WAYNE – With all area schools closing down this week, a northeast Nebraska superintendent informed everyone of what is going on within their school district.
According to a Facebook live posted from Wayne Community Schools, Dr. Mark Lenihan stated the district will be closed Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, April 3 for precautionary measures. School officials would like to make the public aware that this closure could extend beyond April 3 and to make the necessary precautions.
Dr. Lenihan, who’ll be posting another Facebook live message on Monday, March 23 at 5 p.m., said this is not a vacation.
“It’s not like summer or a Christmas break or anything like that,” said Dr. Lenihan. “We are in a state of emergency in the state of Nebraska and the United States. The reason that we’re not having schools, is because of the social distancing information that’s being put out by the state and by the CDC to keep people separate.”
School lunches will be provided free to all students each weekday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. beginning Wednesday, March 18 at the Jr/Sr High School kitchen (enter east commons doors), the Wayne Early Learning Center (801 Providence Road) and from the Carroll Library (food will now start Wednesday). The lunches are made to be grab-and-go with a breakfast item for the next morning. These lunches shall not be eaten at either location.
The weekly backpack program will also be available on Fridays at the food distribution sites during the times of 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Learning materials will be posted at wayneschools.org and be available at the school offices. Each Friday, teachers will post new supplemental learning activities for the students. If students do not have access to the internet, the packets will be available at each school office on Fridays.
All of this work is supplemental and enrichment only.
“Students will not be graded on any of this work,” Dr. Lenihan added. “Most schools are doing this for lots of reasons. We felt we want the kids to expand on their knowledge and learn from things but this is certainly unique.”
A couple classes will be continued to be graded including senior government and senior English to stay on track for graduation as well as any students taking college dual credit courses.
Teachers will correspond to emails and phone messages from 10:00 – 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. each school day.
Also, students won’t need to be at the computer from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.
“We do want them checking in, obviously often and making sure they’re doing things,” Dr. Lenihan mentioned. “We also understand that some of your older kids will be responsible for the day care for some of the younger kids. So, we want to make sure that there is some flexibility.”
If you email a teacher, you should expect a return message within 24-48 business hours. For those who would like a teacher to call, send an email or call the school office and the secretary will relay the message.
A decision for an extension of being closed will be made as deemed appropriate based on any changes the schools is notified of.
If there is a resource or issue your family is struggling with call 402-375-3150 weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. There will be a team of people available beginning Thursday, March 19 as school officials work through this shutdown. Feel free to call with any questions or concerns you have.
Also, a note from Dairy Queen in Wayne as they’ll be offering free takeout sack lunches on Saturdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. through April 5 or later depending on the district’s closure. The sack lunch special will be available for any area student in grade PK – 12 (one per student) with no purchase necessary. The item can be picked up through the drive-thru or by stopping in as each special will include either a hot dog or cheeseburger with French fries and an additional side varying on supply.
Sources used for Wednesday evening’s release: Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department; State Department of Education, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as Providence Medical Center.
Area high school closures:
Randolph will be closing Thursday, March 19 for at least two weeks.
Allen, Emerson-Hubbard, Pender, Wayne and Winside will be closed Wednesday, March 18 through Friday, April 3.
LCC is closed Wednesday, March 18 and will re-assess every two weeks beginning April 1.
Wakefield will be closed Wednesday, March 18 until further notice (will re-evaluate every two weeks).
Wisner-Pilger closed Tuesday, March 17 for two week-period.