The Osakis School District is taking a hard look into the future needs of its facilities. During an hour and a half work session on Sept. 10, the Osakis School Board met with representatives Jacqui Coldman and Luke Pfotenhauer of InGensa, a Plymouth consulting firm that works with school districts to renovate and improve their facilities. Board members reviewed a detailed three-page spreadsheet listing the deficiencies on the district facilities including interior, mechanical, electrical, site, exterior and educational adequacy issues.
The Osakis School Board approved a number of hirings at its Aug. 13 meeting to fill out the staff for this year's school year. "We should be ready to go," Superintendent Randy Bergquist told the board. "Osakis is really lucky. We hired some really good individuals to start the new year." Hired were: Kristen Will, full time Early Childhood Special Education instructor at per Master Agreement amount of $39,293. She served as a paraprofessional in Osakis Public Schools last year;
A total of 222,394 miles were logged by the Osakis School District's 17 buses and vans for the year, according to the 2017-18 Transportation Report presented at the Osakis School Board's Aug. 13 meeting. Costs to operate the program totaled $527,079 for the year, which includes $256,870 paid out in salaries, and $65,311 in benefits. According to Superintendent Randy Bergquist, gas costs increased about $30,000 from the previous year, amounting to $73,733. Of that amount, diesel fuel cost $62,483, and gas cost $11,249.
A long-standing student and athletic accident insurance program in the Osakis School District was the topic of extended discussion at the Monday, Aug. 13 School Board meeting. The policy will cost the school district $29,748 for the coming school year, and board members struggled with whether or not the district should offer the program. "Osakis is one of the few school districts that offers this," Supt. Randal Bergquist told the board. "It is a great program for kids if something happens on the field or in a contest. This is secondary insurance."
A new board-approved referendum authority was passed by the Osakis School Board at its Monday, Aug.13 regular meeting. The school district has no current voter-approved referendum authority, and operated under a $300 per pupil board-approved referendum during fiscal year 2017-18. The state allows districts to approve referendums in tiered levels. The next level would be $424, taking the local board approved levy to $724 per pupil unit.
A 10-year long-term facilities maintenance plan and revenue projection was approved by the Osakis School Board at its Monday, July 9 regular meeting. The plan is a state requirement and must be submitted by July 31. Superintendent Randy Bergquist told the board the projection remained about the same as in the past. The total general fund levy for the Fiscal Year 2019 is estimated at $157,970. Bergquist pointed out that the roof repair has been completed, along with the tuck-pointing. The figures for each of the next 10 years are estimated in the $160,000 range.
Al Glaeseman, Dee Peshek and Sarah Alstead from Douglas County Housing and Redevelopment Authority went before the Douglas County commissioners Tuesday, July 17 with the HRA's 2019 levy request. Although the levy requires approval from the commissioners, it is not part of the county's budget. The HRA's levy is $700,000, which is slightly more than .01 percent of the taxable market value in the county. The maximum levy amount for the HRA is a little more than $1 million, Glaeseman said the HRA is only requesting 68.5 percent of that.
The annual food service review was presented to the Osakis School Board at its Monday, July 9 regular meeting. The report showed revenue for the year just ended at $360,722.02, and total disbursements of $371,578.86, for a loss for the year of $10,856.84. Total number of meals and total number of breakfasts served were both down for the year. Average daily attendance for the year was 774, down 11 from the previous year. Average daily participation in the lunch program at 554 decreased 72 from the previous year. There were 172 total meal days served.
Minor changes in the elementary and high school Student Handbooks for the Osakis Public Schools for the 2018-19 school year were approved by the Osakis School Board at its Monday, July 9 meeting. The elementary handbook will not be printed and sent out this year. Instead parents are requested to access it on the school website. The parents will receive a student/parent checklist which will be required paperwork for families this fall, which must be signed by both the student and the parent/guardian and returned.
Big changes in the Food Service offered by the Osakis Public Schools are coming following the acceptance of a contract between the Osakis School Board and A'viands based out of Roseville for the 2018-19 school year. The board approved the contract at the 6:30 a.m. special meeting held on Wednesday, June 27. Superintendent Randy Bergquist told the board requests for proposals for the food program were sent out to 20 companies, and of those, two made presentations to the food committee: A'viands and Taher.