Goessel board hears of higher than expected enrollment

The Goessel school board heard during its Oct. 13 meeting that school enrollment for 2014-15 was up eight students from last year with a total of 287.

John Fast, superintendent and elementary school principal, said the total is four students more than anticipated when the budget was planned.

Teacher presentation

The board invited new high school teacher Beth Ratzloff to talk about teaching family and consumer science and sponsoring the Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America. She also is co-sponsor for cheerleading, along with DJ Freeman.

Ratzloff grew up at Hiawatha. Prior to coming to teach at Goessel, she was a special education paraprofessional in Sedgwick. Prior to teaching, Ratzloff was a nurse for 10 years in the areas of dermatology, cardiology, emergency room and family practice.

A new FACS classroom is part of the current construction and remodeling project.

Fast commended Ratzloff for what she has been able to accomplish with the constraints of her current classroom. She has brought in pressure cookers and electric grills to use with some of the class projects.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? approved a $3,000 gift from Westar for Donna O?Neill and the high school science department for her robotics proposal. Boden said, ?Mrs. O?Neill has done a lot of work.? He said some $1,000 grants were also awarded, but O’Neill received the biggest one.

? heard that Lois Janzen plans to retire as a substitute bus driver. Fast said she has driven bus for the school for 46 years. Some board members said she was their bus driver when they were children and expressed appreciation for her work.

? heard that the school breakfast program had increased by 51 percent. Barb Banman and Sandra Duerksen, school cooks, received an award for the 2013-14 Kansas School Breakfast Challenge.

? heard about the steady growth in the number of Career and Technical Education pathways that Goessel offers, from three in 2011 to 14 this school year. Boden said school counselor Janna Duerksen coordinates the CTE program.

?It?s a big job,? he said.

? heard that a student is providing lessons to grade school and junior high school students about farming and growing food.

? heard about the ?Ameri?can Winter? movie that was scheduled later in the week in Marion. The public was invited, and community leaders were encouraged to attend. Mark Rogers organized the event for Marion County Circles of Hope.

? heard that parent-teacher meetings are scheduled for Oct. 23.

? heard that the book fair at the grade school would be Oct. 21-28.

? briefly discussed the remodeling and construction project. Boden said, ?It?s a very, very busy time.?

? heard that Fast, board chairman Dan Miller and board member James Wiens would meet to start the process of required evaluations.

? noted there are changes in ?due process,? but the changes seem to be unclear. Wiens said the Kansas Association of School Boards is offering a workshop to help explain the changes.

Fast said, ?We need to keep that communication strong? between the board, administration and staff.

? heard a report from Boden about the Chrome?books the school purchased for seventh and eighth graders.

?The students have taken to it very quickly,? Boden said. ?It has been positive.?

The board approved the purchase of Chromebooks for sixth graders too, partially funded by a small-schools grant.

? heard a Marion County Special Education Coopera?tive report from board member Kelly Booton. He said MCSEC would be sharing a school nurse with the Hills?boro school district.

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