John McDonald is the superintendent at Kingsland Public Schools, but he sometimes refers to KPS as KPSS — as in Kingsland Post-Secondary Success. The jest appears to have increasing merit with each passing month.
On Monday, the district formalized an arrangement with Riverland Community College that makes Kingsland one of the first high schools in Minnesota to offer its students an in-house program to earn an associated arts degree. Starting with the class of 2015, Kingsland students will be able to complete a 62-credit college degree while simultaneously earning a high school diploma — all without ever leaving the familiar surroundings in Spring Valley.
Austin and Albert Lea are among other the districts in conversations to follow Kingsland's lead, according to Mindi Askelson, Riverland's director of placement and K-12 school relations. The Irondale school district pioneered the idea in 2012.