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April 22, 2019

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

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

April 22, 2019 – 6:15 p.m.


Vice President Marianne Schlabach called the meeting to order.

Board members present:   Denise Chittick, Gabrielle Frederick, Gerry Kahler, Jodi Meader, Marianne Schlabach, and Emily Uhl.

Board members absent:  Jeremy Pickard.

Also Present:  Mark Schneider, Jeff Swartzentruber, Robin Foster, Rachel Kerns, Marc Pennington, Bill Poock, Amy Shalla and Jay Strickland.

Jodi Meader moved to adopt the agenda as presented.  Seconded by Denise Chittick.  Motion carried 6-0.


Middle School Presentation

Marc Pennington, Middle School Principal, provided an update on the Middle School.  He highlighted various items in a year in review approach:  Student attendance is 424; 64 staff are in the building; Extra-curricular participation is very high; Robust and varied academic emphasis and offerings; Social/Emotional/Behavioral Support activities; and then looking ahead to 2019-2020 ideas and initiatives.  Board asked questions for clarification.

West Elementary Presentation

Bill Poock, West Elementary Principal, provided and update on West Elementary School.  He highlighted:  Positive outcomes as identified by Staff including-Curriculum, Special Projects, Special Programs, Events; and Professional Learning – Climate and Culture. 

High School Hours for 2019-2020 – Moved to agenda item in Business Session

Board Development and Inservice Activities – Moved to the end of the meeting

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda – Moved to the end of the meeting


Public Forum– 7:00 p.m.

No one spoke.

Consent Items

Gerry Kahler moved to approve the following consent items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of April 8, 2019

Finance Report

None presented at this time;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for April 22, 2019;

Open Enrollment Requests

Holly Tedder requests Layla Tedder (Grade 6), Lilly Tedder (Grade 7), and Wyatt Tedder (Grade 8), attend Mid-Prairie from Washington Community School District for the 2019-20 School Year;

Robert and Heather Hohenshell request Elizabeth Hohenshell (Grade 8) attend Keota Community School District from Mid-Prairie;

Personnel Items

No Contracts/Positions presented for issue;

Resignation of Ellen Land, Middle School Science Teacher, $45,553 per year, effective end of 2018-2019 School Year;

Resignation of Oralia Espinoza, Middle School Media Secretary, $13.72 per hour, effective end of 2018-2019 School Year;

Elimination of the Cook’s Helper Position at the Middle School effective the end of the 2018-2019 School Year.  This also eliminates the position of Jean Jamieson, serving in the Cook’s Helper Position at the end of the School Year at $14.66 per hour;

Fundraising Requests

The Mid-Prairie Home School Assistance Program “Roots and Shoots” requests approval to raise funds through raise funds by offering plant and seedling starts by freewill donation from April 22nd to end of the School Year for the construction and initial expenses of a 10 foot by 20 foot greenhouse at the Home School Education Center;

Emily Uhl seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 6-0.

Student Learning

High School Hours for 2019-2020

High School Principal Jay Strickland discussed the need to add 15 minutes to the day for WIN time,  increase block time and instructional time, and to eliminate the Monday late starts at the High School.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the change in the High School schedule and daily hours from 8:15am to 3:15pm for 2019-2020 as presented.  Jodi Meader seconded the motion.   Motion carried 6-0.


Nutrition Director/High School Head Cook

Superintendent Schneider discussed the current situation of the combined Nutrition Director/High School Head Cook and the need to split the positions.  He is not recommending an action item for this meeting and asks for the Board to give some thought on the subject in order to bring questions, and impressions for the next meeting.  He provided history of how the Nutrition area has functioned and evolved over the past 18+ years.  In 2013 the position of Nutrition Director was combined with the High School Head Cook position.  In the past 6 months, Superintendent Schneider and Amber Kempf, Nutrition Director, began discussions about the next phase of the Nutrition Operation.  Thoughts are to split the Nutrition Director and Head Cook positions at the High School to take the operation to the next step in progression of the program.  The Board asked questions about how this has evolved and evolving to the next steps.

School Fees for 2019-2020

Superintendent Schneider and Business Manager Swartzentruber presented a recommendation to increase the Student Lunch and Breakfast prices by $0.05 each for the 2019-2020 School Year. This would make the lunch price $3.15 and the breakfast price $1.90 for students.  Based on student counts, this would raise the revenue by $5,100 to $5,600.  As costs increase for food and staff each year, the District strives to keep this fund on sound financial footing.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the increase of student lunch and breakfast prices by $0.05 for 2019-2020 to $3.15 for a lunch and $1.90 for a breakfast as presented and recommended.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

HSAP Compensation die 2019-2020

Superintendent Schneider noted the HSAP wage detail listed on the Board website for 2019-2020 after Rachel Kerns and Jeff met over the past 3 weeks.  As most of the staff are not full time, the increase by person averages 2.61% for next year, less than the 3.06% for salaried teachers at the previous Board meeting.  The difference is in benefits.  However, the overall wages for the Program is a 14.38% increase.  This 14.38% increase is due to a 20% increase in hours by existing teaching staff and in changing one teacher—bringing to 5—staff that are now full time salaried in the Program.  The increase in hours is a result of increase in growth of families served by the HSAP Program.

Denise Chittick moved to approve increase in wages and hours to the HSAP staff for the 2019-2020 School Year as presented.  Gabrielle Frederick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Superintendent Health Insurance for 2019-2020 School Year

Superintendent Schneider discussed a change to the Superintendent Contract for next school year as it pertains to health insurance coverage.  As Superintendent Schneider’s family situation has changed, he no longer needs family coverage.  Instead of taking family coverage, it is proposed that he take single coverage and in exchange the District put $1,000 per month toward a Tax Sheltered Annuity (TSA) in Schneider’s name.  The savings to the District in coverage is $1,112 per month next year.  The net savings to the District as proposed with the TSA would be at least $1,344 annually for FY 2019-2020.

Gerry Kahler moved to approve a change in contract language that pays Superintendent Schneider $1,000 per month in a TSA in exchange for taking single health insurance coverage instead of family health insurance coverage as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Work Session

Completion of Unfinished Work Session Items

Board Development and Inservice Activities – None was noted

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, May 13, 2019, at 6:15 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room.  Agenda items will include:  Fund for Academic Excellence Awardee presentation, 28E Sharing Arrangement; ALC Trip Update; Discussion of 4-3-3-3 Special Education Requirements; and Handbook Changes.


The meeting adjourned at 7:41p.m.