Goessel students fare well in math, board hears

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel principal Stuart Holmes told the school board at its Sept. 10 meeting that junior and senior high students achieved the standard of excellence in state assessment scores in math.


Scores have just now been received for tests that were taken in the spring. According to Holmes, students who were in seventh and 10th grades scored “way above the state average” in math.


“Scores usually have to be in the top 5 to 7 percent of the state to receive the standard of excellence,” he said.


Holmes also reported that students who were in the 11th grade scored above the state average in reading. However, eighth-grade reading scores were below the state average.


Elementary school principal John Fast reported that fourth graders had also been tested in the spring, and they performed well in both math and reading.


Twenty-one fourth graders were tested, including those in special education. Fifteen of those students scored in the highest category in math, five in the second-highest category, and one in the lowest.


Holmes also reported on ACT test scores, comparing the past five years with state and national averages. Goessel scores have remained relatively steady in some areas and have dropped somewhat in others, he said.


Superintendent Chet Roberts pointed out that in recent years a higher number of students have taken the test who were not college-bound.


Holmes reported that 142 junior/ senior high school students out of 155 are taking at least one charter school class. He also said the return to traditional scheduling seems to be going well.


The current schedule is much better for the eight “cross-over” teachers who teach both junior and senior high school students, he said.


Roberts explained three different grants he is applying for. An electrical grant would provide better lighting in the junior high building. A technology grant would provide funds for casing over wires in the renovated part of the junior high building, and another grant would fund replacement of grade school windows in the older rooms.


“You don’t get grants if you don’t apply for them,” he said.


Roberts led the board on a tour of the junior high building and pointed out where he plans to retrofit current lights or have new lighting installed.


In addition to better lighting, energy efficiency is another goal. Lighting in the shop and head house will also be addressed.


“This is a major project,” he said. “It has about a three-year payback.”


In other business:


–?Fast said he plans to discuss a crosswalk with the Goessel City Council. He said 26 school children live on East Commercial Street, and a crosswalk across Main Street in that area would promote safety for the children.


–?Fast reported that all the curtains are now in at the grade school.


“They look great,” he said.


–?Board member Richard Drake reported on the recent Marion County Special Education Cooperative meeting he attended. He said 16 students are enrolled at the OASIS school. He also said the matter of who pays special education substitutes has been discussed.


–?Board member Dewayne Voth reported on the recent Learning Consortium meeting he had attended. He said one school is using Prairie iNet for computers.


–?New high school health and physical education teacher Curtis Guhr introduced himself and explained his classes. He said he is excited about the school year and hopes the students continue to be excited, too.


–?The board approved the purchase of theatrical lights for $2,855.


–?The board discussed the Winnebago Spectrum update for library computer materials.


–?The board approved financial statements in the amount of $123,127.

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