Board moves forward with plan to hire SPED teacher


Action taken during Monday's meeting of the Wayne Community Schools Board of Education will allow for the hiring of an additional Special Education teacher for the district.

Special Education Director Misty Beair discussed the number of students in the 7-12 grade program. She said it continues to grow, and in fact, added two new students this week. Several grade levels with large numbers of special education students at the elementary school will be moving to the junior-senior high building soon, thereby adding additional numbers to the workload of the teachers.

"There are also more students with multiple needs that we are serving," Beair said.

She said this is a good time to hire an additional 1.0 FTE teacher as the district will be eligible for funding for the position for several years. Her goal is to hire someone for a start date of January of 2022. She told the board that the reason this came up at this time is due to additional funding being made available.

Board member Sylvia Ruhl said she was concerned with having an additional teacher in the room as it could cause noise and distraction.

Beair said the school would look into locations in the junior-senior high school building to put the new staff member and students.

Also during new business, the board took action to purchase a cargo van to be used by the kitchen staff for the purpose of delivering lunches to school buildings.

A quote of $25,208 was received from Arnie's Ford through the state bid process. 

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan told the board that the cargo van would only be used by the kitchen staff and is lower to the ground and therefore safer to use. Students will not be transported in the vehicle.

The cost for the vehicle comes out of the Lunch Fund.

The purchase of a technology server for the district was approved at a cost of $34,597.59. It will be paid for with ESSR III funds as part of COVID-19 relief. These funds are designated to assist with student learning and the server will allow for better internet connections for the district.

It is anticipated the server will be installed during a break in the school year and with the assistance of staff at ESU #1.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, the Keating family presented the Wayne Community Schools Foundation with a check for $8,100.

The money represents the proceeds from a golf tournament held earlier this year in memory of Bob Keating.

Also during the public comment portion of the meeting, Scott Sievers spoke to the board on the possibility of having meetings at a time more convenient for parents and other patrons to attend.

"If you want parents to show up at meetings, there needs to be a better time to have them. I have talked to several parents recently who would like to see them at a different time. I would like this to at least be discussed," Sievers said.

In a report from the Facility/Safety/Finance Committee, it was noted that a meeting was held with the contractor to find a solution to a bathroom lock issue. Also discussed was the cost savings the district would realize by upgrading lighting in the high school gym, the Lecture Hall and auto shop.

Following the board meeting, an in-person Honor Coffee was held for the first time since early 2020.

Honored were members of the Spanish National Honor Society, National Spanish Exam Award honorees, members of the 2021-2022 National Honor Society and state Nebraska Bank Branch tellers.

The next meeting of the Wayne Community Schools Board of Education will be Monday, Nov. 8 at 5 p.m. at the junior-senior high school. In addition, there will be a community meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 27 at 5:30 p.m. at the Carroll Auditorium in Carroll.