The Goessel school board met on Tuesday, Jan. 18, by zoom due to COVID-19 concerns, and heard about two donations to the school. According to junior high/high school principal Scott Boden, Lawton Makovec had donated $100 to the high school boys basketball team. Duane and Agatha Duerksen donated $100 to the athletic department for live streaming. The board accepted those donations and expressed appreciation to the donors.
Turning their attention to another matter, the board spent some time discussing COVID-19 concerns. They heard a COVID-19 report from superintendent/elementary principal Mark Crawford. School had been canceled that day, as well as the previous Friday, due to high covid numbers. One more day off was a planned in-service day. “We will be in red in both buildings tomorrow,” he said. Masks would be required. Crawford said there had been 19 positive cases at the junior high/high school on Friday (Jan. 14) and five at the elementary school. However, in the days after the board meeting, the number at the elementary school jumped to 15, according to the school’s website, and the elementary school was canceled again.
Following the meeting, Crawford sent a letter to families letting them know that state guidelines had implemented a 30-day temporary suspension on COVID-19 contact tracing. Families will not be notified if their child has come in contact with another person who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Parents are asked to please keep their children home if they are sick or have tested positive for the virus. Crawford’s letter states, “Any child who tests positive for COVID-19 should stay home for at least five days and be fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medication before leaving home.” After that, the child should wear a well-fitting mask indoors for five more days.
Board chair Kelly Booton affirmed the school’s efforts. He said he appreciates the actions of the past week to control the spread of infection by canceling school. He urges families to be “extra cautious.” Board member Sarah Hiebert agreed: “The virus is still very active and still spreading.” Board members expressed concern for parents to keep their students home if they test positive or if they are sick.
The board briefly talked about temporary state guidelines for hiring substitute teachers due to a shortage because of COVID-19: anyone 18 years and older who has a high school diploma and passes a background check can now work as a substitute teacher in Kansas.
In other business, the board:
* accepted the resignation of Brian Lightner as head cross country coach. Boden expressed appreciation for Lightner’s seven years as cross country coach: “We appreciate the service of Mr. Lightner to the Cross Country program and his dedication to providing students with a positive team experience.” Lightner will continue as activities director, track coach, and high school math teacher.
* noted that Donna Washmon was assistant cross country coach this school year and will be head cross country coach next year.
* heard a Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from board member Maynard Knepp. He said there’s “lots going on,” and the Co-op board will interview candidates for a director. Knepp said that most of the previous meeting had been executive session. Booton expressed appreciation to Knepp for his work on the MCSEC board.
* heard that the school has seven air purifiers. Crawford would like to buy more.
* heard from Boden that “lots of good things are going on.” He expressed appreciation for live streaming ball games.
* approved the use of $15,810.00 of Emergency Connectivity funding to purchase 60 Chromebooks.
* heard about recent student accomplishments with basketball, Scholar’s Bowl, and Kansas Music Educators Association band and choir.
* approved the purchase of new football uniforms for a cost of $9,784. This would include 30 home uniforms and 30 away uniforms. The current uniforms have been used for five seasons. The school currently has 30 uniforms, and they were all used this past season.
* approved the month’s expenses of $309,738.80.