Committee appointments for the Osakis School Board for the 2018 year were approved at the Monday, Feb . 12 regular School Board meeting. Becky Hensley continues as board chairperson; Michael Collins becomes vice chair; Genny LeBrun continues as clerk; and Greg Faber continues as treasurer. Certified Negotiations: Tom Grundman, Genny LeBrun, Becky Hensley. Non-certified Negotiations: Greg Faber, Mike Collins, Monica Klimek. Transportation: Faber. Community Education: Collins. Ag Advisory and Garden Project were combined into one: Faber.
Reports from the school principals, as well as the student representatives, were heard by the Osakis School Board at its Monday, Feb. 12 regular meeting. Elementary Principal Shad Schmidt presented his January report to the board. Kyle Carter was the January winner of the Win the Day award. More than 150 students were nominated in January, five postcards were sent home, and five emails were sent to parents.
Osakis School Board members were presented with Certificates of Appreciation as part of the Minnesota School Boards Association sponsored School Board Recognition, Week Feb. 19-23. Superintendent Randy Bergquist presented the board members with the certificates at their Monday, Feb. 12 regular meeting. The certificates are presented "for dedicated leadership in public education and continuing service to the students of this community." The motto for the annual observance is "Helping Kids Soar to Success."
The Osakis School Board at its Monday, Feb. 12 regular meeting approved the 2018-2019 work agreements for custodians, bus drivers, secretaries and cooks. Custodians, bus drivers and van drivers will see a 2.75 percent increase over the two-year contract. Head custodian, custodian aide, head cook and health coordinator will each receive 3 percent increases, and "secretary 3" positions will get a 4 percent increase.
A technology update was presented to the Osakis School Board by Stan Moore and Julie Backes at the Monday, Feb. 12 regular board meeting. Integrationist Moore told the board about the latest applications used in the classrooms, and the students' accessibility to technology. Backes is a fourth grade teacher, and she explained how she is using the technology in the classroom. She teaches keyboarding, and she reported one fourth grader had typed 44 words per minute using the new Typing Club software. Students can access this program at home, as well as at school.
An agreement has been made between the Osakis School District and Community Memorial Home (Galeon) of Osakis in the event of unforeseen disaster, where Galeon must evacuate its occupants from the premises. The agreement was penned at the Monday, Dec. 11 regular Osakis School Board meeting. "This agreement does not obligate (the school) to provide services/supplies for the evacuated residents," the agreement states. Galeon will be responsible for providing medications, medical records, supplies, nutritional items, linens, and staff members as they are able.
Teacher salaries for the Osakis School District have been settled for the next two years, 2017-18 and 2018-19, at an increase of 3.39 percent for the first year, and 2.02 percent for the second year. The 2016-17 salaries and benefits amount to $4,097,221. Total salaries and benefits for the 2017-18 contract are $4,236,298; for the 2018-19 contract are $4,321,862. Total package increase of 5.41 percent amounts to an increase of $224,640.
The Osakis High School FFA has been awarded a $1,500 Legacy Club grant from the Minnesota FFA Foundation, which will be used to purchase blue corduroy jackets and accessories for the 23 local FFA members. Rachel Moe, Osakis ag/FFA teacher, appeared before the School Board's Monday, Dec. 11 work session to apprise them of the grant award. "We will be purchasing jackets that will be customized to all of our members, measured to fit them," Moe said, noting that the blue jackets are required to enter FFA competition, as well as attend the state FFA convention.
The maximum allowable tax levy for the Osakis School District was certified to the county auditor at the School Board's Truth in Taxation meeting held Monday, Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. The levy is $1,695,474.07, an increase of 3.27 percent for 2018, or an increase of $53,645 from last year's levy. Supt. Randy Bergquist gave a slide presentation on the district's taxation process to a meager audience, which included the board members, press, and one citizen, Bill Bjerke. Fiscal Year (FY) 2017 fund balances totaled $4,418,774. Long term debt for the same period totaled $9,425,000.
The 2017 Osakis School District census, compiled by Bonnie Schultz, was presented to the Osakis School Board at its Monday, Dec. 11 regular meeting. The census shows the number of children from newborns to seniors in high school. First day enrollment in September 2017 for the elementary totaled 456 pupils, 417 in Osakis Public, and 39 in St. Agnes School. The total was down 28 from the all-time record-setting year of 2014, when the first day enrollment was 484 in both schools, and down 12 from the previous year.