BOE approves turf fields


Coco LeGrand

Students stand on current KHS fields, which are subject to change moving forward.

New turf fields for KHS were approved at the KSD Board of Education meeting Oct. 24. Aside from the “behind the scenes” topics, issues such as outdated policies and transfer students were addressed by teachers and parents. To open the meeting, a moment of silence was dedicated to victims of the shooting at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School Oct. 24. 


The meeting began with Lisa Shinabarger, KHS social studies teacher advocating on behalf of the Kirkwood NEA and KSD staff as a whole. Shinabarger said “refreshing (an) outdated policy,” specifically sick days for staff, would be in KSD’s best interest. She said the postpartum policy provides unpaid maternity leave for six weeks. Similarly, paid leave for staff is lower than hiring a substitute, causing a pay gap at the expense of teachers. 


“The last thing we want our [co-workers] to be thinking about is how they will pay their bills once their sick days run out,” Shinabarger said. “Kirkwood has a commitment to create a sense of wellness and belonging for its staff and students.”


Moving through the agenda, the National Merit Scholarship Program honored 11 outstanding seniors, all of whom attended the meeting. Merit Scholarship finalists include Leah Broll, Benjamin Lowry, Charlotte Spohr, Will Stark and Max Wellman. Merit Scholarship also commended Cece Bartin, Anya Broll, Ayla Burba, Janie Dubberke, Bennet Griggs and Madeline Wiechel for their academic excellence.

Kirkwood has a commitment to create a sense of wellness and belonging for its staff and students.

— Lisa Shinabarger

Following awards, both an audit presentation discussing financial statements and an enrollment statistics presentation displaying trends prominent throughout the district were shown. Downtrends in government funding by $2.6 million since 2021, as well as a $34 million unassigned fund balance show adjustments within KSD’s finances. Additionally, COVID-19 remains an economic obstacle for KSD, costing over $1.25 million in funding expenditures, attributed to the audit presentation.


During the enrollment statistics presentation, GASB Statement 96, dealing with “subscription based information technology,” or websites and materials funded by the district, was brought to the public’s attention. This “hot topic” in the district maintains its ambiguous state, continuing to evaluate curriculum materials until each topic is deemed necessary or appropriate. 


The Voluntary Interdistrict Choice Corporation (VICC) program is slowly becoming a discontinued practice within KSD, attributed by the enrollment statistics presentation. This discontinuation is due to policy changes within the VICC program as a whole, but is continuing to be discussed within board meetings. 


Technology issues such as IPads and cyberbullying were discussed, and are still awaiting a definitive response. 


Statistics have shown that overall KSD enrollment is up 36% as of the 2022-2023 school year. 


Wrapping up the meeting, board members each took a stance surrounding the potential artificial turfing for KHS fields, with a result prompting a consideration of cost.