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Ontonagon School District preparing for students’ return

ONTONAGON — While the decision as to whether the students in the Ontonagon Area School District (OASD) will be attending classes in school or taking the classes online was not decided at the July School Board Meeting, the district is moving forward as if the students will be in school.

“We have had two meetings with teaching staff and support staff to create our Safe Return to School Plan. Plans are to be created using the Return to School Roadmap guidance. We are to develop a plan for all three phases,” explained OASD Superintendent/Principal, Jim Bobula.  “We are currently in Phase 5. Planning discussions revolved around Phases 4 and 5 as we have created and made necessary changes to our Phase 1, 2, 3 plan”

Bobula told the School Board at their July meeting that discussion topics addressed social distancing, Transportation, lunch schedules, recess schedules and mask requirements. “Of course, we are still awaiting definitive clarification from the Governor and Legislators regarding funding, snow days/e-learning days, pupil accounting compliance, Assessments, what Phase will we be in and safety requirements and recommendations.”

The six Superintendents with the Gogebic Ontonagon Intermediate School District (GOISD) will meet with the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) to review and discuss plans for the Safe Return to School Plan. “We will also be seeking clarification on a few areas within the plan. Plans are to be approved by local Boards of Education by August 15th,” stated Bobula.

Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) Executive Council recently met regarding fall sports.  Regarding Sports, the Board hired Noelle Manos as the Assistant Volleyball Coach.  Improvements on the Weight Room continue, with funding for that coming from the Sinking Fund Budget.

Money from the Sinking Fund Budget includes work on a new Boiler head for original gas boiler.  Bobula stated, “for much needed efficiency.”

Bobula stated that the schedule for the OASD K-12 population will be finalized soon.

What has been finalized is the contracts for bakery and dining contracts.  The only bids came from those that the District has been with for years.  That is Twin City Dairy and Bimbo Bakeries.  Dairy prices fluctuate and there was a small increase in bakery.

On this election year, there is open board seats. “We have 4 people running for 3 four year seats. There are two people running for the two, two year seats,” concluded Bobula.

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