Wayne Community Schools Provides Facebook Live Conversation, Update On Return To School Plan

WAYNE – After hosting several ‘Live at 5’ social media conversations in the months of March and April, the Wayne Community Schools Facebook page provided information on a return to school along with answering questions Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Mark Lenihan, superintendent of WCS provided information on the start to the school year which is Thursday, August 13.

Ever since school let out last spring, staff and administration have been working on the plans they want to have in place for the 2020-21 school year. The school has met with Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department health officials and Dr. Lenihan has served on the Nebraska Rural Community School Association (NRCSA) board. The group featured over 100 school superintendents and ESU administrators that looked at the re-opening process, according to Dr. Lenihan.

“The one thing I know from all the planning, number one, things can change quickly,” said Dr. Lenihan. “We’ve seen that all summer and between now and when school does begin on August 13, I’m sure there’ll be things that will change. So, we’re going to need to be very flexible.”

Staff and parents were surveyed in June with a large majority wanting the kids back in school. Following last Monday’s board of education meeting, school will officially start on Thursday, August 13 and Friday, August 14 with 2 p.m. dismissals both days.

During the Monday, July 13 Board of Education meeting, Dr. Lenihan highlighted the 2020 reopening plan along with a three-color (green, yellow and red) risk chart. WCS will follow ‘Green’ when there is low or no spread of COVID-19, will move to ‘Yellow’ during minimal and moderate spread and then ‘Red’ when there is substantial spread of the coronavirus. The document is posted on the wayneschools.org website.

Dr. Lenihan added it has been good seeing the students around over the past couple months.

“We have summer school going in the elementary school,” Dr. Lenihan added. “We’ve had activities going on with athletics, conditioning, we’ve had some volleyball camps here and I think Mr. Wieland is having band camp next week.”

During the Facebook Live conversation, Dr. Lenihan addressed four basic principals Wayne Community Schools wants to operate from. First, being good hygiene practice and make sure to wash hands; sanitize high-touch areas; using the six-foot social distance rule to the extent possible and require staff and students to wear a face covering when social distancing is not possible.

“There might be a variety of times where social distancing is possible,” Dr. Lenihan mentioned. “We’re going to allow teachers, if it’s do-able, to take classes outside. We’re not going to require face coverings in physical education class or at recess, we’ll have a process for that.”

Parents are also going to be asked to monitor their children’s health before arriving at school. Wayne Community Schools will have their own wellness process but will not check each student’s temperate every day.

For questions, contact the school at 402-375-3150. Dr. Lenihan stated they’ll shoot for the 12 o’clock hour or might switch to the 5 o’clock hour maybe once a week for Facebook Live posts. Anyone can watch these posts later on the Wayne Community Schools Facebook page or by clicking the link below.