Goessel School Board hears plans for summer school

The Goessel school board met on April 12 and listened to kindergarten teacher Sheri Janzen describe plans for summer school. Jill Booton, who is helping Janzen plan, also attended the meeting. Five teachers plan to be involved with summer school.

“Chilling at Summer School” is the theme. Popsicle and snow cones might be included as treats. Plans are for three weeks of summer school, 8-11 am for one group and from 12-3 pm for another group, four days each week, Monday through Thursday. The students will receive 33 hours of instruction, and a field trip is planned for the last day. In the past, summer school has been two weeks instead of three. Janzen talked about mixed age groups and scheduling siblings for the same session to make it more convenient for families.

Snacks and a break will be included, but students will not be at the school for breakfast or lunch. All the students will be together for part of the morning or afternoon, but they will also be divided into smaller groups for part of each session.

Janzen said that elementary school teachers have identified 44 students who could benefit from summer school, and 18 percent of those are special education students. She told the board that 24 students had been involved with summer school last year.

In addition to reading and math, summer school will also emphasize social emotional skills and community building skills.

Janzen told the board about various curriculum options. She said the school could easily spend $10,000 to $15,000 for curriculum. The cost for teacher wages will be $12,500. Superintendent/elementary school principal Amanda Lowrance told the board about ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds that might be available. These funds are part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Acts (CARES) provided by Congress. These funds are to be used for critical areas of need.

Turning their attention to another matter, the board spent some time discussing masks. The school had received communication from parents who support masks and from those who do not. The board decided to continue the mask requirement, citing the recommendation of the school nurse, the county nurse, and other medical experts. Discussion included noting that some neighboring school districts are seeing an increase in coronavirus numbers. Board members expressed the observation that the school needs to lead by example. It was also noted that other Marion County schools are not making changes to their mask-wearing policy.

In other business, the board:

* approved the resignation of DJ Freeman as forensics coach, Chad Lindeman as junior high student council sponsor, and Nancy Schmidt as cook. The board expressed appreciation for their work.

* approved Ryan Goertzen as assistant for the high school musical.

* approved adding Personal Finance as a required class. The requirement will be begin with the graduating class of 2025.

* heard junior high/high school principal Scott Boden’s report about track and golf activities, as well as the Wheat State League art show that was presented virtually.

* approved the use of two buses for the After Prom event to transport students to Urban Air Adventures in Wichita.

* approved end-of-year field trips.

* approved the purchase of a new school bus from Kansas Truck Equipment in Wichita for a cost of $122,291. Lowrance told the board this bus is like the last bus the school purchased. Like the previous bus, the new one will have air conditioning and air brakes.

* discussed plans to sell an old bus, but no decision was made.

* approved the purchase of a mower for the elementary school.

* approved Big Ideas math curriculum for the elementary school.

* approved the $7,400 dues for Kansas Association of School Boards. This includes membership dues and legal advice if needed. Lowrance noted that she appreciates the services that KASB provides.

* heard a fire marshal report from Lowrance. She said the school buildings passed the inspection, with only a few minor items to change.

* heard that state assessment tests are beginning. Boden commended school counselor Janna Duerksen for her work coordinating the testing. He also wished to thank the Bluebird Backers for providing snacks during state testing.

* discussed SB 40, which refers to the pandemic and establishes hearing officers for complaints.

* approved the March statements for a total of $176,275.26.

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