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Education

Ottawa Elementary could be at start of 'positive trend' for funding

Jefferson boiler tabbed for replacement

Cleve Threadgill
Cleve Threadgill

Ottawa Elementary School district officials hope they're seeing the start of a positive trend when it comes to school funding.

Superintendent Cleve Threadgill updated the school board Tuesday about the district seeing an additional $319,408 coming in as a result of evidence-based funding.

District officials had heard a few different numbers, both high and low, as to what they would receive, but ultimately Threadgill is happy with the result.

"We had been anticipating that all along, but there was so much conjecture and speculation as to what the amount would be," Threadgill said. "In this point of the year, it's a welcome shot in the arm."

The district received two late categorical payments from 2017 as well as one from the current fiscal year. One more is expected this fiscal year, then the district will not receive any further because it will be incorporated into a new funding formula. The district did not budget for the additional funds; the district's budget will be amended next month.

Threadgill said he's cautiously optimistic that this is a positive trend, but it will take a few years to make up what was lost in the past.

"At least we're trending in the right direction," Threadgill said.

School resource officer agreement now on paper

The district also put its relationship with the Ottawa Police Department for school resource officers on paper.

The council approved an intergovernmental agreement, which is expected to be reviewed regularly.

Threadgill said the agreement between the two parties has been a "good faith relationship" up to this point.

"We've been with an understanding with the city for many years now," Threadgill said. "There may have been an agreement from 10 years ago, we just haven't been able to find it."

Threadgill said recent school shootings nationwide have drummed up some interest in the topic, and school officials thought it was best to have the agreement officially in place.

Jefferson boiler approved for replacement

The board also approved a bid from A & R Mechanical for the Jefferson Elementary School boiler replacement at a maximum of $569,840. The boiler is expected to be replaced this summer. The boiler's age reaches back to 1939. Its replacement is part of a 10-year life safety review conducted in 2017, when the unit was determined to need replacement within five years.

New bus technology on the horizon

Board members also commented on new bus technology that is expected to be installed in district buses. The technology tracks buses on their routes and their current mileage as well as their speeds. The software also will help track service needs, such as oil and tire changes. Threadgill said he will have a more in-depth presentation available at the May board meeting.

In other business, the board approved:

• The seeking of bids for a vehicle in the transportation department.

• The resignations of: Tim Dresen as a custodian, effective April 4; Callie Schmidt as the eighth-grade volleyball coach at Shepherd Middle School, effective immediately; Corinna Kellerman as a bus monitor, effective Dec. 17, 2017; Carolyn (Henry) Horn as a crossing guard at Jefferson Elementary School, effective April 6; Emma Verona as the pom choreographer, effective immediately; Craig Shymanski as the athletic director at the end of the current school year; and Tanya Hess as a paraprofessional at Lincoln Elementary School, effective at the end of the current school year.

• The retirement requests of Wendee Kavinsky, recently as a bus driver, effective Feb. 28; and Pamela Ludwick, Title I reading specialist at Central Intermediate School at the end of the current school year.

• The transfer of Carli Cade from second-grade teacher at Jefferson Elementary School to first-grade teacher at Jefferson for the next school year and Angela Moreno from the PLAP classroom teaching assistant at Lincoln Elementary School to the teaching assistant for the Lincoln library effective for the next school year.

• The employment of Mallory Matici as a third-grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School for next school year, Alyssa Chismarick as the instructional support education teacher at McKinley Elementary School for next school year and Charles "Chuck" Foster as a 3 to 11 p.m. custodian at Lincoln Elementary School, effective May 8.

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