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School board makes final preparations for new year, school starts next week PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 13 August 2015 00:00

By Sheri Hink-Wagner

The Wauneta Breeze


The Wauneta-Palisade School board finalized its preparations for the 2015-2016 school year, which starts Wednesday, Aug. 19, at Monday’s regular August meeting.

The agenda was packed with 11 agenda items, most of which were related to the start of the new school year.

Discussion began with talk to consider getting a school purchasing card and/or credit card. The discussion was brought to light after several members of W-P’s FFA qualified for National FFA last year.

In preparing for the trip, making air and hotel reservations, the school ran into issues due to the fact that the district does not currently have a credit card. When traveling within the state the school has been able to use checks to pay for services and/or direct billing from Nebraska hotels.

However, they found these options were not possible when preparing for the trip to Nationals, which will begin Oct. 28 in Louisville, Ky.

Air and hotel reservations had to be made on a board member’s credit card.

After discussion, which included how school staff members would be held accountable for credit card/purchasing card usage, the board decided to refer the issue to the budget committee. No decisions were made at Monday’s meeting.


Handbook, policies, fees

The board approved the 2015-2016 Student Handbook, which included three main changes.

First, it added a provision for an integrated science class, which will be required of students who do not wish to take chemistry.

Second, the drug policy was expanded to prohibit usage of cannabis and K2, a synthetic cannabis drug.

Third, the anti-bullying policy included in the handbook will now include language on how cyber bullying will be handled by the district.

The board also approved a state-mandated concussion policy. In following the policy, baseline tests will be completed on student athletes prior to the beginning of the season so that if a concussion is suspected coaches and staff will have a test to compare to.

The cost of 2015-2016 activity passes was also addressed. Board members voted to keep the same rates used last year for the upcoming school year. The activity pass rates will be $75 for family passes, $40 for single passes and $15 for student passes.

Staff provisions

Finalizing preparations for the school year included final preparations in relation to the school’s staff.

The pay rate for substitute teachers in the district was addressed. The daily rate paid to substitute teachers was raised from $105/day to $110/day to keep the rate comparable to that paid by neighboring schools.

The board also addressed possible pay raises for non-certificated staff members (those who are not certified educators).

The board voted to leave raises for non-certificated staff in the hands of the superintendent, directing him to make those decisions based on job evaluations and at his discretion.

The board approved a year-long contract for the elementary principal, Roger Reikofski. It was noted that Reikofski’s salary was approved for two years last summer, but that his contract was only approved for one year.

The board also reviewed extra duty assignments for staff members. Major changes include adding Matt Cox as the head girls basketball coach, incoming teacher Terra Bishop will serve as the junior high volleyball, girls basketball and girls track coach, incoming teacher Joy Farr will take over primary sponsorship duties for One-Act and speech.

Chad Cochran will serve as the senior class sponsor and Betsy Johanson will help the school with website duties and serve as the sophomore class sponsor. Lisa McAlevy will serve as prom sponsor.

Other items

The board voted to approve a $30,000 transfer from the general fund to the activities fund. They also voted to hire Bently & Kisker PC as the auditing firm for another one to three years.

Superintendent Randy Geier noted the activities fund budget amount is intentionally kept low with the expectation that transfers will be made as needed.

However, he added next year’s budget will include a larger amount for the activities fund in hopes the transfer will not be necessary in the future.

Administrative reports

In his report, Superintendent Geier noted enrollment is up again this year. He said they currently expect 231 students to attend during the upcoming year. Current numbers, which may change before school begins, include 106 students in Palisade and 125 students in Wauneta.

The highlight of Reikofski’s principal’s report was that the district has secured another $20,000 grant from the Albert G. and Bernice F. Hansen Charitable Foundation in Omaha.

The grant will be used to purchase new playground equipment appropriate for preschool and kindergarten students at the Palisade Attendance Center. More details regarding the successful grant application and equipment will be included in an upcoming issue.

The next regular meeting of the W-P school board will be held on Monday, Sept. 8 at the Wauneta Attendance Center. The meeting will begin at 12:30 p.m. MT/1:30 p.m. CT with a budget hearing. The regular board meeting will begin at 12:45 p.m. MT/1:45 p.m. CT.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 August 2015 17:26