Onaway to lay off one teacher

ONAWAY – In light of budgetary issues, Onaway Area Community Schools will lay off a teacher who works in the elementary school computer lab.

Superintendent Rod Fullerton said the district school board voted on May 13 to approve a layoff notice for Mark Gengle, a teacher who has worked with the district since 2001. The computer lab will instead be staffed by a paraprofessional the district already has on staff.

“We’re just looking ahead, and obviously as student enrollment continues to slightly decline and expenses go up, we have to keep making adjustments,” Fullerton said.

Fullerton said he expects the layoff to be a permanent one, as the school doesn’t need a certified teacher supervising the lab the way it’s currently structured.

Board members also reviewed another way to potentially save money, reviewing a preliminary analysis from Dean Transportation to privatize its transportation services, Fullerton said. However, at this point the preliminary analysis shows it actually would cost the district slightly more than what it’s currently spending on busing.

Privatizing busing is something the district could consider again in the future, Fullerton said. He added district officials also could look further into Dean Transportation’s initial proposal.

In other business:

* board members approved a policy update covering incorporating a student’s own device into class lessons, Fullerton said. The policy includes the rules that apply to these devices and their acceptable use.

* Fullerton expects to have bids within the month of June for a front door entry system. Following up on a suggestion from the school’s resource officer, the board is looking into installing a camera, intercom system and remote-release lock so someone in the building’s different offices can let in visitors during the school day.

* board members approved Kristi Bristley’s move from junior varsity volleyball to junior high volleyball instead, Fullerton said.

Jordan Travis can be reached via email at jtravis@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688. Follow Jordan on Twitter @jt_alpenanews. Read his blog, A Snowball’s Chance, at www.thealpenanews.com.