Superintendent's District Update

The Falls City Public Schools held its regular monthly board meeting on January 11, 2021. Here are the highlights of the meeting.

The board meeting opened with Board President Kevin Scheitel, joined by the Board of Education, and the administration members honoring outgoing board member Ed Harris, and welcoming new member Dan Jones, as well as extending a heartfelt thank you to Ed Harris for his 30 years of contributions combined with loyal and dedicated service to the Falls City Public Schools. Board Member Harris provided consistent and thoughtful leadership to the FCPS for three decades.

Welcome new School Board Member - Congratulations to Dan Jones on his successful election and gratitude for his willingness to serve the public school students of FCPS School District 56. In addition to serving as a Board Member of the Falls City Public Schools, Dan Jones will serve on the Board’s Policy, Projects and Educational Foundation committees.

Reorganization of the Board of Education – John Martin was elected as the President of the Board of Education for 2021 and June Bowers was elected the Vice President. Upon election, President Martin made the 2021 committee appointments and approved the necessary designations.

 The Nebraska Legislature convened on January 6, 2021 for this session. Senator Lynne Walz of Fremont was elected Chair of the Education Committee over Senator Mike Groene. Other important committee chair assignments included the Revenue Committee, Senator Linehan (Chair), and the Retirement Committee, Senator Kolterman (Chair).

There have not been major surprises in the first two days of bill introduction in the 2021 Session. It’s anticipated a number of second and third attempts at the same pieces of legislation from the 2019 and 2020 Sessions. Bill introduction will continue through January 20th. On Thursday, January 14th, the Governor will deliver his State of the State address. The Governor has alluded to unveiling several school spending control measures, to be introduced at his request. We'll soon find out what he has in mind and what will need to be addressed this session.

COVID-19 School Update - Congress approved the second COVID relief bill (sometimes referred to "CARES 2") on December 21. The U.S. Department of Education released information about how the CARES 2 funding for schools will be allocated. The US Department of Education calculated $218,766,177 to be distributed among Nebraska public school districts. Based on the proportionate Title I amount determined under CARES 1, the projected amount that FCPS will receive under CARES 2 is $609,287. It will likely take NDE several weeks (if not a month) to provide guidance on the distribution and facilitation of these federal funds.

 COVID-19 Vaccine – Nebraska has recently revised the vaccination administration plan that places educational workers slightly lower on the prioritization phases than originally planned. School nurse Jenny Helmick continues working with CMC to make the vaccinations available to school staff. We are hoping the vaccination will be available to the school staff in the next three weeks. 

Phase 1 A - Healthcare personnel (hospitals, home health care, pharmacies, EMS, outpatient, public health) - Long-term Care Facility residents and staff

Phase 1 B* - Persons 75 years and older - First responders - Education sector - Critical Infrastructure

Phase 1 C - Persons 65 – 74 years of age - Persons with high-risk medical conditions - Vulnerable populations (disabled, homeless, etc.)

Phase 2 - General public.

Free Meals to All Students will Continue Through Remainder of School Year - This action by the USDA allows our school to serve free breakfast and lunch meals to all children through the spring months. Eligible individuals are only students enrolled in and attending FCPS District 56 on those days when school is in session.

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

1.     Approved board policy reviews on final readings Final Reading on Policy Reviews and Revisions: 1) 3110 Fundraising 2) 7133 Homeless Students.

2.     Approved the Teacher Resignations: 1) Stacey Duerfeldt, Third Grade Teacher, 35-years; 2)   Julie Strathman, School Psychologist, 6 years.

3.     Approved the extension of COVID-19 Leave for employees through the 2020-2021 school year.

4.     Approved the continuation of the superintendent’s employment contract through June 30, 2023.

The next regular monthly Board of Education meeting is scheduled for February 8, 2021 at 6:30 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.

Mr. Heckenlively and Board Member Ed Harris

New Board Member Dan Jones