K-M School District, CHS Inc. nearing partnership
The Kasson-Mantorville school board discussed an expected partnership between the high school and CHS Inc., the option for students to take this quarter’s classes as pass or no credit and changes to the schedule at K-M Middle School among other subjects at its monthly meeting on Monday, May 18. Superintendent Mark Matuska said CHS is interested in getting involved with Kasson-Mantorville High School’s agricultural program.
“We have given them a template of a naming rights agreement that we have had with other places like Minnesota Wi-Fi, K-M Telecom and Home Federal and they’ve got some interest in also developing that type of relationship with us in our agricultural area,” he said. “It would also [include] the 28 acres that we own to the north of the existing soccer fields. They’re interested in being the sole decision-maker and assisting us with a plan for that 28 acres, minus whatever ZED (Zumbro Education District) might take, that would fit our needs, would fit some of their needs and make it a lot higher profile plot.”
Matuska said he doesn’t know exactly what that would entail, but some examples he gave are seed pilot sites or testing of varieties of different seed corn companies or different beans.
“Even if we chose to do some cash rent going further, we’d try to at least make it a learning experience for some of our kids that are in agriculture right now,” he said.
Earlier in the meeting, Policy Committee Chair Amy Olson said changes were made to the policy regarding the grades necessary to maintain involvement in clubs and activities. The addition is, “any student who takes a class for pass/no credit, if they receive no credit, they will not be eligible for their activities – the same as if they had received an ‘F’.”
She also said the school district made a special addendum that allowed students to submit their fourth quarter classes for pass or no credit rather than a grade. However, if they choose pass or no credit, it would not affect their grade point average.
For students who need credit for fourth quarter, Olson noted they can get it through ZED.
Later, Middle School Principal Josh Larson explained the new scheduling that’s going to be incorporated at the middle school.
“I’m certainly excited to implement the new schedule for next year. Some of the bigger things that we wanted to maintain are those elective classes: Project Lead the Way, art, Spanish, and a couple of CTE (career and technical education) classes, as far as woodworking. We’re giving our students a lot more options and choice throughout the schedule and I’m really excited to see how it takes shape,” he said.
In addition, he said these electives will help reduce class sizes from around 30 fifth to sixth-grade students per class to around 26.
“[It] really alleviates some of that burden on just teacher workload. By doing so we have a greater flexibility with our fifth and sixth-grade students and really utilizing a schedule to hone in on what students need. The elementary school uses their flex time for reading and math and we want to continue that up into the middle school so we’re giving our students the best opportunities to succeed,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said seventh and eighth-grade students are going to see more of a high school-type schedule with English, science, math and social studies as their core classes and a rotation of health, physical education, careers and foods and nutrition.
Chair of the Land and Facilities committee Brandon Madery said they’re looking at adding more bleachers to K-M Telecom Stadium.
“This will be on the north side, where the big bleachers are, and we’ll look at a couple phases over the next two years. Adding essentially a section on the east end and then, later on, on the west side,” he said.
Other upcoming projects, he said, are repaving the parking lot at the elementary school and adding campus signage.
“Essentially [the signs will be] directing traffic off of 16th Street to the different buildings and fields,” he said.
He noted there’ll be a sign closer to the west side of 16th Street and then one to the east side by K-M Telecom Stadium.
Olson, who’s also K-M’s representative on the ZED Governing Board, said ZED’s Summer Academy has officially been cancelled.
Chair of the Community Education Committee Angie Richards announced that Community Education raised $900 through its online silent auction and virtual 5K for the run, walk or stroll this year. She said those funds are typically used for community education scholarships.
Earlier in the meeting, High School Principal Trent Langemo said the June ACT test is still up in the air.
“We’re working on how to deliver prep for students in a safe way, but our school-wide offering of a college and career readiness assessment will be offered to next year’s seniors in October,” he said.
As for this year’s seniors, student school board representative Olivia Matuska said their last day of school was last Friday. All of the other high school students’ last day of school is today, May 28.
Lastly, fellow student school board representative Ellie Bigelow gave a shout out to the K-M staff for how they’ve celebrated the seniors, including dressing up in KoMet gear and going to each of the seniors’ homes. “It’s kind of a fun experience for the seniors to have right before their last week of school and it makes this a special time for them.”
Graduation will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 31.
There will be a special school board meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 1. The next regularly scheduled school board meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 15. Both meetings will be held in the Community Forum Room at K-M High School.