The Kingsland School Board held a “work session” meeting on February 5, with all members present (Doug Plaehn, Ann Oeltjen, Leah Stier, Jackie Horsman, Tiffany Mundfrom, Heather Betts, and Interim Superintendent James Hecimovich). The board has adopted a process in which much of the discussion and “hashing out” on issues is done during work sessions, and then decisions are reached when the board votes on most proposals during the regular board meeting later in the month. Prior to the public portion of the meeting, the board held a short closed meeting to consider a personnel issue.
Due to planned facility upgrades, it is suggested that Kingsland adjust the 2018/19 school year calendar a bit earlier, with classes possibly starting around August 20, 2018 and graduation on May 17, 2019. The classes in fall 2019 could start after Labor Day. These changes would maximize the 2019 summer break, allowing ample time for facility and HVAC upgrades to be completed. No decision was made at this time.
Spanish teacher Morgan Jacobson addressed the board regarding her request for the board to consider allowing a group of students to go on an educational trip to Costa Rica in 2019. She explained that the main reasons for taking such a trip would be to foster independence and help students develop a global perspective, and help them develop possible interests to pursue in their college and/or career goals.
Jacobson explained the proposed trip would be approximately June 10-18, 2019, and would be an option for current sophomore and junior students in her Spanish classes. She said there would be one chaperone for every six students, and 17 students are currently enrolled for the trip. She added, “It’s going through EF Tours, which is the world leader in educational travel… they’re education-based, so a lot of the things you do have an education component… and they will always have a full-time bilingual tour director with your group, the whole time.”
Principal Scott Klaveter addressed the board regarding Kingsland’s interest in providing Diversity Education. He said there are a number of “canned curriculum” options, but shared his opinion that, “I don’t think this can be limited to, whatever, a half hour a day… it needs to be embedded in what we do.”
Regarding the cost and timing challenges in arranging Diversity Education, Jackie Horsman said, “I know it’s tough because it’s not necessarily convenient right now, but it’s very important…these are very sensitive issues…We do have a responsibility. It’s more than a curriculum, it’s how we live.”
John Dols gave an update on facilities, including details on the pro’s and con’s of contracting with a cleaning service company, such as Arnold’s. Dols shared that after crunching the numbers, it appears that contracting with Arnold’s would save Kingsland just over $6,100 yearly compared to the current situation. He also added that if Kingsland contracts with Arnold’s, that company would prefer to hire local staff who already know the facility, so any of the current Kingsland staff whose positions were eliminated would be welcomed to apply to work for Arnold’s.
Dols also shared a calendar example of what the gym practice and game schedule would look like if no additional gym is built. He said it would be possible but very busy, and some practices would need to be held before school, while other practices may go as late as 9 p.m.
Business Manager Amber Herbrand gave the board an update on Kingsland’s financial situation, and stated that there are no major revenue or expense concerns, and that Kingsland is transitioning into the revised FY2018 budget. The meeting adjourned about 7:50 p.m. The next regular board meeting will be Wednesday, February 21, at 6:30 p.m. in the choir room. As always, the public is welcome.