On Friday, Feb. 7, Gothenburg Public School teachers and administrators met with law enforcement and site representatives at the school’s two off-site evacuation and reunification sites as part of the Safe Schools Plan. Dudley Elementary Principal Angie Richeson explained at the March 9 school board meeting that the visit was an opportunity for staff to acquaint themselves with the sites.
Richeson said that following the visit staff members recorded their comments, questions and concerns which the Safe Schools committee will review to begin planning for a drill. She said currently students and staff talk about and practice Safe School procedures, which includes fire drills, shelter in place, lockdown and lockout procedures.
Providing a safe learning environment is a top priority for the administration and staff at GPS, as is equipping teachers with the tools and resources they need to best educate all students. An example of that is the Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS) program under the direction of Michelle Mroczek and Kristin Butterfield. The ladies gave the board a powerpoint presentation during the meeting, outlining the system of academic, behavioral and emotional support offered to GPS students.
There were a few items on the board’s agenda which required action, including accepting the resignation of business and computer science teacher, Josh Clark. “He has been with the district for two years, and in that time he has totally transformed this class,” said High School Principal Seth Ryker.
The board also approved a contract for Kayla Paul for the kindergarten teaching position for the 2020-21 school year, and approved the addition of a full-time certificated teacher for next school year. “We believe the need is going to be at lower elementary for some time to come, but we left the position open ended to allow us to have some flexibility,” explained Superintendent Dr. Todd Rhodes.
After going through several committees with minor changes along the way, the 2020-21 school calendar was presented to the board for approval. Dr. Rhodes said that while there still may be some slight changes regarding wording, the dates are set as presented. The calendar lists the open house for next school year on Aug. 11, with the first day of classes on Aug. 13. Other breaks of note include Fall break Oct. 18 and 19, Thanksgiving break Nov. 25-27, and Christmas break Dec. 23 - Jan. 4.
The next meeting of the Gothenburg school board will be April 13 at 7 p.m.