Goessel board affirms Brookens’ advocacy for schools

The USD 411-Goessel school board expressed appreciation for the work of Rep. Bob Brookens during its June 19 meeting.

In his legislative report, member James Wiens informed the board Brookens would not be seeking reelection in the 70th District.

Superintendent John Fast said, “Brookens has been so involved” and suggested sending a card thanking him for his advocacy.

Wiens said Don Schroeder will now represent Goessel because of redistricting. Fast said he plans to invite Schroeder to come and visit and that Jay Emler continues to be the state senator for Goessel.

On another matter, the board welcomed Ilona Abrahams, who is compiling a list of Goessel High School alumni. She has contacted 26 classes and has 1,000 names and addresses. Fast said it is important to stay in touch with alumni.

It was suggested that an alumni newsletter be sent several times a year to keep alumni in touch with the Goessel community. Since funds would be needed for a newsletter, e-mail was mentioned as a possibility.

Abrahams said 66 classes are still functioning. Noting that the high school will be 90 years old in 2016, she said 900 people attended a 60th anniversary event in 1986.

Abrahams said the bluebird mascot dates back to 1929, which was the first year that a yearbook was printed. Students were asked to submit ideas for a mascot. The top two ideas were a bluebird and an antelope. The bluebird won by a 37 percent majority.

Abrahams showed the board a stack of boxes that had been pulled out of a storage closet at the elementary school. She wondered if the museum could make better use of the historical records in the boxes.

Abrahams had talked to museum director Marge Janzen, who expressed interest in the documents. Junior/senior high school principal Scott Boden added, “We might have some things at the high school that would fall under that category, too.”

Other business

In other business, the board:

• voted to hire Allison Kreh­biel for the second teaching position for third grade on a one-year contract. Class size will be reviewed for subsequent years, and the need for a second teacher in future years will be determined at that time.

Krehbiel graduated from Central Christian High School in Hutchinson. She is a 2012 graduate of Tabor College. In addition to her teacher training, she has had training in sign language. A third-grade student with hearing difficulties could benefit from Krehbiel’s signing ability.

• approved the resignation of Sarah Simington as bus driver. Fast said, “We appreciated that she came on last year. She worked hard and did a good job for us.” Fast said that Simington is willing to substitute.

• heard from Boden that the junior high choir fee will be dropped since choir is required for junior high students. How­ever, junior high band members will still need to pay a band fee.

• approved participation fees for the 2012-13 school year. A $10 fee will be required for the following high school activities: football, volleyball, cross country, girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball, track, golf, summer weights, Scholar’s Bowl, forensics, band, choir and Model UN.

• approved a $10 participation fee for the following junior high activities for students in sixth through eighth grade: football (seventh and eighth grades only), volleyball, girls’ basketball, boys’ basketball, track, Quiz Bowl and band.

• heard that fees are capped at $50 per student or $100 per family.

• noted that activities that charge dues are not included in the fees mentioned above.

• heard plans for summer school, which will begin July 9. Sheri Janzen and Mary Schmidt will be the teachers. Twenty-five elementary school students are enrolled.

• reviewed the e-rate policy, which refers to the government reduced rate for Internet and technology access. By implementing an anti-bullying Internet policy, the school can get a reduced rate for access. The school already had such a policy, but took steps to update it for current guidelines.

Fast said students are reminded of the policy every year. Boden said students are asked to sign an agreement. Fast said students in fourth grade and older sign the agreement. Kindergarten through third grade do not sign.

• heard that elementary school custodian Londell Duerksen has been working on summer maintenance projects. New carpet will be installed in the first- and third-grade classrooms.

• heard that Tyler Schroeder will now be the athletic director. The position had been approved for the 2011-12 school year.

• voted to approve Ryan Hoopes as the junior high football assistant coach.

• heard that new junior high lockers have been installed and the old lockers have been sold.

• discussed city water restrictions. Fast said that northern Kansas has had no rain for eight weeks. “That’s a very serious situation,” he said.

• heard that the following teachers and administrators planned to attend a Common Core workshop: Tyler Schroeder, Crysta Guhr, Ilona Abrahams, Barb Goering, Fast and Boden.

Fast expressed hope about the Common Core initiative, thinking it might replace No Child Left Behind and Adequate Yearly Progress.

• discussed supplemental insurance that has been available for students in sports. Boden said the cost to the school has been $3,000, but it will increase to $8,000. However, he said it is not something schools are required to provide. Therefore, the school is encouraging families to buy their own insurance.

• heard the Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from board member Kelly Booton. He said Eric Stuart from Salina spoke to the MCSEC board about a 403 matching plan for certified and classified staff. He also said someone will look at energy and utilities.

• approved the purchase of a used 2009 Bluebird bus for $68,273.

“This would save us $30,000,” Fast said, comparing this bus to $96,600 for the 2010 bus the school bought new. As a safety feature, the bus under consideration will have double-paned insulated glass for the side windows around the driver and the door in order to reduce the amount of fog and increase visibility in winter.

He said the bus would be available by the beginning of school in fall, whereas a new bus would take five to six months. The school’s 1994 bus will be traded in for $1,675.

• changed the starting time of the July board meeting to 5 p.m. because of a scheduling conflict.

• heard that members of the community foundation planned to attend the July meeting.

• heard from Fast that The Learning Consortium is running smoothly. He said the TLC board will not meet in July.

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