Goessel board to aid student recycling

Representatives from the student council at Goessel High School convinced the USD 411 Board of Education at its Sept. 14 meeting to help fund student-initiated recycling efforts at the school.

Bryant Miller, president, and Sierra Dirksen, vice president, along with the StuCo sponsor Brian Stucky, reported that 16,000 plastic beverage bottles a year were thrown away at the junior/senior high school.

Dirksen described the recycling program that was set up with Stutzman Refuse Disposal and funded by StuCo, at a cost of $27 per month, $243 for a school year. But the rate has doubled, to $54 per month, $486 per school year, Miller said.

?We?re going month to month,? he said, ?but our money will run out soon?very soon. What we?re asking is for the district to finance half.?

Dirksen said StuCo also has a paper recycling program.

Miller informed the board that StuCo currently uses two 90-gallon tubs for plastic bottles and two 90-gallon tubs for paper.

Junior/senior high school principal Marc Grout said, ?Those are not anywhere near enough.?

Added Miller, ?So the rest are just thrown away.?

Dirksen said 50 to 60 percent of the bottles at the school are recycled. Grout said the bins for bottles are full after one ball game, and the bins for paper fill up in a week.

?We could do more (recycling),? Grout said.

Miller and Dirksen reported that StuCo had checked with Marion County and found that the county would pick up recyclables at no cost but would charge $100 for each container.

Under the county program, StuCo members would have to remove all bottle lids and drain all the contents. They would have to load the bottles and take them to Goessel?s city building on a Saturday morning.

Dirksen said they are willing to do that, but they don?t always have the time. She said the county program would require StuCo to separate different kinds of paper.

Grout summarized the two challenges with the county program: students would have to come on Saturday, and they would have to dig through trash to get bottles, dump the contents, and take off the lids.

Superintendent John Fast expressed health concerns about digging through the trash and dumping the contents of bottles.

Fast praised the students: ?I think its commendable that StuCo is taking responsibility for recycling. I want to commend you for it.?

Board member Darla Meysing agreed: ?I think we need to support what they?re doing.?

Board member Maynard Knepp said he wants to talk with StuCo about recycling options.

?Could we help them this month?? he asked.

Then he suggested making a decision about the matter at the next board meeting. The board decided to help pay the cost on a 50/50 basis with StuCo from August through October while waiting to consider Knepp?s proposal.

ACT scores

Counselor Janna Duerksen presented ACT test scores from last school year?s seniors, the 2009 graduates.

?We had a strong class last year,? she said. ?We had five seniors with a 4.0 (grade-point average). I am happy to report that our scores are up…. Overall, our school does very well.?

She presented a chart that showed average Goessel ACT scores compared to the state average in five areas. The GHS seniors averaged 23.6 on the English exam, compared to the 21.4 state average; 22.1 on mathematics, 21.7 state; 24.5 on reading, 22.4 state; 22.7 on science, 21.8 state. The GHS average composite was 23.3, compared to the state average composite of 21.9.

Other business

In other business, the board:

n heard that enrollment was steady. Fast said, ?Since the last report, we have neither gained or lost any students.? The head-count is holding at 267, up 12 from last year.

n approved the resignations of Gayle Voth and Denise Woelk as ?at-risk? tutors. They had been shared days 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. during the week.

n approved a contract for Gretchen Schrag to be the at-risk tutor, 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. all five school days.

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