Randy Harvey

Treasurer Randy Harvey gives an overview of the district's finances during an Ontario school board meeting.

ONTARIO -- Ontario Local Schools will keep its mask requirement for at least another month. 

The board discussed current COVID-19 policies at Tuesday nights board meeting, but chose not to change them. The district implemented a mask mandate on Sept. 1 after seeing an uptick in student cases and absences.

“At this time I’m not recommending that our students remove the masks. I think that would be a very poor decision at this point,” superintendent Lisa Carmichael said. “Our kids are doing great, our staff is doing great. Right now no one is complaining.”

Student COVID-19 cases dropped after the mask mandate was implemented, but have crept up slightly in the last week and a half.

Ontario mask

Ontario Local Schools implemented a mask requirement for staff and students on September 1.

“I think right now we continue to monitor it and hopefully bring back better news in November,” Carmichael said.

District Treasurer Randy Harvey shared the district has two emergency levies that will expire soon. A 4.8-mill emergency operation levy will expire at the end of 2022. A 6.9 mill emergency operating levy will expire at the end of 2024.

Together, the two levies generate approximately $3,255,000.

The board discussed whether or not to put two separate renewals on the ballot or combine them, but did not take action.

Members of the Ontario High School Warrior Leadership Committee gave a presentation on the group’s accomplishments and future plans. The committee consists of student council members, student leaders and other student organizations.

Ellie Maurer shared the group’s initiative to welcome new students. Each new student is given a blue Ontario t-shirt to help them feel like they’re a part of the community. Staff and students who wish to be a resource for new students are given a yellow Ontario t-shirt to wear as a signal that they’re there to help. The committee also held a breakfast for new students in August and will have a follow-up luncheon in October.

Jaslyn Ly spoke about the group’s involvement in homecoming preparations and spirit week. 

Alejandro Carrizal Ramos announced the group’s upcoming Veterans Breakfast and plans for class-wide acts of service next month. The committee will host a Veterans Day Breakfast on Nov. 11 from 8 to 9 a.m. in the Ontario High School Commons.

The breakfast is open to any veteran or active military personnel. Veterans and active duty military can also bring a student guest if they wish. The high school show choir and jazz band will perform; followed by a patriotic program put on by the WLC.

The board also:

Approved the purchase of two lots located at 3588 Park Avenue West for $35,000.

Approved Judy Schnug to perform consultation services, as needed to the new guidance secretary at $25 per hour effective January 1, 2022 through May 31, 2022.

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Staff reporter focused on education and features. Clear Fork alumna. Always looking for a chance to practice my Spanish. You can reach me at katie.ellington@richlandsource.com