Goessel school Board discusses CARES money

GOESSEL—The Goessel School Board met on Jan. 11 and discussed CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) money that the school should be receiving. Superintendent/elementary principal Amanda Lowrance told the board that the school has $18,500 remaining from current CARES money and should receive an additional amount.

“We are short on computers,” Lowrance said. She told the board of the need of Chromebooks for 25 students in at least one classroom, possibly two classrooms.

“We don’t have enough computers for one to one,” she said.

Lowrance also told the board of the need for more classroom desks and chairs to reduce coronavirus risk by allowing students to spread out more than they can at tables. She also said students will receive free lunches until the end of the school year.

Goessel is the third largest of the five schools in Marion County. But Lowrance told the board that Goessel is receiving the least amount of county money.

Board Member Pat Flaming mentioned concerns about the money. Board Clerk Joni Smith said many reports will likely be required.

Turning their attention to another matter, the board heard from junior high/high school principal Scott Boden that Wheat State League schools are trying to reschedule sports games that were lost due to coronavirus issues. However, he said the junior high league basketball tournament has been canceled. Two parents per basketball participant are currently allowed at ball games, although some league schools have reduced the number due to limited gym capacity.

Scholar’s bowl events have no spectators.

Boden also said that Wheat State League will not conduct music or art festivals. The Kansas State High School Activities Association music contests will consist of recordings that will be submitted for ratings. There will be only one level of judging, no regional level.

In other business, the board:

accepted a $300 donation from Leppke Auction to the football team for their work. Football players helped to set up for a recent auction. The board wished to thank Leppke Auction for the donation.

noted community support for the exchange student program. Boden said that Goessel has one exchange student this year. Lowrance said she had heard support for the exchange student program and hoped the school could have some again next school year. Board Chair Kelly Booton and Board Member Bryant Miller affirmed the program, too.

heard from Lowrance that elementary school Christmas caroling at Bethesda Home had been a success. She commended school and Bethesda maintenance employees for their work in making the event possible. “It was a beautiful opportunity for our students,” she said. “The students were happy and enthusiastic. It was a positive experience.” The students stood on risers outside the building and sang for the residents, who were inside.

heard that school staff appreciated the gift cards and notes. Staff also appreciated the personal delivery of gift cards. Due to coronavirus restrictions, the traditional staff Christmas dinner could not happen.

commended Smith for her work in preparing a school calendar for the 2021-2022 school year. “Joni did a good job of balancing out the quarters,” Boden said. The calendar lists Aug. 19 as the first day of school. Parent-teacher conferences will be on Oct. 21. Thanksgiving break will be Nov. 24-26, and Christmas break will be Dec. 22-31. School will resume after Christmas on Jan. 5.

approved a payment of $6,396.30 to Turf Solutions for repairs to the junior high football practice field, although an insurance adjuster quoted a $27,000 amount to complete the repairs. The field had been damaged by KC Construction during the city’s sewer project.

heard that work is underway to replace furnace units over the high school library and two adjacent classrooms.

heard from Boden that rock has been added on the south slope of the concrete parking area at the high school. The ditch in that area has been cleaned. That should minimize erosion and help with drainage issues.

voted to retain Kelly Booton and Ben Schrag on the board until July, when an election will occur. Smith explained that, with recent changes in election dates, some schools hold school elections in January instead of July.

heard Lowrance’s review of a Kansas Association of School Boards document in regard to discrimination, sexual harassment, mandatory child abuse reporting, tobacco free grounds, child nutrition program, at risk program, COVID procedures, gang intimidation, and many other issues.

heard Miller’s report about the Marion County Special Education Cooperative. He talked about health care and designated health care facilities.

approved the month’s expenses of $326.706.40.

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