May 10, 2021

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

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

May 10, 2021 – 6:15 p.m.


President Jeremy Gugel called the meeting to order.

Board members present:   Mary Allred, Denise Chittick, Gabrielle Frederick, Jeremy Gugel, Jeremy Pickard, and Marianne Schlabach.

Board members absent:  Jodi Meader.

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

Marianne Schlabach moved to adopt the agenda as presented.  Seconded by Gabrielle Frederick.  Motion carried 6-0.


Fund for Academic Excellence Presentation

This agenda item is tabled until the Fall of 2021.

East Elementary Presentations

Robin Foster, Principal at East Elementary provided a presentation to the Board.  She focused on learning, particularly Title I and Reading Recovery stats as well as proficiencies in Kindergarten and Grade 1.  She is looking forward to bridging the learning opportunities between East and West in the coming School Year.  She would like to see Alternative Kindergarten Program promoted.  Summer School will be for Kindergarten to Grade 4 this year with 4 weeks in June and 2 weeks in August.  There are over 60 students signed up for Summer School.  The Board expressed appreciation for the information and approaches being taken.

Board Member and Administrator Dialogue

Superintendent Schneider and Business Manager Swartzentruber discussed the modular classrooms.  Given some of the early cost data, there is a recommendation to reserve 2 of the used units that are currently at Linn-Mar until the first part of June.  A recommendation will be made at the June meeting as to approach to be taken.  The Board gave guidance to move forward with the approval of recommendation at the June meeting.

Business Manager Swartzentruber discussed the receipt of Election paperwork from the Washington County Auditor’s office for the November election.  He will work on this in the next couple of weeks.

Business Manager Swartzentruber thanked Hills Bank for the Classroom Cash contribution of $4,389.33.

High School Principal Strickland again discussed the HS Graduation to be held indoors with 8 guests per graduate allows, and additionally, siblings may attend and not be counted as one of the 8 guests.  The attendance numbers seemed to be the greatest concern.  The Board asked clarifying questions.

Amy Shalla, Special Education Administrator, introduced the Special Education Service Delivery Plan and defined a number of the terms and concepts for the Board.  Every 5 years the District is required to evaluate the caseload documentation and matrix.  The last review was in 2009.  This discussion was continued during the Business Meeting.

Board Development and Inservice Activities

Agenda item moved to the end of the meeting.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

Agenda item moved to the end of the meeting.


Public Forum– 7:00 p.m.

A parent shared appreciation for the opportunity to open enroll their special education student into Mid-Prairie.  She told her story of their family’s experience and thanked the School Board for the atmosphere of compassion that they have fostered.

A parent discussed the current lighting for the Softball Field is inadequate according to state standards.  It is rumored that Softball may be required to raise the funds to replace these lights.  She pointed out that Baseball received the funds in April of 2014 with support from the Athletic Boosters.  It was noted that Tyler Hotz, Activities Director, did bring this issue to the attention of the Board as one of the priorities at the end of the Facilities Priorities process.  This will be evaluated.

Consent Items

Jeremy Pickard moved to approve the following consent items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of April 24, 2021 and May 4, 2021;

Finance Report

The Finance Report for April 2021;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for May 10, 2921 and Prepaid Bills;

Open Enrollment Requests

Megan Libe requests Noelle Star (Grade 6), attend Mid-Prairie from Washington Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;

Nikole Eichelberger requests Luke Eichelberger (Grade 1), attend Mid-Prairie from Washington Community School District for the 2021-22 School Year;

Alexis Osborn requests Nova Osborn (Kindergarten), attend Mid-Prairie from Washington Community School District for the 2021-22 School Year;

Krystal McFadden requests Oliver McFadden (Kindergarten) attend Mid-Prairie’s Home School Assistance Program from Iowa City Community School District for the 2021-22 School Year;

OUT – None submitted;

Personnel Items

Contract issued to Stacy Jack, High School English Teacher Half-time, $19,683 per annum;

Contract issued to Melanie Steinhart, Middle School English Language Arts Teacher, $39,365 per annum;

Contract issued to Keary McHugh-Onken, HSAP Supervising and Enrichment Teacher, $25.55 per hour;

Contract issued to Rebecca Becker, High School Assistant Volleyball Coach, $4,138 per season;

Contract issued to Melissa Rediger, High School National Honor Society Sponsor, $900 per annum;

Contract issued to Pete Cavanagh, High School Student Council Leader, $600 per annum;

Resignation of Marian Marley, High School National Honor Society Sponsor, $972 per annum, effective end of 2020-21 School Year;

Resignation of Chelsee Ronan, East Elementary Special Education Teacher, $42,931 per annum, effective end of 2020-21 School Year;

Resignation of Shaina Gearhart, TLC Learning Design Leader, $63,372 per annum, effective end of 2020-21 School Year;

Resignation of Jennifer Gillam, West Elementary Paraprofessional, $13.76 per hour, effective end of 2020-21 School Year;

Resignation of Marian Marley, High School National Honor Society Sponsor, $972 per annum, effective end of 2020-21 School Year;

Resignation of Sarah Idhe, Middle School Volleyball Coach, $2,183 per annum, effective end of 2020-21 School Year;

Fundraising Requests

Boys Basketball requests approval to raise funds through Donations from local businesses as sponsors for the basketball camp to be held June 14th- 17th  for purchase of coaches/players gear, equipment, Kansas City Trip expenses, and volunteer coaches payments;

Mid-Prairie Strength and Conditioning requests approval to raise funds through sales of clothing using Elite Sports for the month of May to raise funds for Weight Room equipment and supplies;

MPHS Graduating Seniors Class of 2020-2021

Joseph William Allred                     Vinnie Michael Bowlin                    Sidney Rae Davis

Kaysen Joel Dempsey                     Olivia Joan Duwa                             Sade Mae Frantz

Caleb James Garrels                        Clarke Brink Latcham                      Hannah Anne Miller

Efrosyniya Rusalina Raef Connor Dayton Shalla                     Hallie Joy Shappell

Aaron Luke Slaubaugh                    Emily Lynn Swartzentruber            Logan Jacob Truitt

Laela Nykole Waddell                     Reaghan Kaylee Aggson                 Lucas Aaron Bontrager

Caitlyn Jean Busch                           Kristina Raelynne Gerst                  Phelan Rose Hostetler

Eryk Elias Hovde               Nicholas Edward Kofron                Myah Patricia Lugar

Benjamin Ryan Meader                  Alexis Deanna Miller                       Collin James Nickell

Paige Elisabeth Peiffer                   Kayden Joseph Reinier                    Levi Adam Schnoebelen

Macey Moore Smith                       Steven James Stone                        Yassin F Ahmed

Morgan Elise Brunk                         Stanley Ray Butterbaugh Chelsea Rebecca Craigmile

Jesi Marie Donaldson                     Timothy Justin Farrier                     Gavin William Frascht

Emily Elizabeth Marner                  Billy Bilombele Matiyabo               Dominic Jo McCain

Jenna Nicole Miller                         Tobin Joshua Miller                         Elisabeth Janelle Sansen

Jacob Christopher Swartzendruber                                                          Joshua Samuel Wallington

Luke William Albright                      Tori Lynn Boyse                               Keagan Joshua Allen Brady

Jackson Hayes Cornwell                 Kelby Blake Gingerich                     Cade Autsin Thomas Groenewold

Kyra Alison Helmuth                        Karsen Elizabeth Jehle                    Josh Michael Leonard

Madelyn Joyce Linnell                    Sarah Christine Meader                  Rhiannon Rose Panknen

Aidan James Dale Rath                   Colby Elizabeth Rourke                  Jennifer Sanchez

Ethan Russel Sweeting                   Wyatt Allen Taylor                          Caleb Leroy Thomas

Ethan Charles Trimpe                     Luke James Boyse                           Damien Tashon Davenport

Madison Avery Edgington              Zeus Carter Fugate                          Keegan Joe Gingerich

Abbigail Joy Hicks                            Michael James Kelly                        Nasya Moon Leaton

Gibson James Lowenberg              Elizabeth Fern Meader                   Natali Jo Miller

Nathan Craig Quinby                      Nick Duane Slabaugh                      Emma Ann Slaubaugh

Amber Lindsey Swart                      Cooper Ryan Thomas

MP-HSAP Graduating Seniors Class of 2020-2021

Abigail Vakulich                                Ana Jo Fleming                                 Angela Naomi Shores

Cara Michaela Leichty                    Catherine Marie Hentrich              Cecil “CJ” James Rauch

Chase Lynn Miller                            Elizabeth Kyra-Ann Sands               Ella Sue Cadena

Gabe Christian Brase                      Grant Woods Kirkpatrick Isaiah Haveman

Jillian Hope Owen                            Kathryn Elaine Schwartz                 Katrina Peace Curtiss

Keaton Lynn Graber                        Kezia Schwartz                                 Kristiana (Triana) JeAn Tu

Lauren Michelle Winborn              Magnolia Mae Graber                    Mckenna Grace Miller

Zach James Brase                            Zebidah (Zebi) W Kimani


MP-ALC Graduating Seniors Class of 2020-2021

Gabe Kauffman                                Dusty Knepp                                      Brianna Myers

Mason Wagg                                    Ethan White

Mary Allred seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 6-0.

Student Learning

High School Principal

Superintendent Schneider discussed the interview process for the open High School Principal Position.   He also provided some background on the candidate of choice.  He recommends the hire of Chuck Banks for the High School Principal position effective August 1, 2021 for the 2021-2022 School Year.  The starting salary will be $125,000 with a total package with benefits of $171,363.

Denise Chittick moved to approve the hire of Chuck Banks at a salary of $125,000 annually and additional benefits with a start date of August 1, 2021 subject to the completion of acceptable background checks.  Mary Allred seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

High School Graduation

Principal Jay Strickland discussed the logistics of the 2021 High School Graduation.  As noted in the Work Session, it is recommended that the graduation ceremony be moved back indoors and that 8 guests plus siblings be allowed for each graduate.  A letter will be sent to the graduates’ families.  It was clarified that all other events stay as stated in policy at 4 tickets.  The masks policy will be uses as the Friday absence percentage immediately prior to graduation.  There were questions and discussion about the number being set at 8 per graduate.  The event will be live streamed.

Mary Allred moved to approve the plan for the 2021 graduation ceremony to have unlimited guests and siblings for each graduate.  Mary Allred seconded the motion.    Motion carried 5-1 with Gabrielle Frederick dissenting.

Jeremy Pickard left the meeting at 7:25 p.m.

Student Handbooks for 2021-22

Principal Jay Strickland shared the five proposed changes to the High School Student Handbook.  He discussed the reasons for these changes and asked for questions of Board members. 

Gabrielle Frederick moved to accept the 2021-2022 High School Handbook changes as presented.  Mary Allred seconded the motion.    Motion carried 5-0.

Jeremy Pickard returned to the meeting at 7:35 p.m.

Special Education Service Delivery Plan

Special Education Administrator Amy Shalla finished her thoughts on the Special Education Service Delivery Plan picking up from where she stopped during the Work Session.  She shared the student counts by Level and by Building.  In addition, there are students in the Beyond Program that normally would have graduated, as well as, a higher number of IEPs within the Preschool Program.  The District uses the VITAL and RISE programs at two community colleges for a smaller number of IEP students who are working on college courses.  There are other programs and options in use also.  The Board asked questions about details of the various programs. 

Marianne Schlabach moved to approve the Special Education Service Delivery Plan as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.


Washington County Riverboat Foundation Grant Application

Superintendent Schneider presented the WCRF Grant Application resolution and summarized the grant.  The following grant is presented for consideration and approval prior to the June 6, 2021, deadline.

  1. Mid-Prairie Auditorium – Grant Request of $2,000,000 on an estimated Total Project Cost of $10,365,635,00

The Board reviewed the request and asked questions about the timing elements of the project.

Jeremy Pickard moved to approve Resolution 051021 for the Washington County Riverboat Foundation Grant Application.  Mary Allred seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:    Gabrielle Frederick           - yes

                           Mary Allred                       - yes

                          Jodi Meader                      - absent

                          Jeremy Pickard                 - yes

                          Marianne Schlabach         - yes

                         Jeremy Gugel                    - yes

                         Denise Chittick                  - yes

Motion carried 6-0.

School Fees for 2021-22

Superintendent Schneider reviewed the proposed School Fees components for the 2021-2022 School Year.  No changes are recommended for the 2021-2022 School Year from the 2020-2021 School Year.  It is recommended that no Book Fees be collected again.  There are no changes to the lunch prices due to the Federal Government continuing the Free Lunch Program through the 2021-2022 School Year. 

Jeremy Pickard moved to approve 2021-2022 School Fees as presented.  Gabrielle Frederick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Salaries for Principals, Directors, HSAP and Central Office Staff, Assistant AD and Middle School Dean of Students

Superintendent Schneider recommends a 2.9% package increase for Principals, Directors, Central Office Staff and Assistant AD and Middle School Dean for the 2021-2022 School Year.  This is consistent with the 2.9% package approval for Teachers and Support Staff passed at an earlier School Board Meeting.  HSAP Administrative Staff and Hourly Teaching Staff raises differ from the 2.9% increase proposal due to various circumstances.  These one-time increases and the various related situations were presented and discussed by Schneider with the School Board. 

Jeremy Pickard moved to approve the District Administrators/Directors and Central Office Staff wage and package increases of 2.9%, and HSAP Administrative and Teaching Staff increases with one-time bumps all for Fiscal Year 2021-2022 as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.  Motion carried 6-0.

Work Session

Completion of Unfinished Work Session Items

There were no unfinished items from the Work Session section of the meeting.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, June 14, 2021, at 6:15 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room.  Agenda items to include: District Annual Report, Middle School Presentation, Facilities Planning Committee, COVID Planning, Superintendent Wages for 2021-2022.


The meeting adjourned at 7:50 p.m.