Goessel school board discusses attendance at winter sports

Goessel school board met on Oct. 12 and talked about attendance at winter sports. Superintendent Amanda Lowrance said she had attended a league meeting of superintendents and athletic directors to discuss the matter. Lowrance said temperature checks will be conducted, and masks are encouraged.

Junior high/high school principal Scott Boden said that in previous years, the home side at Goessel has usually been about three-fourths full of spectators for home basketball games. Board member Ben Schrag estimated that attendance at basketball games can get to 400 or 500 people.

Boden said that this year he is hoping to allow four spectators per player. He also said that some schools have lists, tickets, or wrist bands to keep track of who is allowed to attend.

Board member Schrag asked, “Do you expect most schools to have restrictions for basketball?” Boden said, “Yes.” Schrag said, “I would support four; four seems reasonable.” Boden said, “Depending on where you go, it might be more or less, depending on the size of the gym.”

Boden commended the Wheat State League: “We’ve had really good communication with our league schools.” Schrag agreed, “I feel like the Wheat State League has always done a good job collaborating.”

At the time of the board meeting, Boden said there had been limited interruptions in fall sports.

Turning their attention to another matter, the board heard from Boden that Goessel is retaining the 1A classification, barely. He said that if Goessel had one more student when the count was conducted, the school would be 2A. Goessel has 104 students in the sophomore, junior, and senior classes. That is the number that is used for classification.

In other business, the board:

* approved a contract for Joanne Loewen as a teacher aide at the grade school three days a week. She taught at Goessel Elementary School in the past and taught more recently at Tabor College. Lowrance expressed appreciation for the addition of this position. “We do have our plates very full right now,” she said. “We need the help.” Many teachers are working more than 60 hours a week.

* heard from Boden that there will be no concerts in fall, due to coronavirus concerns.

* heard from Lowrance that the spelling bee in February will not have spectators.

* heard that as of the board meeting date, one teacher was in quarantine for exposure to coronavirus.

* heard that the school considers county health department recommendations, as well as state education guidelines in regard to the coronavirus. Lowrance said she verifies information with Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Commissioner of Education. Boden commented, “We are happy to be in school. It puts a smile on my face every day.”

* listened to a report from Lowrance about Halloween parties at the elementary school. She said that no parents will attend the parties. Snacks will be pre-packaged. The students will walk around the perimeter of Bethesda Home outside this year, not inside like they usually do.

* heard from Boden that the school is focusing on anti-bully awareness during October. “Choose peace” is the theme. The school is also focusing on a drug-free theme.

* heard from Boden that Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) students are working with the Seatbelts Are For Everyone (SAFE) program. SAFE is a teen-run, peer-to-peer program that focuses on seatbelt use among students. It is designed to bring awareness to the importance of wearing a seatbelt and therefore reduce the number of motor vehicle-related injuries and fatalities among Kansas teens.

* heard from Lowrance that Aaron Christner is completing the LEAD program with fifth graders. The program is funded by a grant and promotes saying no to drugs and alcohol. Christner is a deputy with the Marion County Sheriff’s department and a part-time police officer for Goessel. He has also been volunteering his time two or three days a week to eat lunch with elementary school students.

* heard how parent-teacher conferences will be different this year.

* heard that Wray Roofing is finishing up on repairs due to the hail damage in May. When the greenhouse is done, the repairs will be finished.

* heard that work will begin soon on the drainage project on the east side of the high school.

* briefly discussed the free meal grant that should be available until the end of December.

* heard the Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from Bryant Miller. “Things are going well,” he said. A new board clerk has been hired. Kara Spittles is the new MCSEC director.

* noted that Mike Hull attended the meeting. He is a Kansas Educational Leadership Institute mentor for Lowrance and is the retired superintendent of Sedgwick.

* approved the financial statements of $123,547.97.

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