After listening to a presentation from its executive director at the June 14 meeting, the USD 410-Goessel Board of Education approved the district?s $2,500 support payment to Community In Schools and $3,253 for Parents As Teachers.
Linda Ogden talked about the range of services offered by CIS, which is a non-profit organization that serves all five school districts in Marion County. Each district contributes $2,500 annually to the CIS program.
She said CIS has helped support Marion County communities in a variety of ways:
? oversees substance-abuse prevention curriculum and training for school staff.
? organizes in-service training on prevention of bullying and other discipline problems.
? administers student surveys with follow-up recommendations to schools.
? began an early childhood home visitor program that became Parents As Teachers. CIS helps fund the PAT program, which is for children from birth to age 3 in the county. PAT serves more than 100 families a year.
? offers Paths To Adventure after-school programs that involve more than 500 elementary students.
? administers Sight for Students vision vouchers for eye exams and glasses for uninsured students.
? worked with schools to start the Food 4 Kids program.
? provides leadership opportunities for high school students.
? established a mentor program that became Big Brothers Big Sisters.
? partners with Prairie View to provide mental health consultation in homes and schools.
? provides financial assistance to families who needed help with utility and rent payments, medical services and other needs.
? established the Marion County Comprehensive Early Childhood Health Initiative, which provides scholarships for qualifying children to attend preschool, training for childcare providers, nurse home visits, and early childhood mental health services, including behavior management.
Ogden said CIS has paid money to cities to help low-income families pay their bills through the Family Financial Assistance Fund, which is in need of contributions after the high level of need in 2009 depleted the fund?s 2010 budget.
She predicts increases in the number of homes that will have utilities shut off because of non-payment.
Donation checks, payable to CIS in Marion County, can be sent to: CIS of Marion County FFAN, 812 E. A St., Hillsboro, KS 67063. Contributions are tax deductible.
Ogden has been instrumental in bringing $200,000 a year into the county for child services.
Superintendent John Fast commended Ogden for her work: ?You have written hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of grants for our county,? he said, adding that she is ?sort of the center of a huge web? of schools, churches and community organizations??kind of a clearing house for needs and services in this county.?
Ogden expressed appreciation to the school district. She is available to make presentations to schools and churches, and civic, parent and school-improvement groups.
Fast and Sara Grout represent Goessel on the CIS executive board. Fast said CIS?s focus on early childhood issues ?is very important.”
Marc Grout, junior/senior high school principal, said CIS helps families pay bills.
?We had some families in our community who received help from CIS,? he said.
Board member James Wiens mentioned how all the issues that CIS deals with affect education. Fast agreed that hungry children have a harder time learning.
Breakfast in 2010-11
Fast reported the school will be required to provide breakfast next school year since now 40 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced lunches. Fast said it will be a simple, cold, nutritious breakfast.
The school will also be required to offer breakfast as an option for students who do not qualify for free or reduced meals, but those students would have to pay for their breakfast.
Breakfast will begin at 7:48 a.m., and Fast is working on supervision for breakfast students and details for different arrival times for those who eat breakfast and those who do not.
Asked by board member Lynnette Duerksen if the school is required to serve breakfast at the high school, Fast said no.
In other business, the board:
? voted to hire Jennifer Young to teach sixth- through eighth-grade math and science. She has been teaching in Hutchinson. She lives in Galva, and her daughter is a high school student in the Canton-Galva district.
? voted to hire Gina Bergin to teach family and consumer science. She is a graduate of Hillsboro High School and Kansas State University and is licensed to teach grades six through 12. She has taught at Southeast of Saline and Newton.
She is married to John Bergin, Goessel?s agriculture education teacher.
? approved a contract for Joe Biggs as high school football assistant coach.
? approved contracts for Joanna Pyle to be high school girls? assistant basketball coach and assistant volleyball coach.
Grout said that Pyle participated in sports when she was in high school. ?The head coaches are excited to have her.?
? approved the sale of used computers for $10 and computer monitors for $5. All will be sold ?as is? on a first-come, first-served basis, with no refunds and no tech support.
? heard from Fast that the 2010-11 kindergarten class could have 19 children, and the first grade class could have as many as 26. He suggested that additional aides might be needed for those classes.
? heard from Fast that one school vehicle needs to be replaced every year, and one bus needs to be replaced every other year.
?Because of difficult economic times,? he added, ?it?s hard to keep up with replacing vehicles.? He suggested replacing the yellow mini bus now.
? heard from Fast that a letter had been sent to the insurance company about roofing issues.
? listened to the Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from board member Dan Miller. He said the new director will arrive next month. Some staff resignations have occurred, and the co-op is working to fill those positions.
?We have a pretty positive student-to-teacher ratio,? he said.
? listened to board member Darla Meysing?s report on The Learning Consortium. She said TLC meetings usually last five to seven minutes. The consortium board will not meet in July.
Fast said, ?TLC is able to operate quite cheaply,? and that the financial commitment of the member schools can be reduced for next year.