MFL MarMac lays out plan for Marquette property

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The MFL MarMac School Board has laid out a plan to deal with around seven acres of property it currently owns in the city of Marquette.

“I stumbled across this a couple years ago,” said superintendent Dale Crozier. “There’s a glob of land the school owns” that includes a section of the ballfield and an area around it in the bench neighborhood. “I’m guessing it was part of the old Marquette school [property]. I don’t know why we still own it, but it doesn’t need to be ours. It’s something I want to clean up.”

Following a closed session at its July 15 meeting, the board voted to divide the property into three parcels. The first, a sliver of yard next to the ballfield, will go to the private property owner who’s been maintaining it. The second, which is part of the baseball field and includes some lights and a portion of the city’s water and electrical system, will go to the city of Marquette.

“So the city will own the entire baseball field,” Crozier stated.

The final portion—4.9 acres of timber—will be put up for sale. Crozier said Allen Real Estate Company, of Monona, will list the piece at $28,000.

Handbook updates

The board approved the student handbooks for the upcoming school year during last week’s meeting. There were no changes to the middle school handbook and very few at the elementary level. The most notable included updated bus schedules and pick-up/drop-off times to reflect the new 8:20 a.m. start time, as well as the addition of the district’s safety procedures.

Notable updates to the high school handbook included:

•Additional guidelines for students who would like to enroll in the Placement in College Credit (PICC) program, or dual credit courses, through Northeast Iowa Community College. The student must have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and have not dropped or failed a college course the previous semester. Sophomores who have a cumulative GPA of 3.5 may be allowed to take only one college class per semester. Students may not enroll in a PICC online class that has a comparable college class offered at the high school.

Although MFL MarMac pays the cost of tuition, students must purchase their own textbooks and supplies for the courses. The district will not pay for a student to enroll in a course for a second time, if they have previously withdrawn from it or failed.

The more stringent GPA requirements “is going to limit the number of kids who can take college courses,” Crozier acknowledged. “With those career and technical classes, you don’t want to prevent them from educational and financial opportunities.”

To make sure that doesn’t happen, high school principal Larry Meyer said administration is willing to consider individual requests from students who are below that GPA.

• Only juniors and seniors with a 3.5 GPA or higher are invited to apply for inclusion in National Honor Society. Sophomores were previously allowed to apply.

• Although students who choose to graduate early are not allowed to participate in the school’s extra-curricular activities after the final term of attendance, it’s been made clear that they can attend graduation, prom and the senior class trip if they would like.

• Parents and guardians are reminded to contact the school regarding a student’s absence on the day of the absence. This can come via phone or email. If the parent/guardian does not call, a school representative will call home.

If the school does not receive a note or call from the parent/guardian when the student returns to school, the absence will be considered unexcused. Two in a row is considered truant.

• Although not originally part of the handbook, the board felt it was important to adopt a standardized grading system, rather than letting teachers use a different system for their individual classes.

Staff changes

The board approved the resignation of Linda Canton as a bus driver and also approved contracts for Jennelle Schroeder for Medicaid reimbursement and drug testing, Karla Hanson for middle school play production, Erika Kielstrup for high school musical assistant and Ashley Simon for middle school cross country.

Bus purchases

The board approved the purchase of two used buses—one at a cost of $70,000 and the other at $88,000. Crozier said, in comparison, one new bus would cost $108,000.

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