The Osakis School District will offer a pre-school program starting with the 2019-2020 school year, following approval of the details at the Monday, Feb. 11 regular School Board meeting. Elementary Principal Shad Schmidt presented the plan to the board, including days offered, tuition, and concerns. The School Board approved offering three and five day programs, called "parents' choice," with preference being given to parents who chose the five full-day format.
The Osakis School Board amended its current year budget at the Monday, Feb. 11 regular meeting, putting $300,000 in additional revenue to good use for the district. District Bookkeeper Theresa Moore told the School Board the original budget was based on an estimated enrollment of 800 students, but the actual enrollment was much more than that. She re-ran the budget numbers based on the new enrollment figure of 843, which resulted in $300,000 in additional revenue.
Three new employees were hired by the Osakis School Board at its Monday, Feb. 11 regular meeting. Tonia Hagedon was hired as the elementary secretary at a salary of $18.25 per hour. She has been a receptionist at the Glenwood State Bank. She holds a bachelor of science degree in elementary education from Southwest State University, and has completed two years of study at Hamline University in English as a Second language.
Osakis schools will make up a weather day on Monday, March 4, following School Board action at a special meeting held Tuesday, Feb. 5. The board voted not to hold school on Friday, Feb. 15, and approved a weather makeup day on Monday, March 4. Osakis schools have been hard hit — as have all Minnesota schools — by severe winter conditions the past two weeks. Osakis schools were closed due to severe weather on Jan. 7, Jan. 29, Jan. 30, Jan. 31 and Friday, Feb. 8.
The Osakis School Board seated a new member and reorganized for the year 2019 at its meeting on Monday, Jan. 14 at 5:30 p.m. in the board meeting room. Chris George, who was elected to the board at the Nov. 6, 2018 election, was sworn into office. George, along with Becky Hensley and Greg Faber, incumbents, were the top vote-getters in that election. Hensley and Faber also took the oath of office. Hensley was unanimously elected to another term as the board chairperson. Michael Collins was elected vice chair; Genny LeBrun was elected clerk, and Faber was elected treasurer.
The official Osakis School District Census, ages zero through high school, was received by the School Board at its Monday, Dec. 10 regular meeting. Total number is 871, which is the third highest number in 30 years of record keeping. This includes 460 elementary students, and 411 high schoolers. Prepared by Elementary Secretary Tracy Stigman, the census shows a total of 460 elementary children, including 429 at Osakis Public Elementary, and 31 at St. Agnes School.
The Osakis 2019-2020 preschool program came up for discussion at the Monday, Dec. 10 regular School Board meeting, when a number of citizens attended to give input and ask questions about the district's plan for next year. The pre-school item was not on the agenda, but Board Chair Becky Hensley allowed input from the floor, and discussion with the board. The preschool topic has been referred to a committee that is headed by Elementary Principal Shad Schmidt.
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. 10 at 6 p.m. The levy is $1,751,014, an increase of 3.28 percent for 2019, or an increase of $55,540 from last year's levy. In comparison, the board approved the 2018 levy at 3.27 percent levy, in the amount of $1,695,474, which was an increase of $53,645.
Osakis School District 213 received a clean audit for the year ended June 30, 2018, when Mary Reedy, CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, presented the annual report to the School Board at its Wednesday, Nov. 14 meeting. The meeting was moved because of the Monday, Nov. 12 Veterans Day holiday. The unmodified or clean opinion is the highest opinion a school district can receive, Reedy said. She complimented the School Board, stating the reserve of 46 percent of expenditures is almost a half year of funding in reserve.
The Osakis School Board will be seating a new member on Jan. 7, 2019, as a result of the Tuesday, Nov. 6 board election. The board canvassed the general election outcome at its Wednesday, Nov. 14 regular meeting. Incumbents Becky Hensley and Greg Faber were re-elected with 1,047 and 804 votes respectively. Chris George was the new member elected with a total of 878 votes. George will replace Monika Klimek, who did not run for re-election, on the board. All three will be sworn in at the Jan. 7, 2019 meeting and each will serve four year terms.