Goessel board OKs contract for new K-5 math curriculum

The Goessel school board approved during its Dec. 14 meeting a six-year contract for a new math curriculum that will serve kindergarten through fifth grade.

The board listened to a teacher presentation by fifth-grade teacher Ilona Abra?hams and kindergarten teacher Sheri Janzen.

The elementary school math textbooks need to be replaced, and teachers had researched materials from various publishers.

Janzen said they found curriculum that is compatible with common core requirements; teachers do not have to supplement the curriculum in order to meet common core standards.

Janzen described the materials as ?kid-friendly? and ?teacher-friendly.? Lessons come with games and activities, paper and pencil assignments, computer assignments, and videos that are two to five minutes long.

She said the computer component is interactive; students complete it at their own pace.

Abrahams said there would be no hard-cover book with the math curriculum. She also said most curriculum changes within five years.

?We?re looking for something new,? she said.

John Fast, superintendent and elementary school principal, said there would be a six-year contract for this math curriculum, and a one-time payment would pay for everything for the six years.

The board approved the six-year ?Go-Math? contract, with a one-time payment of $14,430. This will cover kindergarten through fifth grade.

Teachers felt the price was reasonable. Fast said the district would receive a discounted if the school orders by the deadline. After the deadline, the cost would be $16,000 for the six-year contract.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? expressed appreciation for the anonymous donation of an elliptical machine for the high school weight room.

? heard from Fast about progress on the Westar panels at the elementary school. He expects the project to be ready for use in January.

? heard Scott Boden, from junior high and high school principal, that Patrick Loganbill had done an ?excellent job? of working with the high school student council to organize the community service day.

Students worked at the Mennonite Central Commit?tee center in Newton, raked leaves in the community, played games with elementary school students, participated in activities with Bethesda Home residents, baked cookies for community residents, helped with school and community clean-up projects, and collected cans of food for the Tabor Mennonite Church food pantry.

? heard that elementary school students collected more than 400 items for the Tabor Mennonite Church food pantry. As a reward, the parent-teacher organization is sponsoring ventriloquist Greg Classen for a program for the students.

? heard from Boden that parents had been invited to tour the schools, attend class with their children and eat lunch with them during American Education Week.

Student Council members helped lead the tours. Boden said 10 parents attended.

? heard from Fast that 58 grandparents had visited the third grade for Grandpar?ents Day Nov. 24. Students provided PowerPoint presentations about their family history, and grandparents were invited to share stories from their school years.

? heard about roof damage from the recent ice storm. Boden said the damage was in the 1998 addition and caused leaks into high school classrooms..

? discussed parking spaces at the high school, especially in relation to the American With Disabilities Act. Boden said work is being done to propose additional parking spots in the west lot that would include a concrete pad and a ramped sidewalk that would be van accessible.

? discussed additional lighting for the high school parking lot.

? listened to a report from Fast and board member James Wiens about the recent Kansas Association of School Boards meetings they had attended. Wiens mentioned that the keynote speaker reminded him ?how very lucky we are to have Dr. Fast as our superintendent. He is pretty much the epitome of the speech.?

Wiens mentioned the quote by John Wesley that appears on all of Fast?s e-mails: ?Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways that you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.?

? heard Wiens say accreditation ?is still vague, and there is some confusion,? and that state assessments are changing.

? viewed the book about blue birds that the Bluebird bus representative had given Wiens at the state school board meetings. The hard-cover book is a gift from the Bluebird bus representative to the Goessel Grade School library.

? heard that the McCrel evaluation tool would be used for staff and administration evaluations. Fast commended the staff; he said they work ?exceedingly hard? with many extra activities.

? heard board member Kelly Booton report that the Marion County Special Education Cooperative board had met for a brief meeting. Fast said the MCSEC staff who work at Goessel will be at Goessel for in-service Jan. 18.

? approved the auditing contract with Knudson Monroe & Co., Newton.

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