New Goessel athletic track in use, board hears

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Goessel’s new athletic track is now in use, Superintendent/K-6 Principal John Fast told the Unified School District 411 Board of Education at its May 9 meeting.

The track was used for a high school track meet April 5, the Heart of America League junior high track meet May 10 and a sixth-grade track meet May 11.

An open house featuring the new track/football facility and press box/bleacher area was planned for 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. May 17.

At the time of the board meeting, the sidewalk around the wheelchair ramp had not been completed.

The board discussed technology needs and proposals. The technology committee met April 22 and prioritized computer needs. Three proposals were discussed: replacing the work stations in the high school library lab, adding computers to the middle school lab, and upgrading teacher work stations.

The technology committee would like to begin by replacing the computers in the high school lab with 14 desktop work stations and 14 notebook computers, allowing the largest class to use the lab with a one-to-one student ratio.

The recommendation is to continue to upgrade this lab each year and “trickle down” the older computers to staff and students.

The cost for these 28 computers is estimated at $37,800. The plan is to use the small-schools grant to fund the middle-school lab expansion, which would include six more work stations and an expanded network.

The estimated cost for the work stations is $6,000.

Meanwhile, Curt Graves, junior high/high school principal, reported that he and Debbie Schrag and Janna Duerksen had attended a presentation by the Educational Services and Staff Development Association of Central Kansas on Powerschool, a Web-based student information system program that gives parents the option of daily, weekly, or monthly e-mail reports of their student’s grades and attendance, plus other information.

Schrag also attended a Pro-Star workshop. Pro-Star is also looking at a Web- based option.

In other business, the board:

— heard from Graves that Goessel students did “very well” at the state music contest April 30.

“Students continue to excel under Mr. (Greg) Bontrager and Mr. Bud Meisel’s direction,” he said.

— approved the administration’s recommendation to restructure grade levels in each building. The elementary school building will continue to serve kindergarten through fifth-grade students, but sixth graders will be moved to the junior high building next year.

Junior high teachers will teach the sixth-graders. Ilona Abrahams will be the fifth-grade teacher.

— hired Justin Coup as activities director. He will continue to teach business as well as coach high school football and boys’ basketball.

— accepted the resignation of Bruce Stucky as junior high student council sponsor. He will retain his other duties.

— hired Chad Lindeman as junior high social studies teacher and student council sponsor.

— hired Ruth Goertzen as concessions coordinator.

— appointed Brian Holloway and Dale Wiens as assistant transportation director and assistant activities director, respectively.

— approved the resignation of Mike Thompson as a junior high/high school custodian.

— tabled discussion of hiring a junior high cheerleading sponsor.

— discussed medical reimbursement cards. Board member Richard Drake said, “It’s a ‘smart card’ essentially…. It’s the wave of the future.”

He thought unspent money would carry over to the next year. Fast added, “It would be a nice benefit” and reduces paper work.

— heard that the GHS juniors achieved the “outstanding class” designation, which entitles them to go ice skating in Wichita May 23. Junior high students who received no suspensions, a maximum of one discipline referral, and two or fewer academic detentions are eligible to participate in the incentive/reward trip to the McPherson YMCA May 24.

— was told that the annual senior breakfast is scheduled for May 20, and the eighth-grade breakfast is scheduled for 7:30 a.m., May 26, in the lunchroom.

— discussed distribution of diplomas at the upcoming graduation ceremonies. Board chairman Lynel Unrau will hand out diplomas at the high school graduation on May 21. Lynnette Duerksen and Mary Rosfeld will hand out diplomas at the eighth grade promotion the evening of May 26.

Fifth- and sixth grade recognition is scheduled for the morning of May 26.

— heard Fast report that the parent/teacher organization was planning a noon picnic and games for the grade school May 14 rather than a carnival.

— heard a Breaking Ranks presentation by Duerksen, board member Dan Miller, and high school teacher Justin Schrag.

— approved the purchase of basketball uniforms for junior high and high school girls for $7,354.

— heard an update on capital outlay projects. In addition to the new track facility, the new maintenance building is also now completed.

— briefly discussed erecting a sign along the highway promoting the school and academics, in addition to the state basketball champion sign that is already posted.

— heard Fast report that the school’s attorney, David Shriver, plans to take a position with the Kansas Association of School Boards.

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