Goessel School Board hears of professional development plan

The Goessel school board met on December 10 and heard a report from Janna Duerksen, school counselor. She explained that the Professional Development Council is a group of licensed teacher representatives from the elementary school and the junior high/high school and administrators.

Duerksen also explained that the Professional Development Plan includes the process for re-licensure. She said a teacher with a bachelor’s degree needs 160 points, half from professional development and half from college hours. A master’s degree teacher needs 120 points, and all can be from professional development. She told the board that professional development can include in-service sessions that the school offers or workshops at other places.

According to Duerksen, teachers can attend meetings that deal with technology or classroom management or meetings within their content area. These sessions can be used for obtaining points. Making a presentation or working on a committee can also add points.

She said that every five years schools need to submit a five-year plan to the state for approval from the state. The plan outlines procedures for teachers to follow and changes in state requirements. The state requires school board approval for the plan. The board did approve the plan at this meeting.

Duerksen and the board talked about the need for more professional development time in the school schedule. That need will be considered when plans are made for next school year’s schedule and in discussions with meet and confer.

The board expressed appreciation for the information and thanked Duerksen for her work.

Junior high/high school principal Scott Boden said that plans are underway for the January in-service day which will focus on continuing the implementation of Individual Plans of Study and student advising. The day will also include college competency. Some students had indicated they need help with time management and self-regulation, so those issues will also be addressed.

Turning their attention to another matter, the board heard about the recent annual community service day. It is always right before Thanksgiving. Boden said the student council had organized the day. High school students were divided into groups.

The students worked at various places in Newton: Mennonite Central Committee center, participated in activities with residents of Presbyterian Manor, worked at New Hope Shelter, Caring Hands Humane Society, and Et Cetera Shop. They also raked leaves for Goessel residents who would have had a hard time getting it done. Board member Pat Flaming commended the school for community service day. He said a day like that builds character and life-long skills. Students had worked at some of the agencies in past years, but some were new this year. Boden commended the student council for finding new places to work and also for returning to some from past years. Boden said the MCC center is “always a positive experience for the kids.” He said Presbyterian Manor was new this year. Students enjoyed helping to set up Christmas trees at Et Cetera.

Grade school students also participated in a service project; they collected food for the Tabor Mennonite Church Food Pantry. Superintendent/elementary principal Dr. John Fast said that more than 640 items had been collected for the pantry. Fast commended those who organized the project for their effort.

In other business, the board:

* heard about the Bluebird Classic basketball tournament at Goessel. Boden expressed appreciation for staff and volunteers who helped to make the tournament a success. He said it takes the efforts of “tons” of people. “We have great staff,” he said.

* heard from Boden that sub-state basketball would be February 26 to March 3 at Marion.

* heard from Boden that staff had appreciated the pies and other snacks that had been provided for them in recognition of American Education Week.

* heard about school concerts coming up in December.

* heard from Fast that Steve Owens would be visiting the school on December 12. Owens was elected in the November election to represent Kansas House District 74. Fast talked with the board about plans for the time that Owens would be visiting. Fast invited board members to participate in the visit. He mentioned plans to tour the elementary and junior high/high school buildings with Owens.

* heard that the sound system will likely be installed in the high school gym during the Christmas break.

* heard from Fast that the school’s bus #18 is listed for sale with Purple Wave. Fast commended Purple Wave for their service. Purple Wave is based in Manhattan, Kansas.

* approved an updated price limit list for reimbursement to teachers for meals when they are gone for conferences or workshops.

* heard about a schedule conflict with the January board meeting. Therefore, the board will meet at 7:00am on January 14 instead of that evening.

* approved the monthly expenditures of $63,700.01.

More from Cynthia Goerzen
Goessel City Council Discusses Vandalism
The Goessel city council met on April 18 and discussed recent vandalism...
Read More