School Board Reviews Policies, Raise Substitute Teacher Rates

WAYNE – With about a month out from the start of the 2022-23 school year, Wayne Community Schools Board of Education members met for a second straight month at the Early Learning Center.

The first day of school is Wednesday, August 17 with a noon dismissal.

Monday’s regularly scheduled meeting began with a hearing and review of annual policies.

Superintendent, Dr. Mark Lenihan said the board reviewed some required policies.

“So, there’s four of them,” said Dr. Lenihan. “The anti-bullying policy, the student fee policy, the homeless student policy and the parent involvement policy. So, what we do is just put the policies up, kind of look at them and then I’ll talk a little bit about things that we do to try and implement those policies.”

There were no changes to the required policies.

Substitute teacher rates also increased from $120 to $135 a day.

“We want to be competitive with our local schools,” Dr. Lenihan added. “We usually check around to see what everybody is paying and that’s typical of what schools are paying their subs. So, we wanted to make sure that we were competitive there.”

A technology quote was approved for $27,822 through Sterling to receive 100 Chromebooks which is the base minimum to get started. The district is hoping to get 125 more which will replace the older Chromebooks in the elementary. The board hasn’t heard back if they’ve been approved or denied about grant funds to use for the purchase. If denied, the school could use the ESSER III funds which were budgeted to accommodate 225 Chromebooks.

Among the Superintendent report, discussion was continued on potential for a second mental health therapist through Heartland Counseling.

“So, we can have one in each person,” Dr. Lenihan mentioned. “So, we contract with them (Heartland Counseling) and they work with families and students that have some needs that maybe are beyond what our school counselors can manage or are even trained to deal with.”

Cost would be an additional $1,000 a month for the entire year of service.

Also, the First Student bus contract was voted on to be a 2.75% annual increase which was in the original agreement to last through June 30, 2024.

An update was provided about the Construction Management at Risk process as Wayne Community Schools is seeking proposals from construction management firms to assists with facility planning. The goal would be to have a recommendation by the August board meeting.

A budget timeline was then addressed starting with the August board of education meeting where an updated budget with levy projections will be brought forward. County valuations are due by August 19; committee meetings and budget workshops will be held the week of August 22; the budget will be reviewed by the Nebraska Department of Education on August 25 and a special board meeting will be scheduled in late August.

A budget notice will be sent to the paper with tax hearing information to Wayne County on September 2; County Joint Public Tax Hearing between September 17 – 29 and special board meeting to approve the budget and tax request the week of September 26. The budget is due to the NDE, state auditor and county by Friday, September 30.

The next regularly scheduled Wayne Community Schools Board of Education meeting will be on Monday, August 8 at 5 p.m. back at the Wayne Jr/Sr High School.