Goessel BOE reviews student trip requests

The Goessel school board considered two proposals regarding school trips during the Jan. 14 board meeting.

The board approved a transportation request by John Bergin, FFA sponsor, for four of his students to travel to Miami, Okla., to compete in the North?eastern Oklahoma Aggie Days speech competition.

Board member James Wiens said, ?It sounds like a good opportunity.?

Bergin said he and the students would make the 31?2 hour drive to and from Miami the same day; they would not stay overnight.

Marc Grout, junior/senior high school principal, said the FFA students raise their own funds for the trip.

John Fast, superintendent and elementary school principal, suggested the board ?take a look at overall transportation in the district.?

The board denied a request from four music students for school funding for two nights in a Wichita hotel while they participate in the Kansas Music Educators Association state convention Feb. 24-26. They estimated the cost at $1,000.

Fast and Grout said the school board did not pay for the hotel for last year?s convention. Fast added that the school does not pay for overnight stays that are less than an hour away.

Board member Lynnette Duerksen acknowledged the KMEA convention will be a good experience for the students, but she questioned an overnight stay: ?My question is how much sleep they actually get.?

She said students will not be denied participation in the convention if they do not stay in a hotel.

Board members encouraged communication with the students abut the decision. Member Dan Miller added, ?This was given serious thought and consideration.?

The board suggested other ways the students could raise money for the hotel. But Grout told the board that students are not allowed to solicit money; they have to offer a service or a product for their fundraisers.

It was also pointed out that students could use their own money to pay for the two overnight stays.

Activities fee

Turning their attention to another matter, the board listened to Justin Coup, teacher, coach and athletic director, talk about instituting a fee for students to participate in any extra-curricular activity.

Fast had heard of schools that charge up to $120. Coup said some nearby schools charge $50.

?It?s not a ton of money,? Grout said, ?but it would help.?

Any activity that requires a supplemental contract would be subject to the activity fee. Grout pointed out the seriousness of the situation: ?Either we need to do things like this, or we eliminate activities.?

Board member James Wiens said, ?I think it?s in our best interest to keep our athletic programs and our other programs.? He encouraged the board to consider an activity fee, noting that other schools in the area have already instituted such a fee.

It was suggested students would pay only one fee, and that would allow them to participate in all activities.

The board did not make a decision at this meeting.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? noted that coaches may obtain certification to drive a bus to events in order to save money, but they are not pressured to do so.

? heard from Fast that the new small white bus is used for smaller groups and therefore saves money. He said that bus is used many times every day.

?It has air conditioning, and the kids love that,? Fast said.

? heard that the athletics department receives 10 percent of concession earnings at athletic events because there would be no concessions without the athletic event.

? commended Meysing and Duerksen for their work on the Booster Club. Their work saves money for the athletic department.

? heard that the golf fundraiser brought in $2,800.

? heard from Coup that the Wheat State League did not have a junior high basketball tournament this year, but is considering one for next year.

As a cost-saving measure, the league is considering scheduling the tournament on a Thursday evening and a Saturday morning and afternoon, thereby requiring only two trips instead of three.

? listened to Coup?s response to Meysing?s question about the number of games junior high basketball students will play per week next year. Coup said league games will be on Thursdays, but other games will have to be on Mondays.

? approved the purchase of football helmets. Coup brought helmets to the meeting to show the board the old ones compared to new ones. He said helmets expire and have to be thrown away. ?Last year we had 12 expire,? he said.

Fast added, ?It?s a safety issue.?

? discussed replacing athletic uniforms. Coup said, ?In a tight economy, we can get pretty good deals because a lot of schools aren?t buying right now.?

? heard from Grout that Goessel had hosted a junior high Quiz Bowl tournament. Grout said Goessel?s two seventh-grade teams earned first and second place, and the two eighth-grade teams did the same.

He expressed appreciation to Wes Schmidt-Tiezen for organizing the tournament and to the high school students who helped.

? heard from Grout that the high school Scholar?s Bowl team had received third place at regional competition and qualified for state competition at LeRoy.

? noted basketball, spelling bee, and FFA accomplishments.

? heard Fast report the state legislature will likely discuss forced consolidation of small schools. He said Wiens was planning to attend that session.

? heard about Kansas Day activities. Fast said the school offered four centers: Indian artifacts and culture, immigrant history, Kansas wildlife and Kansas athletes.

? heard Fast report state assessment tests will be administered three weeks in March and two weeks in April.

? heard that Feb. 21 would be a make-up day for days missed because of snow.

? decided to plan a meeting with young parents to hear their ideas for the future of the school district.

? heard Miller?s report about the Marion County Special Education Cooperative. He said 20 percent of the students in the county are receiving special education.

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