Goessel School Board updates insurance set up

The Goessel school board met on March 11 and listened to Caleb Good of Conrade Insurance, Newton. He reviewed the school’s insurance policy and briefly explained each item. He noted that the elementary school building is under-insured at $96 per square foot. He suggested raising the amount this year and then more in the future to align the insurance with replacement cost.

The board spent some time deliberating how much to raise the insurance amount and eventually decided to insure the elementary school building at $149 per square foot, which is the same amount of insurance for the junior high/high school building. The board felt that it is the board’s duty to the community to insure the buildings properly. Good said replacement costs have risen in recent years.

Superintendent/elementary school principal Dr. John Fast noted that even with the increase, the school’s insurance with Conrade Insurance will still be thousands of dollars lower than it had been with the previous insurance company for less coverage. Fast also reminded the board, “We are growing each year, not declining,” in enrollment.

Turning their attention to another matter, the board reviewed a possible policy for use of the breath alcohol tester that was donated to the school by the Marion County Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Junior high/high school principal Scott Boden has been working on the policy. He has checked with other schools about their policies and presented a sample to the board. Board members added their opinions, and the policy will be reviewed again at another meeting.

In other business, the board:

* heard of Fast’s plans to attend a Schools for Quality Education breakfast with legislators in Topeka on Tuesday, March 19. He was hoping to receive information about school finance at that meeting. He invited board members to go along with him.

* heard board member Kyle Funk briefly mention Kansas legislature bill 142 about school financing. Board member Ben Schrag commented that it seems to have bi-partisan support. Fast said it would be awesome if it passes. If it would be done by the first of April, that would be the first time in years.

* heard from Boden that all high school juniors will give a presentation on March 27 and 28 about the careers they explored as part of high school teacher Crysta Guhr’s Project Management and English III class. Boden encouraged board members to come and listen. “It’s a great opportunity” to hear about the students’ interests, he said.

* heard that Early Learning Engagement Night is planned for April 5, with Old MacDonald as the theme. More information will be shared later.

* heard that Goessel’s portion of Parents as Teachers funding will likely be $6,932.

* heard from Boden about the recent junior high music festival at Little River and the high school band performance at State KMEA (Kansas Music Educators Association). He said they performed well.

* heard from Fast that the elementary school spring concert was well attended.

* heard from Fast that 300 people had attended the Family Reading Night. He commended teachers and board members for their work for the “wonderful evening.”

* heard that forensics students are busy with numerous events.

* heard from Boden of recent FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) accomplishments. He said a Goessel student was selected as a state officer, and Goessel’s FCCLA won a $500 grant through the Lead2Feed Challenge for their “give one, get one” service project.

* heard from Boden that track and golf practices would start soon. Projections are for a large number of participants, 13 in golf, 47 junior high students in track, and 41 high school students in track.

* approved Tara Churchill, elementary school physical education teacher, as an assistant track coach. Fast commented, “She brings a lot of expertise.”

* approved the resignation of Gretchen Schrag as cheerleader sponsor. The administration expressed appreciation for her leadership.

* approved the purchase of high school volleyball uniforms from Lou’s Sporting Goods for $1,620. Boden said that shorts will be purchased separately.

* heard about summer projects at the high school, including continued replacement of carpet in classrooms and floor tiles in the restrooms. Boden said the work will replace flooring in the 1990s addition.

* heard that Algebra I will no longer be offered to eighth graders. The current thinking is that students who skip eighth grade math miss some concepts that they need to know.

* reviewed plans for the 2019-2020 school calendar. Board members Pat Flaming and Maynard Knepp had met with a group of teachers and heard that they are interested in more professional development days. Therefore, Friday, August 16 will be added to the calendar as a professional development day with Rebecca Lewis-Pankratz of ESSDACK making a presentation.