Goessel School Board Hears of Required Drills for students

The Goessel school board met on August 13 and heard about required school safety drills. Superintendent/elementary school principal Dr. John Fast told the board that schools were required to have nine fire drills and three tornado drills last school year. However, he said this year, schools are required to have four fire drills, three tornado drills, and nine crisis drills. Some of the drills need to be a full evacuation, and others will be a lock-down drill.

Fast listed some of the drills: lockout, lockdown, evacuate, and staged scenario. He said a lockout drill consists of securing the perimeter; no one is allowed to come and go from the school. A lockdown drill means classroom doors are locked; students and staff “shelter” in the classroom. During an evacuation drill, everyone leaves the building to a predetermined site. A “staged” scenario means that teachers and students respond according to protocol determined by a scenario they receive.

Parents will be informed about the drills at the school open house. School board members noted that the school will need to stage more than one drill a month during the school year. “It’s a sign of the times,” Fast said about the drills. Fast said the school wants to “look at all we can do to make our facilities and grounds safe.” He told the board about a security box system that another school has. He also said the sheriff would be coming the next day for safety training with all school employees.

Turning their attention to another matter, the board heard student enrollment numbers — kindergarten: 20, first grade: 18, second grade: 21, third grade: 16, fourth grade: 24, fifth grade: 24, sixth grade: 20, seventh grade: 25, eighth grade: 20, freshman: 36, sophomore: 23, junior: 26, and senior: 27, for a total of 300, compared to last year’s total of 289. Fast said the higher number is mostly due to more in-district students. The junior class includes six exchange students. In addition, 17 students are enrolled in preschool.

In other business, the board:

* voted to hire Ben Gardner as the second assistant high school football coach. He will also be a para at the elementary school through the Marion County Special Education Cooperative.

* heard that Coaches had attended the Kansas State High School Activities Association coaching school in Topeka.

* heard from Fast and junior high/high school principal Scott Boden about activities at the beginning of school. Sports practices began on August 13. Fall sports preview at the high school is scheduled for August 24.

* heard that athletic director Brian Lightner had presented information on concussion awareness, insurance, and sportsmanship at the parent sports meeting.

* heard that the preschool open house was scheduled for August 15, the first day of school August 16, and elementary school open house August 21.

* heard that Fast, Pam Abrahams, Krista Graber, and board member Maynard Kenpp were planning to go to Topeka to receive the Kansas Can Award.

* heard of projects that Ben Schmidt and Tony Girard completed at the junior high/high school building during the summer: painting, waxing floors, landscaping, plumbing, and electrical, in addition to updates in the kitchen. Boden said the kitchen improvements “are especially noticeable and appreciated.” Boden commented, “There’s always lots to do.”

* discussed a request from a family who moved into the Goessel school district; their children still attend school in their previous district. The parents asked for permission to have a bus from the other district come and pick up their children. The residence is two and a half miles from Goessel school and three and a half miles from the border with the other school district. Fast said superintendents try to honor the school district borders for bus pick-ups. It was noted that it can become a “headache” between districts and does not promote goodwill if buses cross into another district’s territory. Board members commented that they would love for the family to bring their children to school at Goessel. The board voted to deny the bus request.

* heard that fire alarm panel boxes need to be replaced. Two of the boxes are very old.

* heard of a Kansas Association of School Boards meeting in Salina on August 23. Fast said he plans to go, as well as board members Ben Schrag, Pat Flaming, and board chair Kelly Booton. Fast said the meeting will focus on foundations of boardsmanship.

* saw a demonstration of a Tru Touch educational board.

* heard the treasurer’s report from Fast. “We’re in good shape,” he said. He compared expenses to the previous year. He said trash fees have increased, $373 a month now.

* heard that a new bus has been ordered, for a cost of $115,533.