Goessel school board plans open house for Aug. 25

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN CYNTHIA GOERZEN
Junior high/high school principal Curt Graves told the Goessel Board of Education at its Aug. 14 meeting that open house would be Friday, Aug. 25-the same evening as sports scrimmages.

The schedule for the evening will be: junior high volleyball and football scrimmages at 4:15, barbecue at 5:30, junior high/ high school open house from 5:30 to 7, high school volleyball scrimmage at 7, high school football scrimmage at 8:15, booster club meeting at 9:15, and community bonfire at 9:30.

“We’re changing how we do open house,” Graves said, explaining that open house had been on a separate night in previous years.

Graves also said the high school plans to invite the community for coffee and cookies on Wednesday, Aug. 30. He said FFA, FCCLA, and student council officers would be available to talk with visitors.

Superintendent/K-5 principal John Fast said open house at the elementary school is scheduled from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 22.

The board looked at enrollment projections for this school year presented by Fast: kindergarten, 15 students; first grade, 15; second grade, 15; third grade, 23; fourth grade, 16; fifth grade, 11; sixth grade, 21; seventh grade, 25; eighth grade, 19; freshman, 31; sophomore, 20; junior, 27; senior, 31.

The total head count is 269 with a full-time-equivalent of 261.5.

With a large senior class this year and smaller elementary classes, the projection for 2007-08 is for 253 students and 241 for the 2008-09 school year.

In other business, the board:

heard Fast say the 2005-06 senior class scored above the state average in all areas of the ACT test: English, mathematics, reading, and science. The local composite score was 23.9, compared to the state average of 21.8.

discussed career clustering with Graves and new agriculture education teacher David Graham. According to Graves, “It’s basically a blueprint for a student for six years”-four years of high school plus two years of college.

It gives students guidance in choosing classes they will need for vocational education.

observed Fast present a Boardsmanship Academy Award to Lynel Unrau, board president.

accepted the resignation of Casson Schmidt as assistant junior high boys’ basketball coach. Schmidt will be teaching special education in the Marion district.

approved a contract for Joe Biggs Jr. as assistant junior high boys’ basketball coach. Biggs, a student at McPherson College, will be a student teacher at Goessel. If needed, Biggs will help with high school basketball.

heard Richard Drake, the board’s representative on the Marion County Special Education Cooperative board, reported that one gifted teacher is still needed, as well as one regular special education teacher and three speech teachers.

According to Drake, the shortage of speech teachers “is creating some challenges with the five school districts” in the county.

heard Drake say special education pay for paraprofessionals had been increased by 7 percent. He said with zero unemployment in the county, the pay increase was necessary because it had been difficult to retain employees; they could get better pay at other jobs.

heard the special education board has met with an architect to discuss building needs.

“We’re still looking at all options,” Drake said.

heard board member Dewayne Voth report that membership fees for The Learning Consortium will remain the same for this school year. Goessel is in the TLC with Moundridge, Canton-Galva and Hesston.

heard Graves report that the in-service agenda for teachers would include inclusion training, student motivation training and reading and math skills.

heard Graves report that work had been done to install an additional culvert west of the press box at the high school football/track facility.

heard Graves commend custodians Norman Schmidt and Rod Boese for their work at the junior high/high school. The gym floor was repainted, and dividers have been built for classrooms. Fast commended custodian Londell Duerksen for the “super job” he has done at the elementary school.

heard Graves say he would like to have wireless access installed in the cafeteria so students could use laptop computers in the commons area.

heard Fast mention he would like to pursue a book study. One suggestion would be “The Courage to Teach” by Parker Palmer.

heard business administrator Chet Roberts report to the board, “Our goal has always been to keep the mill rate down. We’re way below the average for our size school.”

He said the tax rate for this year is 55.821, down slightly from last year. “It’s good for the taxpayers,” he said

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