Board moves forward with determining facility needs

 Action taken during Monday's meeting of the Wayne Community Schools Board of Education will allow the district to move forward with community meetings to determine future needs.

Board members approved a contract with Carlson West Povondra for $6,000 to facilitate meetings to gather community input on possible needs of the district.

It is anticipated that six meetings will be held in the coming weeks to gain input on possible options. Should the district decide to move forward with some type of building project, the firm would reimburse the district half of this cost.

Discussion was held on the positions of paraprofessionals (paras) in the district.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Lenihan told the board that 10 paras have left the district this year. The majority of these have left for full-time jobs or those with benefits.

"The situation is becoming problematic. We are losing good people because they average 30 hours per week and are not benefit eligible," Dr. Lenihan said.

Board members discussed the costs of allowing paras to work additional hours and offering them "affordable insurance." 

Board member Lynn Junck said that if the district adds the compensation packages to the paras "we need to look for places in the budget we can cut costs."

Board member Sylvia Ruhl said she would like to see information with a comparison of what other schools offer for those in these same positions.

Documentation on the costs of changing the compensation for paras will be put together in an Agenda Item Management (AIM) document and brought to the next meeting.

In other action, the board accepted the resignation of Jesse Mayo, a special education teacher with the district. The resignation is effective at the end of the current school year.

Board members also discussed the possibility of leasing space for use by the softball and baseball teams. It would allow for the teams to have a batting cage and costs would be paid through the activity fund.

The issue of who would manage the facility was discussed and sharing the space with the non-school sponsored teams.

Additional details will be presented at a future meeting.

The contract with ESU for the 2020-2021 school year was approved.

Director of Special Education Misty Beair presented information to the board on this contract which would include having a full-time psychologist available to the students in the district.

"We have more students with needs and need to provide support for the mental health of our students," Beair said. She also told the board of the results of testing and the use of Multi Tiered System of Support (MTSS) within  the district in regard to reading and behavior.

The Wayne Community Schools' Board of Education will next meet in regular session on Monday, March 9 at 5 p.m. in the junior-senior high school conference room.

The Wayne Herald

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