New gym floor now complete at Goessel grade school

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Superintendent and elementary principal John Fast told the USD 411 Board of Education at its Nov. 14 meeting that the new gym floor at the grade school has been installed.

New doors have also been hung. Fast reported that everyone who uses the gym appears to be very happy with the new floor.

“It is really nice,” he said.

“Are there fewer injuries?” board member Mary Rosfeld asked.

Fast said he had checked with secretary Denise Nickel and she says, “Definitely, definitely.” Nickel has seen a significant reduction in the number of ice packs requested by children.

Fast said the new floor gives the same performance as a regular gym floor.

On another matter, the board went to the junior high building for a computer presentation by teacher Brian Holloway. He explained how the students use the computers for digital movie-making.

Sixth-grade students learned to make commercials. Seventh-graders made documentaries on their grandparents. Eighth graders are working on a digital yearbook.

Back in the board room again, the school board discussed computer purchases.

The board voted to use capital outlay money to purchase 36 IBM laptop computers from Two Trees for a cost of $1,340 each-a total of $48,600.

Thirty-three of these computers will be used in teacher work stations. Three of them will be placed in the junior high computer lab.

Fast said he would like to use grant money to purchase six to eight computers for use by third-, fourth-, and fifth-grade students.

The goal is to have enough computers so a whole class can use computers at the same time.

Those additional computers could also be purchased for the $1,340 price.

Board member Lynnette Duerksen asked, “That includes everything? There are no extra costs?”

Fast said the price includes everything.

Fast said that every Monday morning Holloway works with a group of fifth-grade students in preparing a television broadcast that goes to all the classrooms in the building. The broadcasts are about two to five minutes long.

Students are gaining public-speaking skills through this program.

The board also approved the second phase of the band instrument-replacement plan for $17,202, which is lower than the bid that had been obtained earlier.

The instruments will be purchased from Midwest Music, which supplied the first phase of the instrument purchases.

“Mr. (Bud) Meisel is very happy with them,” Fast reported.

Fast said the replaced instruments were old.

In other business, the board:

  • reluctantly approved the resignation of Justin Schrag, effective at the end of the school year. Schrag is the high school agriculture education teacher, FFA sponsor, and junior high assistant football coach.

    Schrag has been teaching at Goessel High School since 2000.

    Fast affirmed his work: “He has been a tremendous asset as a staff member.”

    Rosfeld said he will leave “big shoes to fill.”

    Board chairman Lynel Unrau agreed: “He contributed a tremendous amount of his time and his gifts to teach students, not only in the classroom, but also on the field and at contests.”

    Schrag has decided to pursue other career interests.

  • heard junior high/high school principal Curt Graves report that 154 students made the VIP list for the first nine weeks.

    Students must either be on the honor roll or improve their grade point average in order to be listed on the VIP list.

    Graves expressed appreciation to Citizens’ State Bank for helping provide items for a drawing for the VIP students.

  • heard Graves report that 88.5 percent of the junior high and high school students were represented at parent-teacher conferences. The school contacted the 19 families who did not attend.
  • heard Graves report about the leadership training experience that he had planned for 12 high school students for Wednesday at the Goessel city building.

    The morning session would be followed by a luncheon in Newton with a panel of leaders: Goessel mayor Peggy Jay, Bethel College athletic director Diane Flickner, Hutchinson pastor Quentin Moore, and John Morton, a school superintendent.

  • heard Graves report on fall extra-curricular activities. The high school cross-country, volleyball and football teams participated in post-season competition.

    The cross-country and volleyball teams reached the level of state competition.

    The football team won the bi-district championship. Graves said that the junior high volleyball and football teams also represented Goessel well.

  • heard Graves report that the Eco-meet team placed third in state competition.
  • heard Graves report that a number of high school students were named to the Kansas Music Educators Association band and choir and also the Kansas Choral Directors Association choir.

    He said that according to a judge’s score sheet, the Goessel band was considered to be one of the best at the state fair.

  • heard Fast explain the Grandparents Days that will be held at the elementary school in the days preceding Thanksgiving.

    Students can invite grandparents to visit their classroom and have lunch with them. Teachers are planning special activities that will involve the grandparents.

  • heard that Fast is preparing a bid sheet for a new activity bus. He hopes to have a recommendation for the board in December or January.
  • heard that Fast and Unrau plan to attend the Kansas Association of School Boards meeting in Overland Park Dec. 2-4. Fast reported that vouchers for private schools will be discussed.
  • heard Dewayne Voth’s report about The Learning Consortium. “We’re still having some issues with picture quality,” he said.
  • heard that the school will have to develop a district-wide wellness policy for staff and students.
  • discussed pay for substitute bus drivers. “We really appreciate them,” Fast said. “Sometimes they come at the last minute and drive any route.”
  • discussed transportation for the three wrestling students who travel to Hillsboro. Fast said the students are driving on their own.

    “It’s a safety issue,” Graves added.

    It was determined that the students should ride with a designated adult driver. Harold and Jennifer Stultz have agreed to drive. They will be paid 33 cents per mile from school-to-school and back. No hourly pay is involved.

  • heard Graves report about the school newsletter that will be sent to parents.
  • heard the staff Christmas banquet will be at 6 p.m., Dec 4.
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