The Goessel school board welcomed new board member Kyle Funk, who was elected in the April 2 election, to its April 8 meeting.
Lynette Duerksen, Kelly Booton and James Wiens were all re-elected to another term on the board.
Voters also approved the school bond issue. More than 90 percent of the school district’s voters voted for a $3.3 million bond issue for school improvements, with 337 in favor, 29 opposed. As a result of the favorable bond election, the board approved a bond sale resolution at the board meeting.
The resolution states that the money will be used to construct classrooms and lab areas for vocational agriculture, science education and family and consumer science.
A changing room for ball game officials will be included in the new construction, as well as a separate storage addition.
The current vo-ag facility will be razed.
Renovations to the existing high school building will convert the art room into a weight room. The current science lab will become the art room. The existing FACS room will become regular classroom space.
Renovations to the high school entrance will improve security.
Other improvements planned for the high school include: removing the existing planter walls, replacing sidewalk, tuck pointing and sealing the exterior walls, and replacing windows in the original high school building.
The plan also includes construction of a storm shelter at the elementary school. Other improvements at the elementary school include a vestibule for added security and restroom renovations.
The board heard Dave Sheppard’s “state of the co-op” report. Sheppard is the director of the Marion County Special Education Cooperative. He mentioned Booton, Goessel school board member who is also on the MCSEC board.
Sheppard said the co-op will likely lose $45,000 to $50,000 in federal funding through the state because of sequestration. He said the amount could be even more.
“It is very difficult for us to cut back services,” he said. “We don’t want to cut back on the services we provide.”
Fast said the board is asked to make cuts, but legally the board cannot cut. He told the board that Goessel met all the compliance indicators for licensing.
Sheppard said the co-op has an autism team.
“They can begin to implement some interventions immediately,” he said.
Board chair Dan Miller asked about dyslexia. Sheppard said that 80 percent of students with reading difficulties have dyslexia, and that school personnel are the best people for diagnosing dyslexia.
Sheppard said it takes a multi-disciplinary approach to work with dyslexic students.
He mentioned Angie Duerksen of Goessel, who was trained at the Wichita Fundamental Learning Center. Duerksen works through the co-op with students who have speech/language difficulties.
Sheppard also said, “We see more and more children with behavior issues at an earlier age.”
The board discussed the MCSEC facility and the improvements it needs. Booton, Goessel’s representative, mentioned the sprinkler system.
Miller called MCSEC “a wonderful service” and said more and more families need the services it provides.
In other business, the board:
• approved the resignation of Wes Schmidt-Tieszen as junior high quiz bowl sponsor. The board expressed appreciation for his years of coaching the team. He will continue his teaching responsibilities. Science teacher Donna O’Neill has indicated a willingness to be the new sponsor.
• heard that work continues to find a vocal music teacher, as well as an art teacher.
• approved a licensing agreement that allows stores to sell Goessel products. Scott Boden, junior/senior high school principal said, “It’s basically a win for us.”
• heard board member James Wiens say in his legislative report that bills that did not pass earlier can be brought back.
• approved science changes. Biology is required for all high school students, as well as their choice of physical science, chemistry or physics. Three additional science electives are required. Students can choose from animal science, horticulture, wildlife science or environmental science.
• heard from Boden that math credits are also under review.
• heard from Boden about a mock accident that was held for students eighth grade and older. Boden thanked the Goessel First Response team, Marion County Ambulance, Goessel Fire and Rescue, Life Team, Goessel Police and Miller Ott Funeral Home for their participation.
• heard from Boden that Kansas state assessments are under way. He said preliminary results are “very positive.”
• heard that administrators and teachers are working on next year’s high school class schedule.
• approved the senior trip to Kansas City.
• approved a proposal for new high school volleyball uniforms at a cost of $3,440.
• heard a brief report by Fast about Career Technical Education Pathways.
• approved the insurance contract of $65,636 for next year.
“I think this is reasonable,” Fast said of the premium, pointing out that the amount is similar to the insurance the school paid four years ago.
• discussed the possibility of regular “lock-down” drills. Fast said they could become as common as fire and tornado drills.
• heard from Fast that the elementary school students will make a trip to Cowtown, paid for by the boxtop project.
• heard that about 95 parents and children had attended the Family Reading Night at the elementary school. Fast commended Mary Schmidt and Russell Pauls for their work in organizing the event.
• heard business administrator Chet Roberts say in his financial report, “We’re really doing a good job watching expenses.”
• discussed board duties for eighth-grade and high school senior graduation. Board member Darla Meysing has both an eighth-grade child and a high school senior. She will be involved with handing out diplomas at both events. Board member Maynard Knepp said he would like to help with the junior high graduation.