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Kingsland discusses impact of snow days


Fri, Jan 31st, 2014
Posted in Spring Valley Education

The Kingsland School Board met on Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in the Kingsland Conference Room. All members were present with the exception of Steve Tart. Superintendant John McDonald was also present.

Following the Pledge of Allegiance the school board approved consent agenda items including board agenda, minute review of the December 16, 2013 and January 8, 2014 meetings, January 2014 bills, policy review, and policy adoption.

In Public Thank You and Recognition Land O’ Lakes was recognized for a volunteer grant in the amount of $2,000 and BP Amoco for a donation in the amount of $2,150 towards the softball program. Also recognized was the Minnesota Agricultural Education Leadership Council (MAELC) in the amount of $18,551, with special thanks to Ag instructor Kristal Brogan for working towards the grant, which will be used to start a food chemistry class at Kingsland next year. Superintendent McDonald also recognized Deb Amundrud, KES paraprofessional, for over 14 years of service.

Although there was a larger than normal public attendance at the Kingsland School Board meeting on January 22, 2014, there were no public comments. There were also no student reports.

In Spotlight on Education assessments have been developed which have shown benefits in teaching students. Students have been given three part MTA tests giving examples of performance in math and science. Kingsland PLC members explained what they have accomplished this school year and discussed their Math Club and I Can Statements.

The Finance/Facilities Committee met on January 8, 2014. Discussion included how the school buildings are holding up during the cold weather, the one day closing of Minnesota schools by Governor Dayton, and schoolfinance.com.

Curriculum/Personnel met on January 13, 2014. A discussion was held on the position of secretary and lane change. Also discussed was Deb Amundrud and her many years of service, resignations, and the My Foundation program. The committee also talked about the weather day at Kingsland.

The Policy/PR Committee met on December 18, 2013 and reviewed the first and second readings of policy review, social media and the Kingsland website, and the staff parking policy.

Principal Hecimovich stated that semester finals are almost complete, NWEA winter assessments have begun with information being sent out to parents on Blackboard Connect. Preparations have begun for registration for next year beginning with the science department. Discussions have been held as to what classes will be offered for the 2014-15 school year. The first robotics team attended the International Kick-off of First Robotics at Mayo High School and will be building their robot for a competition in March of 2014 in Duluth.

There will be a financial aid meeting on Monday, January 27 at 6:30 p.m. Information on Accuplacer tests has been discussed with parents. The My Foundations Program is being implemented which helps prepare students for the Accuplacer college placement test in a 10 week course.

In high school happenings semester finals were discussed, and the one act play competed in Stewartville. The dance team performed for the school. A note was made that colleges are looking for kids who were active in high school as these students are. Parent-teacher conferences will be held February 6 and 13, 2014.

Principal Priebe reported on the Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads Of Great Students) program saying, “It has been a positive thing” having dads in the school. The program officially kicked off on January 21, 2014 with dads spending time at the school. MAP testing (Measure of Academic Progress) has a winter window from January 27 - February 10, 2014 for grades K-6 in reading and math. Priebe thanked Deb Amundrud for her service.

The semester ended Friday, January 17, 2014. Techspo Technology training for teachers was held in Chatfield, Minn. on Monday, January 20, 2014. Priebe discussed parent-teacher conferences, social media, and Spotlight on Education as well.

Superintendent McDonald discussed media coverage and thanked teachers for their work. McDonald talked about Kingsland success and gave a list of items that have been accomplished at Kingsland over the last three years. The five different scenarios of the facilities study plan were put up on the screen for the public to view. Copies of this information can be found online at www.fillmorecountyjournal.com.

World’s Best Workforce was discussed. More information will be brought to the board at a later date. Superintendent McDonald attended the MSBA conference. McDonald recognized the paraprofessionals at Kingsland for their hard work.

The High School League is grouping schools together by size and geographic proximity which would mean changes for area schools. The MSHSL has voted in favor of creating “districts” instead of conferences. The schools located in each “district” would create their own scheduling eight regular season football games. The change would take effect in 2015.

Business Manager Todd Lechtenberg discussed schoolfinance.com, which is good for projecting three to five years down the road, which would be helpful in projecting enrollment at Kingsland in the future. The budget was discussed with the largest increase being in federal dollars and overall expenses in line. Mr. Lechtenberg will be starting to turn his attention to the 2015-16 school year while still monitoring the current budget. Enrollment in Community Education is higher this year.

In Old Business Linda Wangsness was hired as Art Club advisor. Retirement of Deb Amundrud was approved. Deb was unable to attend the meeting but the school board thanked her for her service and had a service recognition award for her. Accepted resignations of Erik Bicknese as B squad baseball coach, Kathy Beevers as business manager, Josh Hogberg as musical director, and Jim Hupka as track coach.

An adjustment to the Attendance Secretary position, which was on the agenda for the meeting was tabled until a later date for further study. Motion carried to approve a lane change for Stacey Hogberg.

A motion to hire John Fenske as a bus driver failed until further discussion due to possible conflict with his coaching duties. Hiring Andrew Brouwer as head football coach was approved. Additional new hires included Janelle Mosher-Rowe as KES paraprofessional, Jasper Hamersma as KMS paraprofessional, and Kyle Weinmann as KMS interventionist.

The school board discussed January 6, 2014 when Governor Mark Dayton closed all Minnesota schools as well as other snow days that have occurred. In a 4 to 1 vote, with Gwen Howard having concerns and objecting, the school board adjusted the school calendar and set the last student day as May 30, 2014, which is the same day as graduation, and the last teachers day as June 2, 2014. This date may need to be adjusted again as there has been an additional snow day on Monday, January 27, 2014. Maternity leaves were approved for Erin Cady and Stacey Hogberg.

The school board discussed the Facility Plan and set a study session for the school board and administration only on Wednesday, January 29, 2014 at 5:30 in the district conference room.

Added to the original agenda was a grievance level 3. The Personnel Committee met with a union representative on January 21, 2014 to discuss a grievance level 3. The school board made the decision to deny the grievance.

The next regular school board meeting will be held on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting date has been changed from Monday, February 17 due to President’s Day.

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