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Superintendent's District Update - May 2020


The Falls City Public Schools held the regular School Board Meeting on May 11, 2020. Here are the highlights of the meeting.


            FCPS COVID-19 Update & Priorities Focus on 1) Taking Care of Our Employees; 2) Taking Care of Kids and Their Academics; The School District 56 Continuity of Learning Plan continues through the school closure in order to do our part to limit COVID-19 from spreading across our community. During FCPS’s closure the schools have provided enrichment activities for our students utilizing student email accounts, Google Classroom, websites, and pencil and paper packets. As we strive to continue educational opportunities for our students during the closure, teachers have thoughtfully put together learning opportunities for all students. The learning opportunities focus on core subject areas such as math, science, ELA, and social studies, as well as including material from non-core classes. All lessons and activities are designed to keep students engaged in their own learning throughout the closure. We as a school and community have all learned a tremendous lesson since March 17 when we were required to close our schools to children – there is no substitute to genuine face-to-face teacher instruction and daily, personal engagement.

            With the month of May now upon us the last week of enrichment activities, the continuity of learning plans, and collecting student work/projects/assignments/etc. will be May 11-15 for grades PreK-11. Student equipment, devices and materials check in/out will be the week of May 18-22 for preK-11.


            Graduating Senior Check-out conducted under guidance from the Southeast Nebraska District Health Director Authority – FCPS seniors and immediate family members participated in a special social distancing check out opportunity on May 5, 6, and 9 to wrap up their formal education at Falls City High School.  Each graduating senior was scheduled for an individual time to complete the check out process and have a picture taken in their cap and gown, a picture with their parents, and a picture with Mr. Heckenlively and Mr. Dunkhas. Diplomas will be distributed at a later date.  The school district is tentatively planning a more traditional graduation ceremony for August 1st and will be releasing more information and guidance as it becomes available from state health officials.


            Grab & Go Meal Program Continues into the Summer - FCPS will be continuing to provide lunch through the summer break to students. This will be a lunch only program starting on June 1 and will run through July 30. Lunch will be provided Monday through Thursday with Fridays lunch included in the Thursday pickup. There will not be home deliveries made for the summer lunch program. All lunches will need to be picked up at the middle school each day between 11AM and 12:30PM. A lunch will be provided for all children between the ages of 1 and 18. If you would like to participate in our extended lunch program please fill out the survey below posted on the school’s website at www.fctigers.org.


            The 2020 legislative session is currently adjourned until the speaker calls.  The session will remain adjourned until the situation has stabilized, and the Speaker of the Legislature deems it safe to reconvene. During this pause in the legislative session, senators and their offices continue their work. 

 A priority for the reconvening session will be budget adjustments and bills that deal with the pandemic.  Most other bills will likely be tabled.  LB 1106, formerly LB 974, (the education funding reform/property tax bill) is still a priority for Sen. Linehan and the Revenue committee.


            2020/21 State Aid Certification was made available on May 1, as well as supporting information required to complete the 2020/21 School District Budget. FCPS will receive $287,111 in 2020-2021 compared to $170,161 in 2019-2021. Understand this is not equalization aid, but a combination of Net Option Funding and Income Tax Rebate. Our FCPS resources, primarily the required yield from the LER (local effort rate of 1.0) exceed our formula need set by NDE, therefore, the FCPS continues to not be eligible for state aid equalization support going into the 2020-2021 school year.


The District 56 Board of Education acted on several items during the board meeting.


1)    Approved the following Board Policy reviews and revisions on final reading: 1) Policy 5340 Leasing/Rental/Use of School Facilities; 2) Policy 6212 Classified Staff Leaves/Absences; 3) Policy 7113 Admission of Students Who Reside Out of The State of Nebraska.


2)    Accepted the Teacher Resignation of Leigh Anne Blankenship, Elementary Teacher, 3 years.


3)    Approved a Resolution to Authorize Line of Credit with F & M Bank in the amount of $950,000 in the event of financial disruption related to the COVID-19 pandemic.


4)    Approved the Student Handbooks for 2020-2021.


5)    Approved the ESU4 Core Services Resolution for 2020-2021.


The next regular monthly Board of Education meeting is scheduled for June 8, 2020 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.