Goessel board hears of bullying input, plus a wellness strategy

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Curt Graves, junior/senior high school principal, to the Goessel school board May 8 GHS alum Kendra Guhr spoke to junior high students about bullying and harassment.

Graves said Guhr is finishing her master’s degree in criminal justice and will be working with the Salina Police Department. Graves commended Guhr for her presentation.

“The kids were very attentive,” he said, adding that Guhr’s speech produced good dialogue, and teachers continued the discussion with the students.

Wellness strategy

Representatives of the eight-person wellness committee reported on the committee’s progress. Cindy Wiens, Curtis Guhr and Brian Holloway presented the committee’s proposed wellness policy to the board.

The policy acknowledges that “children need access to healthful foods and opportunities to be physically active in order to grow, learn, and thrive…. Good health fosters student attendance and education.”

The committee noted that obesity rates have doubled in children and tripled in adolescents over the past two decades and that obesity contributes to heart disease, cancer, stroke and diabetes.

The policy included several goals, including providing nutrition education and physical education to foster life-long habits of healthy eating and physical activity, and establishing linkages between health education, school nutrition programs and related community services.

Holloway told the board that by 2010 no pop with sugar will be sold in school vending machines during the school day.

Guhr said that K-12 art teacher Brian Stucky spent a lot of time documenting the nutritional value of everything in the school’s vending machines.

Holloway said teachers and administration are encouraged to model a healthy lifestyle that includes physical activity and healthy food choices. They are asked to not have pop on their desks.

Guhr said some schools offer incentives to employees for walking, jogging or biking. Wiens said incentives work with children too.

The board accepted the first reading of the proposed wellness policy.

Capital projects

Superntendent John Fast listed capital outlay projects that need attention:

the red Head Start van. Noting its high mileage, Fast said, “That van needs to be replaced.”

irrigation for the football field. “We have a premier football facility,” Fast said, and commended custodian Norman Schmidt for his “outstanding job of taking care of that field” and the practice fields.

restrooms at the grade school, which have not been up-dated since construction of the building.

roofing projects at the vocational agriculture building and at the grade school.

junior high computer lab. Graves noted that it is equipped with old computers from the high school, and parts “are going bad.”

art and yearbook digital cameras and desktop publishing equipment for graphic design. Graves would like to align art and yearbook equipment so that knowledge learned in art classes can be applied to the yearbook.

track concerns. The slope at the west gate and a low spot at the east side need to be addressed, as well as the area around the concessions booth.

air lock entry at the east end of the grade school.

The board made no decisions about these needs at this meeting.

Other business

In other business, the board:

heard Chet Roberts’ financial report. He noted increased utility rates. As a result, the school district has spent $2,000 more on electricity so far this year than last year. Natural gas and motor fuel prices have also increased.

Roberts said more money will need to be budgeted for utilities for next year, but he cautioned that something else will likely need to be cut.

heard Fast express appreciation for the support from the bank, credit union, parents, and parent-teacher organization during teacher appreciation week May 1-5.

approved the administration’s recommendation to hire Kenton Allen as high school Spanish teacher. Allen will teach at Canton/Galva in the mornings and at Goessel in the afternoons.

accepted the resignation of Ryan Hoopes as assistant high school girls’ basketball coach and hired him as junior high head girls’ basketball coach and as concessions coordinator.

hired Rod Boese as part-time high school custodian.

discussed high school cheerleading. Graves noted good student and crowd participation “even without cheerleaders this past year.” Fast agreed, commenting on the strong support at ball games.

approved proposed handbook changes involving student aides and college courses.

approved the proposed 2006-07 school calendar, which includes all of Nov. 22 as a vacation day, as opposed to a half day as in the past. In addition to no school on Good Friday, April 6, the new calendar will include Monday, April 9, as a no-school day also. The calendar will include 188 teacher contract days, with 183 of those as student contact days.

heard Fast report that “We’re up to 19 students in kindergarten” for the 2006-07 school year.

heard Fast report that summer school will run for three weeks Monday through Thursday mornings in July and will be paid for with “at-risk” funds.

heard board member Richard Drake report on the Marion County Special Education Cooperative. He said the co-op has six certified positions to fill, including three speech/language teachers.

heard member Dewayne Voth’s report on The Learning Consortium. He said the inter-active television picture quality seems to be better. He said some equipment had been repaired.

approved the ministerial alliance’s proposal to host a progressive meal for seniors instead of a baccalaureate service.

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