Bus protocols change in response to tragedy
In response to the death of the principal at Amy Beverland Elementary School in Indianapolis in January, Brown County Schools has created new protocols for all bus drivers to follow while waiting on children to board and exit.
Superintendent David Shaffer asked Jeff Deckard, the director of transportation, to revisit the protocols after Indianapolis Principal Susan Jordan was killed. She was protecting students when a bus lunged forward and jumped the curb.
The new protocols apply to most bus drivers at elementary schools during student arrival times and when students are present in the pick up and drop off zones. Special education bus protocols are slightly different.
Drivers are to place the bus in neutral, set the emergency brake, turn off the engine, turn the key to “accessory” and turn on the transportation radio, and remain in driver’s seat.
Drivers who exit their bus must turn the bus off and take the keys with them.
“Preparing protocols was difficult because each building has a slightly different bus release,” Deckard said. “Some buses are at angles, some buses are nose to tail where kids are in between and around buses.”
School board approves personnel changes
At the Feb. 4, Feb. 18 and March 3 Brown County School Board of Trustees meetings, members approved the following:
- A revised 2016-2017 school calendar. The original was one day short of the 180-day state requirement. April 17 will now be listed as a day students must be in school instead of as a snow make-up day.
- The retirement notices of Alice Mannix, Peggy Thompson and Gerald Long effective at the end of the school year.
- Establishing a food service administrative assistant job. It will be posted and filled at a later date. This person will help the food service director with daily tasks and long-term projects and will be paid for out of the food service budget.
- Extending contracts by one year for the following administrators: Assistant Superintendent Dennis Goldberg, Brown County High School Principal Shane Killinger, Brown County Junior High Principal Brian Garman, Brown County Intermediate School Principal Trent Austin, Sprunica Elementary School Principal Abbie Oliver, Helmsburg Elementary School Principal Kelli Bruner, Van Buren Elementary School Principal Christy Wrightsman, high school Assistant Principal Angie Evans, junior high Assistant Principal Gavin Steele, intermediate school Assistant Principal Greg Pagnard, Director of Student Learning Debbie Harman and Director of Student Services Alan Kosinski.
- The appointment of Helmsburg Elementary after-school care provider Cortney Hitchcock, part-time, two days per week, $12.46 per hour, effective March 14. She is a replacement for Mary Pool, whose separation was effective March 11. It was not a termination.
- The appointment of high school tennis volunteers Matt Williams, Carrie Jackson, Beth Drew and Eric Fohl, effective this school year.
- The appointment of varsity high school baseball volunteer Ryan Wilcozen, effective this school year.
- The appointment of temporary Van Buren Elementary Title 1 teacher Karen Kirby to cover the leave of absence for Peggy Thompson, effective March 28 for three to four weeks, 15 days at sub rate, then remainder of the time at $236.82 daily.
- The transfer of James McFall, junior high science teacher, to high school science teacher, beginning Aug. 3. He and Erich Nolan are switching jobs.
- The transfer of Lauren Spiece, junior high Spanish teacher, to high school Spanish teacher, beginning Aug. 3. She will be a replacement for Alice Mannix.
- The transfer of Carolyn Jackson, full-time high school job coach paraprofessional, to part-time high school job coach paraprofessional, three days per week, no benefits, beginning Feb. 29.
- The transfer of Nikki Griggs, part-time Sprunica Elementary preschool paraprofessional, to full-time, $8.66 per hour, beginning March 11. She is a replacement for Kathryne Wagler, whose separation was effective March 10. It was not a termination.
- The separation of Helmsburg after-school care provider Ethan Best, effective immediately. This was not a termination.
- The separation of high school varsity girls soccer assistant coach Hannah Newlin, effective immediately. This was not a termination.
- The separation of high school varsity cheer coach Sarah Axton, effective at the end of the school year coaching contract. This was not a termination.
- The separation of high school varsity wrestling coach Mark Bruner, effective immediately. This was not a termination.