The Goessel school board met on March 20 and approved the calendar for the 2023-2024 school year. Dates on that calendar include enrollment on Aug. 2 and 3, with the first day of school on Aug. 17. There will be no classes on the following days: Sept. 4 (Labor Day), Oct. 13 (in-service and work day), Oct. 19 (dismiss at noon for parent-teacher conferences), Oct. 20 (comp day), Nov. 22-24 (Thanksgiving), Dec. 20-Jan. 3 (Christmas), Jan. 15, Feb. 19, March 8 (in-service and work day), March 11-15 (spring break), March 29 (Good Friday), April 1. May 14 will be the last day of school.
Turning their attention to another matter the board listened to Becky Suderman, representing Marion County Parents As Teachers. PAT is for any child in the county, birth to age three; there are no other qualifications. Suderman provides service to children in all five school districts in the county: Goessel, Centre, Peabody-Burns, Marion-Florence, and Hillsboro-Lehigh-Durham.
Suderman said her role is to teach parents. She provides information and ideas for things that parents can do with their children.
She helps them sign up for the Dolly Parton Library and provides screening for development, health, vision, and hearing. She is encountering a number of children who can’t hear and can refer them to an audiologist. She can also help with transportation for health checks and immunizations.
Families and children enjoy group connections, and the PAT Big Truck Night is a favorite.
In other business, the board:
* noted the sub-state basketball tournament that was held at Goessel. Junior high/high school principal Scott Boden commended the helpers and Brian Lightner for his work organizing the event. Boden wished to thank all the staff and community members who helped with basketball games throughout the season.
* heard that junior high students had participated in the Wheat State League music festival at Peabody.
* discussed student absences. Boden said there has been a rise in students missing school, but a lower amount than in other schools.
* heard that not all students are “at grade level” in reading and math.
* talked about interventions and grade-level performance on state assessment tests. Boden said more interventions are needed for junior high students. Superintendent/elementary principal Mark Crawford noted that the elementary school does have support, but junior high students also need help. He mentioned options that the school is considering. Some schools have hired an interventionist.
* talked about social-emotional behaviors and support.
* discussed the need for more concrete in the handicapped parking area on the west side of the high school.
* heard that track and golf practice started on March 20.
* heard that new bleachers had been installed at the grade school.
* heard about a new sandbox for the grade school playground.
* heard from Crawford that new lunchroom tables had been purchased for preschool and kindergarten children. The new tables are smaller and easier for those children to use.
* heard from Boden that a heating unit needs to be replaced. It will cost $40,000-$50,000. A crane will be necessary to set it in place.
* heard from board member Pat Flaming that the Kansas house of representatives did pass a school choice voucher bill by a 64-61 vote, which could negatively impact public schools and special education funding. However, the matter will go to the Senate.
* approved a trip for the 8th-grade class to the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City, Missouri. The students will also visit the state capitol.
* heard that the next board meeting will be 7 p.m. on April 17.
* approved the month’s expenses of $227,664.19.