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January 8, 2018

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

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

January 8, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.


President Jeremy Pickard called the meeting to order.

Board members present:   Denise Chittick, Gabrielle Frederick, Jim Hussey, Jeremy Pickard, George Schaefer, and Marianne Schlabach.

Board members absent:  Jodi Meader.

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

Staff Absent:  Mark Schneider

Marianne Schlabach moved to adopt the agenda as Tabling two items.  Seconded by Jim Hussey.  Motion carried 6-0.

Public Forum

No one spoke.

Consent Items

Marianne Schlabach moved to approve the following consent items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of December 11, 2017;

Finance Report

The Finance Report for December 2017;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for January 8, 2018, Hills Bank ACH Transactions for the month of December 2017;

Open Enrollment Requests

Brian and Marci Crawford request Brayden Crawford (Grade 9), Madalien Crawford (Grade 12), and Makennah Crawford (Grade 10), attend Mid-Prairie from Clear Creek Amana Community School District for the 2017-18 School Year;

Nicole Reed requests Dylan Reed (Grade 4), attend Mid-Prairie from Iowa City Community School District for the 2017-18 School Year;

Anna Rode requests Aedan Rode (Kindergarten) and Ethaen Rode (Grade 3), attend Mid-Prairie from Soon Community School District for the 2017-18 School Year;

Rebecca Shaw and Benjamin McLennan request Andrew McLennan (Kindergarten) attend Sigourney Community School District from Mid-Prairie;

Personnel Items

Work Agreement issued to Brielle Brown, Special Education Associate East Elementary, $13.15 per hour;

Work Agreement issued to Holly Kemp, Special Education Associate East Elementary, $13.15 per hour;

Work Agreement issued to Shar Greiner, Special Education Associate High School, $13.15 per hour;

Resignation of Randy Billups, Lead Custodian HSEC and District Grounds Coordinator, CONTRACT $15.30 per hour, effective February 9, 2018;

Fundraising Requests

Mid-Prairie Music Grades 7-12 requests approval to raise funds through the sale of homemade pizzas from January 11th to 22nd for the New York trip in 2020;

Mid-Prairie Dance Team requests approval to raise funds through a Sponsorship Letter Campaign from January 10th to February 6th for uniforms, costumes, poms, choreography fees, accessories and banquet items;

Mid-Prairie Dance Team requests approval to raise funds through the Annual Dance Team Night and Clinic on March 31st for uniforms, costumes, poms, choreography fees, competition fees and show expenses;

IASB Non-DOT Drug Testing Agreement – Approve the Districts participation in the program with the signature of the School Board President;

George Schaefer seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 6-0.

Special Presentations

Staff Member Spotlight

This agenda item is tabled until the next meeting on January 22, 2018, per request of Superintendent Schneider and Principals.


Student Learning

Fund for Academic Excellence Projects

Superintendent Schneider introduced the teachers who successfully submitted project proposals to the Fund for Academic Excellence Committee.  There were 9 applications submitted and 6 were funded.  The grants were:

  • Sara Puttmann represented the 6-12 Math Departments and the use of the Algebra Tiles—visual learning tools for students - $400;
  • Casey Leonard shared about the Art Classroom Display Panels or dividers for hanging art work and art shows; also will help with analyzing and critiquing art, the $400 grant was combined with Art Booster funds and Middle School building budgets;
  • Casey Leonard shared for Lauren DiGiorgio—the Middle School Band received $602 for Building Musical Excellence through Foundational Exercises. These are ensemble musical materials to be used to develop technical accuracy and expressive qualities in musical performance by middle school students;
  • Dain Jeppson shared about the $600 grant for a permanent art display for high school students to display their art in high foot traffic areas;
  • Frank Slabaugh worked with Denise Busch to write a $617 grant for Sphero robots to be used for coding of programs by students to provide visual feedback for their work both for Fifth Grade and Eighth Grade students, recognizing differing skill levels;
  • Marc Pennington shared for Terra Huber who received an $881 grant for robotics virtual reality coding projects for Eighth Graders.

­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ Administrative Reports

Amy Shalla, Principal for the Alternative Learning Center (ALC) and Administrator for the Special Education program in the District, shared and spotlighted some of the items and issues for the ALC.  She provided an overview of the standards for the ALC, expectations and graduation requirements.  Individual paced classes and group classes are offered for students in the program.  Summer school has been offered since 2006 for MPHS students.  For the 2017-2018 ALC Program: 21 students on the 1st day of school; as of today there are 16 students enrolled.  She provided collective statistics on these students.  The board asked questions about the program and trends Shalla sees within the District.  There are 50 graduates of the program since 2006.  Shalla then discussed the Special Education Program in the District.  Included in the overview:  Alternative Assessments and IEP diploma, the latter is winding down with no new students entering the IEP diploma program; Working in 4 PLUS Programs including VITAL through Kirkwood, though VITAL has changing requirements, Shalla also shared about  the High School Coffee Shop is in the works thanks to a Riverboat Foundation grant in late 2017.

Principal Jay Strickland presented an update for the High School. Highlights included:  On January 16th the High School is going to conduct Real Colors Training for all students; and the commitment to connect with students and establishment of relationships—this is being measured through an all school survey;

Principal Robin Foster presented an update for East Elementary.  Highlights included: sharing of some challenges with the integrated elementary buildings, these efforts are definitely a work in process, recently a survey was conducted of the teams to see how teams are functioning and using these to set expectations for teams as they meet and working to set a common vision within teams;

Principal Marc Pennington presented an update for the Middle School.  Highlights included:  Project Lead the Way presentations are underway this week; Boys basketball has 60 athletes participating; Thirty loads of clothing came in during the clothing drive; and Middle School conducted the “Mixed up Day” to encourage interactions between all students during the lunch periods in December;

Principal Bill Poock presented an update for West Elementary and the District’s Preschools.  Highlights included: Elementary Schools are preparing for mid-year assessments for Reading and Math; and Engagement Strategist, Melissa Rediger is helping to set up the West Elementary Maker Space and the SeeSaw program, Rediger also uses a virtual scavenger hunt with her Kindergarten classes.


Bus Specifications/Set Date and Time for Public Hearing

Business Manager Jeff Swartzentruber in the absence of Superintendent Schneider recommended the purchase of two new school buses to the board for purchase in late June for the 2018-19 School Year.  These propane powered buses will replace two existing buses that are reaching their useful life.  Doing so will keep our current fleet up to date.  Specifications for the new buses have been provided to the Board.  A Public Hearing is proposed for January 22, 2018—the next School Board Meeting—at 8 p.m. to allow for public input and comment on the specifications.  Request for Bids will then be sent with Bid Opening Scheduled for February 2, 2018 after 1 p.m.

George Schaefer moved to set a Public Hearing at 8:00pm on January 22, 2018 at the Library of Mid-Prairie High School for the purpose of reviewing the proposed specifications, form of contract, and estimated costs for two school buses with the bid action to occur on February 2, 2018.  Marianne Schlabach seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Instructional Support Levy Discussion

Superintendent Schneider shared that the Instructional Support Levy currently in place for the District will expire at the end of the 2018-2019 School Year.  The Board asked questions and began to educate themselves about this process.  Further discussion is requested before taking action.  Appreciation was expressed for being proactive in starting this process earlier rather than later.

Work Session

School Board Policy Review – Series 600, Educational Program

Per the request of Board President Pickard and Superintendent Schneider this agenda item is tabled until a future meeting.

Board Development and Inservice Activities

ISAB Day on the Hill Conference is set for Tuesday, January 30, 2018.  Please let Business Manager Swartzentruber know if you plan to attend this event and he will register.  Transportation could also be arranged if desired by attendees.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, January 22, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at the Mid-Prairie High School Library.  Suggested Agenda Items:  Dinner at 6pm new employees, Recognition of Retirees; Staff Member Spotlight; Instructional Support Levy further conversation; tabled agenda items from this meeting; Reschedule or one meeting during Spring Break month;


The meeting adjourned at 9:01 p.m.