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Highlights From the April 24th Board of Education Meeting

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Below are highlights from the April 24th Board of Education meeting. These are highlights and should not be considered the official minutes.

President Isenberg read a proclamation proclaiming the week of May 1st-5th as Teacher Appreciation Week!

Board Secretary Angie Morrison read a proclamation proclaiming the month of May as School Board Appreciation Month.

Representatives from OPN Architects brought the board up-to-date on the work that has been occurring in the district’s restructure process and bond initiative. OPN; district administrators; and the Facilities Committee; which is made up of staff, administrators, and community members; have been hard at work since the restructuring project kicked off back on December 13, 2016. OPN shared the timeline and scope of work that led the district to the realization that the original restructuring plan, that included a new 5-7 grade building and converting Excelsior to an 8-9 grade center, was not financially feasible due to the cost to convert Excelsior, which would take up most of the bond monies. OPN also shared how the dedication and brainstorming of all the groups involved in the process led to the current suggestion of building two 5-6 grade buildings as a more equitable and fiscally feasible option for the district.

The current restructure option being considered, (not finalized) but received the board’s consensus at the April 24th meeting, is:

  • Elementary buildings become grades PK-4 and updates to historic buildings (Bowman Woods, Wilkins, and Indian Creek)
  • Build two 5-6 grade buildings
  • Current middle schools become grades 7-8
  • High School remains 9-12 and continue to use the LRC building as needed

The board also approved the Board Operations Manual that includes Committee Commissions for the Finance/Audit Committee, Career & Tech Ed Committee, Policy Committee, and School Improvement Advisory Council; which are all board committees.

Mayor Nick AbouAssaly shared an update on the City of Marion that provided information on population trends (Marion is Iowa’s 14th largest city), future development plans, and the city’s strategic focus.

Highlights of the Finance/Audit Committee meeting included the possibility of installing an ATM, provided by Farmers State Bank, at the High School; funding scenarios for the bond projects; and review of the lease agreement for the addition of a modular building to house two classrooms at Indian Creek for the 2017-18 school year.

Dr. Shepherd reviewed highlights of the Board Book drawing special attention to the district’s change in procedures for working with independent contractors (ex: choreographers, accompanists, clinicians, etc.) and the newly-designated, emergency family reunification site is the O&M/Transportation building. This is the site for parent/guardian pick up of students if there is an emergency evacuation and was recommended by the Marion Police Department.

The board approved the following items:

  • Purchase of land from Vaughn Farms
  • Resolution to publish the amended FY17 certified budget on April 27th and set a public hearing on the same for May 8th
  • Set administrators/managers/exempt staff salary increase for FY18 at 1.11%

Please remember you can view the full agenda/exhibit packet and past minutes by visiting the Board/Policy website.