GROVE CITY -- With the help of a professional mediator, the Atwater-Cosmos-Grove City School Board reached a tentative two-year contract agreement with the district's certified staff this week.
Pending the outcome of a vote by the 61 teachers, the agreement could receive final board approval Jan. 7 during the board's 7 a.m. organizational meeting.
After meeting Monday with a mediator, the negotiation committee reached a tentative agreement for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years, said Superintendent Sherri Broderius.
The school board met in a closed session Monday night to hear the terms of the proposed agreement, which Broderius declined to reveal until teachers had a chance to hear the proposal from their representative.
Broderius said school board members seemed pleased with the proposed agreement.
The board "has put their confidence in the board negotiators and discussed parameters, and everything seems to be falling into those parameters," she said Tuesday. "Hopefully the teachers will be pleased with it and will move forward."
During recent years when ACGC was in statutory operating debt, "not a lot of money was being spent on anything else except basic essentials," said Broderius.
She said the negotiating committee worked well this year, but parties agreed to have a professional mediator participate in Monday's session "just in case" there was a problem that could jeopardize meeting the state's Jan. 15 deadline.
School districts are financially penalized if an agreement isn't signed by that date -- a fee that ACGC has had to pay in the past.
"It was important to both groups not to miss that deadline," she said.
The mediator "put the finishing touches" on the contract agreement and helped "wrap it all up," Broderius said.
In other action, the school board approved a trip to Spain by the Spanish students and approved its annual agreement with the PACT 4 Families Collaborative.