Kingsland's school board reviews the district's 2011-2012 audit report during its Oct. 15 meeting.
Kingsland's school board reviews the district's 2011-2012 audit report during its Oct. 15 meeting.
Kingsland's school board heard the 2011-2012 audit report during its Oct. 15 meeting as the auditor from Clifton Larson Allen updated members on the district's finances.

The district is in relatively good financial shape, according to a review of its books, and the board passed a motion approving the audit report, taking into account a caution from the auditor that nearly 78 percent of its revenue is from the state.

Kingsland High School Principal James Hecimovich was absent, but Kingsland Superintendent John McDonald presented the high school principal's report, noting that the Kasson-Mantorville district plans to spend a day touring Kingsland's Project Lead the Way labs and enter into a resource-sharing program, as both districts are working toward biomedical curriculum certification. College in the Schools (CIS) now offers 64 college credits, and more teachers are working toward their certification in college course instruction.

Kingsland Elementary School Principal Chris Priebe spoke on the distribution of iPads to elementary students, observing that "it's a little bit uncomfortable, but I think everyone's enjoying it."

The discomfort he cited is related to the responsibility of handling the tablets, learning how to use them and using them to learn, but overall, he stated that the process is "trailblazing" and an opportunity to benefit all students.

"We've had guests from the Kiwanis in our classroom as they come to read to our students for 'Read Around the World,' and it's also Fire Prevention Week, so the kids have gotten to learn about firefighters and fire trucks."

He concluded with an invitation to veterans for the "Visit With a Veteran" breakfast planned for Nov. 12 at 8 a.m. in the Kingsland Café.

McDonald elaborated on the Kasson-Mantorville Project Lead the Way site visit, adding that Kingsland will receive $25,000, the second part of the grant that makes participation in Project Lead the Way possible. Professional development continues within the district and also with the regional professional development consortium.

The superintendent then commended the staff for making due the day that board member Al Williams, who is also Wykoff's maintenance foreman, called to say that a water main had broken near the middle school, forcing relocation of those students to the high and elementary school building.

"People worked together to make things happen with very few bumps or major obstacles," he said, moving on to discuss the hiring of a new community education coordinator, as Jennifer Dessner had resigned from the position and the district was interviewing candidates.

McDonald thanked bp for its donation of $1,230 toward the girls' basketball program, Bill and Arlene Johnson for their donation of $60 to be added to the elementary school's popcorn fund, and Lori Bicknese for a contribution of $1,000 to be used for scholarships over the course of the next four years.

Personnel matters included approving business manager Kathy Beevers' leave, effective Jan. 2, 2013. Beevers is engaged and requested a leave of absence in order to prepare her family for its upcoming transition. The board also granted Emily Biske's maternity leave, hired Kelly Simon as a preschool teacher to replace Kelly Opseth who now teaches kindergarten and Letron Alexander as the district's school psychologist for the immediate school year. The board approved Michelle Breitsprecher's contract as the district's special education director. Additionally, as Beevers is not returning to Kingsland, the board will be considering how the district office's staff is structured and deciding what should be done following her departure.

Lastly, the board passed a vote to have TSP Architecture and Engineering examine the district's facilities and suggest a use redesign plan for the most efficient use of space, particularly the media center, as McDonald observed, "Access to technology is changing the role of the media center as computers become more of our textbooks. As technology changes, our instructional spaces can change, too. This visit from TSP doesn't bind us to anything - it's just a look at the present facilities and how they're used."

The next regular Kingsland school board meeting is set for Monday, Nov. 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Kingsland High School conference room. The public is welcome to attend. Another meeting will be held Nov. 9 to canvas the school board election. For more information on district proceedings or meetings, call 507-346-7276 or log onto the Kingsland website at www.kingsland.k12.mn.us.