Board hears of Goessel assessment celebration plans

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA MARTENS
Goessel Junior/Senior High School principal Stuart Holmes alerted the school board Feb. 11 of a recognition event planned for Feb. 12 to celebrate the school’s high state-assessement scores from last spring.

Holmes said students, parents and staff would be honored between the high school varsity basketball games. Certificates and pizza coupons would be awarded to the 65 students who placed in the top category on the state-assessment tests.

In addition, Holmes said he wished to recognize all students. Consequently, there would be a drawing to determine which student not in the top category would receive a compact disk and which one would receive a T-shirt.

School board, staff and parents would be asked to stand, and drawings would be held for pizza coupons and caps for them.

“It takes a good cooperative effort,” Holmes said.

Holmes said Papa John’s and D’Angelo’s in Newton and Pizza Hut of Hesston and Hillsboro would provide the coupons for free pizza.

In other business, the board briefly reviewed the high school’s Scholar’s Bowl season. Holmes said a highlight was winning an 18-team meet in Hutchinson. Goessel was the only Class 1A school participating.

The Scholar’s Bowl team placed third at the regional tournament, missing state competition by one place, Holmes added.

Superintendent Chet Roberts reviewed the proposed 2002-’03 school calendar, which will include 184 school days. The new school year will being Aug. 16 and end May 22 with senior graduation set for May 17.

Three in-service sessions were identified: Aug. 12-14, the afternoon of Oct. 18, and Jan. 2. Parent-teacher conferences will begin the afternoon of Oct. 28. Nov. 1 will be a “comp” day.

The holiday break will begin after a full day of school, Friday, Dec. 20; classes will resume Jan. 3. Feb. 17 will be considered a winter break from classes. Spring break will begin March 19 at 12:30 p.m. and continue through March 21.

Roberts presented a list of future facility improvements and asked board members to choose their top priorities.

Board member Lynnette Duerksen identified the roof on the junior high building.

“If we have a leaky roof, we’re going to ruin everything inside,” she said.

New windows at the grade school were identified as a second priority. The board also discussed lights and fencing at the football field, another football practice field, and track facilities for javelin, shot put and discus.

“If we’re going to offer an activity, we have to have the facility,” Roberts said.

The board discussed building a stadium and track sometime in the future. Consequently, they also discussed water-drainage issues.

Board member Richard Drake reported briefly on the city’s task force that is studying water drainage throughout the town. As a member of that task force, Drake was encouraged to keep the school’s needs in mind.

In other matters:

The board voted to grant tenure to Dale Wiens, fourth-grade teacher and junior-high boys’ basketball coach, and Crysta Guhr, who teaches high-school English and is the assistant coach for high-school girls’ basketball and volleyball.

Jason Maxfield, the featured teacher at this month’s meeting, said this is his second year of teaching, having taught in Marion last year. He and his wife live in Hillsboro and have a son. Maxfield is the junior-high special-education teacher, sophomore class sponsor and Scholar’s Bowl coach.

The board approved vocal instructor Greg Bontrager’s request for the Elbiata Singers to participate in the Worlds of Fun Choral Festival in Kansas City April 6. The group will travel April 5, singing at several schools along the way.

The group has earned the money for the trip through their “Singing Valentines” project and various other engagements. As is customary, the board will pay only for the expenses related to the bus and bus driver.

Roberts said the group participates in the competition every two years.

“It’s been extremely positive,” he said.

In his written report, John Fast, elementary school principal said Family Reading Night is set for Tuesday, Feb. 26, for kindergarten through fourth grades. Families are invited.

Fast also reported the Parent-Teacher Organization is planning a father/son pizza night Friday, Feb. 22.

Holmes said the Heart of America League is considering forming two divisions of seven or eight schools each, but no decision has been made.

The board discussed hiring a college student to help with football in the fall because more players are anticipated. Chairman Lynel Unrau said, “Football gives an opportunity to a lot of athletes who wouldn’t participate in another sport.”

Roberts presented a list of goals with the intent of emphasizing “positives” and identifying weaknesses. Sportsmanship was identified as a weakness that has improved. He also said the school is trying to short-cut problems before they emerge. Holmes noted the effort to be firm and fair with discipline.

The first visit by the Interquest drug dog Jan. 22 netted no illegal contraband, Holmes said.

Holmes reported eight speakers explained their occupations to high school students during the ninth annual Career Day.

Holmes also reported FFA raised nearly $2,000 with their chili supper and work auction.

Drake reported on the recent Marion County Special Education Cooperative meeting he had attended. He said schools will be asked to reimburse the co-op for collaborative teachers. He also said the co-op director’s contract has been extended.

“He’s done a good job,” Drake said. Drake also said time spent with occupational therapy doubles every three years.

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