Goessel enrollment higher than initial estimates

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel school district’s enrollment stands at 307.1, according to superintendent Chet Roberts. He told the school board at the Aug. 13 meeting: “This is eight or nine more students than we expected.”


Consequently, the projected $100,000 loss over the next five years has shrunk to $13,500, provided enrollment stays at this level.


Elementary school principal John Fast said there was a possibility that two more students would enroll at the grade school yet.


Roberts clarified the enrollment figure: kindergarten students can only be counted as one-half, so that means the FTE (full-time equivalent) is 299.1. He said the district has a 4-year-old special education student who is enrolled in Head Start. That child can be counted as one-half student.


The board accepted the resignation of high school teacher Chuck Voth, who taught health, physical education and driver’s education. He also taught the staff CPR/first aid sessions.


Voth and his family plan to move to Branson, Mo., where he and his wife will be employed by a camp.


The board also accepted the resignation of Chad Lindeman as assistant junior high boys’ basketball coach.


The board approved the hiring of Curtis Guhr to fill the positions left by Voth and Lindeman. Roberts said Guhr will be qualified to teach all of Voth’s classes in the 2002-2003 school year. In the meantime, Jay Goering will fill in as the behind-the-wheel driving instructor. Consequently, some changes had been made in the class schedule. Guhr will also fill the assistant coach position.


Board member Richard Drake expressed concern about taking students out of class for their behind-the-wheel driving instruction.


Junior/senior high school principal Stuart Holmes said the current freshman class is small, and they would be taken out of choir. Each student would probably miss class one time a month. When bigger classes are enrolled in driver’s education, students are taken out of both band and choir.


Drake asked why the school is not providing the driving instruction in summer anymore. He did not feel it was wise to “look just at dollars.”


Roberts recommended that the freshman and sophomore class sponsors be offered supplemental pay.


“We’re the only school around that doesn’t pay all the class sponsors,” he said, and added that the junior and senior class sponsors already receive supplemental contracts. “It’s been pretty difficult to get people to take these positions.”


Board member Lynnette Duerksen responded, “I think they should be paid for their work.”


Guhr will be the freshman class sponsor, Jason Maxfield the sophomore sponsor. Don Dailey will continue as junior-class sponsor, and Wes Schmidt-Tieszen will continue as senior-class sponsor.


Board member Maynard Knepp suggested moving the sponsors through high school with each class. But it was noted that it is easier for the sponsors to stay with the same grade level.


Knepp also wondered why students don’t pick sponsors. “That’s part of the educational process,” he said.


Roberts said he would be happy to let students do that, but it is hard to find someone willing to be a sponsor.


The supplemental class sponsor contracts were approved.


The board also considered a supplemental contract for Dorcas Good, junior high English teacher, for the eighth-grade play. Roberts said play practices have been moved from class time to evenings.


Board member Mary Rosfeld said, “So we’re adding another extra-curricular activity.”


Some objected to adding an activity when other budget items needed to be cut. But the contract was approved.


In other business:


n?The board approved changes in the drug, suspension, detention, tardy, computer offense, and vo-tech transportation policies. The dress code policy was up-dated to include: “Chains and gang-related clothing is not permitted.” Spaghetti straps are not allowed either.


The policy also has been changed to prevent students from leaving school property during lunch time. Holmes said in the past some students left the school grounds to smoke and possibly drink.


n?Roberts said a credit card has been issued for the superintendent and each principal. Another credit card has been designated for use by other personnel in special situations. The superintendent, clerk and board president review credit card use each month.


n?The board discussed football practice fields for the junior and senior high teams. Said Roberts: “If we’re going to maintain two football teams, we need two practice fields.”


Unrau agreed. “It’s pretty hard to build a program if you don’t have the facilities.”


Roberts recommended accepting a bid of $600 for fertilizer and field preparation for the junior high practice field, which is south of the regular playing field. The school would also pay the cost of the seed. The recommendation was approved.


n?Unrau wanted to be sure bus drivers feel they can take all necessary disciplinary steps to ensure safety.


“You’re right,” Roberts said. “We need to make sure discipline is maintained on the busses. Some drivers don’t have any problems. Some do.”


n?Holmes described the character-education program and noted: “A lot of a character education program is simply good teachers. We help support what the parents and community are doing.”


n?Roberts explained financial bills for greenhouse construction, the fuel contract, textbooks for the charter school (to be paid from the charter grant), a lap-top computer for the high school, sidewalk by the new gym, painting of junior high lockers, the new lawn mower, annual dues for KASB (Kansas Association of School Boards) membership, van repairs, bus maintenance, and the $19,204 first assessment for the Marion County Cooperative.

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