Goessel board hears preschool update

The Goessel school board heard from Bonnie Gaed­dert, the new teacher for the Kinder Haus preschool, during its Oct. 9 meeting.

The preschool and public school are now working together with a goal of making preschool possible for any preschool-aged child, and providing continuity for them when they enter kindergarten. Preschool and kindergarten teachers work closely together.

The Kinder Haus preschool has already been meeting in the storm shelter at the elementary school in recent years.

Gaeddert mentioned letter recognition, singing, activity dances, cause and effect, eye-hand coordination, calendar and other concepts that she teaches. She said she likes to use a “smart board,” which is helpful in teaching a number of different concepts.

Gaeddert told the board that she had been in Gayle Voth’s first Kinder Haus class in 1978. Gaeddert attended school at Goessel through first grade, then her family moved to Versailles, Mo.

After finishing high school in Missouri, she attended Bethel College in North Newton, where she met her husband, Kevin; they have been married 20 years.

After graduating from college, she taught preschool in the public school in Versailles for 19 years. The Gaedderts have four children.

The board thanked Gaeddert for coming to teach on short notice. John Fast, superintendent and elementary school principal, said, “You came on a moment’s notice. That was much appreciated.”

Board member Lynnette Duerksen said she had visited with someone in the community who was very impressed with what Goessel school is doing with preschool. Other board members also offered affirmation.

Community assessment

Chrystiana Miller told the board about a community needs assessment that had been conducted at the elementary school open house. The assessment is a requirement for the grant that the school received for the preschool.

Miller said there is a need for full-time child-care in Goessel, which she said is an “extremely important” issue. She noted that it is very difficult to get children to preschool in Goessel when the parents do not work in Goessel. She said there are schools that provide space for day care.

Miller said there had been many positive comments on the questionnaire about the after-school program. The STEAM program at the library was also mentioned. In addition, a number of families mentioned a need for before-school care and day care for school-aged children on days when there is no school.

Rachel Boden said they would like to start a parent advisory committee. Plans are to begin meeting the evening of Oct. 24.

Fast and board chair Kelly Booton commended Miller, Boden and Gaeddert for their work.

Other business

In other business, the board:

• approved the purchase of a smart board for the preschool and one for the Title I classroom for $7,498. Fast told the board, “Prices have come down.” He said smart boards in the past cost twice as much, but could do only half as much as they can do now.

• discussed security cameras. Fast said 10 cameras at the high school need to be replaced, and additional cameras are needed for the parking lot as well as the elementary school. The board approved the proposal for security cameras for $6,976.25.

• heard from Scott Boden, junior high and high school principal, that the junior high and high school volleyball teams were undefeated.

• heard that volleyball sub-state is scheduled at Marion on Saturday, Oct. 21. Regional cross country is scheduled for the same day at the Meade golf course.

• learned that Goessel is now classified as a 2A school for activities and will be in the eight-man football division for the next two years.

• heard that FFA students had taken leadership during bullying awareness week to educate students in ways they can take a stand against bullying.

• heard of plans for Fire Chief Galen Miller to interact with elementary school students on a fire-safety day.

• heard from Boden that teacher in-service time at the junior high/high school on Oct. 13 would focus on preparing for parent-teacher conferences, as well as identifying strategies and specific goals for improvement for accreditation.

• heard from Fast that in-service day at the elementary school would focus on building a plan for “relationships and relevance” and online math resources, as well as other items.

• heard that all the schools in the county are now using Skyward accounting software.

• heard from Fast that Randy Watson and Dale Dennis of the state education commission had given advice to schools about cash carry-over.

• heard that Kansas Association of School Boards meetings will be Dec. 1-3. Fast told the board the meetings provide an excellent opportunity for information and to make connections with 1A to 6A schools in Kansas. He encouraged board members to attend the meetings.