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May 11, 2020

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

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

May 11, 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., will be signed by facsimile signature.

Board members present:   Mary Allred (Via Zoom), Denise Chittick (Via Zoom), Gabrielle Frederick (Via Zoom), Jeremy Gugel (Via Zoom), Jodi Meader (Via Zoom), Jeremy Pickard (Via Zoom), and Marianne Schlabach (Via Zoom).  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), Robin Foster (Via Zoom), Rachel Kerns (Via Zoom), Marc Pennington (Via Zoom), Bill Poock (Via Zoom), Amy Shalla (Via Zoom), and Jay Strickland (Via Zoom).  Additional members of the media, public, and staff attended via Zoom.

Jodi Meader moved to adopt the agenda as presented.  Seconded by Gabrielle Frederick.  Motion carried 7-0.


Public Forum– 7:00 p.m.

No one spoke. No written comments were presented in advance of the meeting.

Consent Items

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the following consent items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of April 27, 2020;

Finance Report

The Finance Report for April 2020;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for May 11, 2020, Prepaid Bills; and Hills Bank ACH Transactions for April of 2020;

Open Enrollment Requests

Robert and Carli Robison request Isabelle Robison (Grade 5) and Jonah Robison (Grade 1) attend Mid-Prairie’s Home School Assistance Program from Washington Community School District for the 2019-20 School Year;

Personnel Items

Contract issued to Hannah Halstead, West Elementary 4th Grade Teacher, $38,906.40 per annum;

Contract issued to Melissa Rediger, HS Yearbook Sponsor, $1,499.25 per annum;

Contract issued to Lisa Helmuth, HS Assistant Speech Coach, $2,098.95 per season;

Resignation of Chris Kern, 7th Grade Football, $3,572 per annum, effective April 30, 2020;

Resignation of Jaclyn Greiner, HS Assistant Girls Basketball Coach, $2,661 per annum, effective April 30, 2020;

Fundraising Requests – None presented;

Performance Therapies PC Agreement – Approve the Athletic Training Agreement between the District and Performance Therapies PC for the 2020-2021 School Year;

Mary Allred seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 7-0.

Student Learning

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 June 8th and subsequent meetings until rescinded.  No action taken.

COVID-19 Update

Superintendent Schneider updated the Board on current developments and processes since the closures of the school buildings and with distance learning.  Schneider asked the Administrators to share the results of their buildings’ Family Surveys.  Robin Foster, East Elementary, and Bill Poock, West Elementary shared their results together as their results were very similar.  85% believe the resources received from the teachers are just right with 10% to 13% saying it was too much.  The Board asked about challenges not related to technology.  Parents said getting students to work was the largest answer, as was the challenges of working their jobs and teaching their children.  Marc Pennington, Middle School, reported parents being pleased with internet access was at 98.5% with 71% of the families believing the students are engaged in the voluntary learning opportunities—per District tracking it appears 57% are actually engaged with a goal of greater than 60%.  One of the initiatives of the survey outcome is there is more one on one teacher to student learning opportunities.  Jay Strickland, High School, discussed the senior survey that was sent to families of seniors and senior students.  The focus was on Prom and Graduations with a response rate of 75%.  Grand March and Post Prom seemed to garner the highest interest with 80% having no preference for a prom date of either June 20th or June 27th.  Graduation ceremony ideas show that 75% want a traditional ceremony and prefer to wait until June 28th at 2:30pm.  Plans are underway for venue on this date.  Rachel Kerns from HSAP noted input from HSAP families.  HSAP families are finishing up for the year and want to bring materials back to the HSEC and pick up materials for the 2020-21 School Year.    Amy Shalla, Special Education and ALC, shared that she has made contact with 80% of her Special Education Families.  The teaching staff are also working on paperwork for the Education Plans.  Tyler Hotz discussed items related to Athletics and Activities.   The date to decide on Summer sports is June 1st.  June 15 to June 22 would be the window to start games IF the seasons proceed.  Superintendent Schneider shared the survey results for Employees taken in the last week of April.  Areas covered were:  Stress Experienced, Life Balance, Administrator Support, Effectiveness of Distance Learning “something we have never done before”, How are Students adapting to Distance Learning, How are parents doing with Distance Learning, How do you believe your colleagues are doing with Distance Learning, and How are you doing with Distance Learning.

Return to Learn Plan

Superintendent Schneider discussed the planning and elements of the Return to Learn Plan for the District.  The Department of Education unveiled the requirements of the Return to Learn plan on Friday, May 8th.  The due date for the plan is July 1st.  Schneider discussed the varied elements of the requirements that have been outlined.  He provided some hypothetical examples of some of the elements.  The DE has created a template for districts to follow.  The Administrative Team will be working on this plan together.  The planning will then be expanded to include teaching staff, nurses, and other staff.  This will be a significant topic at future board meetings.  School Board input will be important to this plan as representatives of the community.  The Board asked initial questions for clarification and summary information.


Mini-School Bus with Chair Lift Bids

Superintendent Schneider and Business Manager Swartzentruber drew the Board’s attention to the School Bus Bid Analysis.  6 bids were received and opened on May 4, 2020.  Transportation Director Teresa Hartley and Mark English for District Transportation Maintenance reviewed the bids in detail over the past week to assure that bids were comparable in attributes to the bid specifications.  They recommend the acceptance of the Thomas Bus Sales, Inc. bid of $62,988 for the 12+1 passenger chairlift bus as it meets specifications established and is the lowest bid of the six received.  The Board asked questions for clarification.

Denise Chittick moved to accept the bid of $62,988 for the 12+1 passenger chairlift bus from Thomas Bus Sales, Inc.  Gabrielle Frederick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, June 8, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room.  Agenda items to include: Review of the Insurance RFPs, Curriculum Report on Math, Year End Annual Report, Return to Learn Plan, and the continuing revisit of Resolution 032320.


The meeting adjourned at 8:08 p.m.