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May 13, 2019

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

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

May 13, 2019 – 6:15 p.m.


President Jeremy Pickard called the meeting to order.

Board members present:   Denise Chittick, Gerry Kahler, Jodi Meader, Jeremy Pickard, Marianne Schlabach, and Emily Uhl.

Board members absent:  Gabrielle Frederick.

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

Jodi Meader moved to adopt the agenda as presented.  Seconded by Denise Chittick.  Motion carried 6-0.


Fund for Academic Excellence Projects Report

Cheryl Miller, Chair of the Fund for Academic Excellence, and Frank Slabaugh, teacher facilitated the overview of projects funded in the 2018-2019 School Year, and highlights of results.  Included were:

  • Aero Herb Garden by Carrie Schweitzer – Funds purchased an indoor hydroponic garden for Middle School Student use in Family and Consumer Science classes.
  • Mentoring Matters by Sara Puttmann – Funds were used to support the Big Hawk-Little Hawk mentoring program through the purchase of interactive games.
  • Flexible Seating by Kristene McCall.  Funds were used to improve the learning environment in the Middle School Special Education learning space for individualized and collaborative work.
  • Drones for Science Exploration by Jessica Swartzentruber – Funds were used purchased 21 drones used by 7th and 8th grade students as they worked to design, build, and operate the drones to explore flight and the engineering process within interest clubs.
  • Merging Learning with Augmented Reality sponsored by Terra Huber – Funds used purchased Merge Cubes and related equipment for the Middle School’s Innovation Lab.
  • Florida Hurricane Relief Trip was awarded funds as well.  See next agenda item.

Ingrid Gingerich, Student Junior, a member of the committee shared her perspectives in her time on the committee.  She discussed the varied and depth of projects that are considered for funding with grant dollars.

Cheryl Miller, Committee Chair and member of Class of 1966, shared about the history and development of the Fund for Academic Excellence as it developed over the past 3 years.  It started as a High School only initiative and is now expanding into all buildings within the District.  The Board and Administration thanked Cheryl for her leadership as she steps off the committee after the start up phase.

Alternative Learning Center Florida Service Project

Florida Hurricane Florence Relief presented by Matt Freel and Amy Shalla – Funds spent were awarded from Fund for Academic Excellence and from other donors.  The funds were used to help 18 students and staff traveled to Tampa Bay area in Florida in April for a week-long trip to work on two different houses.  Focus on community service, relating to people in need, and the empowerment that disaster recovery projects can provide our students.

Elementary Social Studies Curriculum Materials

This agenda item tabled until the Business Session.

Special Education Graduation Requirements

This agenda item tabled until the June meeting.

Student Handbook Changes

Jay Strickland, High School Principal, discussed the various edits and additions to the Student Handbook for the 2019-2020 School Year.  Good Conduct, Announcements and Volunteer Policy were the major additions/changes.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

This item tabled to the end of the meeting.


Public Forum– 7:00 p.m.

Mr. Kinney, State Senator, visited with the Board about things accomplished during the State Assembly session and business. Feedback was given:  Positive on budget for education; Positive for steps taken for Mental Health—Mr. Kinney noted his excitement that a platform is there for Mental Health for student aged individuals and now a funding source needs to be identified.

Consent Items

Gerry Kahler moved to approve the following consent items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of April 22, 2019;

Finance Report

The Finance Report for April 2019;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for May 13, 2019, Prepaid Bills; and Hills Bank ACH Transactions for April 2019;

Open Enrollment Requests

Matt and Tiffany Haman request Madeline Kleckner (Grade 8), and Williams Kleckner (Grade 10), attend Mid-Prairie from Williamsburg Community School District for the 2019-20 School Year;

Fred and Kari Rodrigues request Sandra Rodrigues (Kindergarten) attend Mid-Prairie’s Home School Assistance Program from Iowa City Community School District for the 2019-20 School Year;

Personnel Items

Contract issued to Alexis Duwa, 7th Grade Softball Coach, $1,906.55 per season;

Contract issued to Sherry Evans, Head Varsity Volleyball Coach, $4,139.66 per season;

Resignation of Nicholas O’Brien, District K-12 ELL Teacher, $51,452 per annum, effective End of 2018-2019 School Year;

Resignation of Leanne Bender, West Elementary Counselor, $57,596 per annum, effective End of 2018-2019 School Year;

Resignation of Kim Blauvelt, West Elementary Title I Associate, $13.90 per hour, effective End of 2018-2019 School Year;

Resignation of Stephen Bender, Head Varsity Girls Basketball Coach, $6,200.00 per season, effective 5/7/2019;

Resignation of Anna Nelson, 8th Grade Volleyball Coach, $2,389.00 per season, effective 5/8/2019;

Fundraising Requests

Mid-Prairie Softball requests approval to raise funds through the sale of Softball fan gear/clothing apparel from 4/24/19 to 5/5/19 for new softball uniforms and coaches apparel;

MPHS Graduating Seniors Class of 2017-18 – The Following Seniors are presented for graduation subject to successful completion of their academic program:

Julia Margaret Chay Allen                             Shellbie Mae Baughman                               Shae Lynn Becker

Austin Blake Bontrager                                  Mikenzie Jo Bontrager                                   Jeremiah T. Boos

Carson Kenneth Boyse                                  Grant Andrew Boyse                                      Hunter Michael Boyse

Miles William Burrows                                   Ashton Todd Bush                                           Thomas Sean Butters

Kate Emerson Cavanagh                                               Mitchell Lee Christiansen                             Alexys Rose Clark

Royce William Coffman                                 Kathryn Barbara Conway                              Chase Douglas Cooper

Nicholas Whitefield Craigmile                     Rodney Arthur Culbertson                           Teagan Margaret Feuk

Nichlas Allan Fisher                                         Annika Lauren Frascht                                   Elmir Ganibegovic

Yefri Adimar Gomez Bautista                      Lilian Gaea Grepl                                              Sydnee Jean Griffin

Micah Shaun Gugel                                         Katrina Marie Gustafson                               Madelain Ryan Harland

Dominic Lynn Helmuth                                  Kessa Elizabeth Jones                                    Jose Alfredo Juarez

Zechiah Joshua Kiene                                     Lola Mae Knight                                                                Brianna Allison Kofron

Kylee Sue Kos                                                    Kaleb Thomas Lucas                                        Camden Jon Marner

Sierra Mae Mathews                                      Feza Grace Matiyabo                                     Annessa Kay Meader

Evan Matthias Meader                                  Josiah Michael Meader                                 Dallas Alan Miller

David Richard Murray                                     Sophia Adela Norman                                    Rex Anthony Peck

Chazlee Michael Patterson                          Connor James Pettit                                       Dominick Lee Pickard

Olivia LeeMarie Quinby                                 Cale Eli Robertson                                            Cassidy Ella Rourke

Quinn Riley Schmidt                                        Stephannie Grace Schrock                           Garrett Louis Sexton

Nicole Susan Short                                          Ryan Gerald Smit                                             Grace Ann Sojka

Abigail Karin Statler                                         Tyler James Stumpf                                        Bridget Renee Thurman

Kaetlyn Rose Titus                                           Jaron Frederick Utzinger                               Abigail Ruth Yoder

Eli David Reha VanRoekel                             Byron Glen Yoder                                            Hayley Jade Yoder

Mason Doyle Yoder

Iowa Wesleyan Student Teacher Agreement – Approve the Student Teacher Agreement for the 2019-2020 School Year;

Performance Health and Fitness LLC Contract – Approve the contract for Athletic Trainer Services for the 2019-2020 School Year;

Middle School Flooring Bid – Accept the Middle School Flooring Bid for the Kitchen Project from Commercial Flooring Company for $36,700.00

Emily Uhl seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 6-0.

Student Learning

Student Handbooks for 2019-2020

Superintendent Schneider noted the Student Handbooks changes from the Work Session earlier in the meeting as presented by Principal Strickland.

Jodi Meader moved to accept High School Student Handbook changes as presented.  Marianne Schlabach seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Elementary Social Studies Curriculum Materials

Kristan Hunter, District Curriculum/Professional Learning Leader, discussed the Elementary Social Studies Curriculum Materials.  This has been a 2-plus year project working on new standards that follow the District Vision.  Kerri Bell representing Second Grade shared about their unit approach and materials.  Kaitlyn Van Fossen shared about the First Grade unit approach and materials.  Both are inquiry based curriculum.  The projected cost for 7 years is estimated to be $62,400 and are broken down for 3 units per grade level on 6 classrooms per grade.  These are all General Fund expenditures.  The Board asked questions about how this crosses grade levels and integrates with other disciplines like literature and handwriting.

Gerry Kahler moved to approve Elementary Social Studies Curriculum Material at an investment of $62,400 over 7 years as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Half-time Special Education/Half-time Title One Teacher at West Elementary

West Elementary Principal Bill Poock discussed the current needs and structure at both West Elementary and East Elementary related to both Special Education and Title I programs.  Needs have increased for both Special Education and Title I programs, especially at West Elementary.  At the same time the Federal Funding for Title I has not increased.  This creative solution to meet both Special Education and Title I Reading needs provides the services needed in both education areas with one full-time position.  It is recognized that there is a Title I Associate position resignation that is not going to be replaced in this plan. The Board ask questions to clarify the need and approach and the increase of a 0.5 FTE teaching position.

Marianne Schlabach moved to create the 0.5 FTE Special Education\0.5 FTE Title I Teacher Position at Mid-Prairie West Elementary for the 2019-2020 as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.


Bids for School Bus with Wheel Chair Lift

Teresa Hartley, District Transportation Director, and Superintendent Schneider discussed the need for a School Bus with a Wheel Chair Lift.  A number of funding avenues have been explored for this bus including the most recent WCRF grants round without success.  The District has not been able to find alternative funding.  The need for a School Bus that has a wheelchair lift continues to increase as students in wheelchairs increase and as the 5th year program for Special Education students begins in 2019-2020.  A bid for a new bus will more than likely result in delivery in late October or later in 2019.  Thomas Bus Sales Bid of $113,202.00 for a diesel powered bus is preferred over the higher bid from Hoagland Bus Sales of $117,000.  In order to approve any successful bids, the District needs to hold a Public Hearing on specifications first.  The Public Hearing is recommended for June 10, 2019 at 7:15pm in the Central Office Community Room. 

Jodi Meader moved to approve Public Hearing on the specifications at June 10, 2019 at 7:15pm in the Central Office Community Room.  Gerry Kahler seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Fuel Bids

Business Manager Swartzentruber noted the need to go take the Fuel packages for Diesel and Propane out for bid for the 2019-2020 School Year.  It is noted that the Request for Bids includes a provision for four potential annual extensions to the successful bidder.  The extensions are being offered in an attempt to solidify the relationships while at the same time, review pricing on an annual basis.  The advertisement for bidders will be run for three consecutive weeks in The News.  Additionally, 4 known bidders will be contacted directly via email with an invitation to bid.  Once the bids are received and opened, they will be brought to the June 10th School Board meeting for review and selection of the winning bidder(s).

School Board Policy #704.3, Investments

Business Manager Swartzentruber reviewed the Policy Statement with the Board Members and asked for questions related to it.  Clarification on the length of duration on the investments, especially the Operating Fund duration was part of the review.  The review is in the context of the next agenda item.

Hills Bank Investment Management Agreement

Business Manager Swartzentruber noted the Investment Management Agreement from Hills Bank that is the next step in the process to the short term investment strategy of Operating and SAVE Funds.  This follows the presentation and proposal made by Hills Bank and Trust Wealth Management team at the April 8th School Board Meeting.

Jodi Meader moved to approve signing of the Hills Bank Investment Management Agreement as presented.  Emily Uhl seconded the motion.    Motion carried 5-0, Denise Chittick abstained.

Superintendent Contract for 2019-2020

President Pickard opened this agenda item by noting the need to complete a wage and benefit package for Superintendent Schneider and subsequently finalize a contract.  The TSA was agreed upon at the last School Board meeting in April and would be incorporated into the 2019-2020 Contract.  A wage and benefit increase like the Administrators and Teachers of 3.06% for 2019-2020 School Year is recommended.  The total package is $217,214 for salary and benefits.

Denise Chittick moved to approve a Superintendent pay package increase of 3.06% and contract as presented for School Year 2019-2020—a salary of $167,675 with the inclusion of additional benefits for a total package of $217,214.  Jodi Meader seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Work Session

Completion of Unfinished Work Session Items

Nothing added.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, June 10, 2019, at 6:15 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room.  Agenda items to include:  Building handbooks, Special Education Graduation Requirements, Public Hearing on School Bus, District Emergency Plan, and District Annual Report.


The meeting adjourned at 8:15 p.m.