The Kingsland School Board met for a regular session on the evening of April 17 at 6 p.m. Present at the meeting were board members Kyle Radar, Gary Broadwater, Carmen Anderson, Cindy Seabright, Steve Tammel, and Pam Freet and Superintendent Scott Klavetter. After the role call was completed, Kyle Radar led in the pledge of allegiance. The evening’s agenda was approved with no additions made.
The board thanked Sue Puffer, Lucy Drinkall and Mason Meyer of the Spring Valley Ambulance Service for donating their time to train the 10th graders to become CPR certified. The VFW Auxiliary Post 4114 donated $339 to the Washington, D.C. trip. VFW Post 4114 also donated $210 to the Washington, D.C. trip. Char O’Connor donated $130 to the school’s lunch program in memory of Steve O’Connor. Polly Lentz graciously donated $1,000 to the school’s elementary library. Eisenman Services donated $700 to the soccer program. Rack’s Bar & Grill donated $50 to HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America – Future Health Professionals). Janelle Mosher-Rowe also donated $75 to HOSA.
Kingsland’s student council gave their update regarding the Whitewater Trip for eighth grade. The board would vote to approve the trip under new business. Transportation updates were given; the new school bus was purchased and will be arriving in a few weeks. The company that sells the buses reportedly sold the same bus to two different schools, so there was a slight delay in receiving the bus. The school’s business manager took time to give her financial report over Zoom. Through March they will have worked through approximately 75% of the budget. Expenditures for extra curricular activities were modestly higher than expected. Those higher expenditures will be used to make next year’s budget more accurate. Overall, the revised budget is showing as accurate. Board member Broadwater asked if people not paying their property taxes could affect the school’s budget. Superintendent Klavetter replied that such a thing hasn’t been a problem, but if it gets to a critical mass of unpaid property taxes it could affect the school’s budget.
Next, the board went over SMEC (Southern Minnesota Education Consortium, the special education consortium to which Kingsland belongs) updates and the possibility of building a new bus shed. The shed would be built at SMEC’s facility near Austin. Two bids have come back, both at over $1 million for the project. The shockingly high number is due to a number of factors – namely the idea of using the shed as a multipurpose space. Architects were consulted in a previous meeting. Other reasons the projected costs are so high is due to required fire suppression systems and pollution control measures. Another meeting to discuss how to cut costs with the project will take place in May. SMEC’s goal is to have a plan in place for a bus shed by early 2024.
For some time, board members have wanted to have a blacktop track installed next to the school. Funding for the project has already been secured, with the school’s booster club offering to cover half of the costs.
“It’ll look nice and professional,” remarked Board member Tammel. Only one bid for the project has been received; at least one more bid will come in the following weeks.
Under new business, the high school course offerings for 2023/24 school year was discussed. Many parents have expressed interest in enrolling their children in a personal finance course. Such a course is available to grades 10, 11 and 12 as an elective. Board member Radar said, “Financial readiness could be the most useful math course a student takes. Balancing a checkbook or writing a budget are useful skills to learn.” The course offerings were accepted as shown.
The last item under new business was to decide whether or not to allow the eighth graders to go on a trip to Whitewater State Park. The dates reserved for the trip are May 22 and 23. Bus driver Jerry Cleveland offered to drive the students, if there’s a bus available to use. Board member Anderson noted that student behavior on this trip may dictate whether future trips will be permitted. The trip was approved unanimously.
The next work session meeting will be May 1 at 6 p.m. in the elementary conference room. The next regular board meeting will be held May 15 at 6 p.m., also in the elementary conference room.