Goessel considers budget-reduction options

The Goessel school board dealt with state-funding reductions during its April 11 meeting.

Following the lead of schools in the area, the board approved an activities fee and a band fee, beginning with the 2011-12 school year. The activities fee will be $30 for junior high students, but $10 for students who receive reduced-price lunches.

The activities fee for high school students will be $50, but $20 for those who receive reduced-price meals. Twenty-five percent of the revenue is to be shared with the athletic department.

The band fee was set at $50, but $20 for those who receive reduced-price meals.

The board and administration emphasized there will be a $100 cap per family for both fees combined. No family will be asked to pay more than $100.

In other budget action, the board approved a 10 percent across-the-board line item reduction.

In a prepared statement, the board and administration expressed appreciation to the staff, who have offered to reduce or postpone textbook purchases for next year.

?This goes a long way to helping us achieve the savings necessary to meet next year?s budget,? according to the statement. ?These actions, combined with a possible mill increase and tapping the contingency fund, will help us to balance the budget for next year.?

Lunch prices will be increased by 15 to 20 cents per meal for 2011-12.

Personnel changes

Following an executive session, the board made the following personnel changes:

? approved leave of absence for Jennifer Young, junior high math and science teacher, for the remainder of the school term.

? approved the administration?s recommendation to hire Bruce Stucky to fill in as junior high math and science teacher until the end of the current school year.

? voted to hire Russel Pauls for the junior high math position, which will be in addition to his duties as elementary school librarian.

? approved Chad Lindeman as sixth-grade science teacher, in addition to his other teaching and coaching duties.

? approved Gina Bergin as seventh-grade science teacher in addition to teaching family and consumer science.

? approved Donna O?Neill as eighth-grade science teacher, in addition to her high school science-teaching responsibilities.

? approved four track coaches for next year.

? approved two coaches for high school football and basketball.

? voted to discontinue the Lego robotics supplemental contract.

? approved a reduction in the business manager?s contract.

? approved a half-time aide for second grade, based on current enrollment. The board noted that enrollment needs could change.

The administration and board wished to ?reconfirm? and offer ?support and appreciation to all the…dedicated and caring staff? for their daily work in providing the ?best educational opportunities possible? for the students.

The administration and board acknowledged the ?challenging times that we live in,? and expressed commitment to continue ?making USD 411 not only an exceptional place for students to learn, but also an exceptional place to work.?

Community events

Turning its attention to another matter, the board heard of art teacher Brian Stucky?s plans for two ?Goessel community showcase? events, one May 5 and another June 11.

The first event will highlight the school?s spring barbecue and band and choir concert. The summer event will be a ?Community Treasure Hunt? on the day of city-wide garage sales. Stucky and his committee are planning prizes for those who participate in a treasure hunt.

Other business

In other business, the board:

? accepted the resignation of Rannie Schmidt, bus driver, effective at the end of the current school year. Superintendent John Fast said Schmidt has been ?connected to the school in many ways…. We?ll miss him.?

Schmidt has been a bus driver for 16 years. Fast said that Schmidt is willing to substitute.

? approved tenure for Joe Biggs, who teaches elementary health/physical education and computer. Biggs also coaches volleyball and basketball.

? approved tenure for Renae Peters, half-time junior high and high school vocal music teacher.

? approved a partnership with Moundridge for sharing a technology position, to be implemented by Aug. 1. The decision depends on similar approval by Moundridge.

? approved continuing membership with Parents As Teachers for the 2011-12 school year.

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