The Goessel school board accepted a $1,200 donation from Cooperative Grain & Supply and Land O?Lakes during its Oct. 12 meeting.
Local resident Matt Voth is on the board of CG&S.
John Fast, superintendent and elementary school principal, said he had invited Voth and Lyman Adams to attend the meeting. Fast said they understand that ?finances are tight for schools? now and wished to help.
Half of the donation will be used to buy a veterinarian kit for Zana Manche?s class, and half will help support the school garden that Pam Abrahams coordinates.
The board expressed appreciation for the donation.
Fast showed the board some peanut plants. He said Abrahams had wanted to try growing peanuts in the school garden.
?The kids have had so much fun digging out these peanuts,? he said.
The students learned that peanuts do not taste like familiar peanuts until they are roasted. Fast said nutrition directors at the state level want to use the Goessel school garden as a model for other schools.
Fast commended Abra?hams and the elementary schoolteachers for their work with the school garden and for their education efforts with the students.
The board also accepted a Westar Energy Photovol?taic Grant. Ben Postleth?wait, representing Westar, said he is on the ?green team? at Westar?mostly people with biology degrees. The ?green team? works with environmental education and stewardship.
The team volunteer time for doing good deeds, he added. Postlethwait said he climbs trees to help with eagle banding for the Parks and Wildlife Service. He also does a lot of public speaking.
?I go into a lot of classrooms to speak,? he said.
Postlethwait said the grant process started two years ago. Ninety applicants responded and 15 projects were awarded . He said the grants mostly focused on nature centers and universities. But they looked for entities that are ?on fire? for the project they were proposing.
?John (Fast) did a really good job? presenting a plan for Goessel,? Postlethwait said. Fast said 14 district staff people had been involved in the grant application.
Postlethwait said the grant should help educate students and communities about renewable energy by giving them something they can see. The grant will provide solar panels for the school that should help with electric costs.
Postlethwait introduced Mark Horst of King Solar. Horst works with renewable energy and chose a micro inverter for Goessel. He said it will be 12 panels wide by three panels tall and will have a 25-year warranty.
Horst said the panels are made from products developed in Oregon. The panels will be as thick as a car windshield and can withstand hail about the size of Ping-Pong balls.
Horst said the panels will be installed west of the grade school. He hopes to start working on the project in November.
The board voted to accepted Westar?s $36,400 check that will ?flow through? the school?s account to King Solar. The board expressed appreciation to Westar and King Solar.
The board reviewed the district?s crisis plan, which contains information about numerous different crises and lists contact information. Fast had attended crisis training, along with Scott Boden, junior high/high school principal, and Janna Duerksen, school counselor. They reviewed the crisis plan with employees at an in-service session.
The school conducts fire drills, tornado drills and lock-down drills. Fast said it is a challenge to plan enough drills so staff and students know what to do, but balance those drills so children will not be frightened.
Fast said school doors are now locked during the school day, and all visitors must enter through the front door at each school. No one is allowed to let visitors in through another door. Fast said patrons have been supportive of the door security that is now in place.
Grade school classrooms have a packet of information by the door, listing class rosters and crisis information. Teachers are to take the packet with them in the case of a crisis.
Fast said the sheriff department inspects the buildings and conducts training in the school.
In other business, the board:
? approved Lacie Hill as a substitute bus driver and custodian.
? approved Tom Zogel?man as the second assistant high school girls? basketball coach. Coaches are expecting that 29 girls are likely to play basketball this year.
? approved teachers Donna O’Neill, Beth Ratzloff and Andrew Voth as high school play directors.
? approved a trip for six students and two adults to Family, Career and Com?munity Leaders of America ?cluster? meetings in Dallas, Texas, Nov. 20-22.
The students told the board they would learn leadership, teamwork and communication skills, will finance the trip by fundraisers and concession stand sales.
? heard that Fire Chief Galen Miller spoke to elementary school students about fire safety and prevention.
? approved teachers Tom Krehbiel and Donna O?Neill to attend a science conference in Kansas City.
? talked briefly about sports 1A and 2A classifications.
? discussed the state?s changing rules about home-school students in regard to extra-curricular activities.
? heard about the county?s anti-drug and anti-alcohol presentation scheduled for Oct. 26. The Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition will cover transpor?tation costs.
? heard about the anti-bullying week at the junior high/high school building.
? heard Miller?s report about the countywide meeting he had attended for elected officials. Mayor Dave Schrag also attended.
Miller said the group talked about roads, health and emergencies. He said the needs in the county are significant for food banks, transportation and affordable housing, but ?Marion County has a lot of good things to offer.?
? heard the Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from board member Kyle Funk. He said the MCSEC board had discussed insurance.
? heard from board member Darla Meysing that The Learning Consortium is ?running smoothly.?
? heard a legislative report from board member James Wiens. He said the Legislature talked about board elections and school funding.
? discussed the board retreat in November.
? discussed the county?s Neighborhood Revitaliza?tion Plan.