Board of Education approves first reading of policies, handbooks


The acceptance of an athletic training services agreement, the first reading of a number of policies and several handbooks were among the items on the agenda when the Wayne Community Schools Board of Education met in regular session on Monday.

Board members first listened to a presentation from Becky Zavada and Rodney Cupp on their feelings about the district's response plan for the elementary school in regard to COVID-19.

The two, parents of an elementary student, said they felt the school should retain the mask requirement for students when school starts in the fall to allow time for children who are 11 years of age and younger time to be fully vaccinated.

An agreement with Providence Medical Center for athletic training services for the 2021-2022 school year was approved. It is similar to a former agreement with the hospital, but will reduce the cost to the district from $82,000 to $40,000 and will include services from August of 2021 to May of 2022.

First reading approval was given to policies ranging from bulletin boards to anti-discrimination to professional boundaries.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan told the board that a number of these policies were the result of recently passed legislation.

The policies will be brought back for final approval at the board's next meeting.

First reading approval was given to the K-6 Student Handbook and 2021-2022 Teacher Handbook.

Elementary Principal Russ Plager said there were only minor changes to the K-6 handbook, mostly in the form of updates on policies.

Action on the 2021-2022 Classified Staff Handbook was tabled until a future meeting.

The Wayne Community School Foundation Annual Report was presented by Director Brandon Foote.

Foote listed a number of activities supported by the Foundation that took place in the last year.

These included the awarding of five, $1,500 grants to teachers through the IDEA program. These will allow the teachers to purchase additional materials for the classrooms.

Foote told the board that the number of scholarships awarded by the Foundation, as well as sponsors for the scholarships, have increased.

Also in regard to the Foundation, a golf tournament has been scheduled for Friday, July 9 and an all-school reunion for July 10.

A bid from Hiland Dairy in Norfolk was approved for milk and dairy prices for the coming year, as was the addendum from First Student Bus (formerly Midstates Bus).

No action was taken on an agenda item dealing with district's membership in the Wayne Area Economic Development (WAED).

Board member Lynn Junck questioned what the district gets from being a member and the $750 cost to do so.

Board President Jeryl Nelson said he felt being a member "was a good thing, but I question our being a member at this level (silver)."

Additional discussion will be held on the topic at a future meeting.

During reports from administrators, Dr. Lenihan discussed the district's wellness policy and talked about the end-of-the-year administrative retreat.

Dr. Lenihan said the administrators talked about how things went during the recently completed school year and thanked everyone for " a really good school year." 

Special Education Director Misty Beair presented information to the board on testing results and noted that "our students came back with high scores than the national average. This might be due, in part, to the fact that we were able to be in school the entire year and our teachers worked hard at the beginning of the year, not knowing if we would be able to be in school the entire year."

The meeting ended with the presentation of a gift to Rochelle Nelson, who has served as the district's  Business Manager for a number of years. She will be leaving the position on June 30.

A board planning retreat has been scheduled for Tuesday, June 22 at the Early Learning Center. The 5 p.m. meeting will be facilitated by Marcia Herring, Director of Board Leadership with the Nebraska Association of School Boards (NASB).

The Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, July 12 at 5 p.m.