The Kingsland School Board held a “work session” board meeting on June 3. Members present included Board Chair Jackie Horsman, Kyle Rader, Maranda Emig, Natasha Howard, Tiffany Mundfrom, Leah Stier, and Superintendent James Hecimovich. Also attending were Principal Scott Klavetter, Building & Grounds Director/Athletics & Activity Director John Dols, and Business Manager Amber Herbrand.
Herbrand gave the board an update on the budget for the next fiscal year, saying, “Right now, it is a deficit spend in the unassigned (funds) and there is the potential with the state, after listening to the MSBA legislative update today at noon, that it could get worse.” She went on to describe how the governmental funding is not keeping pace with the costs of operating the school. She said Kingsland has worked hard to trim unnecessary costs, but it’s still not been enough. Jackie Horsman quipped, “So to recap, we have 99 problems, and literally all of them are education funding.” Herbrand added that the budget is “very presumptive” and that she used conservative funding estimates, but summarized that budgeting is, “Definitely more of an art than a science.”
The board discussed several policies. Tiffany Mundfrom brought up a question regarding Use of School District Facilities & Equipment policy, mentioning that in some sports, Kingsland equipment is used (and temporarily stored) at other venues, and it might need to be clarified that the equipment should not be used by other groups. Horsman pointed out, “That’s actually a MHSL guideline. We were looking at that stuff. We can’t let other organizations use our equipment. So we couldn’t (even) if we wanted to.” The board consensus was to clarify this in the policy, to explain the reason why this practice is not allowed.
John Dols informed the board that, “The city, John Fenske, asked if we’d be willing to send out a Blackboard Connect to people reminding them about registrations for swimming lessons and summer recreation programs. Registrations, especially for swimming, are down, and we’re kind of attributing that to the fact that we let out two weeks early, so the kids didn’t get as much notification.” With the board’s approval, Dols will send out the notification as asked. He also mentioned that the registration deadline has been extended.
The board discussed the ongoing long-term facility maintenance project. Principal Klavetter explained that the board may wish to consider approving some data wiring upgrades this summer. He said that while the project going on this summer, there is an opportunity to install wiring/outlets/moldings that would otherwise have to be retrofitted later, which could create a hazard (such as wires and cables simply hanging down from ceiling tiles). After lengthy discussion of options and funding possibilities, the board voted to approve up to $20,000 for adding or moving 25 outlets, installing 59 Cat 6 stub-ups, and installing 32 HDMI wire mold stub-ups. Herbrand will help investigate the available funding options for this.
The board discussed planned communications related to the operating levy referendum. The website was shown, and alterations were suggested. The board also reviewed the “to-do list” regarding the timeline of communicating the referendum information to the community. The board consensus was to make sure that the brochures and the website show the same basic data, but that the website can include more of the “meat” for taxpayers who wish to dig deeper into the details.
The board considered the previously discussed topic of how to structure the Athletic & Activity Director position. There has been consideration of splitting it into two positions. Dols and Hecimovich agreed that it would not be a “50/50 split” since athletics requires much more scheduling workload than activities do. Dols stressed that he wants to do whatever is best for the students and Kingsland. The board agreed that the first step to take is to clearly spell out the expectation of the position.
The meeting adjourned at 8:25 p.m. The next board meeting will be on Monday, June 17 at 6:30 p.m. As always, the public is welcome at all open meetings.