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Kingsland applies for flexible learning year

Sat, Nov 20th, 2010
Posted in Education

The November meeting for the Kingsland Public Schools took place on Nov. 15 with all board members present. The board members were presented with a summary of their 09-10 audit. Amanda Clark of Larson Allen LLP, presented their internal audit summary which she described as clean, overall. According to Clark, Kingsland had very few findings in their accounts, with those found very common among other schools and businesses. Financially, the school's unreserved fund balance has increased by around $450,000. Despite 72.8% of their general fund being influenced by state funding that has proved to be restrictive the past few years, Kingsland, according to Clark, has managed their accounts very well. Kingsland has lost $900,000 since 2006 with 150 less students in their enrollment and has faced a budget deficit that was enhanced by the large school construction project in 2008. This shortfall will begin to be alleviated by an estimated $500,000 in federal stimulus money that Kathy Beevers, Kingsland Business Manager said would be coming in. Beevers also reported that enrollment numbers have been identical from October to November, but that she sees growth in the future. She also commented that Kingsland can now host their own special education dollars which would give them more flexibility in how they spend that money.

Supt. McDonald expressed gratitude towards the community in the passage of their new $700 operating levy that will bring in an additional $331,000 to what their current $300 levy already does. This new levy will go into effect for the next fiscal year and be effective for t he next nine years. McDonald commended the school board on their work in getting the word out and again praised the community effort in being the only school in the county to more than double their operating levy.

John Dols of the maintenance department brought forward to the school board bids for the middle school roof repair, a boiler retubing project, and a communications upgrade for the entire district. The board approved the low bid from Meisner Roofing for $11,500 and the low bid from L&M Boiler Systems for $12,800. The communications upgrade, as Dols explained could take place under one of two plans. The first plan would cost the school district more money now as the upgrade would include new equipment and an FCC license that meet new compliance standards. The second plan would cost less over the short term, but would meet obstacles in meeting compliance standards to be set in 2012 because of outdate equipment. School board member Mike Zimmer made the case that the school would save money in the long run because it would already have the updated and compliant equipment when the switch would be required, thus saving unnecessary expenses in keeping the current equipment. Board member Peggy Merkel agreed with Zimmer and also pointed out that the longer the school waits to upgrade, the more expensive much of the equipment may become. The board approved the communications upgrade unanimously.

In other news, a presentation on Project Lead The Way (PLTW) was given to inform the board about Kingsland's hope to soon implement some PLTW curriculum into the classes. A $65,000 grant to start up the program was applied for and the school will be notified in January as to whether they will receive those funds. PLTW began in 1998 as applicatory and immersive classes that focus on STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) at the middle and high school level in order to encourage more career choices in these areas and make the U.S.A. more globally competitive in said sectors. In a related topic, the board was informed about a movement to get more college level classes offered in the high school, due to an increasing number of students leaving for outside PSEO opportunities. Currently the school is working with three nearby colleges to identify programs that can be started soon in the school.

The Kingsland Booster Club awarded $1000 to the Kingsland High School Band Department for their music and spirit during homecoming and at the volleyball playoff games.

Activities Director and Assistant Administrator Trent Langemo congratulated sixth grade teacher Paul Ekhart on receiving the KAAL Excellent Educator Award. He also commended the volleyball and football teams on great ends to their seasons.

Representatives from the FFA informed the board on the corn drive that they held to raise money for various charities. They raised around $11,800. The FFA also took part in the Channel 1 food drive, garnering a $150 award and collecting 585 pounds of food that was donated to the local food shelf. Kingsland's FFA chapter also raised around $23,800 in fruit sales.

Supt. McDonald informed the board that the state is looking at a 5-6 billion dollar deficit which he hopes will not cause a decrease in funding. He also explained that Kingsland may receive close to $132,000 to be used for personnel management within the next year. He also said that the school has moved forward in submitting an application for a flexible learning year in which the school could begin 2 weeks in advance and include more staff development opportunities.

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