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July 9, 2018

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

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

July 9, 2018 – 7:00 p.m.


President Jeremy Pickard called the meeting to order.

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

Board members absent:  None.

Also Present:  Mark Schneider, Jeff Swartzentruber.

Marianne Schlabach moved to adopt the agenda as presented.  Seconded by Denise Chittick.  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 June 11, 2018, revised from published in Newspaper and June 25, 2018;

Finance Report

The Finance Report for June 2018 initial;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for July 9, 2018, Hills Bank ACH Transactions for the month of June 2018, and prepaid bills;

Open Enrollment Requests – None presented for approval

Personnel Items

Contract issued to Chris Kern, MS 7th Grade Football Coach, $3,110 per season;

Contract issued to Elizabeth Harris, HS Cheerleading Coach, $2,647 per season;

Work Agreement issued to April Crane-Brady, MP West Associate, $13.53 per hour;

Work Agreement issued to Karen Fair, HS Associate, $13.46 per hour;

Work Agreement issued to Mikayla Bringman, MP West Associate, $13.15 per hour;

Work Agreement issued to Lori Schrock, MS Associate, $13.15 per hour;

Work Agreement issued to Krista Thornton, MS Associate, $13.15 per hour;

Fundraising Requests – None presented for approval

Grant Wood AEA PowerSchool Agreement

The contract with GWAEA for the 2018 2019 School Year is presented for approval and signature

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

Short Term and Long Term Planning

Formal Acceptance of School Board Member Resignation

President Pickard stated that George Schaefer, School Board member and Board Vice President submitted his resignation on the morning of June 25, 2018.  The resignation was not in time to be a part of the June 25, 2018 School Board Meeting Agenda.  Action is requested to accept Mr. Schaefer’s resignation.

Jim Hussey moved to regretfully accept the resignation of Mr. George Schaefer effective June 25, 2018.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Appointment of a New School Board Member

President Pickard presented this agenda item.  A public announcement was in The News newspaper the past two weeks with a request for names of people to be considered to replace Mr. Schaefer on the board until the next School Board Election in November of 2019.  Randy Billups, one of the interested parties spoke briefly to the board.  Emily Uhl, a second person interested in the position, was unable to attend this evening due to prior commitments.  Background on Uhl was shared by Jim Hussey as a refresher to the rest of the School Board.

Jim Hussey moved to appoint Emily Uhl to fulfill the remaining term of seat vacated by Mr. Schaefer.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 5-1.  Jodi Meader dissented.

Elect a School Board Vice-President

President Pickard requested nominations to fill the role of Vice-President of the School Board until the September reorganization meeting at which time the new School Board Officers will be elected for the upcoming School Year of 2018-2019.

Jim Hussey moved to appoint Marianne Schlabach as School Board Vice President.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Board Secretary Swartzentruber administered the oath of office to Marianne Schlabach as the new School Board Vice President.

East Elementary School Space Needs

Superintendent Schneider directed the Boards attention to the document that contains four options to resolve the classroom needs at East Elementary for the coming School Year and beyond.  These options are presented as a temporary solution until the Facilities Planning Committee brings their recommendations to the Board within the next year to 18 months.  The Board asked questions for clarification on each option.  The option recommended to the Board is Option 2—it will keep all sections of classes and the Music class taught by Heather Hershberger within the East Elementary building for the 2018-2019 School Year.  This will allow for planning for a better near and long term solution.   The Board asked Music Teacher, Heather Hershberger, her impressions and initial thoughts which she provided.  The board supports following the recommendation of Option #2 with the understanding that it is not ideal and that it is temporary for one year.

2017 2018 Central Office Employee Audit Review

President Pickard presented a letter dated June 15, 2018 to the Board from Bontrager Tax, Accounting, and Consulting LLC that reports on the review of Superintendent Schneider’s work area while on vacation.  Superintendent Schneider presented a similar letter from Bontrager Tax dated November 15, 2017 that reports on the review of Business Manager Swartzentruber’s work area while on vacation.  These activities are new in the 2017 2018 School Year and are completed during a mandatory one week break in service.  This is another step in maintaining transparency of operations.  Details of the steps taken were provided to the Board.  Both letters reporting the independent reviews provided insights into procedures performed and the observed outcomes.

28E Agreement with English Valleys CSD for HSAP Services

Superintendent Schneider introduced the agreement.  The two districts signed an agreement in 2016 for services for the past two school years.  Recently, there has been increased activity within the Home School constituency in the English Valleys School District.  This activity resulted in a meeting with Mid-Prairie Home School leadership and English Valleys Superintendent where the programs were reviewed.  English Valleys requested an updated document for signature.  The English Valleys School Board will meet later this week to sign the document effective for the 2018 2019 School Year and beyond.  The recommendation is that we also approve and sign the document to keep the relationship on solid ground. 

Jodi Meader moved to approve the 28E Agreement with English Valleys CSD for HSAP services as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Light Duty Bus and Vehicle Mechanic

Superintendent Schneider provided background for this focus on maintenance of buses and vehicles in the District.  This is a new opportunity to centralize these activities to one person.  Currently there are three people who do this on an as needed hourly basis.  The position responsibilities and cost factors were shared and discussed.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the creation of a position for a light duty bus and vehicle mechanic as recommended.  Marianne Schlabach seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Instructional Support Levy

Superintendent Schneider reviewed the Instructional Support Levy and options for Board extension for 5 years or for a public election to extend for 10 years.  This was initially introduced at the February 26, 2018 meeting and then reviewed at the March 19, 2018 meeting.  Consider whether or not to move ahead with the renewal by Board action for 5 years was discussed along with the first of two required resolutions.  The current Instructional Support Levy will expire on June 30, 2019.  It is also required that a Public Hearing is held in the time between the two resolutions.  The first resolution is presented for consideration at this meeting.  The Board extension resolution comes with the understanding that citizens have the right to petition for a public election should they desire such action.  By passing a resolution as the next step, the District provides maximum time for a petition and next steps should an election be required.

Jim Hussey moved to approve the resolution 070918 for the Consideration of Continued Participation in the Instructional Support Levy Program for an additional period of five years beginning with the 2019-2020 Fiscal Year as presented.  Marianne Schlabach seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:    Gabrielle Frederick          - yes

                           Jim Hussey                      - yes

                           Jodi Meader                     - yes

                          Jeremy Pickard                 - yes

                          Marianne Schlabach         - yes

                          Denise Chittick                  - yes

Motion carried 6-0.

School Board Policies – 505.5 Graduation Requirements and 604.6 Instruction at a Post-Secondary Educational Institution

Superintendent Schneider the policies for approval on second reading and asked if there were any questions or proposed additional changes for consideration.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the second reading of Board Policy 604.6 Instruction at a Post-Secondary Educational Institution as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the second reading of Board Policy 505.5 Graduation Requirements as presented.  Marianne Schlabach seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

IASB Legislative Priorities

Superintendent Schneider directed the Board’s attention to the 2018 IASB Legislative Resolutions document on the website that indicate the legislative priorities for IASB for the 2018-2019 School Year and the accomplishments of the 2017-2018 School Year.  The IASB requests each participating School Board to submit a prioritized list of the legislative priorities for the upcoming legislative session.  The board discussed the list at length and narrowed the list to 5 items.  These items include:

  • #7 Mental Health
  • #12 Teacher Leadership and Development
  • #15 Alternative Licensure
  • #19 School Funding Policy
  • #27 SAVE (Secure an Advanced Vision for Education)

Jim Hussey moved for the School Board to approve the list of Legislative Priorities numbers 7, 12, 15, 19, and 27 as briefly described above.  Gabrielle Frederick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Volunteer Policy Update

Jeremy Pickard stated that the next Committee meeting on the Volunteer Policy is Tuesday, July 10th and that there has been no meeting since the June 25th School Board Meeting.   The goal for tomorrow evening’s meeting is to begin honing in on the issues that are the highest priorities of the committee.  The plan is still to bring a recommendation by the August 13, 2018 meeting for first reading.

Work Session

Board Policy Review, Series 400, Employees

The Board tabled this agenda item in view of the upcoming review and acceptance of an expanded employee handbook.

Board Development and Inservice Activities

School Board and Administrator Retreat – It is confirmed that the retreat will be Monday, August 6th from 5:30pm to 8pm at the Muscatine Community College at 152 Colorado Street, Muscatine, Iowa, hosted by Board President Pickard.  Agenda items were discussed.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular board meeting will be on Monday, August 13, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room.  Tentative agenda items include:  The Depository Resolution for 2018-2019; ISL Resolution and Next Steps; Swear in Emily Uhl as a new Board Member; Annual Facilities Report; School Board Policy, Series 400, Review and Handbook; and Annual Report Statistics (September).


The meeting adjourned at 8:22 p.m.