Kingsland School Board held a work session meeting on October 4. Members participating included Jackie Horsman, Maranda Emig, Kyle Rader, Pamela Freet, as well as Superintendent James Hecimovich and Principal Scott Klavetter. Business Manager Amber Herbrand participated via remote technology. Natasha Howard and Gwen Howard were absent.
In light of Mark Fitzpatrick’s resignation from his activities director role, Kingsland has selected Laurie Hendrickson as interim activities director. Superintendent Hecimovich stated, “I labeled it ‘interim’ because we’re finishing the year out. She is retiring at the end of the school year. So, it’s more or less, we’re filling in for the school year. So, we can start posting early, and get the best possible candidates.”
Hecimovich reported that the Minnesota State High School League has mandated that basketball will begin using a “shot clock,” which will be phased in over the next three years. Hecimovich said, “Please understand, this is high school athletics. Small districts cannot afford all of these wishes of MSHSL… it is foolish. I mean, this is not college ball. There’s got to be some more common sense.” Because this plan will include an additional referee, the cost includes pay, not just equipment. According to Fitzpatrick’s written report, the first-year cost to Kingsland is expected to be around $13,000 to $15,000. Board members voiced frustration that this mandate comes down from MSHSL, and Kingsland has no option. Members asked if the booster club (KABC) could be asked for help to purchase shot clocks. Hecimovich said that is not an option, since Kingsland is required to pay for required equipment, and KABC can only help with “wish list” items. He also said it’s tough, since Kingsland is striving to keep athletes’ participation fees low, but mandates such as this make that hard to do.
Basketball Coach Steve Hauser addressed the board about the possibility of pulling sixth grade girls basketball players up to practice and play on the 7th/8th grade team. He said, “Youth basketball is lucky to have one practice a week right now… it’s real hard to do something consistently when that’s all you get.” He proposed allowing the sixth grade girls to practice with the 7th and 8th graders, and said they probably wouldn’t get much game time, but he feels the practice would help the players gain confidence and bolster the overall program. He summarized, “I see so many more plusses than I see minuses on this.”
There was a question as to whether this would be seen as taking players (and fees) away from the city’s Park & Rec program. Hauser said he would advocate for these applicable players to still participate in the city’s league games on Saturdays, in addition to practicing with the 7th/8th grade team. Hauser said he will meet with Spring Valley’s Park & Rec Director (John Fenske) to discuss this issue, and will report back to the board.
Spanish language teacher Morgan Jacobson addressed the board with her proposal for a Spanish trip to occur in mid-June 2023. She gave an overview of what the proposed 11-day trip to Spain would include, and the costs involved. Jacobson said over 20 students have expressed interest, and a family meeting is set for October 13 at 6 p.m. No board action was taken at this time.
The board approved hiring to create a new a PK-12 health aide position. This decision was based on estimates that Annie Pendl is spending around 75% of her time on COVID-19 issues, so this new position would partially free her up to work on other duties. The position will be considered a temporary position. Klavetter said interviews have already occurred, and several strong candidates were identified.
The Kingsland Board’s next meeting will be on Monday, October 18, at 6 p.m. in the KES Conference Room. Kingsland continues to offer the option for anyone to “attend” via Zoom technology.