Kingsland School Board held a “work session” on February 1. All members were present. The board reviewed, but did not yet act upon, a draft of Kingsland’s academic calendar for the next school year. Superintendent Hecimovich pointed out that, by slightly shortening the spring break and winter break, the calendar draft has a first student day of September 7, and a final student day of May 27. He and Principal Scott Klavetter said they are pleased that this plan allows school to start after Labor Day, and yet still end before Memorial Day. The proposed calendar exceeds the state minimum number of hours for each grade cluster. Kindergarten has an overage of 217 hours, grades one through six show an overage of 132 hours, and grades seven through 12 have an overage of 47 hours.
The board discussed Kingsland’s status on which learning model to use – fully in person, fully in distance learning, or some combination (“hybrid”) of the two. Superintendent Hecimovich shared that he sometimes finds it frustrating when community members compare schools, asking why one can be in a less restrictive model than another. Jackie Horsman concurred, saying, “Also, sometimes when comments come in like that… Everybody has different facilities, different square space, situations… So there’s all of these things that we know as board members, all of these things that contribute to what type of learning model that you can use.” Hecimovich said he will continue to make recommendations to the board about learning models, based solely on what is best for Kingsland and the students/staff, regardless of what other area schools may be doing.
Athletic/Activity Director Mark Fitzpatrick submitted a written report. He also noted that there was only one applicant for the head golf coach position (Paul Eckheart). The board will consider this for action at the next meeting. Two resignations were noted in the consent agenda (Andrea Hare as administrative assistant to the superintendent, and Danielle Wilcox as high school SPED paraprofessional).
Becky Bicknese’s Community Education report included that preschool will be running fully in-person as of February 3. She noted that 24 students are signed up in the three- and four-year-old group, and 25 are signed up in the four- and five-year-old group. Her report also noted, “Working on putting together a dance recital for the Jr. Knightette Dance program on February 21. We have 23 dancers currently.”
Dustin Tart’s Transportation report included, “We have gone back to regular bus routes now that K-2 has gone to every day. We had two busses go down, #3 and #8, they are currently in the shop, we are waiting on diagnosis. Bus number 7 is on the list to get new tires all around. Ron Neis has retired. We are putting on for van drivers and bus drivers in the paper the week of February 1.”
Regarding the “COVID fee” being charged to all Minnesota schools by the Minnesota State High School League, Superintendent Hecimovich informed the board, “I was interviewed by KIMT today, channel 3, and it was on at 5:00. They called and wanted to do an interview about our concerns with the Minnesota State High School League. So, I gave them an honest interview. I was kind, very controlled… I just said basically, our board supported the superintendent’s decision not to pay. That we’re really concerned about transparency and equity on their part…” Hecimovich also shared that he has spoken with state Senator Jeremy Miller about the MSHSL fee. Miller indicated he would speak directly with the MSHSL about the issue.
Regarding COVID-19 vaccinations for staff, Hecimovich shared, “The good news… we are over 50% vaccinated with the first round. We have approximately 40 to 41 people left. That includes the board members that opted in. It includes our volunteers, our regular subs and those subs that would come back regularly if vaccinated. So we’re feeling pretty good.”
Because of Presidents’ Day and Ash Wednesday, the Kingsland board’s next meeting will be on Thursday, February 18 at 6 p.m.