With a two-question ballot facing Owatonna school district voters on Tuesday, November 3, the district is hosting a levy information session on Monday, October 5 at 6:30 pm in the small group forum at the high school. Those interested may also watch the presentation through the district's 'Levy 2020' website.

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The first question asks for a renewal of an existing levy. The question, as it will appear on the ballot, "Requests a straight renewal of the district’s existing operating levy which is about to expire. Operating levies provide critical funding for classrooms, instruction and other operating costs."

The second question seeks additional funds, "Requests a phased-in increase to the district’s operating levy in 2022 and 2025. By phasing in the increase over time, it also phases in the tax impact with no tax increase until 2022. The additional revenue provided if question two is approved would enable the district to maintain quality programming and activities, appropriate class sizes and career-technical education programs, while providing financial stability for the next decade. Q2 is contingent and can only pass if voters first approve Q1."

Community members are also invited to join superintendent Jeff Elstad for his regular "Coffee and Conversation" event on Friday, October 9 at 8 am. Interested residents need to request a link to the virtual meeting by contacting shoffman@isd761.org by Wednesday, October 7.

In the October e-newsletter from the district, Elstad states, "We are now a month into the most unusual school year any of us have every experienced. Thanks to the hard work, creativity, persistence and patience of staff, parents and students, I am pleased to report that things are going well."

He added, "We are in regular contact with our partners at Steele County Public Health regarding the most up-to-date COVID case numbers for Steele County."

Other highlights from the newsletter:

  • Free meals are back for all children in the district up to age 18.
  • Red Ribbon Week, the annual drug prevention week, is October 26-30.
  • Elstad's State of the District presentation from September 23 is available to watch through the district's website.