Resignations, COVID-19 updates on board agenda


The resignations of three staff members at Wayne Community Schools and the district's COVID-19 plan moving forward highlighted Monday's meeting of the Board of Education.

Resignations from Monica Jensen (elementary music), Brad Hoskins (elementary physical education) and Carolyn Harder (school nurse) were accepted.

Jensen has been teaching at the school for 15 years, the last three full-time.

The board voted to hire Christiana Koeppe to fill Jensen's position. She will also be assisting with the high school musical and may have additional duties.

Hoskins has been teaching in the school system for 17 years.

Harder has been employed with the district for 22 years and in addition to her nursing duties, has taught CNA classes.

The board discussed how to move forward to fill Harder's position and the possibility of having the person hired be on a 10 month contract.

In other action, the board voted to  eliminate the 2 p.m. dismissal time on Fridays through the fourth quarter.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan told the board that "there has been minimal activity and very few students out due to COVID-19 exposure. There has been a downward trend since we got back from Christmas break."

Dr. Lenihan also said the school staff wishing to receive the COVID-19 vaccine did so last week and will receive the second dose on Thursday, April 1. Because of this, Dr. Lenihan asked, and the board approved having a 2 p.m. dismissal of students that day.

When asked about eliminating the requirement to wear a mask, Dr. Lenihan said discussion has taken place and will continue to do so. The possibility of eliminating the requirement after the staff receives a second dose of the vaccine was discussed.

A presentation from Educational Service Unit  (ESU) 1 Administration Bill Heimann and ESU Special Education Director Stuart Clark included information on the services provided by the ESU to the district.

Heimann told the board that the ESU provides services to 23 schools in a six county area.

"We (the ESU) come in when schools ask for help. For this reason, every contract we have with the schools looks different, based on what that particular school needs," he said.

He also talked about the challenges of the past year and shared the ESU timeline for getting contract information to the schools.

Clark said "a lot goes into the services we provide - millage costs, materials for teachers and salaries."

Heimann said the ESU has a $13 million budget, of which approximately 70 percent is contracted services. Additional funding sources include property taxes, state aid and state and federal grants.

Approval was given for the Administrator contracts for the 2021-2022 school year. The new contract will include a 2.2 percent increase in the total package offered.

Director contracts for the 2021 - 2022 school year were also approved with a 2.7 percent increase for the total package.

Board members discussed how to go about talking to surrounding school districts on possible ways to share resources. 

It was suggested that the Wayne Community Schools invite the neighboring schools to a gathering to share ideas and discuss long-term goals for each of the districts.

During Administrator reports, Dr. Lenihan told the board that the district needs to acknowledge the fact that the school currently has an excessive balance in the lunch fund this school year that is higher than normal. Several options were discussed, including equipment purchases or a different vehicle to help deliver meals to the different locations.

It was reported that a total of 63 kindergarteners attended Kindergarten Roundup with the potential for several more to be in the class.

The Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, April 12 at 5p.m. at the at the Junior-Senior High School.