100 percent participation at Goessel school parent-teacher meetings

The Goessel school board met on November 11 and heard from superintendent/elementary school principal Dr. John Fast that elementary school teachers had 100 percent contact with parents for parent-teacher meetings on October 24. Only four were contacted by phone instead of in-person meetings. Therefore, all students were represented.

“That kind of parent involvement is important,” Fast said.

Junior high/high school principal Scott Boden told the board that 98 percent of the junior high and high school students were represented by parents at the parent-teacher meetings, which are now “student-led.” Board member Ben Schrag asked if parent participation has increased now that the meetings are led by students. Boden said participation did go up; it had been 68 percent in the past. However, with the current format, participation rose to 98 percent. He said parents don’t have to wait as long now. Sometimes parents had to wait 45 minutes to an hour to meet with some teachers in the past. Boden said that if parents can’t visit with all of the teachers at the meetings the way they are currently structured, parents and teachers do communicate through email.

Turning their attention to another matter, the board listened to Fast’s report about the October 18 school improvement day. He said the in-service day focused on social-emotional training.

The staff walked the Bethel College trail and participated in an Everett Bradley presentation. Bradley works for Prairie View and is in charge of recreation, including outdoor group activities and the rope challenge. He talked with the Goessel staff about social and emotional self-care.

Teachers also worked on Kansas Educational System Accreditation during the in-service day. Fast explained that all Kansas schools are required to complete the KESA process. Goessel is in the fourth year of a five-year cycle.

In other business, the board:

* discussed matters of safety. Board member Pat Flaming suggested increased lighting outside. Flaming and Fast mentioned the need for curbside pick-up after sports practice so students don’t run across the street in the dark to get to their cars when parents pick them up.

* welcomed Sara Hiebert as a new board member.

* voted to approve Laura Unrau as a part-time preschool para.

* approved Kendal Voth as assistant junior high boys basketball coach.

* approved Brian Holloway as the second assistant high school boys basketball coach. He also officiates volleyball.

* heard that 16 students are participating in junior high girls basketball, with three managers. Twenty-seven junior high boys are participating in basketball, with one manager. Seventeen high school girls are planning to play basketball, and there will be two managers. The high school boy’s basketball team will have 28 students and three managers. Boden said a big challenge is finding games for the C teams.

* heard that students in Peggy Shortridge’s Spanish classes attended the World Languages Fair at Kansas University. Students could choose four sessions from a list of various languages and cultures.

* heard from Fast that 250 people had attended the October 29 Family Reading Night at the elementary school. He thanked the teachers involved and thanked the board for serving the supper.

* heard that Fire Chief Galen Miller had visited each grade at the elementary school and talked with the students about fire safety.

* heard the Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from Bryant Miller. He said Krista Graber had been approved as a para at Goessel in the first and second-grade classrooms. The MCSEC approved Swindoll, Janzen, Hawk and Loyd as auditors.

* approved an out-of-state trip for the cheerleaders so they can participate in the United Cheerleaders Association competition in Kansas City, Missouri, on December 8.

* talked about bleachers at the elementary school. Fast said the bleachers are used for assemblies and music programs, but the mechanism is worn out, and it is difficult to pull the bleachers out. Also, now that the gym has a new floor surface, the old bleachers do not slide well. Up-graded bleachers that would have seat backs and mechanization could cost $32,000.

* talked about a new sign by the high school. The old sign had to be removed for the sewer work project. Boden said prices for signs had come down in the last few years. He said the Goessel Recreation Commission had also talked to him about the need for a sign that the GRE could use. A new sign will be discussed again at a future meeting.

* heard that the Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition is planning a Town Hall meeting on vaping and other substance abuse. The coalition also plans to schedule a presentation in each school.

* briefly talked about Career and Technical Education and the need for CTE advisory board meetings.

* talked about plans for the staff Christmas banquet on December 15. The meal will be at the Elgin Hotel in Marion, and Keith Banman will cater the meal.

* approved the financial statements of $151,927.62. Fast said the electric bill was higher than usual because of the need to run five dehumidifiers for a month to dry out the junior high gym floor. He said the water bill has also been higher because of watering due to a lack of rain. Fast reported that the budget is in good shape.


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