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April 26, 2021

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

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

April 26, 2021 – 6:15 p.m.


President Jeremy Gugel called the meeting to order.

Board members present:   Mary Allred, Denise Chittick, Gabrielle Frederick, Jeremy Gugel, Jodi Meader, and Jeremy Pickard (arrived at6:17p.m.).

Board members absent:  Marianne Schlabach, and Jeremy Pickard (arrived at 6:17p.m.).

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

Jodi Meader moved to adopt the agenda as presented with one change to the Consent Agenda, the addition of recommendation to hire Frank Slabaugh as half-Virtual Academy Coach.  Seconded by Gabrielle Frederick.  Motion carried 5-0.

Jeremy Pickard arrived at 6:17p.m.


West Elementary Presentation

Principal Bill Poock presented an update on happenings and needs at West Elementary.  He provided some data points from FAST reading assessments and STAR math assessments.  He then shared some comments and highlights from Teachers about what they appreciated about Mid-Prairie West Elementary this School Year.  The Board asked questions on the data points.  The Board affirmed the West Elementary Staff and Students for the hard work and the positive measurable results.

Early Childhood Facilitator

Principal Poock proposed the addition of a half-time Early Childhood Facilitator position to advance and improve the Preschool programming at Mid-Prairie.  This would expand a current program paid for by TLC Funds.  As the Preschool program grows, there is a need for additional leadership capabilities, yet we are not large enough for a full-time position.  He outlined the activities that would be involved with this expanded position.  This position would paid for out of ESSER funds over the next two school years.  The other half of this position will continue to teach Preschool.  The Board asked questions to clarify numbers of students enrolled for next year and funding.

Third Grade Teacher Proposal – This was tabled to the Business Meeting agenda item.

Board Member and Administrator Dialogue

Graduation Report

Principal Strickland shared that graduation will be moved back indoors due to unpredictability of the weather earlier in the year.  The hope is that there might be more guests allowed at the ceremony than were allowed at last year’s graduation.  Four guests were allowed last year.  The thought is that eight guests and siblings would be the goal for participation.  Strickland is asking for a Board decision at the next meeting in order to send the letter to families in a timely fashion.  The Board asked some initial questions about graduation to clarify intent and possible potential issues.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

Superintendent announced the CDC guidelines for masks required for conveyances—School vehicles.  An email will be sent out to families tomorrow to explain this requirement and that masks will be required going forward.  The Board affirmed this approach.


Public Forum– 7:00 p.m.

No one spoke.

Consent Items

Jeremy Pickard moved to approve the following consent items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of April 12, 2021 meeting and the April 20, 2021 Special Meeting;

Finance Report

None presented at this time;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for April 26, 2021;

Open Enrollment Requests

Mary Wetzel requests Anthony Wetzel (Grade 7), attend Mid-Prairie from Muscatine Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;

Autumn Lose requests Thomas Bryant (Prekindergarten Age 3), attend Mid-Prairie from Washington Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;

Megan Libe requests Noelle Star (Grade 7), attend Mid-Prairie from Washington Community School District for the 2021-22 School Year;

Skyler Cooper requests Jayceon Buck (Kindergarten), attend Mid-Prairie from Washington Community School District for the 2021-22 School Year;

Derek and Abbie Yoder request Gabrielle Yoder (Grade 4) attend Iowa City Community School District from Mid-Prairie;

Personnel Items

Contract Issued to Frank Slabaugh, Virtual Academy Principal half-time and TLC Learning Design Coach half-time for the 2021-2022 School Year; $85,000 per annum effective August 1, 2021;

Volunteer Coach Positions for Spring Sports to include:

Byron Yoder, Boys Soccer Assistant Coach

Sofia Adams, Boys Soccer Assistant Coach

Josh Moore, Girls Soccer Assistant Coach; Up to $500 from Resale Funds

Resignations – None submitted;

Fundraising Requests – None submitted;

Grant Wood AEA Mentoring and Induction Consortium Agreement for the 2021-2022 School Year.

Gabrielle Frederick seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 6-0.

Student Learning

Early Childhood Facilitator

President Jeremy Gugel and Superintendent Schneider asked if there were any questions from the presentation made during the Work Session.

Jeremy Pickard moved to approve the creation of a half-time Early Childhood Facilitator Position beginning in the 2021-2022 School Year to be funded by ESSER Funds for the next 2 School Years.  Mary Allred seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Third Grade Teacher Proposal

Superintendent Schneider and Principal Foster proposed the addition of a 6th Third Grade Teacher for 2021-2022 School Year.  This will make the class sizes smaller, will facilitate additional learning, and provide for additional spacing of students.  This would also entail either the purchase or rental of a modular classroom to be placed on the Grounds of West Elementary.  This would house the Music Classroom and make room for the Alternative Kindergarten Classroom as the Third Grade Classroom would assume the space currently used by Alternative Kindergarten Classroom.  Heather Hershberger, Elementary School Music Teacher, discussed the need for the additional music specials class space at both Elementary Schools.  East Elementary has been having these space issues for the past 3-plus School Years.  Principal Foster provided some additional information on classroom sizes 24 feet by 40 feet, the other would be 28 feet by 68 feet and their individual floor plans.  The square footages of the individual classrooms to be used would be pretty equal.  The modular classroom would intend to be paid for with ESSER/COVID Funds.  The Board asked the Administration to gather some additional data on the modular classrooms under the understanding that these classrooms would be strongly considered and acted upon at a future meeting with more complete data available.

Denise Chittick moved to approve an additional 3rd Grade Teacher for the 2021-2022 School Year making 6 sections in 3rd Grade to be paid by ESSER Funds for the next two school years.  Mary Allred 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.


Nothing added from earlier in the meeting.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, May 10, 2021, at 6:15 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room.  This is the only schedule School Board Meeting in May.   Agenda items to include: HS Graduation action, and East Elementary Presentation.  There most likely would be a special Board Meeting to propose the recommended hire of a High School Principal


The meeting adjourned at 7:26p.m.