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October 11, 2021

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

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

October 11, 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, Jeremy Pickard, and Marianne Schlabach.

Board members absent:  None.

Also Present:  Mark Schneider, Jeff Swartzentruber, Chuck Banks, Robin Foster, Rob Hruby, Greg Jergens, Rachel Kerns, Amy Shalla, and Frank Slabaugh.

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


HSAP STEM Scale Up Awards

Home School Assistance Program Director, Rachel Kerns introduced Laura Mallory and Crystal Gingerich and introduced the three Scale Up Awards for Stem received these District-level awards.  She then turned it over to Mallory and Gingerich.  They discussed the Ioponics grant – Iowa + Aquaponics; the Code Joy grant—coding geared towards the younger students; and the Project Lead the Way: Medical Detectives – teaching students to collect and analyze data through taking vital signs and research using cultures and antibiotics.  An experiment was conducted with Board Members and Administrative Staff present to take a sample of what was on the bottom of a shoe and then rubbed into a Petri dish.  Results will be shared at a future meeting.  The Board thanks the HSAP staff for their work and passion for the grants.

District Activities Update

Activities Director, Tyler Hotz, and Assistant Activities Director provided an Activities Update for the District.  First, he discussed some items from the state level:  There are currently 4 organizations for Activities within the state; Post season ticketing is now electronic but the two athletic associations are using different ticketing systems; Girls Wrestling developments; and Boys and Girls use of shot clock for basketball games—the latter would start in the 2022-2023 season for varsity contests.    Second, at the RVC Conference Level changes for next year: North Cedar is out; Maquoketa and Dyersville-Beckman will join the conference; these changes will have most all activities, though Cross Country, Golf, Track, and Football will see minimal effect; and other sports will be split into 2 divisions with 2 crossover games getting the schedules to 14-15 games.  It is anticipated that travel should decrease significantly.  Third, there are shortages for Coaches and Officials are real within activities: Four significant reasons: Pay, Parents/Coaches, Schedule, and Promotion.  Last, Fall seasons are near the end with post season events starting within the next 2 weeks.  Winter activities start in early November and ramp up into December.

District Facilities Plan

Superintendent Schneider shared the discussions from the last Board meeting and asked for questions and additional input.  The tours of the buildings over the past 2 meetings are also items of consideration.  It was noted that the size of the auditorium has not yet been decided.  Washington’s auditorium is 650 seats.  Hillcrest Academy’s seats 557 fixed with the ability to add 100 chairs.  The Board discussed the impact of the auditorium at 599 seats and the other projects that would be considered simultaneously for inclusion and deletion.  Discussion continued at end of Business Meeting.

Board Member and Administrator Dialogue – Agenda item moved to the end of the meeting.

Board Development and Inservice Activities – Agenda item moved to the end of the meeting.


Public Forum– 7:00 p.m.

No one spoke.

Consent Items

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the following consent items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of September 27, 2021;

Finance Report

The Finance Report for September 2021;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for October 11, 2021 and Prepaid Bills;

Open Enrollment Requests

Daniel and Pam Vercande request Caleb Vercande (Grade 11), attend Mid-Prairie from English Valley Community School District for the 2021-22 School Year;

Taylor and Jesse Star request Skylar Starr (Kindergarten) attend Washington Community School District from Mid-Prairie;

Personnel Items

Work Agreement issued to Nicolle Castillo, High School Paraprofessional, $14.18 per hour;

Resignation of Mariah Schlabach, Assistant Varsity Softball Coach, $3,069 per season, effective September 26, 2021;

Resignation of Cassidy Rourke, Middle Softball Coach, $1,900 per season, effective September 27, 2021;

Fundraising Requests

Mid-Prairie Baseball requests approval to raise funds through a Can Drive at the Kalona Sale Barn parking lot on October 30, 2021 to raise funds for equipment, supplies, and coaches apparel;

Lone Tree HSAP 28E Agreement – Approve the agreement between Mid-Prairie and Lone Tree Community School District to provide Home School Assistance Program services to students of the Lone Tree School District;

Field Trip to Niabi Zoo, Coal Valley, IL – Approve Special Education Students to Niabi Zoo on October 22, 2021, an out of state destination; 

Jodi Meader seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 7-0.

Student Learning

East Elementary Paraprofessional

Superintendent Schneider introduced this item and invited Amy Shalla to share.  Shalla shared that students with IEPs at East Elementary where adult support is required has increased.  Individualized Education Plans (IEP’s) outline the need for adult support for academic support, behaviors support, and monitoring for student safety.  The new position would be a Special Education expenditure. 

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the creating of an additional paraprofessional position at East Elementary.  Jodi Meader seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.


West Elementary HVAC System

Superintendent Schneider discussed the current HVAC System at West Elementary and introduced recommendations of an outlined plan for improvement of the system.  The District is currently soliciting bids for this improvement to begin during Christmas Break.  As this will be in excess of $25,000 Superintendent Limit, maybe as high as $70,000, from two bidding contractors, Superintendent Schneider is requesting the Board to consider allowing him to select the lowest bid.  The upgrade will be paid using SAVE Funds.

Jeremy Pickard moved to approve the upgrade of the West Elementary HVAC system and allow the Superintendent to select the lowest bid as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.


Superintendent Schneider discussed the current HVAC System at the Home School Education Center and introduced recommendations of an outlined plan for improvement of the system.  The upgrade will be paid using ESSER III Federal COVID Funds.  A bid from Shive-Hattery has been received for $39,000 plus $2,500 for reimbursable expenses for the planning and oversight on a project estimate of $325,000 to $375,000.  This does not include asbestos abatement as this will need to be bid out in addition to the project estimate as stated in the preceding sentence.

Mary Allred moved to approve the upgrade of the HSEC HVAC system and the hiring of Shive-Hattery as the project overseer as presented.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.

Public Hearing – 7:30 P.M. – Bus Specifications

Board President Gugel opened the Public Hearing for School Bus Specifications.  No one spoke.  The Public Hearing closed at 7:31 p.m.

Approval of Bus Specifications

Superintendent Schneider and Board President Gugel asked the Board if there were any questions, clarifications or discussion for the School Bus Specifications as presented for two cargo buses.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the bus specifications as presented and to put the specifications for 2 School Buses out to bid with a due date of October 28, 2021 at 1 p.m.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 7-0.

Work Session

Completion of Unfinished Work Session Items

District Facilities Plan

Discussion resumed from the Work Session, refer to the minutes, above.  The Board continued to discuss the various High School Projects priorities reaching consensus on additional projects and on projects to delete and projects to move to the future.  The Board then moved to the Middle School large projects reaching consensus there before moving to peripheral and smaller projects.  The Board was instructed to review the list prepared during this meeting with personally developing thoughts and lists and bring further discussion to the next meeting for refinement and consensus work.

Board Member and Administrator Dialogue – Tabled to next meeting.

Board Development and Inservice Activities – Tabled to next meeting.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, October 25, 2021, at 6:15 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room.  Agenda items to include: IASB Delegate Representative; Facility Discussion Continues, Certified Enrollment Numbers; Middle School and High School Restorative practices.


The meeting adjourned at 8:01 p.m.