The Knoxville Community School District Board met on Monday, May 11 via Zoom, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The meeting was called to order by President Marty Duffy.

Other members present at roll call were Cheri Gerdes, Larry Scott, Dave Smith and Larissa Van Donselaar

Personnel Recommendations

After the general financial statements were reviewed, along with the status of the Student Activity Fund, the board made several personnel recommendations, the most notable being the approval of hiring Abbi Groenendyk, West Elementary special education teacher, effective for the 2020-2021 school year.

Contract modifications were also approved for Kim Collins (elementary TAG teacher). Michael Splavec (elementary instructional coach), and Sean Gibbons and Whitney McWilliams (to serve as co-sponsors of KHS Student Senate).


The board unanimously approved the following contracts: (1) Operational sharing agreement with Pella Community School District for business management services, (2) Operational sharing agreement with Pella Community School District and Pleasantville Community School District for the human resources director position and (3) Bond and disclosure counsel engagement agreement with Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.


After the board was recognized for national school board recognition week, board members received more detailed information on the district’s 2020 graduation plan.

With Knoxville High School graduation scheduled for Sunday, June 28 at 5 p.m. at Knoxville Raceway, the board discussed the logistics of assembling the crowd of roughly 800 to 1,000 guests expected to attend. Board president Marty Duffy confirmed that the gathering for graduation has been approved by both the Marion County Health Department and Emergency Management.

The board also approved the graduation list and KHSAP graduation list as presented pending completion of all requirements.

May 29 remains on the school calendar as the last day of school.


The board received the latest edition of the Iowa Department of Education’s school leader update, an update on the district’s COVID-19 response and plan and information on the district’s IPSIP renewal for 2020-2021. Duffy said estimates indicate the district saved roughly $120,000 in the past year through IPSIP based on grant funding, carryover and quotes received.

The board reviewed a report from the building principals and the Superintendent.

New Business

The board reviewed the revised 2020-2021 calendar. Van Donselaar made a motion to set a public hearing for the revised 2020-2021 calendar for May 26, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. in the board of education meeting room.

There was unanimous board approval for the 2020-2021 school fees and substitute pay rates, the district's updated COVID-19 policy, and financial policies 724 - debt management policy, 725 - post-issuance compliance regulations for tax-exempt obligations, and 726 - internal controls.

The board approved a proposal to purchase a new two classroom portable building from JMO Modulars for approximately $141,000 for additional portable West classrooms.

There was unanimous approval for the Knoxville Waterworks request for the district to pay the additional $15,000 to paint the district’s new logo on the water tower at the football field.

“Some of the additional expense comes from needing to include three colors of paint instead of just two for the new logo,” Gerdes said.

Since the next calendar date for a board meeting would have been during the Memorial Day holiday, the board voted unanimously to set a special board meeting for May 26, 2020, at 5:30 p.m. in the board of education meeting room. Items placed on the agenda of that May 26th meeting include both a hearing and consideration for the revised 2020-2021 calendar.

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