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October 9, 2017

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

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

October 9, 2017 – 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, George Schaefer, and Marianne Schlabach.

Board members absent:  None.

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

Marianne Schlabach moved to adopt the agenda as presented.  Seconded by George Schaefer.  Motion carried 7-0.

Public Forum

No one spoke.

Consent Items

Marianne Schlabach moved to approve the following consent items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of September 25, 2017;

Finance Report

The Finance Report for September 2017;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for October 9, 2017, Hills Bank ACH Transactions for the month of September 2017; September 30, 2017 MPHS Construction Draw and prepaid bills;

Open Enrollment Requests

Lidiana Martinez requests Denaly Moreno (Grade 4) attend Washington Community School District from Mid-Prairie;

Personnel Items

Contract issued to Justin Barthelman, HS Varsity Girls Soccer Head Coach, $4,270 per annum;

Resignation of Justin Barthelman, HS Varsity Girls Soccer Assistant Coach, $2,745 per annum;

Resignation of Corina Molczyk, HS Special Education Associate, $13.68 per hour, effective November 30, 2017;

Fundraising Requests

MPHS Junior Class requests approval to raise funds through a 50/50 Raffle on October 20, 2017 to raise funds for the Post Prom event;

Out-of-State – Approve the request for FFA Members and Sponsor to travel to the FFA National Conference; 

Jim Hussey seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 7-0.

Special Presentations

Staff Member Spotlight

Superintendent Schneider and Principals introduced the new practice to highlight the contributions and commitment of Mid-Prairie Team Members and Colleagues who are making significant contributions to the educational experience of our students and going above and beyond.  At this first meeting there are 18 people that were recognized.

Student Learning


Superintendent Schneider introduced West Elementary Principal Bill Poock to present on the CASA Plan.  This is the School Improvement Plan that is submitted to the State once per year for approval.  The focus is on student learning improvement.  Both long-term goals and short-term goals are set and measured.  Poock shared a number of the goals and outcomes in the plan as illustrations of the types of information the State is interested in following.  The plan is more comprehensive and streamlined than in the past.

Middle School Refocus Room

Middle School Principal Marc Pennington discussed the implementation and use of the new Refocus Room at the Middle School.  He introduced Matt Freel and Shelly Stafford, MPMS colleagues, who provided additional input and context to the program/plan implementation and results.  The results have been excellent and better than anticipated.

High School Early Bird Physical Education

Superintendent Schneider presented a recommendation to consider an early morning physical education class at the High School from 6:30am to 7:30am every day for the second and third semester.  Currently, there are 12 students who have expressed interest.

Jim Hussey moved to approve the establishment of an Early Bird Physical Education class for the second and third semester.  Marianne Schlabach seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.

New District Website

Frank Slabaugh and Kristen Hunter introduced the new website for the District.  The new address is and has been redesigned for ease of navigation, overall presentation.  The designer that worked in conjunction with the District team was the consultant group Final Site. 

Good Conduct Policy, 503.4

Superintendent Schneider, Principal Jay Strickland and Activities Director, Steve Hollan, introduced the current Good Conduct Rule/Policy.  Discussion about A. 5., of the policy and additional changes to improve the verbiage of this item and paragraphs immediately following resulted in additional changes.  In addition, there was discussion about District level conduct expectations versus individual coach/sport expectations and the need to differentiate between the two types.  Specific changes were discussed and debated by the Board.  The Board asked the Administrators to take the policy back for modifications and then to resubmit.


Bid for Suburban

Superintendent Schneider presented the analysis completed for consideration of purchase of a new or used Suburban to replace the existing Suburban using the replacement program in place.  Recommendation was made to purchase the new suburban as proposed under the State/Federal program due to the difference in cost per mile.    

Jim Hussey moved to approve the purchase of a 2018 Fleet Suburban not to exceed $42,842.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.  Motion carried 7-0.

Early Separation Policies 407.6 and 413.6

Superintendent Schneider introduced the two policies for the Board’s consideration and discussion.  Schneider is recommending that both policies be amended to use the same wording and provide flexibility as the specifics of the program are defined.  He presented the proposed changes to the board.

George Schaefer moved to approve Early Separation Policies 407.6 and 413.6 with the proposed changes as presented on the first reading.  Gabrielle Frederick seconded the motion.  Motion carried 7-0.

Open Road Driver Education

Superintendent Schneider introduced the topic.  The District’s current Driver’s Education teacher has retired.  With this retirement, it is intended that the 2016-2017 School Year was the last year that the District would provide an in-house Driver’s Education Program.  Schneider recommended Open Road Driving School and provided an agreement, references, and prices to the Board.  The District is still responsible to assist students on free and reduced lunch with the fees to enroll with an external provider of Driver’s Education.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve engaging with Open Road Driving School for Driver Education Training beginning in the Summer of 2018 for three years as presented.  Jodi Meader seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.

Administrative Reports

Principal Jay Strickland presented an update for the High School. Highlights included: Encouraging teachers to observe each other and collaborate; Student Leadership Team meets once per week to discuss how to make the building better with up to 40 students participating;

Principal Robin Foster presented an update for East Elementary.  Highlights included: East has done an all-school PBIS celebration and Kalona City Park;

Principal Marc Pennington presented an update for the Middle School.  Highlights included: 88% of families attended the most recent Parent Teacher conferences;

Principal Bill Poock presented an update for West Elementary and the District’s Preschools.  Highlights included: He accompanied the Madrigal Singers to Augustana College today for Choir festival today and shared his impressions of our students talent and preparedness; The MP West mentoring teams start soon, Wednesday, October 17th;

Principal Amy Shalla presented an update for the Alternative Learning Center and Special Education interests of the District.  Highlights included:  This is Special Education week with District final counts for Special Education Students due the end of this week—the current count is 160 IEP students; ALC is working on community service activities;

Superintendent Schneider noted that there will be a Kids Against Hunger event at the Highs School during this Wednesday’s early out with 20 Middle School and 20 High School students participating.

Board Development and Inservice Activities

IASB Employee Relations Conference – October 17, 2017, Altoona, Iowa – Noted to let Swartzentruber know of your plans to attend this event.   At this time, no one is registered for this event.

IASB School Board Member Orientation Workshop – Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 6-8:30 p.m. – Mt. Pleasant, or Wednesday, October 25, 2017, 6-8:30 p.m. – Clear Creek Amana – At this time, two persons are registered for the October 25, 2017 date at Clear Creek Amana.  Transportation details will be worked out with the two individuals.

IASB Annual Convention – November 15-17, 2017, Des Moines (Mid-Prairie Presentation)

All Board members and Superintendent Schneider are registered for this event for Thursday, November 16, 2017.  Transportation has been arranged to the event.  Jim Hussey has shared the revised Power Point slide show file on the Board Document site to allow for continuing review by the Board.


Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, October 23, 2017, at 7:00 p.m. at the Mid-Prairie Home School Education Center (formerly known as Washington Township Building).


The meeting adjourned at 9:30 p.m.