Goessel School Board hears COVID-19 update

The Goessel school board met on Oct. 12 and heard a COVID-19 update from interim superintendent/elementary principal Mark Crawford. He mentioned the recent COVID-19 outbreak in an upper elementary grade. Crawford said there were five cases of in-school spread, and all the cases were symptomatic. He said the school learned that “we can be responsive very quickly.” Masks were required at the elementary school for two weeks, starting on Sept. 20. “That did put us in the red for 14 days,” he said.

Crawford commended the classroom teacher, who “did an amazing job.” He said some kids in the quarantined class chose to be tested every day and stay in school. Others chose to stay home.

Crawford commended the students: “Elementary kids are so resilient. They do a great job…. We had no spread to any other grade.”

Crawford also commended the school nurse, Libby Schrag: “She’s doing a great job for us.” He said, “She’s efficient. She’s excellent with students and families.”

Moving on to the current situation, Crawford talked about the situation at the junior high/high school since there are now some positive cases at that building. (As of Oct. 18, that building is in “red” status, and everyone in that building should wear a mask.)

Turning their attention to another matter, Crawford talked to the board about the accreditation visit that will happen in spring. He said he had gone to a training session in Clearwater about the process. He said the state of Kansas has five state goals: social-emotional growth, kindergarten readiness, individual plan of study, high school graduation, and post-secondary success.

Crawford said every school district has to focus on one or more of the goals. Goessel is focusing on social-emotional learning this year. Junior high/high school principal Scott Boden said that “relevance and relationship” are district goal areas for accreditation.

In other business, the board:

* accepted a gift of land from the city of Goessel. The land is near the high school, and the school has already been using that land for discus. Crawford said the school appreciates the donation.

* heard from Crawford that Goessel has one of the highest rates of graduation in the state.

* heard from Boden that Goessel is classified as a 1A school again. The sophomore through senior headcount is 104. The 1A cut-off point is 106 students. Boden said that Goessel will be in the eight-man division and will continue eight-man football.

* heard that standardized testing will not be emphasized as much by the state.

* heard from Boden about the high school band and choir concert. The band portion of the concert will be in the gym, and the choir portion in the auditorium. (Since the board meeting, that concert has been postponed to November 4, due to covid numbers at that school building).

* talked about Wichita Classic and Central Christian schools in Wichita. They had asked to join Wheat State League. Boden said that any school can petition a league to join. However, those schools do not have football. The WSL will likely vote on those two schools in the near future.

* talked about the Marion County Special Education Cooperative. Goessel does not bus special education students to any other facility, except the Oasis program. Goessel has a speech teacher and a learning lab teacher, plus four para-professionals. These are all MCSEC employees. Board member Maynard Knepp suggested that the MCSEC board should look at the pay scale.

* approved the purchase of a new bus. The cost will be $122,291. It will be equipped with air conditioning.

* talked about capital outlay funds and the planning process. Board member Kyle Funk noted past capital outlay projects that have been completed.

* voted to approve the monthly bills of $84,361.59.

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