Goessel School Board discusses masks for spectators

The Goessel school board met on Nov. 8 and spent some time discussing COVID-19 protocol, policies, and enforcement, particularly in regard to public evening events. The board voted 6-0 to change the wording for “spectators and audience” protocols. When the junior high/high school is in the “red” criteria, masks will now be “strongly recommended indoors.” Previously, masks were required when the school was “red.” Signs on the doors will continue to let the audience/spectators know the color level of the building and the recommended precautions.

The board studied a “flow chart” that was developed to explain when someone would need to be tested for covid and when a student would need to stay home. The board talked about the state law that currently limits remote learning to 40 hours per student. However, an exemption allows the school to receive full funding for students who exceed 40 hours. The school board passed the exemption.

Superintendent/elementary school principal Mark Crawford showed the board an example of the air purifiers that had been purchased recently. He said they are the highest quality available. ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) funds were used to buy the air purifiers. Crawford said the school is also still using the ionizers that were purchased previously.

Crawford told the board that COVID-19 vaccinations are now available for younger students, and Hesston Pharmacy would be coming to Goessel the following evening to provide vaccinations in the Goessel community.

Turning their attention to another matter, the board listened to Chrystiana Miller, Title I and ELL (English language learner) teacher. She talked about “kindergarten readiness” and the timeline of the school’s preschool. She said that August 2017 was the first school year that USD411 offered preschool in the school building. She said enrollment for three-year-olds has been five to 10 students. Enrollment for four-year-old children has been eight to 14 students.

Noting that the preschool within the school was the “first big dream,” the second “big dream” would be a school-sponsored child care center. Currently, parents have to take their children somewhere else for child care.

Miller told the board about Family Engagement Night for families with young children. She also mentioned Parents As Teachers and Head Start.

In other business, the board:

* heard from junior high/high school principal Scott Boden about fall sports. He said the boys cross country team placed fifth at state competition. He also mentioned volleyball and said the high school football team advanced in competition.

* heard about winter sports. Boden said that 16 junior high girls are involved in basketball, as well as 14 boys. At the high school level, 22 girls are participating in basketball and 23 boys.

* heard about the school play, Swedish Rumspringa, which was scheduled for November 13 and 14. The play was written by Carol Duerksen. She was directing the play, along with Doris Unruh and D J Freeman.

* approved Sharleen Francis as head forensics coach and Christopher Boldt as assistant forensics coach.

* heard from Boden that a group of staff would attend a Trauma Informed Conference in Kansas City on Nov. 11 and 12.

* heard from Boden that music teachers were making adaptations to concerts for covid precautions.

* heard from Boden that parent/teacher conferences went smoothly.

* heard about the school’s enrollment. Crawford said, “Our enrollment is holding steady,” at 283.5 full-time equivalent.

* heard from Crawford about a scheduling committee.

* approved the month’s bills of $125,847.26.

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