Kingsland School Board held a work session meeting on December 6. One item that generated discussion was the ongoing difficulty in obtaining the various food products that Kingsland serves to students.
Judy Tart’s written report to the board said, in part, “Food shortages continue. Trying to buy ahead when products are available… Freezer storage is becoming an issue… Menus in upcoming months will reflect the need to utilize government commodities.”
Superintendent Hecimovich added, “I’ve had several conversations with Judy about the food shortages, and it’s really getting kind of epidemic. A lot of the kids’ favorites… are discontinued… Even some of the quality of the food we’re getting… the quality’s gone way down, which is sad. And several vendors have quit serving school districts, like Sysco.” He said Kingsland will continue striving to serve quality meals, as best as possible, given the current shortages.
Jason Boynton, representing the accounting firm of Smith Schafer, gave the board a summary of the firm’s annual audit of the school district’s finances. He said overall, the audit resulted in an unmodified “clean” opinion, and that no Minnesota legal compliance issues were noted. Boynton noted that Kingsland’s revenues came from three main sources: 66% from state aid; 5% from property taxes; and 9% from federal aid.
Boynton also pointed out that in Fiscal Year 2021, general fund revenues exceeded expenditures by nearly $600,000, which creates a fund balance of just under $1 million. Food Service and Community Service also had revenues in excess of expenditures, so those balances grew for future needs.
Building and Grounds Director Jason Thompson submitted a written report that included that he is thankful for the lack of snow, and that the classroom furniture project is still underway, with plans to be completed over the holiday break.
Business Manager Amber Herbrand’s report to the board included that for the current fiscal year, revenues so far total $1.6 million, while expenditures are $2.1 million. But she explained that the state is lagging on general education revenue deposits, so she expects the revenues to catch up.
Activities Director Laurie Hendrickson provided a report, which included, “The Rochester Official’s Association has contacted all of the ADs about problems with scheduling referees because of the shortages they have. All schools were asked to look at problem dates and move games if possible… They are even asking schools to consider Wednesdays if needed.” She asked about Kingsland’s policy about Wednesdays, and if changing any games to Wednesdays may be an option. Hecimovich explained that the board could consider holding some games on Wednesdays, but added, “I prefer to visit with the ministerial committee prior to that, to gain their support.” He said it’s much better received if he can explain the reasons for a “once in a blue moon” request for games on a Wednesday. No specific Wednesdays were discussed on which games may be held.
Principal Scott Klavetter’s report to the board included an update on Kingsland’s Flexible Learning Day plans. It stated, “Kingsland Elementary School will be returning to our pre-COVID flexible learning day procedures this winter for any weather-related flexible learning days. Grades K-3 will use SNOW! Cards that will be sent home with students in advance with preplanned activities for each class for the day. Grades 4-6 will use technology – Google Classroom and teacher webpages – to receive and submit class assignments…. This change only applies to weather-related flexible learning days, not distance learning. Should the need for an extended distance learning period arise, that would look different than a snow day.” Klavetter also said the second COVID shots will be available to students on December 15, as will booster shots for staff.
On December 20, the annual “Truth in Taxation” hearing will be held at 6:01 p.m., immediately prior to the regular board meeting. Kingsland continues to offer the option for anyone to listen in via Zoom technology.