Board approves purchases, salaries

 Several agenda items dealing with technology were approved when the Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education met virtually on Monday.

Chromebook purchases for the 2020-2021 school year were approved at a cost of $75,727.26. This includes 106 for the elementary school, 88 for the junior high school and 69 for the high school. In addition, a number of cases for these computers were also purchased. 

In regard to the use of the technology, a quote of $7,864.57 was approved for the Microsoft Desktop and System Center software licenses.

A quote for $10,330.68 was approved  from GoGuardian, which is a filtering system for the Chromebooks. 

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan told the board members about the benefits of the system, both while the student is using the equipment at school and while at home. A notification is received if something that is not appropriate is being viewed by the student.

Salaries for the directors at the school were approved for the 2020-2021 school year.

Dr. Lenihan told the board that the finance committee recommended a three percent increase in salary for the group. He also noted that these individuals are "doing a great job."

Also approved was the classified staff salary schedule. It includes an increase of approximately three percent on the base hourly rate.  

Dr. Lenihan said there are a number of district employees in this category and therefore it would be difficult to provide an exact cost to the district for the upcoming budget year. He did note that the district will not be hiring summer help this year. Because there have been no students in the buildings since mid-March, much of the work that generally takes place during the summer months has already been completed.

First reading was held on the 7-12 Student Handbook, the K-6 Handbook and the Kids Club Handbook. Dr. Lenihan noted changes that have been made in each of these handbooks. These include listing new staff members and removing some of the sections that were repetitive with other parts of the handbook.

In the 7-12 handbook specifically, changes were made in the code of conduct portion to more clearly define activities that are NSAA sponsored and those that are not. The consequences of violating these rules was made more clear and designed to "hold the students accountable and learn from their mistakes," according to Dr. Lenihan.

The second reading of each of these handbooks will take place at the board's June meeting.

Board members approved the agreement with Providence Medical Center for Athletic Trainer Services for the 2020-2021 school year.

During the discussion, it was noted that Tim Ellis, who provides athletic training services to the district, has taken on a number of duties since the closing of the school due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Ellis will have additional responsibilities when students return to the buildings.

It was noted that since 2015, the district has worked with Providence Medical Center to fill this position and Ellis is an employee of PMC.

Dr. Lenihan presented information to the board on the end of the year check-out-process and end of the year activities.

He noted that tentatively, graduation ceremonies for the 2020 seniors will be held Saturday, Aug. 1 at 10 a.m. at the Wayne State College Willow Bowl.

Check in of equipment and gathering of belongings is underway with nearly one-third of students returning material on Monday.

Meetings with teaching staff will continue through May 21 with information shared on lessons learned  during the past months. Planning for the start of the new school year will also be made.

Dr. Lenihan told the board members that while school is technically  finished for the 2019-2020 school year, lunches will continue to be distributed at the three locations (Junior-Senior High School, Early Learning Center and Carroll Community Center) through the month of May.

Considerable discussion was held on the possibility of changing the compensation package for the paraprofessionals in the district.

Board members shared concerns with offering insurance to some of the certified employees and not others and the cost to the district should this be the case. Other concerns included in the fact that Wayne is losing paras who have gone through training to other places of employment.

Discussion on the topic will continue at future meetings.

The Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, June 8 at 5 p.m.

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