Goessel school board hears of students’ state-assessment awards

The Goessel school board heard about state assessment test results at its Oct. 8 meeting.

John Fast, superintendent and K-5 principal, said the tests were taken in spring. The students in grades four, five, seven, eight and 11 attained the standard of excellence in both reading and math.

Grade three attained the standard of excellence in math.

Fast said the district achieved a total of 11 standard of excellence results.

?That?s phenomenal,? said Marc Grout, junior/senior high principal.

?Both buildings qualified for the building-wide standard of excellence,? Fast added. ?I do not have figures yet to see how this compares to the state…. The high school received the Governor?s Achievement Award last year.?

Fast reported that the Kansas Association of School Boards Region 5 meeting was at Goessel Oct. 4. He commended the classified staff for organizing the event. He said Donna Duerksen, Justin Schrag, Janna Duerksen, and Sheri Janzen made presentations. Christa Guhr and Joel Hesed helped with slides and data.

Board member Maynard Knepp and exchange students provided an entertainment and information time.

School board clerk Patsy Schmidt said, ?We had a lot of nice compliments.?

The board approved, after considerable discussion, a subsidy of $200 per student planning to attend FCCLA regional cluster meetings Nov. 16-18 in Minneapolis.

Although the board readily granted permission for the trip, the discussion centered on how much support to provide each of the four or five students interested in attending.

Ruth Goertzen, family and consumer science teacher, told the board that besides the per-person registration fee of $70, the trip would cost an additional $235 per person. This would include the charter bus ride and one night in a hotel. The students who are planning to go have each paid $50 already.

?It?s not something we do every year,? Goertzen said. ?It?s been several years since we?ve gone.?

The board mentioned accountability and establishing an annual fundraiser. It was pointed out that other groups provide their own funds for trips. However, it was also noted that the school district has a lot of fundraisers.

Board member Dan Miller said, ?Let?s go with a higher level of support this year? with the charge to establish a fundraiser for future trips.

In other business, the board:

  • heard that parent/teacher conferences are scheduled for Oct. 22. ?We have a history of outstanding parent support and participation,? Fast said. ?We look forward for that support to continue.?

  • heard that Fire Prevention Week would be Oct. 8-12. Fire Chief Larry Jay planned to come to the elementary school to teach the children about fire prevention and safety. Fast said the first grade class would visit the fire station and ride back to the school on a fire truck.

  • watched as Fast presented board chairman Lynel Unrau a boardsmanship certificate. Fast commended Unrau for his work.

  • heard Grout report that the Elbiata singing group participated in the Heart of America League honors choir at Berean Academy Oct. 4. The group performed a medley of old-time country songs before performing with the mass choir.

  • heard that the high school choir will present a concert at 7 p.m. Oct. 29.

  • heard Grout say that 29 to 30 boys are interested in high school basketball. Coaches Justin Coup and Curtis Guhr have asked about adding a second assistant coach. Staff members will be asked first.

  • approved Lynn Franzen and Marlene Klassen as cheerleading co-sponsors. They will attend a safety meeting Oct. 20.

  • heard from Grout that 11 girls tried out for high school cheerleaders and six were selected. They attended a one-day camp Sept. 29.

  • Uniforms have been ordered. The cheerleaders are practicing twice a week. The cheerleaders are not involved with football; they will begin with basketball.

  • heard Grout report that Goessel had been asked to host the regional volleyball tournament Oct. 16. Therefore, he said the junior and senior high school students would be dismissed at 12:30 p.m. that day, but the elementary students would have school as usual.

  • discussed the upcoming board retreat and goals to be reviewed at that meeting. Fast suggested the board review comparative data, look to the future, and refresh goals. Fast said he would have enrollment projections prepared.

  • heard Fast review that last year?s goals had included technology, growing the district, maintaining staff morale, and lobbying about the No Child Left Behind mandate.

  • listened to Fast report that he had met with Max Heim, along with board members Darla Meysing and Dan Miller, to look at school data, to reassess goals, and to discuss the community and ways to promote it. Fast suggested a public meeting to discuss strategic planning.

  • heard Knepp?s challenge to focus on recruiting teachers. Board member Mary Rosfeld suggested career days as one way to recruit teachers. Knepp asked how the district could retain good teachers. He suggested, ?We have to stay up-to-date with technology.?

  • heard in Meysing?s report on the Marion County Special Education Cooperative that the issue of facilities will be addressed at the next meeting.

  • heard Fast explain the assessed valuation of the school district. ?Our valuation is the absolute lowest? of those compared, he said. ?We have to be very frugal.? He briefly explained taxation and mills.

  • delayed action on purchasing a 2001 Dodge Ram service truck for the custodians. The truck has 90,000 miles and would cost $10,600 with a trade-in.

  • n heard in Chet Roberts? financial report that this year?s expenditures have been similar to last year.
    Roberts mentioned that the state pays for the additional one-half-time kindergarten teacher and aide.

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