Goessel board receives donation

The Goessel school board accepted a $1,000 donation from Countryside Feed in Hillsboro during its March 12 meeting with a special thank-you to Byron Noeth.

The donation is specified for families who need assistance to pay for school lunches. John Fast, superintendent and elementary principal, said the district appreciates the donation from a local employer that benefits Goessel families with employment and with support for farmers.

MCSEC presentation

The board listened to a report from David Sheppard, director of Marion County Special Education Coopera­tive.

Goessel has 19 grade school students receiving MCSEC services and 30 at the junior high/high school. Fast commended Sheppard for the excellent staff he has at Goessel.

“They do an outstanding job,” Fast said.

Sheppard said it is a goal of MCSEC to not leave any students behind. Sheppard said Goessel is the only school in the co-op that has visually impaired and hearing impaired students. Currently, Goessel has three.

Sheppard said state and federal funds for the co-op have been cut. Federal funding was reduced 10 to 15 percent last year. The co-op also is funded by assessments to the school districts in the county, based on enrollment the previous year.

Sheppard mentioned the co-op’s OASIS program, which stands for Oppor­tunity, Achievement & Suc­cess In Society. OASIS serves students with behavior and emotional challenges.

“We do work on academics, but the first thing we deal with is behavior,” he said. The students learn “new social skills so they can transition back to their neighborhood school.”

Goessel currently has four students in the OASIS program. Scott Boden, junior high and high school principal, affirmed the value of the individual counseling students receive.

Sheppard said the students do a “pretty good job of attending” because they know it is for their benefit.

MCSEC also offers help for autism. Sheppard said the autism team consults with classroom teachers to create interventions.

Sheppard mentioned the PAES program, Practical Arts Evaluation System, which teaches life skills to students with learning disabilities.

Sheppard told the board about Project SEARCH. Currently, some high school seniors are working at Tabor College. He said passionate people are working with the Project SEARCH students, and he saw first-hand the progress of the students.

Sheppard said the co-op is not able to fund Project SEARCH, but they received a grant, and Northview Developmental Services Inc. is helping.

Other business

In other business, the board:

◼ approved Kristina Conrady as an additional preschool aide. Fast said the preschool is “currently at full capacity.”

◼ heard the nutrition audit went smoothly. Fast said there were “absolutely no citations.” He commended Sandra Duerksen and Denise Nickel for their “excellent job of preparing all the necessary documentation ahead of time.”

◼ heard about the “abso­lutely awesome” career presentations by the juniors.

“Mrs. Guhr did a great job with that as part of the Project Management and English III class,” Boden said.

He thanked Ron Dirksen, Janna Duerksen and Crysta Guhr for being on the panel. Boden, who also was on the panel, said, “It was an excellent opportunity to engage students about their individual plan of study and career interests.

◼ expressed gratitude for the staff and community members who helped with basketball games throughout the season. Boden said the high school basketball teams finished the season with losses during sub-state play.

◼ heard that forensics students will be busy with events.

◼ heard that 36 high school students and 48 junior high students are involved in track. Boden said 14 high school students are participating in golf.

◼ listened to a presentation by Susie Klie­wer of Parents As Teachers. She said PAT serves children from birth to 36 months. She talked about the four components of PAT: home visits, group connections/community events, developmental screenings, and resource connections.

Kliewer mentioned the value of PAT for kindergarten readiness. The Goessel community has 11 children involved with PAT.

◼ heard that a family night for families with very young children is planned for April 20.

◼ reviewed insurance with Conrade Insurance and approved the contract of $53,426.

◼ talked about e-rate, which is government subsidy for allowing public entities to have Internet access. The board voted for a five-year e-rate contract with IdeaTek.

◼ heard a legislative report from board member Bryant Miller about a bullying bill that was passed in the House. Schools will be notified about safety standards.

◼ heard that Fast and Miller plan to attend the Schools for Quality Educa­tion “meet your legislator day” in Topeka March 27.

They are hoping some students will go, too, and deliver letters regarding their concerns for school safety.

Boden said the school is encouraging students to follow “Rachel’s challenge,” a positive school environment. The board talked about “situational awareness,” as well as student involvement and making everyone feel included.

Fast said the sheriff plans to walk through the school buildings with Fast and Boden.

◼ heard about the Carton to Garden project. Pam Abrahams, gardening coordinator, and Krista Graber are helping students plant seeds in milk cartons as a sensory garden that will also have a water feature. The plants will be transferred to the garden later.

The nutrition audit noted the gardening program as a model for the state.

◼ voted to allow out-of-state travel for the senior class to go to Oklahoma City for their senior trip.

◼ talked about the high school music trip to the American Classic competition in Dallas, Texas. Boden said 79 students will participate. The music department has already raised some of the money for the trip.

◼ heard that junior high students participated in the Wheat State League music contest at Solomon. The large groups all received I ratings.

◼ heard about summer projects at the junior high/high school building. Some classroom carpet at the high school was installed in 1995 and needs to be replaced. Kitchen flooring and agriculture classroom flooring need to be replaced.

◼ heard work has been done to fix the sprinkler system on the football field.

◼ heard school improvement activities March 9 will include individual plans of study, course planning and Kansas Education Systems Accreditation goal setting and action planning.

◼ heard about “The Hero Within Us” elementary school music program Feb. 15. Fast commended vocal and band teachers Marcia Brubaker and Scott Taylor for their work.

◼ heard about reading and art night March 6. Fast commended Chrystiana Miller, Russell Pauls and Kacie McGee for their work. He thanked Brian Stucky for appearing as Captain Goessel and board members Kyle Funk, Bryant Miller, Ben Schrag and Patrick Flaming for helping to serve the meal. Fast said 223 people registered that evening.

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