Goessel district plans food drive for local food pantry

John Fast, Goessel superintendent and K-5 principal, told the board of education during its Nov. 14 meeting about plans for a food drive in December to benefit the Tabor Mennonite Church food pantry.

The pantry helps people of the community who find it difficult to provide food for their families. Fast said the plan is to take the children to the food pantry so they can understand how it helps.

Scott Boden, junior high and high school principal, told the board the high school is planning a community service day for Nov. 22.

He said the plan is to take students to the Mennonite Central Committee facility in North Newton to help with projects there.

Students will then do some volunteer jobs in the Goessel community, such as play games with Bethesda Home residents. They will end the day with activities at the grade school.

Teacher presentation

The board listened to a teacher presentation by Chrystiana Miller, the new Title I teacher. She is a graduate of Goessel High School and Kansas State University. She taught at Sheridan Ele­mentary School for three years.

Miller explained what she does as the Title I teacher. The first-graders she works with are doing sight word practice, sounding out words, and reading decodable books. They are practicing concepts through game formats. The first-graders have been working on number recognition, comparing numbers, and using “10 frames” and number words.

Her second-graders use the Reading Acceleration Program to work on sight words and reading concepts. They also read books that they are encouraged to read again at home that evening.

In third grade, students Miller works with have been working on “predictable vowel teams” using “word sorts” and white boards, and then reading them in “predictable texts.”

She said fourth-graders have done a novel study, and they are now working on a student-led research project.

The second, third and fourth grade math students Miller works with have been reinforcing math concepts they learn in the regular classroom with the GoMath curriculum.

In Miller’s classroom, students learn the concepts in a different way or at a different pace. She said the resources she uses for teaching addition, subtraction, multiplication and division by using activities and games to help the students see patterns in numbers and use the numbers in a “flexible” way.

Miller also works with a few kindergarten students and with some fifth-graders during their study hall time. She told the board about the Reading A-Z and The Parent Institute resources that she uses.

Miller said she is planning Family Reading Night for March 7 and hopes to send every child home with a new book at their reading level.

The board expressed appreciation for her work.

Other business

In other business, the board:

• accepted a $1,000 donation from Wal-Mart to help with the garden project. Fast applied for the money, and plans to use it for raised beds in the school garden. The board expressed appreciation for the donation.

• heard parent-teacher conferences had been well attended, with nearly 90 percent participation.

• heard a review of fall sports from Boden. He mentioned the girls’ cross-country team’s state championship and individual medalists. He said the high school volleyball team placed third at state. Scholar’s Bowl competition is underway, as well as basketball practices.

• heard that 21 junior high girls are participating in basketball, along with one manager. Thirty junior high boys are participating in basketball, as well as one manager.

Eighteen high school girls are playing basketball, assisted by three managers. Twenty high school boys are participating in basketball, and four students are managers.

• heard that high school basketball teams are connecting again with the younger community basketball teams as “buddies” and role models.

• heard of plans for a grandparents’ day on Nov. 22, hosted by third-graders and their teacher, Dale Wiens.

• heard of good attendance at the recent high school musical. Board chairman Dan Miller expressed appreciation for the musical, and Fast included the students and teachers who were involved with it.

• heard about Teacher Appreciation Week, Nov. 14-18. Fast said Crossroads Credit Union and Citizens State Bank provided snacks. Principals Fast and Boden, were planning to give pies to all the staff. The parent-teacher organization and booster club planned a breakfast and lunch for staff.

Fast invited board members to participate.

• heard about topographical Flint Hills maps the school received from the Flint Hills Discovery Center Founda­tion in Manhattan. Boden said the maps have been installed at the school.

• heard about the Octo­ber in-service day. Boden said teachers reviewed MAP assessment data. They also analyzed the Relevance rubric as part of the new accreditation process.

• briefly reviewed the recent board retreat. Board member Kelly Booton said it was “time well spent.” Board member Kyle Funk called it a positive time. Doug Moeckel, of the Kansas Association of School Boards, spoke to the board about setting goals.

• heard from Funk about a Marion County Special Education Cooperative meeting that he had attended. He said that MCSEC had received a “Project Search” grant.

• heard of plans for Fast, Miller and board member James Wiens to attend the KASB meetings Dec. 3-4.

• approved the purchase of Skyward computer software for accounting since the school’s current accounting software is outdated. Other schools in Marion County are planning to use it too.