The May 24 Papillion La Vista Community Schools Board of Education meeting could best be described as a collective “whew, made it” as the 2020–2021 school year came to an end.
Last Tuesday’s meeting was sprinkled throughout with gratitude for the obstacle’s teachers, administrators, support staff, parents and students navigated during the pandemic.
“There’s just simply too many thank you’s to go around,” said PLVCS Superintendent Andy Rikli. “Our community, our school board, our parents, our staff, our families. It has not been an easy year by any stretch of the imagination.
“Sacrifices were made, but we made it. It wasn’t just an ok school year, it was an outstanding school year.”
The information technology team took a pivotal role, including the deployment of more than 800 devices and creating 35 hotspots for the remote learning families. Director of Information Technology Lucas Bingham told the board his team also managed the Phase 1 Google transition, wireless network replacement, a new system for food service, infrastructure and cybersecurity updates, and the opening of Ashbury Elementary.
Superintendent Rikli expressed the board’s concern for the family of Ryan Larsen, the 11-year-old La Vista West Elementary School student who disappeared on May 17.
“But, we are going to have a good outcome. I believe that,” Rikli said. “We have a lot of people working hard. Working long hours to make sure this young man gets home safely.
Also at its May 24 meeting:
• With the passing of Nebraska LB452, school districts statewide must create programs that teach the fundamentals of financial literacy during early and secondary education. At least one five-credit high school course in personal finance or financial literacy will be a graduation requirement.
• The board approved the Educational Service Unit #3 contract for driver’s education for 2021–2022.
• Sealed bids are being solicited for a rotating rack oven at Papillion La Vista South High School.
• The board was given a summary of the policy and procedural changes recommended during the annual review of” Policy 5000 — Students,” including the addition of mini-horses as service animals.