Goessel board hears plan for preschool

The Goessel school board listened to a presentation by Sheri Janzen (kindergarten teacher), Chrystiana Miller (Title I teacher), and Rachel Boden (Kinder Haus preschool teacher) during its June 20 meeting.

The three teachers had attended Kansas State Department of Education early learning “road show” training sessions in May, and they followed up with extensive research on the value of providing educational opportunities for every three- and four-year-old.

Boden told the board, “We feel that Goessel USD 411 has done an excellent job.” She thanked the board for recognizing early childhood education.

The Kinder Haus preschool currently meets in the new storm shelter room at the elementary school, although it is not a school program; it is a separate entity.

Janzen talked about gross motor, fine motor, and social skills. Miller mentioned relationships, nutrition, wellness, long-term achieve­ment, and other benefits. Janzen said Parents As Teachers, Head Start and Kinder Haus are available to local children.

Miller told the board, “One of our dreams is to make Kinder Haus part of our school district…. We’re missing some children who show up to kindergarten not prepared.”

She said if the preschool would be part of the school, “We could reach everyone,” although it would still be a separate unit. John Fast, superintendent and elementary school principal, added, “They would still be self-sustaining.”

Miller said those children who could benefit from services the school offers would have access to them sooner than school age. She mentioned speech as an example, also social work services.

Janzen said some of her kindergarten students come to school already reading and doing math, while others don’t recognize any letters, and some lack social skills.

Boden mentioned a grant that would help pay for at-risk preschool children. Janzen said at-risk children would include those in poverty, those on public assistance, single parent families, those referred by Department of Children and Families, migrant families, homeless children, those in foster care, children with lower developmental progress, and other identifiers. She already knows of children who would qualify.

Janzen presented estimates for the cost of the preschool they would like to initiate and how it could be paid with grants for at-risk students and tuition for others. Boden said some children do not come to preschool now because they don’t have the funds.

Elementary school secretary Denise Nickel said qualified preschool students could apply for free and reduced snacks and breakfast.

Janzen said she plans some things for the following school year based on conversations with Boden.

“I just want these kids to succeed,” Janzen said. “I want them to have the same opportunities that everyone else has.”

In addition, Janzen, Miller and Boden said they would like to plan two family fun nights for children birth to age five. They would include vision, hearing, and oral screens, in addition to water play, bounce houses, food, and incentives. They want to make sure they “touch base” with everyone who has a baby in the school district. Miller also talked about a literacy night with student volunteers.

Boden noted the need for more day care in Goessel.

Fast said, “I really appreciate the vision of these three.” He mentioned the “incredible amount of time” they have been spending this summer working on their ideas.

Board chair Kelly Booton added, “I think there are a lot of positives.”

Board member Lynnette Duerksen added her affirmation, and board member Kyle Funk said he appreciates the work of these teachers. The board gave Janzen, Miller, and Boden permission to pursue preschool grants.

Other business

In other business, the board:

• accepted a $200 anonymous donation for the elementary school, with a stipulation of $100 for the first grade and $100 for the fourth grade. The board expressed appreciation for the donation.

• approved Joan Nighten­gale’s resignation as junior class sponsor and wished to thank her for her work in that position.

• heard from Scott Boden, junior high and high school principal, that summer cleaning projects are underway. New lights have been installed in the junior high gym, and Boden said they are a great improvement.

• heard from Boden about spring sports accomplishments. He said there will be some classification changes for sports, but final decisions have not been made.

• heard a Marion County Special Education Coopera­tive report from Booton. There will be a 14.2 percent increase for Goessel’s share of the MCSEC; the fee is based on enrollment. Fast said that “at-risk” numbers are growing larger across the county.

• approved a Chrome­book purchase at a cost of $12,190. The Chromebooks will replace some laptop computers at the high school.

• heard a financial report from Fast. He mentioned work by Simplex on the fire alarm system, a Blue Cross Blue Shield health insurance payment, high school library books, the water bill, cyber liability insurance, state fire marshal boiler inspection, janitorial and painting supplies, bus repairs, football uniforms, and numerous other expenses.

The board approved the financial statements for a total of $122,559.47.

Board approves supplemental contracts

The Goessel board approved supplemental contract appointments for the 2017-18 school year. Most are continuations from the past, but there are some changes.

The appointments are as follows: Activities director, Brian Lightner; band, Scott Tayler; choir, Andrew Voth; cheerleading, Gretchen Schrag and Alicia Oard; concessions, Ryan Hoopes; elementary SIT chair, Sheri Janzen; junior high SIT chair, Megan Duerksen; high school SIT chair, Crysta Guhr; FCCLA sponsor, Brittney Hiebert; FFA sponsor, Alicia Oard; freshman class sponsor, Sherri Sells; sophomore class sponsor, Donna O’Neill; junior class sponsor, not filled; senior class sponsor, Janna Duerksen; art, Kacie McGee; Model UN, Harmony Gerlach; forensics, D.J. Freeman; high school play assistant, Donna O’Neill; high school Student Council sponsor, Harmony Gerlach; junior high Student Council sponsor, Chad Lindeman; junior high Quiz Bowl, Donna O,Neill; high school Scholars Bowl, Andrew Voth with Marcia Brubaker assistant; PDC and QPA chair, Janna Duerksen; yearbook, Kacie McGee.

High school cross country, Brian Lightner; high school football, Garrett Hiebert with Kyle Huxman assistant; high school volleyball, Crysta Guhr with Paige Booton and Patrick Logan­bill assistants; junior high football, Chad Lindeman with Ryan Hoopes assistant; junior high volleyball, Patrick Loganbill with Brittaney Hiebert assistant; high school boys basketball, Curtis Guhr with Chad Lindeman assistant; high school girls basketball, Ryan Hoopes with Brooke Holloway assistant; junior high boys basketball: Garrett Hiebert with Patrick Logan­bill assistant; junior high girls basketball, Tom Zogleman with Amy Flaming assistant; high school golf, Chad Lindeman; junior high and high school track, Curtis Guhr, Crysta Guhr, Garrett Hiebert, Joni Smith and Brian Lightner.