Two hirings, text book purchase highlight special board meeting

Two new staff members were hired and approval was given for the purchase of a new reading textbook series during Monday's special meeting of the Wayne Community School's Board of Education.
Kim Lubberstedt was hired to fill the K-8 School Counselor position. She has been interning with Jennifer Cliff in this position. Cliff is resigning at the end of the school year as her family is moving.
Lubberstedt has worked as a paraprofessional with the Wayne district and in Early Childhood Development and Behavioral Health with Educational Service Unit #1.
Jean Pieper will be filling a K-6 Special Education position in the district. The Wayne High School graduate has been teaching in the Elkhorn school district since 2012.
Board members listened to a presentation from Elementary Principal Russ Plager on the benefits of the Wonders Reading series for students in kindergarten through sixth grade.
He said a committee has been evaluating several options for the new textbooks and feels the Wonders series will provide the most opportunities for the teachers.
"This series will meet our curriculum needs and meets the standards we need to follow. Also, this series provides our teachers with the resources necessary for all learners," Plager said.
The board unanimously approved the purchase at a cost of $93,570. Funding for this purchase will come from the school's General Fund and depreciation funds.
Board members also discussed the position of director for the Wayne Community Schools Foundation. It was noted that when the position was originally created, it was anticipated that the Foundation would pay the director's salary, rather than the district.
Several options in regard to compensation for a director were discussed, but no action was taken as the item was for discussion only.
Also discussed at length was the anticipated situation with the kindergarten class for the 2018-2019 school year.
Superintendent Mark Lenihan and Principal Plager told the board that the district has received written or verbal commitments from parents of 81 students for next year's class. This includes 13.5 percent of which are ESL students. A number of students have been enrolled in recent weeks, following kindergarten round-up.
Several options were discussed by the board members and different scenarios debated. These include hiring three paraprofessionals for each of the current kindergarten teachers or hiring a fourth teacher.  With some minor construction, an area on the first floor of the elementary school could be made into a classroom. It was noted that kindergarten and first grade students need to be on the first floor of a building.
Additional discussion on the topic will take place when the board meets in regular session on Monday, May 14.

The Wayne Herald

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Wayne, NE 68787
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