A monthly “work session” meeting of the Kingsland School Board was held on October 1, with all members present (Doug Plaehn, Ann Oeltjen, Leah Stier, Jackie Horsman, Tiffany Mundfrom, Heather Betts, and Superintendent James Hecimovich).
Business Manager Amber Herbrand gave a budgetary summary, stating, “I have the new budget model,… so we’ll be able to project out with that.” She added that more detailed information will be coming in the next two weeks.
Regarding the Longterm Facility Maintenance (indoor air quality) issues with the vacated Wykoff buildings, Hecimovich said, “Well, abatement began last Monday for asbestos, and today started the mercury abatement. They’re thinking it will be done by November,… so that’s moving along well.”
The board discussed Kingsland’s Operating Levy PR Plan regarding the upcoming referendum. Hecimovich said Kingsland plans to use a variet of methods to get information out to voters in advance of the election. He said there are three upcoming home volleyball games which would be excellent chances to hand out information and answer questions. He also suggested showing a chart comparing Kingsland’s “per student funding” to that of other nearby school districts.
The board also discussed putting an emphasis on the “trades” program, with some board members sharing their opinion that they would prefer a broader term than “trades,” since that brings to mind mainly traditionally men’s jobs such as construction. Some board members suggested “Trades/Technology/Health,” while others suggested “certified jobs,” meaning any job that requires a specific certification.
There was also discussion about sharing the “loss of buying power” that has befallen Kingsland, as inflation has outpaced increases in state aid. A few board members mentioned reading an article about this, and said it would be an excellent resource for interested voters. The board also considered possibly holding a public meeting to discuss the levy and referendum. Members agreed that even if such a meeting were not well-attended, it is a good practice to offer such a meeting, so that anyone interested has that opportunity. No public meeting date was set, but the board will move forward with that soon.
Hecimovich informed the board that the Kingsland monthly newsletters will soon be published in the Spring Valley Tribune, in addition to the Fillmore County Journal. He said the Tribune has agreed to publish this at no cost to Kingsland, as the Journal has been doing. Hecimovich and the board agreed this is a very welcome and effective way to get the word out to the community about what’s going on at Kingsland.
Principal Scott Klavetter said that there is a new requirement tied to Title One funding. He explained that regarding foster children, if housed outside the school district, are to be allowed to stay in their school if at all possible, to provide some continuity in their lives. Klavetter said for some time Kingsland has been providing transportation to make this happen, but that the new federal and state guidelines stipulate that the county is now expected to pay equally. He said he recently met with Kevin Olson about this, and Fillmore County will begin reimbursing Kingsland for 50% of these transportation costs.
The next regular board meeting will be Monday, October 15, at 6:30 p.m. in the choir room. As always, the public is welcome. The next work session will be Monday, November 5 at 6 p.m. Kingsland’s auditing firm (Smith Schafer) will present at the November 5 meeting. On October 11, Kingsland parents and students are invited to a presentation titled “Never Give Up,” presented by Terrence Lee Talley. It will be at 6:30 p.m. in the Kingsland gym.