Mid-Prairie Community School District
Kalona, Wellman, West Chester
Mid-Prairie Central Office Community Room, Wellman, IA 52356
April 9, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.
Vice President George Schaefer called the meeting to order.
Board members present: Denise Chittick, Gabrielle Frederick, Jim Hussey, Jodi Meader, George Schaefer, and Marianne Schlabach.
Board members absent: Jeremy Pickard.
Also Present: Mark Schneider, Jeff Swartzentruber, Robin Foster, Marc Pennington, Bill Poock, Amy Shalla and Jay Strickland.
Marianne Schlabach moved to adopt the agenda as presented and with a change to table the HSAP wage item. Seconded by Jim Hussey. Motion carried 6-0.
No one spoke.
Marianne Schlabach moved to approve the following consent items.
Minutes of Previous Meetings
The minutes of March 19, 2018;
The Finance Report for March 2018;
Payment of Bills
The bills as listed for April 9, 2018, Hills Bank ACH Transactions for the month ending March 31, 2018;
Open Enrollment Requests
Aaron and Chrystal Rath request Emily Rath (Kindergarten), attend Mid-Prairie from Iowa City Community School District for the 2018-19 School Year;
Julie Rippel requests Forrest Rippel (Kindergarten) attend Mid-Prairie’s Home School Assistance Program from Williamsburg Community School District for the 2018-19 School Year;
Rebecca Abreu requests Eduardo Angel (Grade 6), Angelica Angel (Grade 7), Marisol Tapia (Grade 8), Gustaro Angel (Grade 10), and Juan Carlos Angel (Grade 11) attend Mid-Prairie’s Home School Assistance Program from Grinnell Community School District for the 2018-19 School Year;
Heather Hohenshell requests Elizabeth Hohenshell (Grade 6) attend Clear Creek Amana Community School District from Mid-Prairie;
Contract issued to Daren Lambert, HS Boys Assistant Golf Coach, $1,220 per annum;
Contract issued to Aaron Fleming, MS Girls Assistant Track Coach, $2,126 per annum;
Contract issued to Marian Marley, HS National Honor Society Sponsor, $293 per annum;
Contract issued to Shawna Sieren, HS Science Teacher, $41,764 per annum;
Volunteer Coaches for Spring Sports
Candice Henrichson – Girls Track--$-500- from Resale Funds
Resignation of Sarah O’Rourke, National Honor Society Sponsor, $305 per annum, effective March 21, 2018;
Resignation of Anna Nelson, National Honor Society Sponsor, $305 per annum, effective March 21, 2018;
Resignation of Deana Cobb, General Cook, $13.82 per hour, effective End of 2017-2018 School Year;
Resignation of Olivia Kahler, West Elementary Media Secretary, $14.52 per hour, effective End of 2017-2018 School Year;
Resignation of Alysse Witthoft, HS Nurse 62.5 FTE, $25,486 per annum, effective End of 2017-2018 School Year;
Resignation of Hannah Klaver, East Elementary Second Grade Teacher, $42,093 per annum, effective End of 2017-2018 School Year;
Mid-Prairie Golf requests approval to raise funds through a Youth Golf Clinic and the Kalona Golf Course on April 21st to raise funds for equipment, apparel, driving range fees and practice round fees for the teams;
2018 2019 Iowa Retirement Investment Club 403b Services Agreement
Renews the service agreement for the 2018-19 School Year for the optional 403b Retirement Plan for employees;
2018 2019 GWAEA Mentoring and Induction Agreement
Renews the agreement for the 2018-19 School Year;
Denise Chittick seconded the consent items. Motion carried 6-0.
Staff Member Spotlight
Superintendent Schneider and Principals introduced 12 staff members in all buildings to be recognized and highlighted the contributions and commitment of this group of colleagues. Each is making significant contributions to the educational experience of our students and their teams.
Elementary Foreign Language Program
Superintendent Schneider introduced this agenda item. Information has been included on the Board website. A discussion was held on the future of the elementary foreign language program. Board members made observations and asked questions. Administrators responded to the questions with specific information, goals and philosophies in the materials, noting which approach is used by District foreign language elementary teachers. The Board requested that the administration present potential models for elementary foreign language instruction and/or teaching about World Cultures at its next meeting with intentions to make a decision or decisions soon.
Kindergarten and First Grade for 2018-19
Superintendent Schneider and Principal Foster discussed the needs for these instructional levels for 2018-19 School Year. Foster discussed statistics for registrations at Kindergarten and First Grade. Propose a 6th section of First Grade to bring class sizes to 19 per class. The short term challenge is classroom space. Foster presented options for consideration and the pros and cons of each.
Jodi Meader moved to approve 6 sections of First Grade and 6 sections of Kindergarten for the 2018-19 School Year. Marianne Schlabach seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
West Elementary Special Education Teacher
Superintendent Schneider and Principal Poock discussed the needs and rational for hiring a second full time Special Education Teacher for the School in the 2018-19 School Year. This elevates the current one and one-half time Special Education Teacher FTE to 2 FTEs. With the needs and numbers of students has increased in the current year and is anticipated to increase next year. This position would be paid through Special Education Funding and would be K-4.
Jim Hussey moved to approve the hiring of an additional half-time Special Education Teacher at West Elementary to bring the FTE total to 2 full-time Special Education Teachers for the 2018-19 School Year as recommended. Jodi Meader seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
Principal Jay Strickland presented an extended update for the High School. Highlights included:
- Discussed major goals: Defining how to carry out and develop Teacher Leadership Teams and Student Leadership Teams; the first includes grouping Teachers into a Culture Team and a Professional Learning Team and he then discussed what tasks/goals each team was responsible for during the year; Secondly Student Leadership teams with near 46 students involved and the varied tasks/goals including learning to be a good leader;
- Connections of Students to Adults in the building: A survey of students to identify the connections and the resulting steps that the adults have taken to strengthen these identified connections; focus on keeping it simple; also, a Mental Toughness focus/emphasis for the students; Real Colors completed for both teachers and students; Top 25 reasons to be proud of MPHS;
- Other teams: Seminar Lead Teams—4 teams, one at each grade level; Pep rallies quarterly; Clubs and events for student involvement;
- Other focus areas: Freshman Orientation Program; School Safety—identified a Safety Team that does monthly drills; Instruction and Assessments with Teacher to Teacher Observations, Learning Target Assessments; Hawks Nest Lesson Schedule, and Professional Learning Communities; Walkthrough Observations; Instructional Practices Inventory; Teacher Evaluations; WIN Time; Student Intervention Checklist; New Course Offerings;
- Future ideas: Bring back the Student Support Team; Parent/Academy Sessions; What does it mean to be a Mid-Prairie Teacher; The ‘R’ Factor; GRIT Expectations; Increase School Spirit and Involvement; Continue to focus on Team Culture, Student rapport/connections, Encourage Student Leadership, Special Education Program/Service Delivery Model;
- Matt Freel and Kara Beatty presented on the 4th and Goals program that they are developing and delivering this School Year; Included was detailed description of the steps taken daily, hourly, and block by block in many need areas, a very comprehensive approach for students in the program;
Principal Robin Foster presented an update for East Elementary. Highlights included: Handwriting curriculum development has started and came to a consensus last week;
Principal Marc Pennington presented an update for the Middle School. Highlights included: Next Tuesday, April 17th is the MPMS Parent Connection Night and highlighted the topics;
Principal Bill Poock presented an update for West Elementary and the District’s Preschools. Highlights included: 99 students have registered for 4-year old PreSchool for 2018-19;
Principal Amy Shalla presented an update for the Alternative Learning Center and Special Education interests of the District. Highlights included: Two students will have graduation ceremonies one on each of the next two Saturdays;
HSAP Director and Senior Assistant Director
Superintendent Schneider reported on the search and process for the replacement of Jan Childress the retiring HSAP Director at the end of the school year. He is recommending the hiring of Rachel Kerns as the new Director and the elevation of Rose Schrock to Senior Assistant Director beginning in the 2018-19 School Year. Both persons are current staff of the Home School Assistance Program. Each will step into elevated roles. These elevated roles will result in increased number of contract days and increased salary. The new salary amounts will be $75,000 for Rachel Kerns and $65,000 for Rose Schrock. Along with the recommendations to hire is a recommendation to not replace the FTE represented by Kerns as she replaces Childress.
Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve Rachel Kerns as the new Home School Assistance Program Director beginning in the 2018-19 School Year and to approve the promotion of Rose Schrock to Senior Assistant Director of the Home School Assistance Program beginning in the 2018-19 School Year on July 1, 2018. Jodi Meader seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
High School Assistant Principal/Activities Director
Superintendent Schneider and Principal Strickland reported on the search process and the recommendation to hire Tyler Hotz as the new Assistant Principal/Activities Director beginning with the 2018-19 School Year. The position salary will be $86,000 and with benefits the total package is $122,935.
Jim Hussey moved to approve Tyler Hotz as the new Assistant Principal/Activities Director beginning in the 2018-19 School Year. Gabrielle Frederick seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
Second Reading of 600 Series Board Policies
Superintendent Schneider introduced this item and asked for any questions or additional clarifications from the Board.
Jim Hussey moved to approve Board Policy Series 600 Policies on Second Reading. Denise Chittick seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
MPEA Compensation Agreement for 2018-19
Superintendent Schneider reported that the Association ratified a compensation package for 2018-19 School Year that is a 2% overall increase. This increase is for all Professional Staff and Hourly Staff. The process was explained as it differed from prior years due to the new bargaining legislation. This is an approval of the compensation package and will allow for contracts to be generated and distributed by the end of this week. Contract language is on-going. Starting salaries for 2018-19 will be at the 5th step on the schedule. Board members that represented the Board on the bargaining group were George Schaefer and Marianne Schlabach. Schaefer shared his impressions and recommended the package be approved by the Board.
Marianne Schlabach moved to approve 2018-19 Compensation Agreement as presented that includes a 2% overall package increase. Jodi Meader seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
Principal & Director and Central Office and HSAP Compensation for 2018-19
Superintendent Schneider presented the packages for these groups of employees and explained the process. HSAP staff is tabled at this meeting until the HSAP Director has reviewed and commented.
Denise Chittick moved to approve compensation package increases for Principals and Business Manager as presented. Gabrielle Frederick seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve compensation package increases for 2 Directors—Transportation and Nutrition, and Central Office Staff as presented. Jim Hussey seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
Williamsburg 28E Agreement for HSAP Services
Superintendent Schneider presented the 28E Agreement for HSAP Services with WilliamsburgCSD beginning in the 2018-19 School Year and explained the program. This follows the form of the Clear Creek Amana 28E Agreement that have been in place for the past 2 years. This allows these students to take part in the extra-curricular activities in their home district.
Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the 28E Agreement with Williamsburg Community School District for the 2018-19 School Year as presented. Denise Chittick seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
28E Operational Sharing Agreements
Superintendent Schneider provided an update of the current 28E Sharing Agreements and the ones that will be continuing for the 2018-19 School Year. There are four agreements that are currently in place—with Clear Creek Amana and Mid-Prairie for Maury Gallagher as Buildings and Grounds Director; with Clear Creek Amana to share Carmela Ulin of Mid-Prairie as Human Resources Coordinator; with Sigourney CSD to share Leanne Bender of Mid-Prairie as Elementary Guidance Counselor; with Morning Sun to share Nathan Carlson as Principal at Morning Sun and Middle School Dean of Students at 60% of his time at Mid-Prairie. Morning Sun will determine the salary package they will pay on their 40% of his time.
Jodi Meader moved to approve two 28E Sharing Agreement with Clear Creek Amana CSD to share Maury Gallagher, Maintenance and Grounds Director, and Carmela Ulin Human Resource Coordinator, for 2018-19 School Year. Marianne Schlabach seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the 28E Sharing Agreement with Sigourney CSD to share Leanne Bender Elementary Guidance Counselor for 2018-19 School Year. Denise Chittick seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the 28E Sharing Agreement with Morning Sun CSD to share Nathan Carlson, Principal at Morning Sun and Mid-Prairie Middle School Dean of Students for 2018-19 School Year. Denise Chittick seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
School Fees and Nutritional Fees for 2018-19
Superintendent Schneider presented a recommended fee schedule for next school year. There were no changes to student meals for the 2017-18 School year although the adult meal prices increased $0.10. The recommended increase for student meals for next year is $0.05 and no increase for adult meals. There were questions and discussions about the financial condition of the Nutrition Fund and the project planned at Mid-Prairie Middle School. Plans are underway to buy equipment to reconfigure and update the Middle School kitchen during the Summers of 2018 and 2019. The financial condition of the Nutrition Fund continues to improve, though cash will be used for this project.
Jim Hussey moved to approve the fee schedule as presented. Marianne Schlabach seconded the motion. Motion carried 6-0.
State Backfill for Commercial Property Tax Cut
Superintendent Schneider noted the agenda item from an April 3, 2018 email to board members from Pam Jochum of the Iowa Senate Ways and Means Committee. Is a resolution needed as suggested in the email? Discussion followed between board members.
Whereas: When the Iowa Legislature decided to cut commercial property taxes in 2013, that decision which reduced income to Iowa’s cities, counties, school districts and other local governments.
Whereas: The Legislature agreed to replace those lost dollars with state dollars. That decision protected communities from a cut in services or forcing an increase in property taxes. This replacement of the local income lost due to the legislature’s decision is known as the “backfill.”
Whereas, leaders of the Iowa House and Senate have said they plan to eliminate the backfill, beginning with the 2018-2019 budget year.
Whereas: Many local school districts have already certified their budgets.
Whereas: the Mid-Prairie Community School District would lose a total of $77,609 if the backfill is eliminated, forcing cuts in essential services such as public safety and resulting in local property tax increases.
Be it therefore enacted:
That the Mid-Prairie Community School District is opposed to any reduction in the backfill for the 2018-2019 backfill and that this opposition should be communicated to the Iowa Legislature and to Governor Reynolds.
And that the Mid-Prairie Community School District believes that changes to the backfill should be decided with the participation of local governmental leaders, with adequate notice, and that every effort be made to avoid local property tax increases.
Jim Hussey moved to approve the resolution as presented above. Marianne Schlabach seconded the motion.
Roll Call Vote: Gabrielle Frederick - yes
Jim Hussey - yes
Jodi Meader - yes
Jeremy Pickard - absent
Marianne Schlabach - yes
George Schaefer - yes
Denise Chittick - yes
Motion carried 6-0.
Board Development and Inservice Activities
Nothing was presented.
Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda
The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, April 23, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room. Next Agenda: High School Coffee House; True Colors Activity; District Vision for Education; and Presentation of Education Exemplars;
The meeting adjourned at 9:57 p.m.