Elementary construction plans moving forward
Construction documents detailing elementary building expansion were nearly complete as of the May 13 board meeting, according to Fort Calhoun Community Schools (FCCS) officials.
The school board's finance committee suggested June 5 as the day to interview construction managers. A recommendation for hiring is expected to be made at the June 10 board meeting.
Third kindergarten, second grade teachers hired
FCCS has hired a third kindergarten and second grade teacher. A third section will be added in each grade starting in the 2019-20 school year to accommodate the increased capacities set in March.
Amber Leifield will teach kindergarten. She has multiple years of experience teaching in Omaha Public Schools and a master's degree. Principal Drew Wagner said Leifield lives in FCCS' district, and did so because she wanted to teach at the school.
Whitney Hodson will teach second grade. She has three years teaching experience at Blair Community Schools and student-taught at Fort Calhoun Elementary School. Wagner said she will be a “great fit” for the school and knows the culture.
District to extend strength and conditioning program
FCCS will transition its summer strength and conditioning program into a yearlong program available to all athletes even if their sport is not in season.
The summer strength coaching position will become full-time. The change will also result in the hiring of an assistant for safety purposes.
Supt. Don Johnson said many schools have a yearlong program that helps them compete at a high level and cut down on injuries.
FCHS principal, one staff member attend conference
High School Principal Jerry Green and special education coordinator Ashley Dougherty attended the Institute for Career Advancement Needs (ICAN) Women's Leadership Conference at the CHI Health Center in Omaha on May 15.
ICAN's conference offers keynote addresses from industry leaders and provides small-group sessions covering a variety of subjects related to professional and personal development in an effort to evolve leaders from around the world.
Green and Dougherty attended the conference for free thanks to a community resident and the company she is employed. The cost of the conference was $495 per person.
District reviewing in-house counseling program
FCCS is reviewing its in-house counseling program currently being provided for by Arbor Family Services. The 2018-19 school year was the first year of the program which offered on-campus professional counseling services for students.
Johnson said the district is discussing whether to switch to a new company, such as the University of Nebraska Medical Center, or stay with Arbor Family. FCCS plans to meet with Arbor Family to discuss the program soon.
"We feel like it's an effective program, but we want it to be more than what it was this first year," Johnson said.
FCCS to discuss preschool for long-range building plans
FCCS board members will discuss long-range building plans for the preschool next month after 16 students were turned away because of capacity for the upcoming school year.
Classes are currently held in the elementary school. State policy only allows for a certain number of students per square footage of a room.
Other options are available to parents whose students were turned away, though not all are certified preschools. Some day cares and child care centers do provide developmental activities in Fort Calhoun.
PFE, district working on summer art program
FCCS and Pioneers for Education (PFE) are working on plans to have a summer art program for students. There is currently a two-proposal discussion for the program.
The first is a one-week summer camp for elementary students paid for by PFE and registration fees. The second proposal is a once-a-week program for third- to sixth-grade students. The program would take place at the high school and have a limited number of students per session. The cost of the program could also be paid by PFE and registration fees.