Written by Cynthia Goerzen Wednesday, 19 September 2007 09:27
The Goessel school board was introduced at its Sept. 10 meeting to the “Walking Fast with Mr. Fast” program that Superintendent John Fast plans to start at the grade school to coincide with the school’s wellness plan.
Fast plans to walk around the school grounds at noon twice a week and is inviting students to walk with him. He will keep track of their walking, and the students can earn awards.
Students can work up to the “Big Foot” walker award. Fast said the walking would take one-fourth of the noon recess time on the walking days.
“We still want kids to play,” he said. Staff are welcome to walk also.
Fast said the head count for this year’s enrollment is down by two students from last year, with 67 students in kindergarten through third grade, 83 in fourth through eighth grades, and 97 in high school, for a total of 247 students.
“We had 15 new students that we were not anticipating,” Fast said.
Fast presented the results of an alcohol-use survey that had been conducted by Linda Ogden of Communities In Schools. Grades six, eight, 10 and 12 were surveyed.
“For the most part, Goessel has been on the low end of alcohol use,” Fast said, but last year’s survey indicated that alcohol use had “spiked.”
“This is a major concern,” he said. “We don’t want to see a spike like this happen again. It takes a whole community to get this under control.”
He said parents and families need to address the issue, as well as youth pastors and community leaders.
“We can’t leave it to the school,” he said, adding, “In terms of other drugs, we’re much lower.”
School counselor Janna Duerksen said the K-8 reading scores have been above the state requirements. However, the state will require that all students be 100 percent proficient by the year 2014.
“We use instructional planning sheets for each teacher for each grade level,” Duerksen said, and at-risk money is used for tutoring. She said the state requires a 90 percent attendance rate at the grade school, but Goessel’s rate is always 96 percent or above.
Duerksen also presented ACT test data, as well as English, algebra, social science and science/biology test statistics.
In other business, the board:
approved a one-year appointment for physical education teacher Brian Holloway as an unpaid administrative intern at the grade school. He will help with individual student plans, discipline, the wellness policy, staff meetings and curriculum.
voted to hire Nancy Schmidt as the new cook at the high school. She fills the position vacated by Lois Voth, whose resignation was accepted at last month’s meeting.
heard from Fast that Sept. 11 would be the kickoff date for the non-bullying program at the grade school.
approved the FFA trip to the national FFA convention in Indianapolis, Ind., in October. David Graham, FFA sponsor, attended the meeting to explain the trip. “We will pay for everything,” he said. Probably six students would go and would only miss two days of school.
listened to board member Darla Meysing’s Marion County Special Education Cooperative report. Meysing said the co-op board toured all the special education facilities and found all to be inadequate. In some instances, children in wheelchairs have to be pushed up a hill to get to lunch, or they have to be loaded into a car and driven to the lunch facility. She said facility options will be considered at a future meeting.
listened to board member Dewayne Voth’s, The Learning Consortium report.
“Every three years we renew the TLC charter agreement,” he said. This time there had been discussion about the value for Hesston and Moundridge to continue in the consortium, along with Canton-Galva and Goessel.
It was agreed that all the schools still benefit from the arrangement since it provides more direct Internet access. The board voted to approve the three-year agreement.
heard Fast say the school’s Web site needs to be updated. He said an exchange student did an excellent job of writing the program for the Web site four years ago. Unfortunately, it was written in the German or Czech language. Consequently, no one has been able to update it.
The school is looking for a software program that can work with the foreign language.
discussed purchasing a used pickup truck to replace one of the pickups the custodians currently use. Board members agreed that a snow-blade attachment would be a wise investment that would save the custodians time and would allow them to remove snow in a heated cab instead of out in the cold weather on the tractor.
learned from Fast that the city of Goessel will incur the cost of surveying the street west of the high school in preparation for changing the ownership of that street from the school district to the city.
discussed plans for the Kansas Association of School Boards Region 5 meeting that Goessel will host Oct. 4. The sessions will be followed by dinner and entertainment in the school cafeteria.