Audit, insurance and COIVD-19 highlight board meeting


 The district's financial status, the cost of insurance and how the district will move forward in regard to COVID-19 precautions were among the items on the agenda when the Wayne Community Schools Board of Education met on Nov. 9.

Lori Olson with Dana Cole, spoke to the board via Zoom to discuss the district's 2019-2020 audit.

Olson said that this year "was more of a challenge, but there were no significant difficulties." She praised the management and staff of the district for their "excellent cooperation."

Among the items of the audit Olson highlighted were the districts expenditures and the cash reserves.

She noted that the district's expenditures are well within the budget limits and fairly consistent with the last several years.

Wayne Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan told the board that is the second year Dana Cole has completed the district's audit and he was "very pleased with Lori (Olson) and Dana and the work they did."

Cap Peterson with Northeast Nebraska Insurance spoke to the board on the district property and casualty insurance coverage.

He explained to the board the current coverage and said that at last year's renewal, the board moved to change the deductible to $5,000 per incident. He said that it is possible to move to a $10,000 or $25,000 deductible, but felt the $5,000 option was the best for the district.

Peterson explained the Workers Compensation portion of the coverage and said that due to an increase in the number of claims in the district in the past year, the experience mod of the coverage went up considerably.

The total cost of the district's property and casualty insurance for the coming year will be $107,554, which is up from $98,947 for this year.

In regard to the COVID-19 update, Dr. Lenihan told the board that there have been an increase in the number of students who are absent from school, the bulk of those at the high school. He said that there has been no transmission of the virus in the school and those students who are quarantined have come in contact with it elsewhere.

Students who are absent from school are assigned a teacher who serves as a 'case manager' to monitor the student while they are not in school.

Dr. Lenihan said that due to the fact that students are out of school for up to two weeks, "most have major assignments to make up when they come back, including labs and tests."

A suggestion was made to move to a 2 p.m. dismissal each Friday to allow for teachers to work with students to make up work. In addition, the scheduled 10 a.m. start on Wednesday, Dec. 2 would change to a full day of school.

"Our goal is to maintain in-school, face-to-face instruction  for our students," Dr. Lenihan said.

Board members unanimously approved the request, beginning with a 2 p.m. dismissal on Friday, Nov. 13.

In other action, the board gave its approval for Dr. Lenihan to move forward with the process of obtaining a construction management firm to oversee the high school restroom renovation project. 

Dr. Lenihan explained how the process works and noted that the board will have considerable involvement as the district works through the project.

During presentations from administrators information was shared on a recent vocal concert at the high school, Red Ribbon Week at the elementary school and the fact that junior high athletics have been postponed until Nov. 16.

The next regular meeting for the Wayne Community Schools Board of Education will be Monday, Dec. 14 at 5 p.m. in the high school .