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District Update 5-3-11

The purpose of this update is to share information regarding activities in the district as well as the actions taken at the May board of education meeting.

The following is a summary of the May 2 regular meeting, provided from the superintendent’s perspective.

After convening the regular meeting, Mr. Craig McLey, Techology Director shared information with the board. In addition, the following changes will occur next year:

1. Lunch program – we are upgrading the program to allow parents to go online and check their children’s lunch balances.  The service also includes an email notification to the parents when those balances are low. It will be ready next school year.

2. A company called “efundsforschools” has been endorsed by the Nebraska School Boards Association. We are working with them to allow parents to deposit money into their accounts electronically, such as debit/credit cards or an electronic transfer directly from a parent’s checking account. There is no fee to the school, however, a transaction fee will be assessed to the parents. Details will be available next school year.

I shared information regarding legislation, including LB 235 (state aid) which was signed into law for 2011-12; update on district finances and a recommendation to amend the general fund budget due to changes in school district budget authority in LB 235 (this will not change the tax levy). Interviews for Hamlow elementary principal are scheduled on May 3, and interviews for Middle School student services coordinator are scheduled on May 5.

Board members provided committee reports. Foundation for Education golf tournament fundraiser will be held June 4 (click here for information).

The board accepted the resignations of Victoria Gale (HS English); Rodney Engel (Hamlow elementary principal); Renee Hunt (Special Education Director).

Also approved were the following hires and reassignments for 2011-12:

  1. Kelly Griffiths will fill the fourth grade elementary teaching positions at WIS. She finished student teaching with Donice Kaspar at Hamlow this spring.
  2. Alicia Dallman will be a Spanish teacher at WHS. She student taught in Waverly two years ago, and is currently finishing her two-year experience teaching in Spain through the Fulbright scholarship from UNL.
  3. Kori Jensen will teach Ag education at WHS. She is currently the Ag teacher at Mead, where she led a very successful program.
  4. Based on Ms. Hunt’s recommendations and the case load for Special Education, we have reassigned teachers for next school year. Eagle and Hamlow currently have 3.0 FTE SPED but next year have smaller caseloads, so we have adjusted to 2.5 FTE at each building. Stephanie Schernikau, will be reassigned from Hamlow to Waverly High School; Julie Lutjeharms (.5 F.T.E), will be reassigned from Hamlow to Eagle Elementary; Mary Wenz, will be reassigned from Eagle to Hamlow.

The Board of Education took action to:

  1. Approve the bids to purchase two school buses. We budgeted $80,000 last year for a bus, and did the same this year. We have a fleet of 22 buses, included 5 buses that are at least 20 years old. We have purchased five buses since 2000. The building and grounds committee recommended the expenditure of (and low bid) $165,470.
  2. Approve the contract renewal for the Southeast Nebraska Region Program to provide services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  3. Approve the 2011 conditional list of Waverly High School graduates, pending completion of all district and state educational requirements.
  4. Authorize the lease purchase agreement with IKON for the replacement of copy machines.

Most of our copy machines lease has expired, and under the proposal we will have new machines that will have better capabilities, plus we will have unlimited copies without a per copy charge. This is significant because we will reduce the number of network printers; staff (in some instances) will print to the copy machines (directly from computers) to increase efficiency. With scanning capability on these copy machines, we will also be able to store many documents electronically, saving time and money. We have received good customer service from IKON over the past decade, and are confident that will continue into the future. Installation of the new machines would take place this summer. The new machines are estimated to reduce total costs by $1400/month (20%) over our current monthly lease.

  1. Approve five kindergarten sections and five, first grade classroom sections at Hamlow Elementary for the 2011-12 school year.

Enrollment for Hamlow in kindergarten and first grade will be at least 105 students (likely more) next fall. We need to keep our fifth section in kindergarten for 2011 – 12 (we added the fifth section for 2010-11), and we will add a fifth section at first grade level. The alternative would be larger class sizes at the elementary level.

  1. Authorized the refinancing of bonds. This will reduce bond payments by approximately $440,000, thus saving tax payer dollars due to refinancing at more favorable rates.

The Board discussed:

  1. Future committee meetings
  2. Special board meeting on May 16 to consider amendment of the 2010-11 budget as recommended by the Nebraska Department of Education.
  3. Commencement ceremony at Waverly High School on May 8, 2011

Next regular board meeting is scheduled on June 6, 2011.

Click here to view other district news updates


May 2011 district update

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