WAYNE – As the one-year anniversary when Wayne Community Schools and many schools across Nebraska had to shutdown from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Board of Education held their regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening.
From the Wayne Jr/Sr High School Conference Room, the board first heard from Dr. Bill Heimann, ESU 1 Administrator as well as Stuart Clark, ESU 1 Special Education Director. The two went over what ESU 1 provides and both stated they’ve had great partnership with Wayne Community Schools.
Superintendent, Dr. Mark Lenihan said ESU’s provide services and programs that schools would not normally be able to do.
“If we have a situation where we have a need for special education services,” said Dr. Lenihan. “And we don’t want to hire a full-time person because we wouldn’t need to, but we still need those services, we go through ESU 1. So, we work through that contract.”
Each of the 23 school districts in six counites throughout ESU 1 in northeast Nebraska have their own special education contract.
Three resignations were then brought forward and approved with regrets as the trio had over 50 years of experience. They included elementary music teacher Monica Jensen, elementary PE Brad Hoskins and school nurse Carolyn Harder.
The board also approved the hiring of Christiana Koeppe in the elementary music position. Currently she teaches in Pope John in Elgin and has also taught three years prior at Boone Central.
The PE position is currently posted and the school will be hosting interviews as early as next week along with looking for coaching positions which includes the head football.
Masks are still required at Wayne Community Schools as the district continues their enhanced cleaning. A few items were approved under the COVID-19 update.
The 2 p.m. dismissals will be discontinued in the 4th quarter as less than five individuals missed school last week.
Wayne Community Schools wants to get in as much instructional hours as they can as Dr. Lenihan added they didn’t have face-to-face instruction the entire fourth quarter last year.
“We’re still working hard especially with the younger kids to make sure that we hopefully by the end of the year kind of have them back where they need to be,” Dr. Lenihan added. “Especially in reading and in math.”
Wayne Community Schools worked with Providence Medical Center as about 80% of their employees received their first does in early March. Wayne Community Schools will have a 2 p.m. dismissal on Thursday, April 1 which is the day prior to Easter break. (original full-day). This will allow the staff to receive their second dose.
Board of Education members also brought forward discussion on when do they discontinue the masks. It could possibly be when the risk dial drops into the green (recommended at that point) or consider two weeks after majority of the staff will be fully vaccinated in mid-April.
An initial conversation of potential school district consolidation as part of long-range planning was held. The board stated that Wayne Community Schools is open to discussing with other communities about consolidating. They plan on inviting multiple area schools to meet face-to-face as Dr. Lenihan said he’ll reach out to other superintendents.
Hear the complete interview with Dr. Lenihan online at waynedailynews.com by selecting the ‘Podcasts’ tab under the ‘Community Events’ drop-down.
The Wayne Community School Board of Education will hold a special meeting on Wednesday, March 24 at 5 p.m. while the next regularly scheduled board meeting will be on Monday, April 12.