Otto-Eldred School District
Pursuing Excellence—Developing Potential
Welcome to the Internet home of the Otto-Eldred School District. Our schools provide safe, empowering learning environments for preschool through twelfth grade students in the communities of Eldred, Duke Center, and Rixford, Pennsylvania.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about us. We are happy to provide you with information about our district, our schools, and the excellent programs and services we offer our students.
A Message from Our Administration
Dear Otto-Eldred Families,
This summer has been as busy as ever. With construction projects at both buildings, summer programming coming to completion, and staffing searches ongoing, our buildings have been full of activity. I hope this letter finds everyone enjoying summer. This will provide an update on our efforts and planning.
The elementary school roof project is now complete. The high school project has encountered delays in shipping which challenged our normal building cleaning and preparations. Lighting upgrades at the elementary are already complete. Work on a new high school boiler and updated ventilation system will continue until September. We are still hopeful classrooms will be back in order by mid-August so little or no impact will be felt by students. At conclusion of our project, we will have digital controls across all rooms in both buildings with ionizing air filtration in every building space. Our elementary roof was nearly 30 years old, and our high school ventilation system was over 20 years old. The flexibility provided by ESSERs funds made this project feasible. The district will have funds on hand to complete payment of this project with no impact on local taxes.
The increase in costs that families are experiencing also impact our purchasing. The cafeteria has been the most impacted by cost increases, as well as product availability. As of today, the free school lunch program that was in effect for the last two years will end this summer. By the end of September, applications will need to be submitted for free/reduced status. The district will NOT be increasing prices for paid lunches for the 2022–2023 school year. Applications for free/reduced lunch must be complete by the end of September. This can be done through the School Café website or on the School Café app on your mobile device. Deposits to P-EBT cards were made over the past week, with future deposits to be made in the fall.
Communication to families will be improved this school year using School Messenger. In addition to the phone calls you have received, families can “opt in” to text messaging services. This will allow teachers, coaches, and advisors to connect directly to parents using a district-hosted text service. As we begin the school year, be on the lookout for this information as well as connection instructions for the CSIU parent portal. The CSIU parent portal will populate class schedule information as well as grades and transportation assignments.
Although a few weeks late, the PA state budget has been adopted. There is much more information we are waiting to receive, but as of right now, Otto-Eldred should see a more significant state funding increase. Additionally, funds have been designated for efforts related to school safety and mental health supports. This funding could make over $200,000 available for Otto-Eldred to better serve our students and community. Locally, the Otto-Eldred School Board approved our operating budget in June. With the additional funding, the budget will still be at a slight deficit, although spending increased only 1%. A property tax increase was approved, with the intent that this amount be reserved for school safety planning. An initial meeting was held in late July to begin a discussion on how best to utilize safety-related funds and how best to plan for overall student success.
Students will see some new faces as they enter our buildings later this summer. Mr. Nicholas LaBella is now the high school principal, with Mrs. Erin Jackson as the high school counselor. Mrs. Colleen Storer moved to the elementary counselor role. High school students will be greeted by our new secretary, Ms. Ashley Shannahan, as Mrs. Amber Sudbrook moves to a high school teaching role. Ms. Michelle McNett is the new physical education/health teacher who will split duties between buildings. Our new high school life skills classroom will be staffed by Mrs. Jessica Clark. Mrs. Lauren Chase will be leading our pre-school classroom, which will move into the elementary building. Please be sure to welcome the new staff to our building and re-welcome staff to new roles within our staff as well!
Our fall extracurricular programs have begun! Our golfers have already competed; our volleyball and football teams will have scrimmages soon! Senior nights will be scheduled as they have in the past, toward the end of the season.
With the use of ESSERs funds from the Federal Government, our health and safety plan will be updated prior to the start of the school year. As we enter our third school year since the beginning of the pandemic, we can plan for a more normal environment and school experience. Overall, if a student is sick, for any reason, please keep them at home.
Our focus this year will be getting back to our former selves. Student learning and development can be our priority once again. We are excited to see improvements in student performance through updated math and ELA series, along with continued successes in our Agriculture Education program and expanded dual enrollment options. I have full confidence that our entire community is ready to move forward, together.