Superintendent's District Update

The Falls City Public Schools held its regular monthly board meeting on Monday, November 8, 2021. Here are the highlights of the meeting.

District 56 Audit Completed - The meeting opened with a presentation on the School District 56 Audit Report – The Audit Report, October 31, 2021 was presented by Julie Bauman, CPA, P.C. The report included the Auditor’s report, a statement of financial position, a statement of activities, and a review of the expenditures of federal awards.

MakerSpace Lab operating at Falls City Middle School - Makerspaces provide hands-on, creative ways to encourage students to design, experiment, build and invent as they deeply engage in science, engineering and tinkering. And that is exactly what Falls City Middle School teachers Jamie Milam and Don Coolidge shared with the BOE and a small audience Monday evening. A possible range of activities might include cardboard construction, woodworking, electronics, robotics and digital fabrication.

Educators Health Alliance Approves 2022-23 School Year Rates - There will be an overall increase of 5.84 percent in premiums next year for the medical and dental insurance plans used by nearly every Nebraska school district, following action by the Educators Health Alliance (EHA), a consortium of three statewide public school groups that manages the plan. Medical insurance rates for active employees and retirees will increase 6.14 percent. Dental rates for all employees and retirees will remain unchanged from the 2021-22 rate level. The average annual increase over the past ten years has been 4.4 percent. The COVID pandemic has resulted in significant disruption for the plan members and it has also made it difficult to set rates for the 2022-23 plan year. The benefit changes for the 2022-23 contract year include an increase in the deductible and out of pocket maximum for the $3,600 deductible HSA plan. A successful rollout of the alternate network product offering in the 2021-22 plan year to all districts in areas of the state where network competition is possible will be continued in the 2022-23 plan year.

Accountability and Student Achievement Report - The English/Language Arts curriculum adoption process is launched and facilitated by the elementary principals. The entire K-12 ELA curriculum will be analyzed in order to guide our adoption of high quality, researched-based materials. Mathematics curriculum adoption is scheduled for the 2022-2023 school year.

            Emergency Connectivity Fund grant awarded to District 56 in the amount of $86,700. The grant will supplement school districts 2021-2022 instructional technology purchase allowing for the full funding of $75,900 in student Chromebooks and $10,800 towards the partial funding of teacher Apple laptops. The remaining district commitment is approximately $12,000 to cover the unfunded technology device purchase.

The Project Committee held the first meeting of the 2021 school year on October 29. The projects reviewed and noted from the meeting are now documented to allow for the collection of bids and further review by the Project Committee prior to the committee’s prioritized proposal later to the full school board in early 2022. The roofing project at North School, HVAC improvements at the high school, and replacement of the artificial turf at the stadium are key considerations.

The District 56 Board of Education acted on several items before concluding the regular meeting.

1.     Approved the Final Reading on Policy Reviews and Revisions: 1) 5321 School Vehicles; 2) 5322 Transportation of Students by School Employees; 3) 5330 Board / Staff Expense Reimbursement; 4) 5335 Tuition Reimbursement for College Coursework or Advanced Degrees; 5) 5410 Collection of Debt.

2.     Approved the Resignation Effective the End of the 2021-2022 Contract Year: 1) Damian Causgrove, 3-years with FCPS.

3.     Received the School District Audit and Annual Financial Report, August 31, 2021.

4.     Approved a Girls Wrestling Program 2021-2022.

5.     Awarded the North School roofing project to ARR Boone Bros. Roofing in the amount of $379,750.

The next regular monthly Board of Education meeting is scheduled for December 13, 2021 at 7:00 P.M. in the Central Office in Falls City Middle School. Regular and special meeting agendas are kept in the Office of the Superintendent, Tim Heckenlively.

Falls City Public School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, disability, age, genetic information, citizenship status or economic status in its programs, activities and employment.