You are here

April 13, 2020

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

Mid-Prairie Central Office Community Room, Wellman, IA  52356

April 13, 2020 – 7:00 p.m.

President Marianne Schlabach called the meeting to order.  Due to COVID-19 the meeting was conducted via use of ZOOM Meetings.

Board members present:  Mary Allred (Via Zoom), Denise Chittick (Via Zoom), Gabrielle Frederick (Via Zoom), Jeremy Gugel (Via Zoom), Jodi Meader (Via Zoom), Jeremy Pickard (Via Zoom at 7:08 p.m.), and Marianne Schlabach (Via Zoom).  Voice recognition attendance taken by Board Secretary Swartzentruber for the electronic meeting format.

Board members absent:  Jeremy Pickard (arrived via Zoom at 7:08 p.m.).

Also Present:  Mark Schneider (In Person), Jeff Swartzentruber (In Person), Robin Foster (Via Zoom), Rachel Kerns (Via Zoom), Marc Pennington (Via Zoom), Bill Poock (Via Zoom), Amy Shalla  (Via Zoom), and Jay Strickland (Via Zoom). Additionally, Jaynie Bontrager, Teresa Hartley, and Tyler Hotz joined via Zoom as part of the COVID-19 reporting. Additional members of the media, public, and staff attended via Zoom.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to adopt the agenda as presented.  Seconded by Mary Allred. Motion carried 6-0.


Public Forum– 7:00 p.m.

No one spoke.  No written comments were presented in advance of the meeting.

Consent Items

Denise Chittick moved to approve the following consent items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of March 23, 2020;

Finance Report

The Finance Report for March 2020;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for April 13, 2020, Prepaid Bills; and Hills Bank ACH Transactions for the month ended March 30, 2020;

Open Enrollment Requests

Johnny and Debra Swantz request Kate Elam (Grade 7), Rebecca Elam (Grade 2), Trent Elam (Grade 4), Cassandra Swantz (Grade 8), Danika Swantz (Grade 2) and Emerson Swantz (Grade 5), attend Mid-Prairie from Keota Community School District for the 2019-20 School Year;

Tiffany Regan requests William Kleckner (Grade 11), attend Mid-Prairie from Lone Tree Community School District for the 2019-20 School Year;

Personnel Items

Resignation of Natalie Silbaugh, High School Assistant Speech Coach, $2,521 per season, effective March 31, 2020.

Fundraising Requests

Mid-Prairie HSAP Roots and Shoots Program requests approval to raise funds through the sale of flowers grown in their greenhouse to enhance and sustain the HSAP greenhouse program and other activities related to HSAP;

Jodi Meader seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 6-0.

Student Learning

Mid-Prairie Resolution 032320

Superintendent Schneider noted that the resolution approved on March 23, 2020 allowed the Superintendent to suspend policy and is active until rescinded by the Board.  Mark proposes to have this on the agenda each time for the Board to consider taking action. It will be on the agenda for April 27th and subsequent meetings until rescinded.  No action taken.

COVID-19 Update

Superintendent Schneider updated the Board on current developments and processes since the closures of the school buildings.  Schneider noted that the Governor gave the option of voluntary learning or required learning for school districts after mid-April.  He then asked administrators and directors to provide comment on their areas of oversight. Jay Strickland reported that the High School has chosen to implement required learning on a Pass/Fail grading basis and provided details on the steps taken and to be taken.  The High School staff have been meeting every Monday to discuss learning plans. Marc Pennington reported that the Middle School followed a similar process to the High School and decided to go with voluntary learning except for HS credit level classes and with a few caveats.   Pennington noted how the Paraprofessionals on staff are teaming up to help with Special Education students to enhance the student learning experience. Robin Foster reported that East Elementary has taken the voluntary learning option. With this comes many group Zoom Meetings and personal meetings with the students in their classrooms.  She noted that there is a mix of technology and non-technology learning options. Bill Poock discussed West Elementary use of the voluntary learning options. West Elementary is also using technology and non-technology learning opportunities. Classroom teachers are doing class Zoom options and one-on-one contacts with their students. Specials Teachers and Special Education teachers are also involved in creating meaningful learning opportunities.  Rachel Kerns discussed the HSAP approach. It is a bit different because the parents are involved in the process. Supervising teachers are involved with families and students in distance learning experiences. Amy Shalla reported on the efforts related to Special Education. High School level students are required, other levels are being monitored. Middle School students’ progress is also being monitored. It was noted that IEP meetings will continue, and there are new challenges to these meetings.  Tyler Hotz discussed activities for Spring and Summer sports schedule modifications. Teresa Hartley shared on Transportation with the major effort on delivering meals on Mondays and Wednesdays. Also, drivers are scheduled to clean buses as well as contacting their student riders. Transportation is also working toward implementation of a new Routing software. Jaynie Bontrager shared about the efforts related to Technology initiatives, hot spot delivery and usage are the big issues, implementing education software for students and teachers, and control of building activities.  Jeff Swartzentruber reported on initiatives for the Business Office including: Accounting Software upgrade to work from home and in the office, 2020-2021 Staff Employment Contracts and Work Agreements, Funding issues within COVID-19, Short-term Investments, and IASBO Region 7 collaborative meetings. The administrators and directors noted how pleased they are with the staff through their processes and their engagement in the processes. The Board asked questions for clarification as each Administrator/Director provided their updates. The Board also thanked the staff for their efforts during an uncertain time.

(Jeremy Pickard arrived during the early portion of the COVID-19 Update at 7:08 p.m.)


7:15 PM Public Hearing on the Special Education Chair Lift Mini –Bus- Specifications

Marianne Schlabach opened the Public Hearing for comment at 7:15p.m.  The Public Hearing was closed at 7:16 p.m. as no spoke at the Public Hearing.

HSAP, Central Office Staff, Director and Principal Compensation for 2020-21

Superintendent Schneider drew the Board’s attention to the documents on the Board’s website where the compensation packages for HSAP, Central Office Staff, Director and Principal Compensation for the Fiscal year 2020-2021 were presented.  These are staff that are not part of the negotiated Master Agreements. He recommends a 3.06% package increase for all groups, except for the part-time HSAP Hourly Teaching staff. The raises for the part-time HSAP Hourly Staff are similar to Bus Drivers at $0.65 per hour increase—a range of 2% to 2.6% is recommended.  The 3.06% recommended increase is the same as what was approved for Teaching Staff for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. The Board asked questions for clarification on certain line items within the various schedules.

Jeremy Pickard moved to approve the District Administrator/Director, Central Office Staff, and HSAP Fiscal Year 2020-2021 wage and package increases of 3.06% for full time and 2% to 2.6% increases for part-time HSAP staff as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, April 27, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room.  Agenda items to include: Continued discussion of Resolution 032320; Update on COVID-19 Process and Progress; Discussion of Insurance Agency RFP process.


The meeting adjourned at 7:55 p.m.