Superintendent Weekly Update
Working together to achieve Academic success, respectful Behavior, and Career readiness in a Safe environment.
PCS Superintendent Weekly Update
June 2, 2023
FREE SUMMER MEALS are back at PCS. Click HERE to view or print a PDF document with the details.
PCS Board of Education members and administrators have received questions and concerns relative to media materials (i.e. books) that are available in our school libraries. There has also been various communication about Policy 6300 Selection and Review of Instructional and Media Materials.
Per feedback from our Board of Education, as well as consultation with our school attorney, I recommended that all school-age building principals that have libraries with materials for checkout by students create ad hoc committees to review library materials. The ad hoc review committee could include the director of instructional services, the building principal, the media specialist, and a teacher/dept. head of English/Language Arts (ELA). The establishment of ad hoc committees for this purpose is allowable per the last sentence of the first paragraph of Policy 6300 which states, “The Superintendent may establish committees consisting of teachers and media staff to assist with these responsibilities.”
Some materials that have been brought to the attention of building principals that they deem might contain unacceptable material in the libraries that they supervise are being removed from circulation for review. Since we are near the end of the school year, various materials are going to be reviewed, and our Board of Education might be revising Policy 6300, it seems reasonable to remove books with potentially unacceptable material from our libraries until a thorough review can be completed after there is clarity relative to the Board of Education policy. I have been in communication with our school attorney, who has deemed this a reasonable approach at this time for our school district.If you have questions, compliments, comments, or concerns relative to instructional materials, media materials, or Policy 6300, please utilize Let's Talk at the link below. Scroll down to District Topics and select Instructional Services. I believe this will be an efficient format for the district to collect feedback on the topic and allow the person that works directly with reviewing instructional and media materials in buildings throughout the district to provide a timely response.Watch the recording of our Board meeting from Mon., May 8, 2023, on Blue Devil Television (BDTV) at https://www.pcsd.org/bdtv for more information.
Have you seen the inside of our career and technical education (CTE) building? Click HERE and go to our career academies website. Scroll down the page to view a one-minute video tour from inside the CTE building.
New English Language Arts (Reading) Programs
Plattsmouth teachers worked hard to select great English Language Arts programs for our students. On May 8, 2023, our Board of Education approved the purchase of the following programs.
K-5: Into Reading (HMH)
6-12: My Perspective (SAVVAS)
For more information, contact Dr. Cherie Larson (email@example.com).
As of March 1, 2023, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has begun reviews of Medicaid eligibility. More information is available at https://sarpycasshealthdepartment.org/programs-services/medicaid.html.
Congratulations to our new head high school coaches. Thank you to Kevin Tilson and Rick Titus for their commitment to our boys and girls basketball programs, Rick Titus for his commitment to our softball program, and Ashley Classen for her commitment to our volleyball program.
Head Boys Basketball - Connor Dukes
Head Girls Basketball - Justin Widick
Head Softball - Katie Bashus (Zimmerer)
Head Volleyball - Katie Serkiz
Head Cheer - Taylar Balfour
PCS is hiring! Click HERE to view our open positions.
Please check out the flyer from the Food Bank for the Heartland that includes information about food resources. A website and QR code are available to find food using an interactive map that shows partner food providers and mobile pantries. Click HERE for a PDF version of the document.
Draft minutes from our Board of Education meeting on May 8, 2023 are available by clicking HERE.
On March 11, 2021, President Biden signed the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021. The ARP Act includes nearly $122 billion for the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III Fund that allows state and local education agencies (LEAs) to take additional steps for continued safe in-person instruction and to address unfinished teaching and learning to mitigate the pandemic. The ESSER III funding enables Nebraska school districts to promote safe school operations and equity-driven, sustainable, evidence-based programs to serve students – especially those who are the furthest from opportunity – and to continue to strengthen teaching and learning. PCS was eligible for $1,505,865 of ESSER III funds.
In order to be eligible for ESSER III funding, Nebraska school districts had to submit an amendment to our ARP application by Sept. 15, 2021. Prior to submitting the application, we requested your input relative to the potential uses of the funds.
Thank you to everyone that provided input regarding the potential uses of ESSER III funds at PCS. I am pleased to inform you that we were able to incorporate many of the items in our amendment including updated curriculum materials, professional development for staff members, Clifton Strengths training and support for staff members, bleachers on the east side of the high school stadium, new activity buses and sport utility vehicles, staff dependent care, staff COVID-19 emergency leave (many districts no longer offer this to employees), renovation of the outdoor middle school concession stand to include restrooms, personal protective equipment, interactive technological devices, furniture and equipment, music risers, and musical instruments. If you do not see a specific item, it might be included in one of these broad categories or it might be obtained through other available funding sources
Business manager Jenni Serkiz and I will continue meeting with the Board of Education’s Finance Committee to develop a plan and timeline for spending the funds. Unfortunately, we must pay for the items and wait for reimbursement to arrive later. With other ARP funds, it has taken up to eight months for NDE to process the reimbursement request and transfer funding to our district.
Since we are already accessing a line of credit for our usual general fund expenses, we will have to be very strategic about spreading our ESSER III expenditures over the next two fiscal years. For instance, we plan to expend approximately $1 mil. in the 2021-2022 fiscal year from Sept. 1 to Aug. 31, with the additional amount of about $505,865 being spent in the 2022-2023 fiscal year.
Our plan for the expenditure of ESSER III funds is available by clicking HERE. There were other requests submitted for ESSER III that are not included here, but many of them are being addressed with other funding sources available in the district.
Thank you, again, for providing your input for our amendment.
Thank you to everyone that provided input relative to our 2020-2021 COVID-19 protocols and items for consideration in the development of our 2021-2022 PCS Plan for Safe Return to School which is available by clicking the link below. As part of our ESSER funding, we are required to post and periodically review our plan. Our plan is included below.
PCS Plan for Safe Return to School
Our safety team includes certified and non-certified staff members from our early childhood center, elementary school, middle school, and high school, including administrators, nurses, school social workers/licensed mental health practitioners, school psychologists, Plattsmouth Education Association representatives, before and after school program directors, our nutrition services director, our transportation location manager, maintenance, and our school resource officer(s).
At this time, our safety team plans to resume quarterly meetings in the 2022-2023 school year. If there is a significant change in COVID-19 or related guidance, we might return to monthly meetings.
Click HERE to provide feedback relative to our 2022-2023 PCS Plan for Safe Return to School. Thank you for your support of the Plattsmouth Community Schools!
Thank you for your support of the Plattsmouth Community Schools. #PLATTSMOUTHSTRONG
Superintendent Dr. Richard E. Hasty