The Kingsland School Board held a “work session” meeting on July 6, via remote technology means, due to current social distancing guidelines. All board members were in attendance (Jackie Horsman, Tiffany Mundfrom, Noella Lund, Natasha Howard, Maranda Emig, and Kyle Rader), as well as Superintendent Jim Hecimovich and Principal Scott Klavetter. During these “work sessions,” the board discusses issues, but generally does not take formal action on agenda items until the second meeting of each month.
One topic of discussion centered on Kingsland’s efforts to get a reduced speed limit and other safety features on County 1, the street that runs north and south immediately to the west of the school. Jackie Horsman updated the board on efforts by Superintendent Hecimovich to move forward with these requested safety measures. She stated, “I looked over some emails, and Jim’s had multiple communications with Mitch Lentz, who’s a county commissioner… for probably about the last year, trying to get things done.” She added, “Mitch Lentz has been wonderful at communicating. It isn’t him having an issue communicating. It’s him having an issue getting the information from who he needs to get it from.” She said that Lentz is awaiting word back from County Engineer Ron Gregg regarding Kingsland’s requests related to County Highway 1.
Horsman suggested that Kingsland send a letter to the county commissioners, to express two points, which she described as, “the frustration that we’re having trying to get this done… (and) what our fears are for child safety and pedestrian safety on that road.” The board consensus was to ask Superintendent Hecimovich to have such a letter drafted.
The board discussed a number issues on which the board makes an annual decision every year, such as settings various fees. These included substitute pay, athletic/extra-curricular fees, school aged care fees, facility rental fees, student/adult meal prices, board member compensation, mileage rate, and miscellaneous fees. Horsman said the recommendation from Superintendent Hecimovich is that in almost every case, no changes are needed to these fees for the 2020-2021 school year.
Next, the board discussed Kingsland’s Strategic Planning timeline. Horsman informed the board that there will be a number of meetings to develop the strategic plan, and she asked for board input on whether the entire board should attend these meetings, or some smaller representation (two to three board members). Kyle Rader voiced his opinion that it will be a large time commitment, so he suggested a “divide and conquer” plan in which each board member would attend a few of the meetings, and could then report back to the entire school board. Others pointed out that if two or three members took on the role of attending, there would be consistency. Jackie Horsman and Maranda Emig agreed to be the board’s representatives to attend the strategic planning meetings.
There was discussion about Kingsland’s planned rebranding “logo contest,” and whether that contest should move forward at this time. Hecimovich stated, “I do have a caveat. The one thing we might want to wait and do is finish the strategic plan, because many times, in strategic planning, they come up with verbiage that might be used with a logo.” Horsman and Mundfrom said they feel any verbiage that comes out of the strategic planning would most likely not be used on uniforms and athletic wear, so they felt the logo contest should move ahead “sooner than later.” Hecimovich said he will send logo contest information to the board so that a formal decision can be reached at the next board meeting.
Superintendent Hecimovich said he is ready to send out applications for families that wish to apply for free/reduced meal prices. He added, “We’ll put a big push to see if we can get our numbers up, get people to apply, and that’s going to benefit our kids.” Principal Klavetter added that the percentage of families qualifying for free/reduced meals is what determines the amount of Title funding Kingsland receives, so it’s very important that all applicable families apply.
Regarding Ag Days, Horsman said, “We know that the parade is moving forward. We also know that there won’t be capability to hand anything out” (due to social distancing). She asked for the board’s consensus as to whether or not Kingsland should have an entry in the parade. Board members said they felt this was still a good opportunity for community presence. Horsman also voiced appreciation to Kingsland’s students, families, staff and the community for their continued support during the pandemic and the unique challenges of 2020.
The board’s next meeting will be a regular meeting on July 20, at 6 p.m.