School board approves new curriculums, buildings and grounds projects

T-R PHOTO BY LANA BRADSTREAM Marshalltown Community School District Director of Instruction Shauna Smith listens to CPDL instructor Jenny Allen explain the requested family and consumer science (FCS) curriculum during the regular Monday school board meeting. Allen was joined by FCS teacher Madysen Wall.

New curriculums and buildings and grounds projects were the focuses of the regular Marshalltown Community School District board meeting on Monday.

The first curriculum request was for a Get Ready, Sail & Soar $38,841 English language learner curriculum. Migrant District Program Coordinator Rachel Inks said the district has experienced an increase in immigrant students the past three years. Title III funds will be used to purchase the materials, which is to be used as a supplement to the already existing English learner program.

“In the 2021 fall, we had 108 immigrant children,” Inks said. “Moving into the 2022 fall, we experienced an increase of 158 students. I’ll tell you in the 2023 fall, we were at 189 immigrant students.”

Inks works at the B.A. Niblock – MCSD Orpheum Welcome Center, and is anticipating an increase in 2024.

“We need to add on to what we’re already offering for our students in order to help them meet those unique needs that come with being an immigrant youth or child,” she said.

The next curriculum was for family consumer science (FCS). The $108,545 Glencoe-Wilcox curriculum was presented by curriculum and professional development learning (CPDL) instructor Jenny Allen. She said some of the material used in FCS is more than 20 years old.

“Some of it (was) original to the building in 1965,” Allen said. “It is time we update these.”

More than 750 students take FCS courses each year. The Glencoe Wilcox curriculum will cover foods, fashion, child development, family living and interior design.

Besides textbooks, Allen requested 12 RealCare Babies starter kits to teach students about raising babies. The kits include interactive babies. She said they previously rented interactive babies from the AEA, but they were getting worn out. They will also get The Quints, which are five special needs — Down syndrome, shaken, drug-tested, fetal alcohol syndrome and prematurely born — babies.

Allen also requested two pregnancy profile simulators. She said the simulators will teach students about symptoms, what it feels like to be pregnant, the role of the father and impact on life goals.

The last FCS item requested was 24 Janome Sewist 780DC sewing machines at a cost of $14,380. Allen said most of the MCSD machines are broken.

“We had a gentleman from the sewing center come and take a look at our sewing machines, and what it would need to bring them back up to workable condition,” she said. “It would cost about $14,330 to get those back in workable conditions.”

CPDL instructor Jen O’Neal presented the McGraw-Hill physical science curriculum to be used with math and science.

“When we looked at our options, this was the one that most aligned with our standards and current curriculum mapping,” Allen said.

For biology and chemistry, she requested Savvas-Miller & Levine, which is problem based learning. The total cost for the science curriculum is $225,693.

CPDL instructor Erica Finders brought the ALEKS math curriculum forward. Director of Instruction Shauna Smith said this was interesting as the board would not be approving the purchase as the Iowa Department of Education will pay for the majority — $830,278 — of the $945,000 material.

Superintendent Theron Schutte said the recommendation is to approve the purchase pending on the state department living up to their promise to pay the lion’s share. The board gave approval.

The final curriculum was $255,319 for physical education and was presented by CPDL instructor Julie Thede which will impact MCSD students.

“All students are required to participate,” she said.

Buildings and grounds

Board members approved two change orders for the Marshalltown High School Career and Technical Education (CTE) wing. Kevin Eipperle with FEH Design Architect told the board neither order changes the contract cost with Larson Construction.

The first order contains nine smaller items. The largest cost is $22,719 and involves removal of a second ceiling in the shop areas which is above the lower ceiling. At some point, Eipperle said the second ceiling was installed. For new piping to be installed, it will have to be removed.

“The change order is all labor,” he said. “We will remove the ceiling above the ceiling.”

The second change order contains two items, including a new greenhouse.

“This is a longer story,” he told the board.

Eipperle said when they put out for bid, they wanted a local manufacturer and chose Growth Span/FarmTec of Dyersville. However, the company provided a system for a smaller $30,000 greenhouse than the $150,000 unit the district budgeted for.

“It was a much smaller, less quality unit,” he said. “We are changing that to the unit we really wanted. . . . We’re getting a $130,000 (unit) for what we budgeted — $150,000.”

The second item of the second change order is a $66,713 credit. Originally, the district had two lifts — a two-post and a four-post — in the automotive and small engine section. After construction began, the decision was made to eliminate the four-post lift, as the design will not accommodate it.

For the tornado safe room at the football field, Eipperle expects a change order to be ready for the next school board meeting on June 3.

He also spoke about the kitchen remodel project at the B.A. Niblock – MCSD Orpheum Welcome Center. The request for contractors will be sent tomorrow, and Eipperle expects to receive them by June 12.

Board member Leah Stanley asked for some background on the kitchen at the Orpheum. Schutte said it was one section in significant need of overhaul and renovation. He said it was originally created by the Iowa Valley Community College District as a serving kitchen. The plan is to turn it into a small convection kitchen for MCSD use, as well as for the community. Schutte also hopes the space will be used as a student coffee shop.

“I’ve been told by . . . community members who do a lot of production out of their own home kitchens (that) they would like a space like this,” he said. “We think it has great potential.”

Schutte said they want to utilize local contractors to do the kitchen work and feels there are a lot of people who would be suitable.


• MCSD Buildings and Grounds Director Todd Goulding also presented the upcoming $845,000 summer project list. To prepare the list, he meets with the principals in all of the school buildings to determine what is needed. The more expensive items in each building are:

• $35,000 balcony railing replacement at Anson Elementary;

• $53,000 to replace carpet and audio in the auditorium;

• $10,000 for Fisher Elementary roof repairs;

• $8,000 concrete repairs at Franklin Elementary;

• $60,000 for asphalt in the parking lot and drive of Hoglan Elementary;

• $60,000 to replace the HVAC system in the Lenihan Intermediate gym;

• $150,000 for softball bleachers at the high school;

• $10,000 for repairs to the timeout room and $10,000 for roof repairs at Miller Middle School;

• $15,000 to create another office at Marshalltown Learning Academy;

• $70,000 for upper roof replacement at Rogers Elementary;

• $15,000 for concrete for some drainage repairs at the Bus Barn and;

• $54,000 to replace the playground asphalt at Woodbury Elementary, which will be paid for from the PERL fund.

The district will use $791,000 of Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL) funds for the majority of the summer projects.

Board members Maria Morales, Zach Wahl and Elizabeth Wise were absent.


Contact Lana Bradstream

641-753-6611 ext. 210 or



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