Board Of Education Addresses Standards, First Day Of School Was Wednesday

WAYNE – Students, faculty and staff returned for their first day of school at Wayne Community Schools on Wednesday with a noon dismissal.

Earlier in the week, the Wayne Board of Education held their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday from the Jr/Sr High School Conference Room (202).

The meeting opened with an annual hearing on Americanism at 7 p.m. which followed the open house event.

Superintendent, Dr. Mark Lenihan said the group addressed their curriculum in social studies while encouraging patriotism.

“We do our pledge every morning, we do lots of different patriotic things throughout the school year with music, concerts,” said Dr. Lenihan. “We have a Veterans Day program in November and then the teachers also fill out a report of activities that they do on certain days.”

Information was also addressed on the health standards put out by the Nebraska Department of Education. The Wayne Board of Education has talked about the topic throughout the summer but are not required to adopt those standards but are required to adopt state standards for English language arts, math and science which are aligned with the state assessments at Wayne Community Schools.

This is the year to just review the health and physical educational standards in Wayne as Dr. Lenihan added the school has very solid standards in those areas.

“Anytime we review standards we certainly want to look for improvements and things that we might want to do to make sure they’re current and updated,” Dr. Lenihan added. “But the board, we’ve talked several times, there is no plan to adopt the Department of Education standards as they come out.”

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Early in the meeting several new teaches were recognized as Mary Jean Roberson will be hired as the new business manager.

Also, the inter-local agreement between Wayne State College and Wayne Community Schools saw a $10,000 decrease among year four of the five-year contract. Dr. Lenihan met with WSC president Dr. Marysz Rames last month as a few items in the inter-local agreement were not being utilized on the Wayne State campus which lowered the cost.

The previous yearly amount was $30,000 and will be looked at again for next school year.

An update was also provided on the ESSER III Funding survey which saw 162 responses and closed on August 9. The finance committee will look further at the information for the federal funds and prepare a three-year grant to be written by September. A minimum of 20% of the $820,000 allocated funds by the district will need to go towards a loss of learning due to the pandemic.

A few punch list items were still being wrapped up this week as Otte Construction completed the restroom project prior to the first day of school with a big change for the upstairs restrooms at the High School.

“The way we had to set the restrooms up the men’s restroom is now on the left and the women’s is on the right,” Dr. Lenihan added. “That’s the complete opposite from what it used to be. So, we got lots of signs up there to make sure people are aware because I think everybody is kind of used to it the other way.”

Jordan Widner, head of maintenance, stated the school is real lucky with only a set of doors on backorder as a walk-through will be held once everything is installed.

Wayne Community Schools will again be reimbursed for school lunches and breakfast, excluding extras for students only. Adults will still be charged for their lunch which is under $4.

Currently masks are not required in school buildings but administration will monitor the conditions.

“Just keep an eye on things and do the best we can to keep school in session which is ultimately the goal,” Dr. Lenihan mentioned. “But a lot of our cleaning routines and those types of things I think those are keepers forever now.”

Wayne Community Schools Board of Education members will next hold a special board meeting to review end of year claims on Tuesday, August 31 at 5 p.m. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be on Monday, September 13.