Kingsland School Board held a “work session” on March 1, with all members participating. Building and Grounds Director Jason Thompson’s written report included, “Thursday evening February 18, as you well know, we had some excitement with a sprinkler line bursting… There were two recycling receptacles placed in front of the cabinet heater in the bell door vestibule, potentially inhibiting its ability to heat the vestibule. The other issue we uncovered is that students have been propping the doors open in an effort to skirt our established security protocols in favor of convenience. The door was propped open for nearly six hours Tuesday, February 16.”
The board discussed the situation, and how to monitor more closely to prevent it happening again. Gwen Howard asked if the students involved have been talked to, and Superintendent Hecimovich said that students and coaches have been spoken to regarding this issue. He also stated that while janitorial staff can help keep an eye on this issue, they are generally busy completing their regular cleaning duties. Gwen also shared her concern that if doors are propped open, that could be a way to “sneak in” additional spectators to sporting events. Jackie Horsman shared that in her experience, it’s likely that doors have been propped open by students more for the convenience of students who needed to quickly run out to a vehicle, and back in. Pam Freet suggested that if a student needs to run out and back in quickly, a “buddy system” would be better, with a student waiting inside to let the other student back in. Hecimovich agreed that this would be a better and safer way to solve the problem.
Community Education Director Becky Bicknese’s written report to the board included, “Online Driver’s Training is scheduled for March 22 – April 2. Working on putting together an online financial education workshop (ppdate – class will be held twice through Zoom: March 10 from 7-8 p.m. and March 14 3-4 p.m.) Jr. Knightette Dance recital went very well! Dancers and parents seemed/said they were very grateful to have the girls perform.”
Principal Scott Klavetter shared that the Minnesota Department of Education recently announced that the upcoming MCA testing will be conducted in-person only. However, the U.S. Department of Education then announced an update allowing states to apply for a waiver from certain requirements, but not from the testing itself. The guidance from MDE now is to “stay tuned for further details.” In the meantime, Kingsland will be moving forward with planning for testing of all students in-person, with social distancing measures used. He added that “Those not comfortable with their child coming onsite to test will be asked to complete a parent refusal waiver releasing their child from the obligation to complete the standardized assessments for this year.” He explained, however, that Kingsland encourages all to complete the MCA testing.
Hecimovich shared that upcoming ACT testing will be held on April 13. He stated, “We have 27 students signed up to take the ACT, so we’re going to do that at the Methodist church, because we cannot have bells or any distractions during testing.”
Regarding plans for this year’s prom, Hecimovich said, “Right now, under the current guidelines, it’s doubtful, not impossible, but right now it’s doubtful prom can go off this year in a normal sense.” He added, “We’re hopeful, we have a date set, but we just don’t know at this point if we can move forward with a prom.”
“The other item… we have really good news, said Hecimovich, “I think we’re closing in on being able to bring our high school kids back in-person within the next, I’m hoping, three weeks or so.” Jackie Horsman reiterated that this is not official, but, “That is what we’re hoping, based on the projections we’re seeing, but that could all change.” She also added, “Even if the kids go back, that may not necessarily impact prom to happen,” because activities are handled differently from classes. The Kingsland board’s next meeting will be Monday, March 15 at 6 p.m.