Goessel School Appreciates Donation

The Goessel school board met on September 10 and accepted a Sartorius scale donation from Darrell Salsbury, a local retired veterinarian. Junior high/high school principal Scott Boden described the scale as “a precision electronic scale that measures to the tenth of a gram,” and it has a capacity of 12kg, which Boden said is very high for something of its precision. He said it can be used for a variety of experiments and observations where precise measurements of mass are needed. The scale will be useful in science and agriculture classrooms. The board wished to thank Salsbury for the donation.

Turing their attention to another matter, the board noted the school board minutes from September 11, 1968, 50 years ago. The longest agenda item at that meeting was a discussion about roads. The 1968 school board was concerned about the lack of maintenance and the lack of gravel on county roads in the school district. The current school board noted that not much has changed in those 50 years; the board is still concerned about county roads in the school district.

In other business, the board:

◼ heard that a few more students had enrolled since the previous report, bringing the new total to 302 K-12 students, compared to last year’s total of 289. In addition to the K-12 students, 17 children are enrolled in the preschool.

◼ listened to the financial audit from Vonda Brecheisen of Knudsen and Monroe. She said they found no mistakes and commended the work of Joni Smith, school board clerk: “Joni did a really good job for you… This is not easy software to use… We’d like to recognize your good work.” Superintendent/K-5 principal Dr. John Fast said that Smith has “mastered” the software, and other schools ask her for help. Brecheisen commended Fast for his work too. “You have a really good staff,” she told the board. Kelly Booton, board chair, thanked Smith and Fast for their work. The board approved the audit report.

◼ heard that Dr. Randy Watson, Kansas Commissioner of Education, plans to come see the school on Wednesday, October 3. Fast invited the board to come that day too and interact with Watson. Fast noted that Watson says success “has been defined too narrowly,” and we need to redefine it.

◼ saw the very large book of policies that the school uses. There is no record of an audit of the policies. The board agreed that an audit should be done by the Kansas Association of School Boards to be sure the school’s policies are all in compliance with state mandates. Board member Pat Flaming wondered if KASB has legal counsel in conducting the audit. Fast said yes, KASB uses legal counsel to make sure everything is correct. Fast commented that the hope is the school will never have to deal with some of the policies, but they are necessary in case certain situations arise. The board approved an audit for $5,500. The policies will then be available by computer and should be more easily accessible.

◼ noted the training the staff had received at the beginning of the school year. Training included ALICE training, as well as suicide prevention, blood-borne pathogens, sexual harassment, emergency safety interventions, mandated reporting, professional boundaries, individual student goals, and accreditation goals.

◼ heard that the first emergency evacuation drill had already been conducted. All students and staff exited the building as quickly as possible in accordance with ALICE training. Additional drills will be conducted throughout the year. “Our staff did a good job,” Boden said.

◼ listened to students of Alicia Oard, agriculture education teacher. Students in her horticulture class had developed a plan for landscaping by the entrance of the high school. They had researched plants that would work well in that area. They showed pictures and had prepared a cost estimate. The board approved the plan for up to $700. Booton commended the students and thanked them for their work.

◼ heard numbers for fall sports — high school football: 19, high school volleyball: 19, high school cross country: 22, junior high football: 16, and junior high volleyball: 21.

◼ noted the very long day of volleyball games on September 8. Boden expressed appreciation to the “staff and all their work” that day.

◼ listened to the Marion County Special Education Cooperative report from board member Bryant Miller. He said the board saw the new concrete slab at the Oasis school in Marion. It will be used for basketball. The Marion agriculture class made a basketball goal. Miller also said the three students in the Project Search program are all still in their employment. He noted the 100 percent success rate and said the hope is to expand the program.

◼ heard The Learning Consortium report from board member Darla Meysing. She said the dues are still $2,000 for this school year.

◼ visited with Ben Jones, candidate for Kansas State Board of Education. Jones is a native of Sterling. He noted that six of the 10 SBOE members represent the biggest school districts, and four cover the small districts, the rest of the state. He has already visited 19 schools. Fast noted that while a lot of small schools are declining, Goessel has been growing. He also said that close to 100% of Goessel’s students graduate, and the recent bond project passed with a 90 % approval rate. Jones talked with the board about the “redesign” concept. Fast noted recent changes that have aligned Goessel with the redesign model, such as student-led parent-teacher conferences, the school’s preschool, and project-based learning.

◼ approved the financial statements of $137,393.48.

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