Donations to the Kingsland School District acknowledged near the opening of the November 20 meeting include the following: Stephanie Derby and Scott Mulholland donated $25 to the Music Department in memory of Sandy Hulbert; Cindy Seabright donated $500 to the Music Department, and Ann Oeltjen of Prairie Wind Farms donated $1,000 to the STEM program.
One new hire was announced at Monday’s meeting: Jim Hubka will be a long-term substitute teacher for high school English. Additionally, special education paraprofessional Carly Fleigel resigned.
Two student representatives from FFA made an appearance at the meeting and shared some announcements from their organization. The corn drive raised $9,500, which will be donated to Camp Courage, a summer camp for those with disabilities, as well as to local food shelves. Additionally, the Soils and Forestry teams placed second and first respectively in sections and will be going to state.
Kingsland schools were set to host a jobs fair November 21. Held in the gym, over 20 businesses were slated to attend a gathering where students and parents could meet local and area businesses hiring for part-time or full-time jobs. Rather than a career fair, the intent of the job fair was to give high schoolers the opportunity to find after-school or weekend jobs accessible “right here, right now” in their community.
The proposed addition of sixth graders to the seventh and eighth grade junior high girls basketball team was discussed and ultimately not approved. “I just think these kids are spread too thin already,” put in board member Cindy Seabright. Another concern cited was the detrimental effect such a move could have on the sixth grade program. Board member Gary Broadwater brought up the question of the school’s true purpose; is it academics or sports? In conclusion, the board made no motion on the item.
The Kingsland School District received an Unmodified Audit Opinion for fiscal year 2023 from public accounting and consulting firm Smith Schafer, and the summary was presented at Monday’s meeting. General fund revenues for the school district exceeded expenditures by $907,024 in fiscal year 2023. Approximately $2.5 million in the general fund was assigned to items like Curriculum, Compensated Absences, Vehicle Purchases, Technology, Capital Projects, Facilities, and Instructional Technology. Approximately $1.2 million in general funds was unassigned, while approx. $1.9 million was nonspendable and restricted.
Food Service Fund revenues for the district exceeded expenditures by $32,222, and the ending fund balance was $354,427. Community Service Fund revenues exceeded expenditures by $33,310, and the ending fund balance was $347,720. The OPEB (Post-employment benefits) internal service fund has $456,810 in assets available for future obligations of $134,686.
Approximately 22% of the school district’s revenues came from property taxes, with 60% coming from state aids, 12% from federal aids, and 6% from other sources.
The board also reviewed the World’s Best Workforce (WWBF) summary and Achievement and Integration progress report, which included district student results from the Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment (MCA) achievement tests. According to the Minnesota Department of Education’s website, these tests measure performance against a fixed set of criteria, namely the Minnesota Academic Standards. In spring 2023, 44.8% of all Kingsland School District students scored at a level defined as either “exceeding standards” or “meeting standards” on the MCA math assessment. On the reading assessment, those score levels were achieved by 52% of all students. Those compare with statewide figures of 49.9% and 45.5% meeting or exceeding grade-level standards for reading and math, respectively.
As the meeting reached its conclusion, it was announced that Pam Freet is stepping down from her position as school board treasurer. Gary Broadwater volunteered to take up the duties in her absence. He will fill the role until the end of the year.
The next Kingsland School Board work session will be held Monday, December 4 at 6 p.m. in the Kingsland Elementary School (KES) conference room. The next Regular Board/Truth in Taxation Meeting will be held Monday, December 18 at 6 p.m. in the KES conference room.