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A one-time appropriation of $728,149 in supplemental aid through the state’s Safe Schools levy will help Osseo Area Schools advance its efforts to create a secure single point of entry at schools and to support children’s mental health needs.

Approximately $530,000 of the one-time funds will be used to support a secure single point of entry at schools, which means providing the following:

  • Intercom and door release from the main entrance vestibule to the main entrance.
  • Laminated safety glass to strengthen all glass in the main entrance inner vestibule.
  • New main entrance and main entrance vestibule cameras to view visitors.
  • Ability to lock down the main office to prevent an unwanted person from entering the school.
  • Strobe lights to advise traveling staff, buses and others when the school is in a lockdown.
  • Duress alarms that can be activated by front office staff to alert the police.
  • Electronic visitor and volunteer management system.

The one-time funds will pay for all but one of the above components; other funding sources will be identified to gain the ability to lock down the main office to prevent an unwanted person from entering the school.

Almost $200,000 of the funds will support mental health services provided by a community partner during the school day, which will help address student needs while reducing the amount of missed class time for students receiving those services.

OALC students seated in a circle talking with Superintendent McIntyre

Superintendent Cory McIntyre is working to make sure an important voice is heard in his decision-making process: the voice of students. Throughout this school year, Superintendent McIntyre will travel to secondary schools across the district to meet with students and hear directly from them.

His first stop… the Osseo Area Learning Center.

On Nov. 6, a small group of Osseo Area Learning Center students met with Superintendent McIntyre, Interim Assistant Superintendent Patrick Smith and District 279 School Board Director Kelsey Dawson Walton.

Students were given the opportunity to provide open and honest feedback to district administration about their lived experiences at their school. The listening sessions were designed to gauge how students perceive all aspects of their education, including the classes offered, hours spent on homework, extracurricular activities and the social environment.

“It’s important to me that every student in this district have at least one adult they can trust and turn to,” said Superintendent McIntyre as he directed the students to go around the circle and name a teacher or staff member who has impacted them. Many students could name multiple staff members who have had a positive impact on them.

The OALC students shared that many of their peers work full time jobs in addition to attending school, which can make regular attendance and participating in sports or activities nearly impossible.

Several students asked for classes focused on managing personal finances including lessons about how to develop a budget, avoid credit card debt and file taxes. “The real world is expensive,” one student said, and the whole room nodded in agreement.

Students addressed the need for more mental health professionals and support at their school and encouraged school staff to check in on homeless students. 

Some students also shared that the process to transfer credits from other schools was difficult and caused them to have to retake classes or miss out on credits.

At the end of the listening session many students expressed appreciation for listening events like these and wanted more opportunities to share their feedback with school and district leaders.