Ag education facility undersized, Goessel school board hears

The USD 411-Goessel Board of Education toured the agricultural education department during the Oct. 12 board meeting.

John Bergin, agriculture teacher/FFA sponsor, led the tour and pointed out improvements that had been made during the summer and current school year.

Bergin reported that the agricultural education department is the recipient of a $15,000 grant that will be used to start advanced courses in horticulture and animal science. The grant will help provide curriculum and will be used for professional development opportun?ities.

Bergin plans to take a class in floral design, and he plans to attend an agriculture teachers tour in California.

Bergin presented information to the board regarding facility needs he had researched. Using current and projected enrollment figures, he calculated space needs and determined the current facility does not meet recommended or even minimal space needs in some areas.

The agriculture classes are divided into three main course areas: science-based, horticulture-based and mechanics-based.

The board commended Bergin for his work.

In other business, the board:

n approved the FFA trip to Indianapolis for the national convention Oct. 20-24. The group will use the school?s Suburban.

n heard Marion County Special Education Cooperative board member Dan Miller report the MCSEC board had toured the new facility.

?I think it?s something all five districts can be proud of,? he said. ?I think it will serve the county well…. The classrooms are large; they?re very nice.? He said it is ?quite interesting, quite impressive.?

John Fast, superintendent and K-5 principal, agreed. ?This will serve student needs so much better.? He said an open house is planned for 10 a.m. to noon Oct 21.

n heard from Miller that all five school districts in the MCSEC are concerned with funding paras. Fast added that schools are ?trying to get by with the minimum amount.?

n heard from Miller and Fast that basic needs for food, shelter and clothing are increasing in the county. Board member Maynard Knepp offered to help.

n heard 6-12 principal Marc Grout report on recycling efforts of high school student council members. They had checked into the matter further and asked the school district to pay $27 per month for recycling, which would be one-half the recycling fee.

They also planned to ask the junior high student council to help with a portion of the cost.

The school board agreed to pay one-half the recycling cost for the remainder of the school year and asked that student council members come back to the board next year to discuss the matter again.

Recycling will only be offered during the school year, not during the summer.

Board member Darla Meysing commended the student council members: ?This is a great thing they?re doing.?

Grout added, ?The kids are very committed.?

n heard from Grout that the cross-country team will compete in the regional meet in Meade Oct. 24. He said the high school volleyball team would compete in sub-state play at Herington on the same day. Grout said both teams have an ?excellent chance? of qualifying for state competition.

n heard that Justin Coup, athletic director, completed scheduling for the Wheat State League for next year. Goessel is joining the new WSL for junior high and high school events.

n discussed the matter of children at football games. In the past, children had been allowed to play on the junior high practice field. Fast told the board that administrators had to supervise the children and the football game at the same time.

?The majority of our kids are responsible,? he said. ?We do want to be family-friendly.? But he said some interactions between children had been less than positive.

?We would like to continue to keep that (field) closed,? he said.

n heard a brief report from Fast about the 50th anniversary of the elementary school building. He thanked the board for helping with the celebration.

n heard from Fast that parent-teacher meetings will be conducted Monday, Oct. 26.

n heard that Fast and Miller had gone to Topeka for a school finance workshop.

?I think we?re going to see a very difficult year ahead,? Fast said. But he assured the board, ?We'll pull through.?

He said the ?recession is not the sole issue.?

n listened to Fast share a letter of congratulations from Janet Waugh, chair of the Kansas State Board of Education, on Goessel?s performance in state assessments.

Waugh stated that 87.6 percent of Kansas schools achieved the ?adequate yearly progress? goal.

?This growth is not only encouraging, but also signifies the hard work of teachers, faculty and especially students throughout Kansas,? she wrote.

n briefly discussed plans for a board retreat at 5 p.m. Nov. 6. The board plans to travel to Centre and tour the agricultural education department there.

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