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First Board meeting at Marion district
by DJ Kauffman Correspondent · January 18th, 2018

The Marion Independent School District's 2017 Holiday Giving Project was a success. One recipient family sent a thank-you letter to the Board of Education which was read aloud during a 7 p.m. regular meeting on January 8. The recipient stated 2017 was a hard year with continuous losses for the family, and the gifts offered them reassurance.

Additionally, MISD Foundation and Alumni Association Executive Director Erin Steffen spoke to the Board about fundraising guidelines and marketing strategies. She said they are continuing to reach out to donors in hopes of achieving their listed Capital Campaign project goals, and would like to have a projection before the February budget meeting.

According to Steffen, donors often give more if their gift can be earmarked for projects they are passionate about. And, they have a legal obligation to apply all donations, designated or not, to the list of projects that were previously approved, she said.

District branding was also a topic of discussion during the meeting. Technology Integration Coordinator Peggy Murphy showed a slide of logos chosen for district-level communication use. She said branding logo options will remain flexible with extra-curricular activity groups unless the Board directs otherwise.

Besides gift-giving, fundraising, and district branding, the district is also working with a home-schooling family to find a solution for their special education needs.

A Marion Home School Assistance Program's parent, Open Enrollment (OE) to MISD from Springville, spoke to the Board during Public Comments about her unique situation. She said one of her two elementary children enrolled in the MISD Homeschool Assistance Program has a learning need, and is in need of additional regular enrollment assistance. She requested both enrollments be changed from the MISD to the Linn-Mar District because L-M is closer to her home.

The topic (agenda item #7) was later addressed by the Board, where they followed the State of Iowa guidelines when making their decision to deny the request, stating it came nine months after the suspense date for OE to be approved.

According to MISD Superintendent Chris Dyer, Marion Independent is the current resident district. MISD provides special education services to Marion students, either in a regular or dual enrolled status, and are available now. The parents, without having to re-visit open enrollment, met with the special education director, director of home school assistance, and him, to arrange immediate dual enrollment within MISD so a review of appropriate supports and services could be arranged for this school year. "The family might be contacted to follow up on their satisfaction with the outcomes to meet their recently identified needs. If OE for next year would be more appropriate, upon return to Springville, then the OE request to L-M would be appropriate for Springville action," Dyer said.
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