Written by Cynthia Goerzen Tuesday, 21 February 2012 15:51
Marion County commissioner Randy Dallke attended the Feb. 13 meeting of the Goessel school board to discuss roads with the board.
Dallke said he is expecting a bid for 120th, also known as Goessel Road, in March. The plan is to resurface 120th from Kansas Highway 15 east to Indigo and the mile west of Goessel.
“We hope to lay in June or July,” he said. “Chip and seal is getting close in price to blacktop.”
Resurfacing is done by an outside firm.
Asked about load restrictions as a way to prolong the life of the road, Dallke responded that restrictions would hamper farming.
Dallke also mentioned 90th, which used to be blacktop.
“We feel like we need to get it back up to shape,” he said, but added that the mile of 90th from K-15 to Tabor Mennonite Church will not be resurfaced yet.
“I have a number of church members that wrote us a letter,” he said. But that portion of 90th is not on the immediate list.
Superintendent John Fast expressed appreciation to Dallke for his efforts and for coming to the meeting.
“Thank you for returning calls,” he said. “That is appreciated.”
Noting that county commissioners had also visited with the city council, Fast said the visits help the Goessel community to feel more connected to the rest of the county.
The board listened to a presentation by first-year staff member Tyler Schroeder, who is the athletic director, head high school football coach and high school business teacher.
Regarding the fall season, Schroeder said, “It was a very busy time.... Just like any first-year teacher, I spent a lot of time lesson planning.”
He mentioned the “minute details of event planning” and expressed appreciation to fellow staff member Ryan Hoopes for his help.
“Mr. Hoopes has been tremendous,” Schroeder said. “He’s been a great resource.”
Hoopes prepared programs for ball games and did the set-up work for football games. Schroeder said other people also helped.
When board member Darla Meysing asked about the fee for playing sports, Schroeder said he has not received feedback from anyone.
Regarding his business and computer classes, Schroeder said he hopes to expand the business department and is considering the following classes: accounting, advanced accounting, Web page design, information technology in a global society, banking and finance, investing, entrepreneurship and business essentials.
Some of these classes would last one semester rather than the whole school year.
Schroeder said he could add them to his schedule; the school would not need to hire an additional teacher.
Fast commended Schroeder for his calm demeanor in spite of his numerous responsibilities.
In other business, the board:
• heard Scott Boden, junior/senior high school principal, report that science teacher Donna O’Neill had applied for a Shell Science Lab Challenge grant and has been notified that Goessel is one of 17 national finalists.
As a result, Goessel is assured of winning at least a $3,000 science lab prize. National winners will receive $5,000, and the first-place school will receive $25,000.
• heard Boden report about recent Scholar’s Bowl and county spelling bee successes.
• voted to hire Joni Smith as the board clerk. “We had a lot of good, strong applicants,” Fast said. Smith, from Jennings, is a graduate of Wichita State University. She has been an accountant at Koch Industries for the past seven years. Smith and her husband have three boys; the oldest is in first grade.
She will begin working for the school March 5 and will work with Patsy Schmidt, current board clerk who plans to retire in the fall and will train Smith.
“We’re very appreciative that Patsy has given us plenty of time,” Fast said.
• briefly discussed the proposed school calendar for 2012-13, which does not include any half-day early releases for students, except for Oct. 22, which would be for parent-teacher conferences.
The board discussed but didn’t decide whether to align the 2013 spring break with Newton High School, Hutchinson Community College or the Learning Consortium, as Goessel has students enrolled in all of those programs.
• heard from Boden that work has begun on next year’s course schedule. Boden said the administration asks, “What can we provide that best suits the needs of our students?”
• listened to a legislative report from board member James Wiens.
“I’m sure you’ve all been keeping track” of legislative issues, he said. He plans to attend the Kansas Association of School Boards seminar later in February.
• heard from Fast that “all the (state) budget discussions seem to focus on two years out.” He said he has not received news about the budget for next year.
• heard that Fast is still trying to schedule a visit with the governor.
• heard from Boden that the junior high lockers are at least 55 years old and are not working well; some do not close. The board discussed whether to fix the current lockers or buy new ones.
Boden had received quotes for replacement, but no decision was made at this meeting.
• heard that the steamer in the kitchen has not been working. Boden said it would cost $1,000 to replace the valves. The board discussed fixing the steamer versus replacing it.
• heard that required changes for the lunch program will require changes in serving seconds.
“We’ll have some challenges meeting the demands,” Fast said of the requirements. Reports and documentation will increase, which will increase the clerk’s responsibilities.
• heard from Boden and Fast about the need for wireless communication. The two men had attended a conference on improving technology integration.
• heard The Learning Center report from board member Darla Meysing. She had seen the new equipment and reported that it is very nice.
• discussed various options for junior high sports. Boden said some schools have junior high sports practice during the school day, some during physical education time.
• heard from Fast that state assessment tests will begin in February and will conclude in April.
• heard from board member Eric Schrag that some parents have asked why the grade school spring program has been scheduled for February, when it has been in March or April in the past. Fast said the plan is to stay away from state assessment testing time.
• heard from Fast about the Feb. 3 Big Rural Brainstorm meeting that was led by Marci Penner of the Kansas Sampler. Fast attended the meeting, as did Boden, board chairman Dan Miller and community members Kirby Smith, Anita Goertzen, Marc Knowles, Linda Ewert and Julie Lion.
A community meeting about the seminar will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 23 in the grade school library. Boden said that maintaining a community requires all ages to work together.