Goessel board hears test results for elementary kids

Goessel school counselor Janna Duerksen attended the Sept. 8 school board meeting to review test scores with the board. She reported ?Adequate Yearly Progress? statistics for grades K-5.

?We had 100 percent score proficient or higher,? she said of the reading score. The state goal is 75.6 percent.

Duerksen said that by the year 2016, ?everyone should be 100 percent proficient. We?ve already reached that.?

Duerksen reported Goessel scored 98 percent in math, while the state goal is 73.4 percent. She passed out a chart that showed the improvement through the years. Duerksen also pointed out the ?great attendance rates? of 97 percent, compared to the state goal of 90 percent.

Duerksen said high school students scored 89.4 percent on reading, compared to the state goal of 72 percent. The math score was 86.1 percent, compared to the state goal of 64.6 percent.

?We are far above,? she said.

Superintendent John Fast said, ?It?s a real compliment to our students and staff.

Duerksen also reported that the school?s composite ACT score compares with the state at 22.

?We have almost 100 percent participation? in the ACT test, she said. She suggested that juniors take the test and then take it again as seniors. She said ACT scores are typically higher for those who have taken more math and science courses.

The board also heard Duerk?sen explain the school district’s computerized ?My Learning Plan,? which is a professional development plan.

?It?s a wonderful program… we look at student data to see where our needs are,? Duerksen said.

In-service days are planned accordingly. Every teacher writes a professional development plan at the beginning of the year. They receive points for going to professional development events and for implementing new ideas and impacting students.

Duerksen told the board that teachers are allowed five years to earn points for licensure. Teachers who have a bachelor?s degree need 160 points, half from college classes. One college hour equals 20 points. Those who have a master?s degree need 120 points.

In addition, Duerksen said that each building has a school improvement plan. The board approved the professional development plan as presented by Duerksen.

In other business, the board:

n heard Marc Grout, junior/senior high school principal, review fall athletic teams. He said 26 students are in high school football, 19 in junior high football. Twenty students are participating in high school volleyball, 17 in junior high volleyball. He said the junior high volleyball team would have only had 11 students without the sixth-graders. Fourteen students are competing in cross country.

n discussed the music department?s request to change the eligibility policy concerning concerts.

According to Grout, students who are failing a class are currently ineligible to participate in athletic events, school plays, forensics events, music activities, school trips, FFA, student council and FCCLA activities.

Grout said the music department teachers requested the board remove concerts from the list since music students receive a grade for those classes, and concerts affect those grades. The music teachers do not feel it is fair to music students that failure in a different class could affect their grade in a music class.

Board member Lynnette Duerksen asked how many students that would affect. Grout said that no more than one or two students would be affected.

?Those in music are rarely ineligible,? he said, adding that music is graded, but students do not receive a grade for sports. ?I can see both sides of it.?

Board member Darla Meysing asked for clarification: ?What they?re saying is that a concert is not an extra-curricular activity; it is required??

Grout said, ?Yes.?

The board made no decision at this meeting. Grout said the discussion will continue and that a change in the policy would require a change in the handbook.

n heard from Grout that the band would play at the State Fair Sept. 10.

n heard Fast explain the walking program that he is continuing at the elementary school. Students walk with him on a voluntary basis for a few minutes at recess twice a week and receive rewards for walking. He said the group is keeping track of mileage and plotting its progress on a map in an effort to ?walk across Kansas,? which provides opportunities to learn about different Kansas communities along Kansas Highway 96.

He said the students walked 35 miles one day and should get to the east side of Kansas by the end of October.

?We had 96 percent participation rate today,? Fast said.

n considered a proposal from parent Karl Brubaker and Sherri Sells of the Marion County Extended Learning Program for a sixth-grade robotics extra-curricular activity. They requested the district purchase a kit and related items for about $1,520.

Fast had started a robotics program at the elementary school some years ago, and it had been scaled back recently due to changes in the location of the sixth grade, teaching loads and administrative loads.

Brubaker and Sells would like to sponsor a Robotics program with the hopes of participating in competitions again.

The board approved the request.

n discussed bus transportation for students who live in town. ?No student in town has to walk more than three blocks,? Fast said.

n increased the cost of adult lunches from $2.50 to $2.85, according to the state guideline.

n listened to Fast explain ?career clusters,? which will eventually be connected to state accreditation. Students will be asked to declare a career interest prior to entering high school.

Fast said, ?It sounds great in concept,? but he is not sure yet how to make it work in a small school.

Grout agreed: ?We?re limited in what we can offer.?

Fast continued, ?It?s going to mean some changes for us.?

Board chairman Lynel Unrau asked, ?What?s the impact on No Child Left Behind??

Fast said the answer to that question is not clear yet.

n learned of security measures that have been taken at the high school following the break-in that occurred during the Labor Day weekend. Grout commended custodians Norman Schmidt, Londell Duerksen and Rod Boese for their efforts in making the changes.

n decided to maintain ownership of one block of Church Street, which runs just west of the high school. The board had previously looked into deeding it to the city.

n listened to Fast explain the ?interest-based bargaining? process in relation to staff contracts. He said the Kansas Association of School Boards offers two one-day training sessions. The board reappointed board members Dan Miller and Lynnette Duerksen to attend.

n heard Meysing?s Marion County Special Education Cooperative report. She said the KLASS program is going well in Peabody, and five students are enrolled in it.

Lynnette Duerksen wondered how many students are in Oasis. Meysing said 17 are enrolled in that program. She said Florence owns the Oasis buildings and the former KLASS building, which is used for offices now.

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