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Ontonagon Schools ratifies contract

ONTONAGON — The Ontonagon Area School District (OASD) Board of Education unanimously ratified the contract with the Ontonagon Teachers Education Association (OTEA).  

While there will be no increase in salary, teachers will be reimbursed for SCECHs (State Continuing Education Clock Hours) earned for professional development. The teachers will be paid for steps, lanes and longevity. 

The board also approved stipends of $750 in December and $750 in June.  These stipends will be paid out for changes in schedules, differentiated instruction and working in potentially hazardous conditions.

Other agreed upon changes included coaches and advisors getting a 3% raise, event workers will be paid $50.00, and an increase will be paid out for sick leave from $35 to $40 per day, leaving district or retirement.

In regard to the area’s increase in positive COVID-19 cases the OASD now has 100% of the students in remote learning. Superintendent/Principal Jim Bobula stated that the district continues to be above the states mandated average. The required monthly Extended Continuity of Learning Plan (ECOL) must be presented at every meeting.

“77% of the students are learning as a group with the teacher (synchronous learners),” Bobula said. “23% of the students are one on one with the teacher (hybrid),  97% attendance rate for synchronous students in grades 6-12, 99% attendance rate for synchronous students in K-5.

“79% attendance rate for the 1-on-1 learning.”

A major topic of discussion at the last school board meeting dealt with the 2019-20 audit. Business Services Director Linda Karttunen gave a detailed, written out report.

2019-20 Revenues were $3,019,541. Expenses were $3,030.042. That showed a loss of $10,501.

“(On) June 30, 2020, the general fund balance was $153,104. The fund balance consists of $118,527 unassigned, $25,000 assigned to severance, and $9,577 assigned to technology,” said Karttunen. “No money was assigned to building and site.”

An important factor in regards to the financial condition of the district comes from the state.

“In August 2020, when the sState finally passed their budget, we received a funding reduction of $175 per student,” Karttunen said. “The lower per pupil reduction increased our revenues and the money we saved during the unanticipated closing of school by Gov. Whitmer in mid-March through June on bus fuel, electricity, athletics, and other miscellaneous items reduced our expenditures, which resulted in a larger fund balance.”

At the end of her report, Karttunen concluded, “We did good.” 

With her presentation, Board President Nancy Mattson, along with the full board, commended Karttunen for all the work she did with the school’s finances and her report.

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