Goessel School Board considers winter sports attendance

The Goessel school board met on November 9 and continued their discussion of attendance at winter school sports events, considering coronavirus concerns. Superintendent/elementary principal Amanda Lowrance said the issue is in the discussion phase, and she mentioned a meeting she had attended with other superintendents.

Junior high/high school principal Scott Boden mentioned a league meeting he had attended. He said that gyms are not all the same size, and suggestions have been made for two to four spectators per athlete. A decision has not been made yet, though. Board chair Kelly Booton talked about league schools supporting each other.

Masks are required at ball games, Boden said.

Lowrance commented that some schools do not plan to sell concessions because spectators take masks off to eat.

Boden said that 16 junior high girls and 23 boys are involved in basketball. At the high school level, 15 girls and 28 boys are involved.

Turning their attention to other coronavirus concerns, Boden wished to thank the Goessel Mennonite Church for allowing the school to use the church building for high school students who were in a modified quarantine situation due to the same exposure. The board noted that 43 students had been quarantined. That quarantine has ended. Boden said parents and students appreciated the meals and the more structured option for school, rather than quarantine at home.

At the time of the board meeting, Lowrance said one student was currently a positive coronavirus case. Therefore, the kindergarten class is in a modified quarantine, and eight students were participating in that modified quarantine. Others had chosen to quarantine at home.

The public should note that this report is based on information available at the time of the November 9 school board meeting and does not reflect any changes that might have been made since that time.

Booton encouraged the school to “continue using abundant caution.”

Lowrance said that people wanted more information. However, “We were not specific,” she said. KSDE (Kansas State Department of Education) has warned schools to be careful that information is not identifiable. “We are protecting personal information,” she said, adding, “It’s a fine line.”

In other business, the board:

* heard from Boden about fall sports, noting accomplishments in cross country, football, and volleyball.

* heard from Boden that high school Scholar’s Bowl competition is beginning. No spectators are allowed.

* heard that music teachers are recording or live streaming a selection of songs. Boden said they can be viewed on the school’s YouTube channel. Live concerts have been canceled for this fall.

* talked about getting automatic bathroom sinks. “In the long run, it will always benefit us,” Lowrance said.

* approved a contract for Amy Flaming as a fill-in teacher for second grade.

* talked about ionizers in the junior high gym. Lowrance said the fans are only on when the heat is on. She said she checked with Goering Hardware about putting in an air system in that gym. SPARK (Strengthening People And Revitalizing Kansas) money could be used.

* heard from Lowrance that the Wray Roofing project will be complete when the guttering is finished.

* heard from Lowrance about a traffic study that is scheduled for spring.

* heard a Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from board member Bryant Miller. He said that Fix-It from Wichita will be hired for information technology support, at an hourly rate, not a monthly charge like the previous support service.

* voted to pay the month’s bills, which amounted to $143,895.41.