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Athens school board joins Medford virtual academy

The Athens Board of Education on Monday voted to join the Rural Virtual Academy (RVA) as part of a plan to retain more students in the school district and keep more state aid money.

Jeff Mastin, Athens schools superintendent, said joining forces with RVA would allow the school district to retain two thirds of state funding instead of losing it to RVA and only receiving the remaining one third of state money.

“In past years our school district received approximately $12,000 in state per student but we’d only keep $4,000 of this amount for operating expenses while the RVA would receive the other $8,000,” Mastin said. “By signing a contract with RVA, it’ll give us $1,500 of the state aid money back this first year and $3,000 back in each of the years thereafter. We’d receive $7,000 of the state aid amount and RVA would get $5,000 out of the $12,000 per child.”

The Edgar Board of Education recently also agreed to join the RVA.

In other school news:

_ School board members voted to subscribe to Schoology to streamline online curriculum for students, so teachers are using the same computer programs to make it easier for parents should their students need to learn virtually from home again in the future because of coronavirus.

_ The school board rescinded a motion at the May regular school board meeting to give spring sports coaches half of their contracted pay and use the savings to help pay for the new middle/high school gym floor.

The board passed a new motion to still pay spring coaches half of their contracted stipend, but to put the savings in the school district’s general fund.

_ School board members postponed action to hire NEOLA as an outside firm to handle school board policies and staff and student handbooks. The board plans to take up the NEOLA contract at its July meeting when administrator Mastin can provide a breakdown of costs over the next decade.