Mid-Prairie Community School District
Kalona, Wellman, West Chester
Mid-Prairie Central Office Community Room, Wellman, IA 52356
July 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. With the decision to conduct meetings using the ZOOM format, any legal documents required to be signed due to resolutions, etc., may be signed by facsimile signature.
Board members present: Mary Allred (In Person), Denise Chittick (In Person), Gabrielle Frederick (Via Zoom), Jeremy Gugel (In Person), Jodi Meader (Via Zoom), Jeremy Pickard (In Person), and Marianne Schlabach (In Person). Voice recognition attendance taken by Board Secretary Swartzentruber for the electronic meeting format.
Board members absent: None.
Also Present: Administrators included: Mark Schneider (In Person), Jeff Swartzentruber (In Person), Rachel Kerns (Via Zoom), Marc Pennington (Via Zoom), Bill Poock (Via Zoom), and Jay Strickland (Via Zoom). Additional members of the media, public, and staff attended via Zoom.
Denise Chittick moved to adopt the agenda as presented. Seconded by Gabrielle Frederick. Motion carried 7-0.
Public Forum– 7:00 p.m.
A written letter from Sarah M. Showalter on her concerns on the Return to Learn planning was sent to the School Board. No one else spoke.
Jeremy Pickard moved to approve the following consent items.
Minutes of Previous Meetings
The minutes of June 22, 2020 Meeting;
The Finance Report for Year to Date through June, 2020;
Payment of Bills
The bills as listed for July 13, 2020; Prepaid Bills; and Hills Bank ACH Transactions for the month ended June 30, 2020;
Open Enrollment Requests
Craig and Amanda Miller request Dax Miller (Alternative Kindergarten), attend Mid-Prairie from English Valleys Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;
Cassie Wolinsky requests Landon Fox (Grade 9) and Payton Fox (Grade 7), attend Mid-Prairie from Keota Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;
Josh and Sara Dooley request Benjamin Dooley (Grade 4) and Michael Dooley (Grade 2) attend Mid-Prairie’s Home School Assistance Program from Clear Creek Amana Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;
Jacob and Rachel Schunk request Malachi Schunk (Grade 1) attend Mid-Prairie’s Home School Assistance Program from Iowa City Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;
Jamie Swartzendruber requests Owen Swartzendruber (Grade 11) attend Clayton Ridge Community School District from Mid-Prairie;
Work Agreement issued to Jenny Gillam, West Elementary Paraprofessional, $13.76 per hour;
Work Agreement issued to Jodi Kahler, West Elementary Paraprofessional, $15.08 per hour;
TLC Professional Partner Contracts
Contract issued to Kara Beatty, $1,000.0 per annum;
Contract issued to Pete Cavanagh, $1,000.0 per annum;
Contract issued to Andrea Farrier, $1,000.0 per annum;
Contract issued to Jeff Murphy, $1,000.0 per annum;
Contract issued to Emily Pennington, $1,000.0 per annum;
Contract issued to Lori Simon, $1,000.0 per annum;
Contract issued to Jessica Swartzentruber, $1,000.0 per annum;
Contract issued to Traci Zahradnek, $1,000.0 per annum;
Contract issued to Emily Zehr, $1,000.0 per annum;
No Resignations are effective at this time;
Fundraising Requests -- None presented for approval;
Performance Health and Fitness Strength and Coordination Agreement for 2020-2021 – Recommended for Approval.
Mary Allred seconded the consent items. Motion carried 7-0.
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 further action or action to rescind. It will be on the agenda for subsequent meetings until rescinded. No action taken.
Student and Parent Handbooks
Superintendent Schneider asked the Building Principals to discuss changes to the Student and Parent Handbooks for the 2020-2021 School Year. Bill Poock, Principal at West Elementary discussed changes to the Combined Elementary Student and Parent Handbook. Jay Strickland, High School Principal, discussed the changes to the High School Handbook. The Board asked questions for clarification and detail.
Jeremy Pickard moved to accept the Combined Elementary and High School Student and Parent Handbooks for the 2020-2021 School Year as presented. Denise Chittick seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.
School Calendar for 2020-2021
Superintendent Schneider noted that as referred to at the June 22, 2020 School Board meeting, the Board had approved the 2020-2021 School Calendar at the February 24, 2020, Board meeting where school started on August 25, 2020 and ending May 28, 2021. The Administrative Team has been working through a number of back to school ideas and possibilities in light of the COVID-19 crisis and the State of Iowa Return to Learn Plan assignment. Schneider outlined and reviewed the main changes to the calendar that are recommended for the upcoming School Year as the revision to start on Monday, August 24, 2020, and to suspend the early out days in August and September in favor of a full school day on those days. The Board asked questions for clarification.
Denise Chittick moved to approve the School Calendar for the 2020-2021 School year as amended for the August 24, 2020 start date and the elimination the early out dates in August and September. Mary Allred seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.
Board Policies 409.2 Licensed Employee Personal Illness Leave; 501.9 Student Absences—Excused; 601.2 School Day; 604.11 Appropriate Use of Online Learning; 907 District Operation During Public Emergencies
Superintendent Schneider introduced the changed and new Board Policies for consideration and review by the Board. These are introduced within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. He then shared each policy individually with the Board. The Board asked questions and discussed these policies for additional understanding and anticipated outcomes.
Denise Chittick moved to approve Board Policies 409.2 Licensed Employee Personal Illness Leave; 501.9 Student Absences—Excused; 601.2 School Day; 604.11 Appropriate Use of Online Learning; and 907.1 District Operation During Public Emergencies as presented on First Reading. Jeremy Pickard seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.
Preparations for Start of School
Superintendent Schneider reported on the status and current processes underway for the start of the 2020-2021 School Year. When MPCSD closed in March, the Administrative Staff, Directors, Nurses, Custodians and others were charged with doing research on what an opening of the Schools would look like in August. The next phase, which is just now being entered into in mid-July, is the process of deciding what School will look like within the three scenarios—Face to Face in buildings, On-line Learning, or a Hybrid of the other two. He shared preliminary results of the Parent Survey. 578 responses were received for the Parent Survey. He also shared preliminary results of the Staff Survey. It is noted that the survey for Staff closes at the end of the day, today, July 13, 2020. 160 responses were received for the Staff Survey to date. Schneider will compile the comments and share those with the Board.
2021 IASB Legislative Priorities
Superintendent Schneider and Board President Schlabach led a discussion on the Legislative Priories list provide by IASB. Previous year priorities chosen included: Mental Health, Teacher Leadership and Development, Alternative Licensure, School Funding, and SAVE Fund Extension. The Board Members provided their input for the legislative priories to include:
- 7. Mental Health – Supports Efforts to establish comprehensive community mental health systems to offer presentative and treatment services and school mental health programs;
- 10. Area Education Agencies – Supports full funding of the area education agencies to provide essential services in a cost-effective manner to school districts;
- 15. Teacher Recruitment and Licensure – Supports additional tools to attract individuals to the teaching profession, especially for teacher shortage areas;
- 19. Supplemental State Aid – Supports setting supplemental state aid at a rate that sufficiently supports local districts’ efforts to plan, create, and sustain world-class schools;
- 21. Bond Issues – Supports allowing school bond issued to be passed by a simple majority vote, as well as supports authority to levy a combination of property taxes and income surtaxes to pay the indebtedness, and clarification that revenue bonds do not count toward the 5 percent statutory limit;
Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the Legislative Priorities as listed in the above minute for communication to IASB for the 202 2021 Legislative Session. Jeremy Pickard seconded the motion. Motion carried 7-0.
Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda
A second meeting in July will be scheduled.
Location and Time of Future Meetings
The next Board meeting will be on Monday, July 27, at 7:00 p.m. at the High School Cafetorium—or room to be determined based upon anticipated size of attendance. This will be a single topic meeting on COVID-19 issues as requested by the Board. The August 10th Meeting Agenda items to include: 2020-2021 Bank Depository Resolution, and other topics to be announced at the end of the July 27th special meeting.
The meeting adjourned at 8:27 p.m.