The Kingsland School Board held a “work session” on May 6, with all members present (Board Chair Jackie Horsman, Kyle Rader, Maranda Emig, Natasha Howard, Tiffany Mundfrom, Leah Stier, Superintendent James Hecimovich, and Student Representative Zachary Queensland.) Work sessions generally include discussion, but no formal actions.
Jackie Horsman brought up a request she’d recently heard when meeting with students. She stated, “The students brought it up… like, we want the type of class that’s going to teach us about life skills, and budgeting, and how to find an apartment, and how to apply for jobs, and what are my options after school, how do I apply for college, what types of trades can I go into, how do I apply for loans.” Board members voiced support for expanding Kingsland’s offerings in the areas of Life Skills and the Student to Work program. There was discussion of possibly offering students the opportunity to work as a student crossing guard. There was also discussion about offering a job fair at the end of the school year, to help interested students find summer jobs. Several board members called it a “great idea.”
The board considered an idea to possibly split the current activities and athletics director position. Horsman pointed out that this is considered a part-time position, but it involves a very demanding schedule, especially with evening events and weather-related re-scheduling. She pointed out, “We should always be looking at things, maybe it changes, maybe it doesn’t, but we should always be looking at opportunities where maybe we could do things better, more efficiently, more effectively, for less money. We always need to be exploring thise opportunities.”
She also said she feels the current situation is “setting someone up to fail,” and she added, “I feel strongly that we need to do something, but I don’t know what that is.” Kyle Rader voiced his agreement, and suggested splitting the position in two (an athletic director and an activities director). The board voiced agreement in speaking with the current activities and athletic director to get feedback on what works, and what should be changed.
Horsman also started a discussion about a concern from some parents regarding the rescheduling and/or relocating of some sporting events. She explained that per Kingsland’s traditional practice, and in tandem with how most other areas schools handle this issue, “They don’t really make that decision until 2 p.m. Parents get that notice, and they’re at work… Parents are like, ‘My kid has no money to eat, what time are they going to be home now, how do I do all this?’” After discussion, Horsman stated, “Just before the season starts, especially when you have those seventh or eighth grade of junior varsity teams, communicating to the parents that this is our procedure, so always be prepared. I think communication would clean up a lot of this.”
The board discussed using social media to more effectively communicate job openings at Kingsland. Depending on the specific positions open, Kingsland may use Blackboard Connect, Facebook, or other options. Retiring teacher Denise Erichsen was in attendance at the meeting, and the board thanked her for her many years of service. She was presented with a farewell gift from Kingsland.
Tiffany Mundfrom stated a concern about some sporting uniforms and equipment that is “handed down” for junior high teams to use when high school teams get new gear. She said the uniforms tend to be too large for some junior high athletes, but her main concern was some of the protective equipment, especially for sports such as softball, baseball, and football. Superintendent Hecimovich said he would look to “phase in” the purchasing of such equipment for junior high teams.
Several upcoming events were noted, including band/choir concert on May 13 at 7 p.m., scholarship awards night on May 14 at 8 p.m., DARE graduation (sixth grade) on May 15 at 10 a.m., baccalaureate on May 15, and graduation on May 17 at 7 p.m. The next board meeting will be on Monday, May 20 at 6:30 p.m. As always, the public is welcome at all open meetings. Over the summer, while the building is being worked on, school board meeting will be held in the temporary SACC office.