Goessel board sees demo of school’s new life-saving machine

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY CYNTHIA GOERZEN
The Goessel school board observed a firsthand demonstration of some life-saving equipment at its Dec. 12 meeting.

Darryl Thiesen, director of Marion County Emergency Medical Services, showed board members the automatic external defibulator that will be placed at the high school.

The board expressed appreciation to Thiesen for obtaining the machine and demonstrating it.

Marion County Special Education director Chris Cezar, who was on hand to discuss program issues with the board, said that since 1997, “there is no such thing as special education curriculum. There is only regular education curriculum…. We might have to modify or adapt it.”

Board member Mary Rosfeld asked about including gifted students in the program.

“The federal government does not include gifted; that’s a Kansas thing,” Cezar said. He talked about the need for special-education teachers to be reading specialists.

“It’s a trend nationwide,” he said.

Regular education teachers, special-education teachers, and para-educators need to work together to keep special-education children in the classroom.

“It sounds simple,” he said, “but it takes a tremendous amount of time and energy…. Goessel has done a great job.”

Superintendent John Fast and board chair Lynel Unrau reported on the Kansas Association of School Boards meeting they had attended.

Fast said school funding was discussed, as well as constitutional educational standards, local school board control, student and staff nutrition and wellness, student disciplinary hearings and charter and private schools.

Fast and Unrau were invited to participate in a forum, at the invitation of Fast’s dissertation professor.

“It was clear from his questions that our board works well,” Fast said. “The climate here is very, very positive.”

Fast was asked to moderate the panel.

Fast presented information on a walk-in freezer for the high school. The current freezer is an 8-feet-by-8-feet indoor freezer. A larger freezer is under consideration and will need to be outdoors because of space limitations.

The current freezer space would be used for dry goods storage.

Fast had gone to Marion and Peabody to look at the outdoor freezers at those schools. One is accessed directly from inside the school building. The other is accessed by walking outside, with an awning for protection.

Fast said the loading dock would have to be enlarged to accommodate an outdoor freezer. The cost for expanding the loading dock would likely be $4,800. A freezer would cost $15,000 to $20,000.

The total cost for the project is estimated at $25,000 to $30,000.

Various options were discussed in an effort to discern the greatest efficiency.

The board made no decision, but it was suggested that installation of a new freezer would be done in June.

Counselor Janna Duerksen, reporting on professional development council, said every teacher turns in a professional development plan every year that lists individual goals. She said needs are assessed each spring, which helps in the development of in-service plans.

At the grade school, the assessment helped identify possible in-service topics such as technology, classroom management training, and the need for incorporating writing in more subjects.

At the high school, technology, communication with parents, and writing were identified as topics for in- service days.

“This is my plea for more professional development days in the school calendar,” she said.

In other business, the board:

  • listened to Fast explain the plan for the Jan. 2 in-service day at the elementary school. The agenda includes training teachers for new computer work stations and discussing curriculum mapping as it relates to coordination between grade levels.

    Curriculum mapping refers to which teacher is covering a specific subject at what specific grade level.

  • heard Fast report that the high school in-service day will cover technology, breaking ranks and communication.
  • heard from Fast that school personnel are working to form a district protocol about handling state assessments. Test security will be addressed as well as administration of tests and how they are sent in.
  • approved the request to change eligibility requirements. Eligibility will now be figured from Wednesday to Wednesday.
  • heard that the food drive for the Tabor Food Pantry is under way.
  • heard Fast say that the state fire marshall inspected the schools and requests additional exit signs.
  • heard that academic detentions have declined. Instead of 12 to 14 in the past, the current level has been four to five. Teachers have been working with some students after school.
  • heard board member Dewayne Voth’s report on The Learning Consortium. Voth described problems that had been experienced with the equipment.

    “I think they have that narrowed down to problems with the transceivers between Hesston and Moundridge.” Fast told the board. “We’ll have to buy two so we’re not down while they get repaired.”

    Fast said each transceiver costs $800, for a total of $1,600.

  • acknowledged Fast’s appreciation to the board and Chet Roberts for the Christmas banquet. Fast said the banquet helps build positive relationships.
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