Board of Education discusses WAED membership


Among the items on the agenda when the Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education met on Monday was membership in Wayne Area Economic Development (WAED).

WAED Executive Director Luke Virgil presented information on the history and work of WAED and discussed funding sources for the organization. These include membership fees, funding from the city of Wayne and programming offered by the organization. Funds are also generated by the Wayne Chicken Show, the annual banquet and Vendor Golf Tournament.

Virgil explained the benefits to the school as a member of the organization. These include getting the school's message out to the community on social media and working on projects such as the job shadow event held in the past.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan, who serves on the WAED board, said one of the benefits is the ability to work with other members of that board.

Board member Lynn Junck said "the school is a service, not a business. It is not comparable to other businesses that are members."

During the action item portion of the meeting,  the board voted to join WAED at the bronze level with a $400 membership fee.

The annual hearing for several policies was held with no one from the public commenting on them.

These included policies on bullying, student fees, homeless students and parent involvement.

Several policies received second reading approval during the meeting. These included items such as bulletin boards, anti-harassment, employee anti-discrimination, professional boundaries, standing committees (board president) and standing committees on negotiations.

Board members voted to not accept a change in the Early Learning Center Handbook which would have granted a 10 percent discount for families with two children in preschool at the same time.

Superintendent Lenihan updated the board on the current renovation project involving the restrooms at the high school. He said the project is going well and is on schedule.

In other board action, first reading approval was given to the 2021-2022 Classified Staff Handbook. 

Dr. Lenihan told the board that he would like to allow benefit-eligible staff the ability to accumulate sick days up to a maximum of 25 days.

"We don't offer health insurance to these employees and I feel that this would be a gesture that would show that we appreciate what they do."

Board members agreed to this change in the handbook.

Dr. Lenihan was appointed treasurer for the district. The search is underway for a full-time Business Manager who would have this responsibility and the action taken at Monday's meeting will allow Dr. Lenihan to serve in this capacity.

First reading approval was also given to Policy 6600, which involves Special Education for all students in the district from birth to 21 years of age. Updates to the document were presented and discussed. 

A contract with First Student Bus for bus parking on school property was presented but no action taken. The item will be brought back to the board after some changes are made to allow the district the opportunity to terminate the agreement on a month-to-month basis.

The Wayne Community Schools Safe Return to Learn Survey was discussed. There were 103 responses from the public and "most were positive" according to Dr. Lenihan.

The district's safe return to school plan was presented and while it is not mandatory, Dr. Lenihan said he felt "it is still good to have levels." (green, yellow and red).

The Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, Aug. 9 at 7 p.m. The time of the meeting as been moved back to accommodate the Open House planned for that evening. The meeting will be held at the junior-senior high school.