Goessel school board accepts $1,000 for gardening project

The Goessel school board accepted a $1,000 donation from Jerald Grey, general manager of Hiland Dairy, during its May 14 meeting.

The money is to be used for seeds, tools, gardening supplies and lesson materials for the school’s gardening project.

John Fast, superintendent and elementary principal, said the donation is greatly appreciated and would be presented to the school the following day.

Pam Abrahams, gardening coordinator, and Krista Graber work with elementary school students on their gardening projects. The students recently created a sensory garden as part of their gardening experience.

On another matter, the board approved summer school for elementary students for 11 days in July. Twenty-five students have been identified for summer school, and they will be divided into small groups that will come at different times.

Summer school had been offered in the past, but not the past six years because of cuts in state education funding. Sheri Janzen will be the director and Jill Booton will be the aide.

Other business

In other business, the board:

◼ acknowledged Susan Nafziger’s Parent-Teacher Organization work. Fast said, “She’s done a superb job” and mentioned the 11 years she has been on the PTO, six of those as chair.

◼ voted to hire Braden Unruh as vocal music teacher for grades four and five, as well as junior high and high school. He will also teach music theory. Unruh graduated from Goessel High School in 2012 and Bethel College in 2016. He has been teaching at Haven.

◼ voted to continue a contract with Newton High School for vocational education for classes that Goessel cannot offer.

“It’s a good program for us,” Fast said. Students provide their own transportation to Newton. Goessel will have students in the automotive technology program and wood working next year. Machining is also available.

Board member Kyle Funk noted Goessel has had an agreement with Newton since the mid-’90s.

◼ approved ALICE active-shooter training for all school employees. ALICE means alert (recognizing the danger), lock-down (if you can’t evacuate), inform (communicate the intruder’s location), counter (create distrac­tion), evacuate (remove yourself from the danger).

Marion County Sheriff Rob Craft will conduct the training.

◼ discussed out-of-district students. Fast described the criteria by which such students are allowed in the Goessel school system. He said they must be in good standing in their previous school. They have to provide their own transportation to the Goessel school district border.

◼ heard from Scott Boden, junior high and high school principal, that the track meets hosted at Goessel had run smoothly. He commended Brian Lightner and students and adults who helped.

Boden said the additional long jump and discus locations have been helpful. Boden said 500 students participated in the junior high invitational track meet that Goessel hosted.

◼ heard the Worlds of Fun incentive trip for junior high students had a positive influence on tardies and behavior.

◼ heard about flooring improvements in the junior high/high school kitchen.

◼ approved an out-of-state trip for two high school students and one sponsor for the national FCCLA gathering.

◼ approved the purchase of Chromebooks for junior high and high school for a total of $14,014.80. Fast said Chromebooks work better than laptops for state assessments. He said fourth and fifth grades will need Chromebooks also, and those will be purchased at a later time.

◼ approved the membership fee of $350 for continuing membership with Schools for Quality Educa­tion. Fast told the board SQE strongly advocates for small and rural schools. The influence of SQE was especially important a few years ago when the state wanted to consolidate schools.

◼ heard the federal government is reducing the amount of Title I money for Kansas because Kansas reported one of the lowest rates of poverty.

Fast explained that Kansas does not actually have a lower rate of poverty, but the Kansas Legislature changed the definition of poverty. Therefore, the school will receive about 30 percent less for Title I funding.

◼ heard the Kansas Supreme Court would meet May 21 to consider the current school finance proposal.

◼ heard from board member Bryant Miller that the state legislature has talked about money for school safety standards.

◼ heard from board member Kelly Booton that the Marion County Special Edu­cation Cooperative board members had met at Tabor College to review the Project Search program. Booton said it is “definitely a good program.”

◼ heard from Fast about vehicle issues. The maintenance pick-up at the high school “is in bad shape,” and the tan Taurus needs work, too.

More from Cynthia Goerzen
Schmidt briefs Goessel council on local foundation
Myron Schmidt reported on the Goessel Community Foundation during the Feb. 21...
Read More