar, which includes a full week of spring break and added eight full day professional development days, eliminating Wednesday early outs for the 2018-19 school year. There is a possibility that the state legislators will move the mandatory earliest school start date up from August 23 to earlier that week. If that measure is taken, the calendar may be brought back before the board with an earlier start date.

Board Book Study
The board and administrators are reading the book “Teaching with Poverty in Mind” by Eric Jensen. The board and administrators tackled several questions as part of the book study discussion on Chapter 1. The board discussed how information from the book is applicable to our district and how living in poverty affects our students.
The group also discussed what the district can do and is doing to assist those living in poverty.

Grandwood Consortium Program
Matt Cretsinger, Director of Special Services, requested the board approve the application to the School Budget Review Committee in the amount of $3,044.88 for special education administrative costs associated with the Grandwood Consortium program for the 2018-19 school year. The Grandwood program serves students whose needs can’t be meant by our district in the Woodward area. Currently one student from Marshalltown attends the program. The board approved the item.

Board Policies
First reading
502.5-R-new number is 502.1R – Student Dress Code – Cross reference change – Approved and waived second reading.
502.6 – New number is 604.11 –  Temporarily Disabled Students – minor changes- Approved and waived second reading.
502.7- New numbers is 503.4R1-Student Conduct in Extra-Curricular Activities – Few language modifications- Approved and waived second reading
503.4 – Good Conduct Rule (new policy ) IASB policy – Approved as amended and waived second reading.
401.10R- Credit Cards- Revision of policy and changes made- Approved as amended and Waived second reading.
401.7- Employee Travel Compensation- Newly crafted policy combines old 401.7 and 401.11-  Minor of changes approved as presented waived second reading and  deleted old policies 401.7 and 401.11.

Initial review
502.12 new number is 502.7-Smoking, Drinking, Drugs- Marked as reviewed
503.1 – new numbers is 504.1 – Student Government – Added paragraph from IASB policy – To come back before board.
505.5- Interviews of Students by Outside Agencies – old policy deleted
502.9 -Interviews of Students by Law Enforcement and Outside Agencies – To come back
501.13- Students of Legal Age- IASB policy, to come back
502.5 – Student Lockers- New policy from IASB format – To come back from board

The board then went into exempt session for negotiations.

The next regular meeting of the board will be at 5 p.m. on Monday, February 17. The board will also meet from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, February 8 for an expulsion hearing.


From Board President Bea Niblock
“The board has embarked on a book study of “Teaching with Poverty in Mind,” by Eric Jensen.  We discussed the first chapter at our Monday meeting.

The board, central office administrators, and building administrators present engaged in a rich discussion bringing each person’s perspective to the table.  Many have had years of experience with this segment of our student population and brought personal stories to the discussion to help all understand the nature of poverty and its presence in Marshalltown.

These discussions will give every board member an opportunity to be more knowledgeable regarding what many students live through and the challenges brought to the learning environment.” – Bea Niblock




January 16, 2018 Board Meeting

17 Jan

The school board heard a presentation on the Individual Career Academic Plan in the district. Pictured from left, are Lydia Arevalo, Rachel Meckley, Terri Hungerford and Dee Burt.

Individual Career Academic Plan (ICAP)
MHS Counselor Lydia Arevalo, Miller Counselor Rachel Meckley, Curriculum and Professional Development Leader Dee Burt and Iowa Valley’s Terri Hungerford presented this information on the ICAP work being done in the district. Career exploration programs begin as early as preschool in the district and increase as students get older.

ICAP’s  5 essential components include:
1 – Self understanding
2- Career information
3 – Career Exploration activities
4 –  Postsecondary Education
5  – Career and Postsecondary Decision

“We are actively looking to build a college-going culture,” Arevalo said.



MHS English teacher Kathi Hale is congratulated by Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte.

MHS English teacher Kathi Hale was recognized as a recent recipient of the Golden Apple Award from WHO-TV.  Kathi received a standing ovation from the board.
“I am so grateful for this award,” Hale said.

This list was approved by the boardIncluded in the items were the early retirements of Linda Brintnall, 3rd grade teacher from Rogers Elementary who has served with the district for 37 years and Susan Pollpeter, Title I teacher from Fisher Elementary who has been with the district for 18.5 years.

Other retirements included Kathi Hale, English teacher at MHS (18 years in district) and Pamela Ledford, food service at MHS (15 years in district).

Director of Business Operations Brian Bartz will resign effective March 30.

2018-19 MHS Course Guide
MHS Principal Jacque Wyant presented this document for approval.
Highlights include: Adding 12 point grading scale starting with Class of 2022,
and early dismissal for seniors will not be available beginning with the school year 2019-20 as they encourage more work experience.

Some of the added courses:
– Family and Consumer Science- “Intro to Education class – “It’s our way of growing our own as try to get more teachers here in Marshalltown, especially bilingual teachers,” Wyant said.
– Music department- change bands to symphonic band and wind symphony – not just by grade levels – these will be auditioned bands
– Social studies- Adding world history at freshman level
– Military Science in specialized studies
– Foreign Language- Heritage Spanish for native speakers

The board questioned why there is no weighted GPA for honors classes. Mrs. Wyant said she will convene the grading committee and look at that.

The board approved the 2018-19 school year course of studies.

National Student Clearinghouse Data
Mrs. Wyant  presented this document, which is data provided through National Student Leadership Clearinghouse on MHS graduates and figures on going to, staying in and graduating from college.

Young Bobcats Moving Forward (Preschool update)
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented this update on preschool.
There are two main goals:
Goal 1- trying to increase preschool participation – “We want to emphasize that this is an opportunity that is there,” Stevenson said.
This year 76 percent of kindergarten students in Marshalltown Schools have participated in a preschool program.
“Ideally we want even more kids,” Stevenson said.
Several ideas and solutions were discussed to try to increase preschool participation.

Goal 2 – Make sure 80 percent of students are meeting end of the year benchmark in preschool. Stevenson said 80 percent is an “ambitious goal.”
One of the solutions to this goal will be to expand the half day preschool program from four days to five days a week.
The board asked several questions on the status of preschool and the future of preschool.
This item was for information only as Dr. Stevenson expects to come back to the board for approval of changes to preschool at the Feb. 5 board meeting.

2018-19 School Calendar survey
Recent survey results indicated a slight preference (55 percent) by staff to have a full week of spring break next school year.
There was an error in the parent survey – allowing parents to vote more than once. We will resurvey parents to get their feeling on spring break for next year.

Increase in K-6 student book fees for 2018-19 school year.
Dr. Stevenson proposed this increase in student book fees for K-6 students from $40 to $45 for the 2018-19 school year. The board approved the rate as presented after hearing about book fees in surrounding districts.

Food Service Equipment purchases
There is a need to replace aging food service equipment. The board approved $69,470 in equipment purchases which will come out of the food service budget run by Director of Food Service Lynn Large.

E-Rate Funding Request
Director of Technology Josh Wesley presented this document.
Items being requested include an Internet service provider, additional wireless access points, redundant firewalls and leased fiber service. The board approved the go ahead to publish RFPs.

Board Policies
First reading

  1. 2-R- number change to 502.8-R- Search and Seizure – Approved waived second reading

502.3 – number change to 502.9 – Interviews of Students by Law Enforcement and Outside Agencies – Approved as amended from changes at previous meeting, waived second reading

502.4 – Student Complaints and Grievances – New policy from Iowa Association of School Boards policy- Adopted  and waived second reading.

502.1 – number change to 503.1-Student Conduct – Changes presented at last meeting- combination of previous policy along with IASB policy- Approved as amended waived second reading

503.1-R1 – Disciplinary Procedures and/or Penalties (Responsibility) –  2 minor changes from last time before board- Approved as amended, waived second reading

502.8-deleted and becomes 503.2- Student Expulsion- Adopted and waived second reading-

502.8-R number changes to 503.2 R – Search and Seizure- Adopted

503.1R2- Student Suspension- Adopted and waived second reading

307- Communication Channels – New policy based on IASB policy- Adopted and waived second reading


Initial review
502.5 R number changes to 502.1R- Student Dress Code- Minor changes- To come back before board

502.6 – to have a new number – Disabled Students- to come back before board

502.7- to change number to 503.4 R1-Student Conduct in Extra-Curricular Activities-  Based on IASB policy – to come back

502.7R – number changed to 503.4 R 2 – Student Conduct in Extra-Curricular Activities- To come back

503.4 – Good Conduct Rules- To come back before

401.10R- Credit Cards – Changes made- to come back

401.7 and  401.11 to combine for 401.17- Employee Travel Compensation- taken from IASB and added own language – New 401.7 to come back before board

The board will next meet in a special board work session at 5 p.m. on Monday, January 22 in the district office conference room. The next regular meeting of the school board will be at 5 p.m. on Monday, February 5 in district offices.

The board then went into a closed session for expulsion hearing-

From Board President Bea Niblock
“Your school board definitely has the best interests of all students at heart.  Last night’s agenda was certainly proof of that.
Agenda items included approving the list of early graduates and approving the course offerings at MHS for the 2018-19 school year to discussion of the goals and changes being considered for the district preschool classrooms.
It’s not often that the board considers such a range in one evening’s agenda, but it was a treat to discuss what’s happening with our youngest students and then our graduating seniors.  Increasing the proficiency of our preschoolers moving to kindergarten will definitely impact our percentage of high school graduates.  Everything in a child’s educational career has a profound impact on everything that follows.
Increasing student achievement is the board’s number one goal!” – Bea Niblock


December 18, 2017 Board Meeting

19 Dec

Lenihan Intermediate School sixth graders spoke to the board about learning language fluency. From left, are Natalie Salas, Elazia Davison, Colten Ricken and Chase Gustafson.

Lenihan Intermediate School presentation

Lenihan Principal Kyle Young and Assistant Principal Liz Jurgensen delivered this presentation to update the board.

“The year has been filled with a lot of new learning,” Young said.

There has been a new focus of trying to get more students connected to the school with one way being the new intramural program. Basketball is the first activity of the intramural program.

“Our goal is to work beyond athletics as we grow this program,” Young said.

Lenihan has also added new leadership opportunities for students to go along with others already established including Ricochet and Teen Outreach Program.  New additions have also been added on the academic side, including ST Math.

“I’ve been really proud of our staff,” Young of putting ST Math into place.

Four Lenihan sixth grade students talked about dimensions of fluency and read poetry examples.


Victoria Johnson

Marshalltown High School senior Victoria Johnson was recognized for being nominated by U.S. Senator Joni Ernst  to be considered for appointment for the United States Military Academy at West Point and by U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley to be considered for appointment in the Naval Academy.  Victoria said she wants to study nuclear engineering in the Navy.

For Personnel items approved by the board click here.

Included in the items were two retirements including: Dee Coulter, special education teacher at Miller Middle School who has 29 years of service to the district and Karen Roessler, Title I teacher at Hoglan who has 33 years of service with the district.


Mark Smith

Visit from State Representative Mark Smith
State Representative and Iowa House Minority Leader Mark Smith of Marshalltown visited with the board. During the previous meeting, three other legislators visited with the board, Smith was unable to attend then and spoke at the December 18 meeting.

The board presented Smith its priorities. The 2018 legislative session will focus on budget, Smith said. He said the state budget is not in good shape.

The board held a discussion with Smith around various topics including state supplemental aid, SAVE, unfunded mandates, graduation rates, school calendars,

ST Math Update
PK-6 Curriculum Leader Erica Finders and Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented this update on ST Math which was implemented this fall in Pre-K through 6.

“Students move through the curriculum at their own pace individually,” Finders said.

Professional Development Delivery Model Calender Survey Update
The district is researching the how professional development is delivered as we develop the 2018-19 calendar. Staff were surveyed for their preference in either keeping the current structure for early dismissals on Wednesday or adding 8 additional full days of professional development.
Director of Communications Andrew Potter presented both staff and parent survey results. Staff in favor of going to full day PD was 54.4 percent while 51 precent of parents also favored this method.
Director of Instruction Dr. Lisa Stevenson presented this pros and cons list of each calendar option. The next step will be to survey staff and parents on whether or not to have a spring break.
This was an information item only as board approval of the calendar will come at a later date.

Application to SBRC
The board approved the Marshalltown Community School District application to the School Budget Review Committee in the amount of $3,020.71 for special education administrative costs associated with River Hills Consortium program for the 2018-19 school year as presented.

Rescinding of Vote on At-Risk Plan
Board member Karina Hernandez sent this letter regarding rescinding her vote on the at-risk plan that was approved by the board at a special meeting on December 11. It was approved by the board

Marshalltown High School Roundhouse Phase II Asbestos Abatement
Director of Buildings and Grounds Chuck Springer presented a bid as asbestos was revealed during the Phase II work.
“We found that have some asbestos containing material on north face of Roundhouse,” Springer said.

The board accepted the bid from Controlled Asbestos, Inc. of Ankeny  for asbestos removal for the Roundhouse Phase 2 Project, at a cost of $13,063.

Board Policies
501.3-E2- Attendance Regulations – One adjustment- on last line referenced an old policy. Approved as amended
502.2 – Search and Seizure- changed number to 502.8- and number changes on cross references- Marked as reviewed.
502.2- E – Search and Seizure Checklist – Number change to 502.8- E- Marked as reviewed.
502.2-R -Search and Seizure- now 502.8R- a number of change in it to mirror IASB policies- To come back before board.
502.3 -Interviews of Students by Law Enforcement and Outside Agencies- Change number to 502.9- title changes, and generally same content with minor wording changes. To come back to board.
502.4 -Physical Restraint (Corporal Punishment) -Change number to 503.5- and title change, from IASB. To come back before board.
502.4-E – Physical Restraint or Physical Confinement Documentation- Change number to 503.5E- Marked as reviewed.
502.5 – Student Appearance –  Change number to 502.1- Change in cross references- Marked as reviewed.
503.1 – Student Conduct- From our policy and IASB policy – (was formerly 502.1)- To come back at next meeting.
503.1R1- Disciplinary Procedures and/or Penalties (Responsibility). Moved from another portion of conduct policy – To come back at next meeting.
502.9 – Gangs- Change number to 502.11 – Marked as reviewed.
502.9-R- Gangs- Number change to to 502.11R. Marked as reviewed.
502.10 – Weapons- Number change to 502.6. Marked as reviewed.
502.11- Violence- Number change – 502.12- Marked as reviewed.
307 – Communication Channels-  New policy – To come back before board
502.4 – Student Complaints and Grievances- To come back before board.
502.8-R-Student Expulsion – Number change to 503.2R. To come back.
503.2- Student Expulsion- Adopting from IASB- New policy, to come back.
503.1-R2- Student Suspension-New policy to come back before board.

NOTE: Next Board Meeting
The next board meeting will be Tuesday, January 16 at 5 p.m. in district offices. This is a move of one day from the original schedule of Monday, January 15 due to the MLK holiday.

From Board President Bea Niblock
“The audience at the board meeting and the community members, who listen to the delayed broadcast of board meetings, all received a wonderful gift at Monday’s board meeting! The improved audio and video updates have been completed and were used for the first time.

For years, many have complained about not being able to see or hear what was happening during board meetings. The situation has been remedied. When asked of those sitting in the back of the board room, “Can you hear us?” the answer was a resounding ‘yes!’

May you all have the gift of time and relaxation during the upcoming holiday season. Enjoy your time away from the rigors of the job. Relax and find happiness with your loved ones. No matter how you celebrate the holidays, I wish you a Merry Christmas, Bright Blessings, Happy Hanukkah – Chag Sameach, or Happy Kwanzaa – Heri za!” – Bea Niblock