Goessel board hears of achievements

Goessel Superintendent John Fast told the school board at the Dec. 8 meeting that the high school had been named a ?Bronze Medal? school for the second year in a row by U.S. News & World Report.

He said schools across the nation were evaluated, and only 34 schools in Kansas received the honor. No other schools in the Heart of America League, or in Marion or Harvey counties, received the honor.

Fast commended the teachers, students and community for their hard work.

Fast also reported ?outstanding work on our state assessments? last school year. As a result, he recommended giving students and staff an extra day off to reward them for their achievement. The board approved the recommendation.

Therefore, on Thursday, March 12, school will only be in session in the morning. Students will be released at noon, and teachers will have a work day in the afternoon. No school is planned for Friday, March 13, and spring break will be the following week.

State assessments for the current school year will begin the last week of February. The testing will be completed by Easter, Fast said.

In other business, the board:

n heard that vocal music teacher Greg Bontrager had been named South Central Kansas Music Teacher of the Year. ?We?re very pleased to have an award-winning teacher in our music department,? said Marc Grout, junior/senior high school principal.

n decided to let the teaching staff have a ?flex? day during Christmas break instead of requiring them to be at school on Monday, Dec. 22, for a work day. They will be allowed to spend time at the school any time between Dec. 19 and Jan. 5, when school resumes. Fast emphasized that the flex day is a one-time situation because of the calendar. A flex day might not be offered next year.

n recognized three staff members for the awards they received: Unrau for the certificate of merit he received as a board member; Patsy Schmidt, board clerk, for the award she received for her work on the school calendar and handbook; and Fast for the award he received for his work on the school newsletter.

n heard Grout report that six security cameras had been installed at the junior high/high school, one at each entrance. All six entrances can be seen on the monitor at the same time. Grout said students seem indifferent to the monitoring. Fast said the cameras are unobtrusive.

n mentioned capital outlay issues that need attention. One issue would be the agricultural education department. The board acknowledged that the ag ed facility needs to be renovated.

n heard Grout mention lab facilities that are in need of renovation at the high school.

n discussed the grade school restrooms, which have not been renovated since the building was built in 1959. Fast said a section of the grade school roof needs to be replaced. This would cost $60,000 to $80,000.

n heard Grout say that seven more schools would like to join the HOA league. He is on the committee ooking at options.

n heard Darla Meysing, the board?s representative to the Marion County Special Education Cooperative, report that one-half day per week was added for occupational services. Other than that, most of the MCSEC board meeting had been executive session with nothing to report to the public.

n heard district treasurer Chet Roberts say, ?The state is hurting for money,? so disbursements will be late. He said one year remains on the three-year guarantee. Fast said, ?We have to be cautious…. We?ll have to choose what we can do. It?s going to be a delicate balance.?

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