Goessel students reach of excellence in reading, math

The Goessel School Board heard state assessment results for the 2007-08 school year at its Oct. 13 meeting.

John Fast, superintendent and elementary school principal, reported that grades three, four and five attained the standard of excellence in reading and math.

Marc Grout, high school principal, said grades seven, eight and 11 achieved the standard of excellence in reading. In addition, grade 11?this year?s seniors?also achieved the standard of excellence in math, history/government and science.

?We?re very proud of our students and teachers,? Grout said.

He said he thought this year?s senior class had attained the standard of excellence on every assessment test they have ever taken, which is a remarkable achievement.

On another matter, the board toured the high school vocational agriculture facility. Board members noticed the old electrical wiring system.

Ag teacher David Graham said he has 12 students in the engine/tractor class. He showed the board the original shop, which was built in 1953.

?When I came, this room was not being used (for teaching),? he said. It was a storage room with a walkway through it. Graham said he hauled out three pick-up loads from that room and turned it into an ag computer lab.

The board toured the original 1953 lunchroom, which is now part of the agriculture facility. Graham showed a cow skeleton that his students are working on in that room, as well as the fish tanks. He said he would eventually like to use that room for big projects.

Electricity in that room has been updated. He pointed out the overhead air duct that was set up for the wood shop. Graham said he would like to move that system into the welding shop to get rid of smoke.

The board noticed how small the paint shop is. Graham said it is possible to get a small tractor into the paint shop, but the wheels have to be removed. Consequently, floor jacks and a cherry picker are needed to move the tractor into the room.

Students have to paint bigger items outside.

Graham showed the part of the shop that was built in 1971. He teaches metal construction, welding and manufacturing in that shop. He is giving the students in that class some factory experience and said they would build a bridge for the city at the park across the drainage ditch.

Graham said he added a sheet-metal brake: ?It was low-cost. The freshmen all make tool boxes.?

The board viewed the welding booths. Graham said some schools have exhaust fans for welding. But he said the problem right now is electricity. Seven 240-volt outlets are available.

?We actually run out of electrical outlets,? he said.

Graham said the greenhouse and shop are on well water, not city water. Therefore, no drinking water is available in those buildings. Graham said the greenhouse is half-full of poinsettias that the students are growing to sell.

Graham explained the agriculture curriculum and said he is updating some classes in an effort to get some of his science classes regents approved.

He also talked about Carl Perkins funding, which is federal money for career and vocational training.

?We have to have an annual articulation agreement,? he said.

Goessel has an agreement with Hutchinson Community College; if a student completes the required curriculum at Goessel, it will save that student a class or three credit hours at HCC.

?You cover a lot of curriculum,? Fast said.

Board member Mary Rosfeld added, ?It?s a lot to keep track of…. You?re doing a great job.?

Graham asked the board for permission to take six students to the national FFA convention in Indianapolis near the end of October. The local FFA organization plans to pay for everything except the fuel.

Graham asked to use the school?s suburban for the trip. Besides the convention, FFA members plan to stop at the Indianapolis Speedway and either Harley Davidson motorcycles in Kansas City or the arch in St. Louis.

They also plan to stop at a dairy farm where 30,000 dairy cows are milked every day. The facility can milk 75 cows at a time three times a day. The farm makes its own cheese and ice cream and employs its own veterinarians.

The board approved the trip.

Goessel graduate Jared Unrau will receive a national degree at the convention.

In other business, the board:

n noted that parent-teacher meetings are scheduled for Monday afternoon and evening, Oct. 27.

n considered a possible scheduling conflict between the school play and football if the football team advances to sub-state. In that case, one play performance would be rescheduled for Sunday afternoon, Nov. 16.

n heard Fast report that the Heart of America league vocal concert had been outstanding.

n approved the second reading of the bus policy that states children who live in town can be picked up at two different places: the east part of town and the west part of town. The school is not required to provide bus pick-up for them, but it helps those children get to school.

n heard the new bus should arrived in mid-Novem?ber.

n approved a video monitoring system for the high school, following a recent break-in. Fast told the board most schools have such systems now. He said it would be a documentation system and a deterrent that would make the school safer. School employees could lay some of the cable; the cost would be $4,422.

n heard Fast report that this year only 17 percent of the students receive free or reduced price lunches. He said that is the lowest number the school has had. Previously, 27 percent of the students received free or reduced price lunches.

n heard that architect Kenton Cox had reviewed tornado shelters at both school buildings. He told Fast the locker rooms and hall at the high school would be safe at that building. He is considering options for the elementary school.

n heard board member Darla Meysing?s report of the recent Marion County Special Education Cooperative meeting she had attended. She said the group toured the new special education facility at Peabody. She reported teachers and paraprofessionals are thrilled.

n heard board member Dewayne Voth report on The Learning Consortium. He said the membership fee has gone down to $3,000 for this school year because expenses are lower.

n approved maternity leave for junior high English teacher Tonya Bartel.

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