Goessel board hears about sixth-grade news broadcast

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel elementary/junior high principal John Fast explained the sixth grade news broadcast to the school board at the Oct. 13 meeting.

He said the sixth grade computer class has begun broadcasting each Monday morning in the elementary school building.

Students prepare a digital broadcast. Some of the broadcast is taped, and some is live. The sixth graders give a five-minute school news report. They include local sports, the weekly menu and other items of interest.

Each classroom turns on Channel 3, and the broadcast is watched in each room.

Fast said that Brian Holloway teaches the computer class and provides the technical expertise for the newscast.

Superintendent Chet Roberts reported on recent Heart of America league decisions. Pretty Prairie, Burrton and Central Christian plan to leave the league at the end of the 2003-04 school year. So instead of 14 schools in the league, there will be 11 schools.

HOA administrators voted not to add schools to the league for at least two years, but to stay with 11 schools. Goessel is one of the smaller schools in the league.

The schools that are currently in the HOA league and their enrollment in the top three grades of high school are listed, along with their classification, as follows: Trinity (132 – 3A), Peabody-Burns (114 – 2A), Inman (112 – 2A), Ell-Saline (109 – 2A), Remington (108 – 2A), Sedgwick (103 – 2A), Moundridge (98 – 2A), Canton-Galva (96 – 2A), Berean Academy (87 – 1A), Goessel (76 – 1A), Pretty Prairie (76 – 1A), Little River (55 – 1A), Burrton (54 – 1A), Central Christian (37 – 1A).

Roberts told the board that the state plans to add a fine arts requirement for the 2005-06 school year.

He said that “nobody could answer” his question when he called for specific information. He was told, however, that possibilities include music, art, drama, forensics, and humanities.

“I think that’s exciting,” Roberts said. “That’s good for kids all across our state.”

Roberts encouraged board members to come to the school and eat lunch with the teachers.

In the past, board members had come on the first Thursday of the month. Both Roberts and school district clerk Patsy Schmidt said the teachers have appreciated that. Lunch begins at 11:30 at the junior/senior high school and at 11:20 at the grade school.

Roberts said he plans to talk to the staff to encourage them.

“We have the most important job,” he said. “It makes me feel good when kids come back and tell me positive things about our teachers…

“We need to be thankful for what we do here… We’re doing things for kids that we hope will impact their future. We’re not just working on academics; we’re also working on character…

“We need to continue to encourage teachers, secretaries, cooks, bus drivers, custodians…”

Board member Mary Rosfeld affirmed Roberts and Fast for the good job they do to encourage school employees.

Fast told the board that Red Ribbon Week will be Oct. 27 to 30. Activities will focus on drug education and awareness. A “promise tree” will be planted in the elementary school playground.

Students will be asked to make a promise to stay drug-free as the tree is planted. Fast said junior high students will hear a speaker who was in a car accident with a drunk driver.

In other business:

– The board voted to purchase 29 computers from National Computers at a cost of $18,415 and 15-inch flat-screen monitors from Business Computers at a cost of $7,134. Most of the computers will be installed in the grade school computer lab.

— Fast said that October 10 had been fire prevention day at the elementary school. Firemen Larry Jay and Arlen Goertzen taught the students about fire prevention and safety. First graders visited the fire station and rode the fire truck.

– The board reappointed Dan Miller and Lynette Duerksen as representatives for meet and confer.

– Fast reported on the Oct. 3 kindergarten through sixth grade trip to Cowtown in Wichita. He said the children experienced an 1870s style county fair. The trip was funded by boxtops.

– Fast announced that parent-teacher conferences are scheduled for Oct. 27. He said he is hoping for a high rate of parent participation again this year.

– Roberts reported that there had been a virus on the computer system, but the problem has been fixed.

n Roberts pointed out that the asphalt in front of the school is cracking. The board gave permission to get a bid on fixing it. Roberts plans to check with the company that is working on the track.

— Roberts briefly discussed substitute teacher pay, which is currently $70 per day. “People like to sub here,” he said.

– The board accepted the resignation of Schelly Galimore as tech coordinator. Her resignation will take effect in December.

– Jill Brown, special education teacher, attended the meeting to introduce herself and briefly describe what she does.

She said she has taught special education for 12 years, but not all of those years have been in Marion County. She lives in Hillsboro now, but she grew up in Wichita.

– Roberts said he would fly to Washington, D.C., to attend a Missing and Exploited Children seminar. He said he will be gone from Saturday to Tuesday, Oct. 18 to 21. Fast will take care of district issues in his absence.

– Roberts said Goessel will host a volleyball tournament on Saturday and the regional tournament on Tuesday.

– Fast reported that the junior high football team has a 2-2 record, and the volleyball team has a 1-3 record.

– The board approved a maintenance contract for the mail server for $600 per year, which is considerably cheaper than the school had paid previously.

– Roberts said he had attended a Schools for Quality Education meeting and heard Mary Kessler, legislative specialist for school administration. He said Sam Brownback is holding back on funding issues.

– The board approved the financial statements of $48,763.87.

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