MFL MarMac preparing to implement new state computer science standards

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


MFL MarMac is preparing to incorporate new state computer science standards into its curriculum.


Middle school principal Denise Mueller addressed the topic at the school board’s April 11 meeting, noting that the high school is slated to implement the standards next school year.


Per the Iowa Department of Education, that includes offering “at least one high-quality one-semester course.” Middle schools must provide high-quality computer science in seventh or eighth grade by July 1, 2023, and elementary schools must provide high-quality computer science in at least one grade level by July 1, 2023. 


At the middle and elementary school levels, “Our first step will be to see what we already are covering, and then go from there to see what and how we need to incorporate this into our classes,” Mueller said. “K-3 has been pushing in already with some STEAM classes, so they will see what is being offered that will match up with standards.”


In the McGregor Center, fourth and fifth graders have done some coding, and there is also a middle school STEAM class.


“We might take a study hall for fourth and fifth and incorporate a computer science class, and then beef up our STEAM class,” Mueller added.


The state is pushing these new standards for a variety of reasons, according to Mueller. One is that it promotes 21st century skills like creativity, collaboration and communication. 


“It also makes them ready and able to be involved in creative technologies and gives them confidence to go out into the world and also to become those informed citizens we preach about in our goal statements,” she explained. “We want to make sure we’re preparing our students for the world we live in, and this is what’s coming our way.”


Staff changes approved

The board approved multiple staffing changes at last week’s meeting. That included contracts for Mindy Clubb as an elementary paraprofessional, Jessica Goltz as a mental health specialist and Paul Gordon as summer weight room supervisor. A transfer for Luella Price from custodian to food service was also approved along with the resignations of Jeremy Kurth, Carrie Ruckdaschel and Katie Scherf as elementary paraprofessionals, Rowland Jones for transportation, Stephanie Niedert and Riley Bodley as teachers, Madyson Larson as wrestling cheer coach and Brent Pape as middle school wrestling coach.


Operational sharing agreements approved

The board approved operational sharing agreements for 2022-2023. This includes, but is not be limited to, superintendent and business manager with Eastern Allamakee, transportation director with Postville and a social worker with Keystone AEA.


MFL MarMac joins sanctioned girls wrestling

The board unanimously agreed for MFL MarMac to join sanctioned girls wrestling for the upcoming school year.


Crow’s nest damaged

Crozier noted the crow’s nest needs to be repaired or replaced, after an undetected and unmetered water leak damaged the structure. The school is now considering options to lift up the existing structure or construct a new crow’s nest.

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