The Kingsland School Board met on June 6 for their monthly “work session,” which stretched for four hours from 6-10 p.m. The topics of Kingsland handbooks and meal prices generated significant discussion.
Regarding handbooks, interim Superintendent Gary Kuphal shared his overall opinion that, “There are too many handbooks,” and Principal Scott Klavetter agreed. Currently, Kingsland has “seven or eight” different handbooks, including handbooks for students, staff, coaches, School Age Child Care (SACC) and other groups.
The board discussed a number of potential changes to various sections of handbooks, and noted that often, when a change is made in one handbook, it then is necessary to make a similar change in one or more other handbooks. It was also noted that if any handbook is overlooked when making such changes, then Kingsland ends up with discrepant information on a particular topic.
In particular, the board discussed the dress code for students. Jackie Horsman shared her opinion that much of the language in the current dress code is sexist and antiquated. She also pointed out that terms such as “spaghetti strap” and “short shorts” are arbitrary and tough to enforce across the board.
The board asked Kuphal for input regarding how this is handled at other schools, and he suggested avoiding mentioning specific clothing terms or measurements, and instead to use a statement such as that the school prohibits attire “that is disruptive to the learning environment.” No board action was taken at this time.
There was discussion about adding a section on “Parent Code of Responsibility” into the Kingsland Athletics Handbook. Horsman and Laurie Hendrickson shared a draft wording of such a parent code. The board agreed that if such a code is adopted, it would be in effect at both home and away events, and violations will most likely result in the applicable parent(s) being banned from one or more Kingsland home events.
Regarding meal prices, the board discussed that Kingsland will no longer be able to provide free meals to all students, so there will be an effort to encourage families to apply for free or reduced meals. Horsman added, “We also didn’t qualify for the summer food program this year, so families will have to pay for that, as well.”
Business Manager Amber Uhlenhake recommended a meal price increase of 10 cents across the board. It was also discussed that adult meals will most likely have to increase from $4.15 to at least $4.60 due to state minimums. No formal action was taken regarding meal prices at this meeting.
Horsman pointed out a few highlights in Becky Bicknese’s Community Education report, including participation numbers for the various programs and classes offered. She also stated, “They leave for (Washington) D. C. on July 16 very early, and she’s already planning for the 2024 trip.”
Regarding on Kingsland’s Building and Grounds department, Principal Klavetter stated, “We did just get told last week that we were approved by the State for emergency funds for the storm damage. What we requested for was the repairs to the dugouts and the ticket booth… and that section of the roof.” He explained that high winds had apparently gotten underneath a portion of the roof and shifted around some of the insulation, which resulted in an uneven roof surface.
Klavetter gave the board an update on staffing issues, including vacancies and hiring plans. He also shared that Kingsland Elementary and High School offices will be closed June 13 through July 31, although the district office will remain open.
The board indicated an interest in offering some type of community open house informational meeting. Board members said if such a meeting is held, it would be to provide information to anyone interested in potentially becoming a school board member, as well as general information for the community about the role of school board members. Kuphal will check to see if such a program already exists.
The board gave recognition to three staff members who are leaving Kingsland after years of service. Deanna Capelle and Laurie Hendrickson accepted plaques. Jim Hecimovich was not present, but was also recognized.
Kingsland’s next school board meetings will be a regular session on Monday, June 20 at 6 p.m., and a monthly “work session” on Wednesday, July 6 at 6 p.m.