Day 1 incoming

School year events abound ahead of Aug. 23 start

For Marshalltown students, and probably their parents and school staff, summer has gone by in a flash; the first day of class at Marshalltown Schools comes Aug. 23, and there are plenty of happenings prior to the big day.

District Director of Communications Andrew Potter said certified staff will be invited back to their buildings for a non-mandatory work day Aug. 18.

“The non-mandatory staff day is where teachers can come back and get the classrooms ready,” Potter said. “Friday is optional, but a lot of them will choose to get their classrooms ready.”

A big welcome is planned for school staff on Aug. 21, acting as a kick-off to the school year.

“It’s kind of a welcome back for staff, it’s a nice event,” Potter said of the 25th Annual Educator Appreciation Breakfast, hosted by the Marshalltown Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s a nice way to get everybody back together.”

The breakfast event is sponsored by Independent Insurance Services, and speakers will include Marshalltown Superintendent Dr. Theron Schutte, Marshalltown School Board President Bea Niblock, Chamber Director Lynn Olberding, Marshalltown Education Alliance President Kate Troskey, among others.

Additionally, certified staff will report to their district buildings for professional learning. Training focusing on early childhood education, the math curriculum Go Math and supplemental program ST Math, and other programs are also on the schedule for Aug. 21.

The next day, Aug. 22, staff are to report to their assigned buildings for further professional learning before students return for class Aug. 23.

“That’ll be a one-hour early dismissal, as all Wednesdays are during the school year,” Potter said of the first day. “Leading up to that will be the back-to-school nights.”

For many students, transitioning from summer activities to the responsibilities of the school year can be difficult, and the district is hosting a series of open houses to make the switch less stressful.

“The back-to-school nights are kind of a way to ease the transition from summer to the school year; to help them get to know their teachers and help get familiar with where they’ll be,” Potter said of the students. “That’s pretty important.”

The Miller Middle School open house is set for the evening of Aug. 21, with seventh graders and their families invited from 5-6:45 p.m. Eighth grade will follow from 6:45-8 p.m.

Miller students and parents will see a change in 2017-18, as Chromebooks will be able to be taken home with students for the first time at the middle school level.

“That’ll also be part of the Miller orientation, they’ll talk about that as far as what the expectations are for taking those home,” Potter said. “This is a new thing at the middle school level that the high school has had in place for a while.”

The Marshalltown High School open house and freshman orientation is se for 6-8 p.m. that night as well.

On Aug. 22, back-to-school night will be held at all six elementary school buildings from 5-6 p.m. Orientation for fifth grade parents will be held at Lenihan Intermediate School from 4-5 p.m., and the general Lenihan open house is from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Potter said orientation is important for students entering a new building for the first time.

“That’s extra time for them to get familiar with a new school as they transition to the next level,” he said.

With school open houses less than two weeks away, many families are still shopping for school supplies. The district has lists divided into three categories: All K-4 supplies, Lenihan supplies for fifth- and sixth graders, and Miller supplies for seventh- and eighth graders.

“They’re on our website, right on our home page,” Potter said of the lists. “They’re distributed to the stores too, so a lot of them can find paper copies at stores that sell school supplies.”

Stores where lists can be found in hard-copy include Walmart, Hy Vee and Walgreens in Marshalltown, he said.

Additionally, all students in grades 7-12 must follow the meningitis vaccine requirement that goes into effect for the coming school year. They must have the vaccine before the first day of class, per state law.

For more information on the district and the 2017-18 school year, visit