OASD eNews - February 2021

  • Referendum Debt Savings
  • Referendum 2020 Progress Update
  • Launch of Alumni Nations
  • OASD is Hiring - Substitutes Needed
  • Recreation News

Oshkosh Area School District
215 S Eagle Street
Oshkosh, WI 54935


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A Message from the Superintendent

I would like to begin this message by thanking our students, families, staff, and community as we continue to navigate this unique year together. Your hard work, engagement, and partnership are most appreciated!

A couple weeks ago, the District announced our plans to return to five-day-a-week in-person learning for all students (Model 2: Modified In-person Learning). We look forward to welcoming all of our students in grades PK-8 on Thursday, February 18, and grades 9-12 on Thursday, February 25. Students enrolled in eAcademy will remain fully virtual, engaged in the 100% online program. Additional information will continue to be shared by schools, and families are encouraged to stay informed and engaged.

I would also like to provide an exciting update related to our future-planning efforts. Since the voter-approved November 3 referendum, the District has been hard at work developing plans to address facility needs. Design meetings for the two new schools, as well as the first set of renovation projects to address priority maintenance, safety and security, and infrastructure improvements, are underway. Additionally, we are excited to report significant interest savings on the first phase of our referendum debt borrowing plan, as well as a lower than expected mill rate for taxpayers. You can learn more about this good news in the referendum updates below. Once again, we are so grateful for our community’s support of our long-range facilities plan and the shared belief that the time is right to make an investment in our schools that will impact students for generations to come.


Vickie L. Cartwright, Ph.D.,
Superintendent of Schools

OASD Secures $17 Million Dollars in Interest Rate Savings

Timing is right for referendum debt

The Oshkosh Area School District recently secured $17 million in interest savings as a result of its borrowing schedule for the $107 million referendum project, approved by voters in November 2020. These savings will allow the District to offer a lower mill rate than projected. 

On January 27, the OASD was able to lock in $65 million of its upcoming referendum debt for a better than expected 1.66% interest rate resulting in the $17 million dollar savings. Taking advantage of record-low interest rates was a key consideration throughout the District’s referendum planning process. It was also the reason the District chose to include $65 million in its first borrowing phase instead of just $40 million as initially planned. When the referendum costs were estimated last year, a rate of 3.5% was anticipated. 

“Being fiscally responsible throughout the planning phase provides flexibility in case interest rates change in the future,” stated Drew Niehans, OASD Executive Director of Business Services. “Our goal is to provide taxpayers with a realistic expectation and then do all that we can to bring back an even lower than expected tax impact. In this instance, we are thrilled to have been able to capitalize on current interest rates thanks to voter approval and the trust of our community.”

The interest rate savings also means a lower mill rate for taxpayers. The current impact from referendum debt in 2021-22 will be $0.36, down twelve cents from the pre-referendum estimates of $0.48. The expected mill rate for 2022-23 will be $0.54, down from $0.70; and from 2023-41 it will be $0.68 down from $0.85.

OASD Referendum Mill Rate Impact Feb2021


The lower mill rate means that for a $100,000 home value, first-year savings will be $12 or a total of $36 in tax impact that year instead of the previously expected $48. Second-year savings will be $16 and from years three through twenty, annual savings will be $15. The District will also have two more bond issues to potentially increase these savings even more.

“We are so grateful that our community trusted us with this process and approved our referendum request,” stated Dr. Vickie Cartwright, OASD Superintendent of Schools. “Continuing to do what is best for students while investing in our schools will allow us to positively impact Oshkosh for generations to come.”

Referendum 2020 Project Progress Report - January 2021

Since the voter-approved November 3 referendum, the District has been hard at work developing plans to address facility needs. Design meetings for the two new schools, as well as the first set of renovation projects to address priority maintenance, safety and security, and infrastructure improvements are underway. 

Check out the first Referendum 2020 Project Progress Report to learn more:

OASD Referendum 2020 Progress Update  - January 2021

OASD Referendum 2020 Progress Report Jan2021

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Connecting with Our Alumni and Friends

Calling all OASD Alumni and Supporters

The OASD and the OASD Education Foundation are pleased to announce the launch of Oshkosh Nation, an online hub for alumni, community members, friends, family, and supporters of Oshkosh public schools. The site features an evolving alumni directory, as well as news and events, spirit wear, opportunities to give and volunteer, and more. 

Check it out and JOIN for free today at oshkoshnation.alumninations.com. You can deepen your involvement by creating a public profile and selecting the ways you'd like to support students and public schools in Oshkosh. So, take a look around, browse, explore and then join to connect with fellow alumni, support your alma mater and help develop future graduates of Oshkosh’s public schools.

Oshkosh Nation is managed by the OASD Education Foundation, which strives to engage the community in supporting Oshkosh public schools. The Foundation is committed to providing resources for innovation, fine arts, athletics, and scholarships to enhance students' lives. To learn more about the Foundation visit www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/district/oshkosh-education-foundation or contact Theresa J. Duren, OASD Education Foundation Director at theresa.duren@oshkosh.k12.wi.us | 920.424.0395. 

Spotlight an Alumni

We know that our alumni have some of the most fascinating stories to tell and we are always honored to share their accomplishments and achievements. Nominate yourself or an OASD alumni today:

OASD Alumni Spotlight Submission Form

Oshkosh Nation Website

Help Needed: Hiring for Many Positions

We need your help, now more than ever! If you or someone you know is searching for a job or looking for a way to give back - we are hiring for multiple positions with immediate start dates.

Contact us! If you have questions about becoming a substitute or how to get your substitute license, call Jenni Johnson, OASD Substitute Staff Coordinator, at 920.424.1254.

*NEW* Permanent Substitute Teachers

Become a permanent substitute teacher for the rest of the 2020-2021 school year (ending June 3, 2021)! Benefits include full-time salary, health and dental benefits, and being assigned to one school, with the potential to temporarily shift schools if needed. Anyone with an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in any field can become a permanent substitute teacher, however, a DPI substitute license is required which includes completing an 8-hour training course.


OASD Permanent Sub Promo

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Substitute Teachers and Teacher Assistants

Become a substitute teacher or teacher assistant and enjoy a flexible schedule. Anyone with an Associate's or Bachelor's degree in any field can become a substitute teacher, however, a DPI substitute license is required which includes completing an 8-hour training course. Substitute teacher assistants do not need a degree or license but should be comfortable working with students with special needs.


OASD Substitute Promo

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Recreation Department Newsletter

The Oshkosh Recreation Department (ORD), a division of the Oshkosh Area School District, is committed to providing recreational services and activities that enhance the quality of life for our community. Check out the February 2021 ORD Newsletter to learn more! 

OASD Family Support Series

In an effort to continue to support our families, the District publishes a weekly support series. Tips and resources are posted online at www.oshkosh.k12.wi.us/families/support-series and on Facebook every Tuesday at 2 p.m. Families are encouraged to follow along on the District's Facebook page or website for the latest updates.

In Our Schools: Good News Spotlight

After-school Engagement

Students in the Lighted School House After School Program have been busy engaging in hands-on activities and giving back to the community. 

Lighted School House - E-cook STEM Project

Students at Emmeline Cook Elementary School enjoyed putting their engineering skills to the test.

Lighted School House - Webster Stanley - Blanket Project

Students at Webster Stanley Elementary School recently spent time making blankets for N.E.W. Pawsibilities Animal Rescue.

Soup'er Bowl Success

The Oshkosh Area Community Pantry was the recipient of the fundraising efforts of the Rotary Club of Oshkosh and South Park Middle School in their annual “Soup’er Bowl” soup fundraising campaign during the month of January. Between the service club and middle school, 1,160 cans of soup and other shelf-stable food were donated to the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry. The amount donated doubled over the prior year.

“Some people are living a hard time and it’s even harder right now with the coronavirus. I am bringing joy to people,” Auron S., student from South Park Middle School said. He used his Christmas gift money to purchase soup to donate toward the campaign. South Park Middle School Principal, Randy Hughes, said, “I’m so proud. Auron took a present that was a gift to him and paid that gift forward.”

South Park Middle Soup Can Donation

South Park Middle School student, Auron S., helps deliver donated soup and food items to the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry.

South Park Middle Soup Donation Items

Over 1,160 cans of soup and other shelf-stable food were collected by South Park Middle School students and staff, and the Rotary Club of Oshkosh.