Goessel schools to celebrate assessment scores Feb. 11

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel junior/senior high school principal Stuart Holmes told the Unified School District 411 Board of Education at its Jan. 13 meeting that Tuesday, Feb. 11, will be “State Assessment Recognition Night” for the district.

Students, staff, and board members will be recognized “for another year of outstanding test scores in 2002,” Holmes said. The recognition will take place after the girls’ varsity game in the high school gym.

Board member Dewayne Voth reported on the meeting organized by the youth pastors of Tabor and Alexanderwohl churches to discuss drug use in school, particularly marijuana use.

“I thought it was a worthwhile venture,” he said.

Voth estimated that 50 people attended. Participants were asked, “Why do we think there is drug use?” and “What can we do to counteract it?”

John Fast, Goessel Elementary School principal, said he thought the the main presenter, Tom Bishop of Prairie View, “did a good job.”

After the Prairie View presentation to the entire group, small groups were then formed to discuss related issues.

Voth said junior high students attending the meeting said they did not know of any drug use at the junior high level, but high school students knew of some cases at that level.

Voth said students stated that their peers who are not involved in activities such as sports, music, church youth group, or other such organizations, might be more likely to turn to drugs because they might not feel like they “belong” to anything. The students also cited changes within family units as another reason for using drugs.

Voth said students, when asked how they felt about the drug-dog search, said at first they felt it was excessive, but began to understand the need for it. Fast said the students in his group saw the drug dog search as a deterrent to drug use.

Superintendent Chet Roberts reviewed the proposed calendar for the 2003-04 school year. Aug. 13, 14 and 15 will be teacher in-service days, with the first day of classes on Monday, Aug. 18.

School will let out at noon Dec. 23 for the holiday break and will resume Jan. 5 following a teacher in-service day Jan. 2. Plans are for a two-day spring break in March, plus Good Friday and the Monday after Easter as non-school days.

May 14 will be the last day of school for seniors, and graduation will be May 15. May 24 will be the last day of the 2003-04 school year for all other students.

Roberts said this schedule is built on a 190-day school calendar.

In other business:

the high school choir was recognized for being selected to record a verse of “America the Beautiful” for the governor’s inauguration.

it was noted that two high school students qualified for state Kansas Music Educators Association participation, one in band and one in choir. Six sixth-graders qualified for the state KMEA sixth-through-eighth-grade choir. Eleven GHS students participated in the district KMEA band and nine in the district choir.

Directors Bud Meisel and Greg Bontrager were commended for their work with the students.

following executive session, the board hired Troy Kemling as head junior high football coach.

the board accepted the resignation of Megan Duerksen as middle school volleyball coach.

the board heard that Duerksen will tutor about 12 students after school. The program will be funded by a grant.

the board expressed appreciation for the new Bluebird mascot costume that Lynette Roth made, donating much of her labor.

it was reported that agriculture and horticulture classes plan to attend a science and technology fair Feb. 7 and 8. Goessel students will give a presentation about the charter school.

Fast reported that the grade school Christmas program went well. He estimated that 150 people attended the morning program, and nearly 500 attended the evening program.

Fast said the county spelling bee will be held Feb. 12. Local selection will take place at the end of January.

the winner of the local geography bee will take a test to participate in the state geography bee.

Fast has scheduled story-teller Jackie Lugrande to present a story on Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 20. Lugrande is a retired teacher and the director of the Wichita Senior Volunteer Association.

Fast said the parent-teacher organization sponsored a box-top trip to Wichita to see a children’s theater presentation, followed by bowling.

the administrators reported that Curtis Guhr and his father, Leon, provided training in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation for the staff Jan. 2.

according to Holmes, the QPA committee is preparing for the five-year accreditation visit, which is scheduled for March 5.

it was reported that Central Christian High School in Hutchinson does not plan to play varsity football next year, so athletic director Sandy Banman is working to replace that game.

Roberts said he had surveyed the coaches for their opinions on priorities for outdoor sports facilities. The results showed the following priorities in this order: football lights, stadium bleachers, track and fencing, parking for sports, discus and shot put facilities.

Roberts showed the board several squares of old ceiling tile that had been removed. The tiles had been in the original 1936 building. He plans to frame some of the decorative pieces.

Roberts said plans are underway for a high school career day.

The board accepted the agreement between Newton and Goessel schools for vocational education.

Roberts said financial “state aid estimates have not improved.”

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