SCHOOL NEWS: School board approves bus contract grace period, personnel changes

School board approves grace period for bus contractors

Contractors who operate buses for Brown County Schools now have six months to buy buses that meet the age requirement in their current contract.

The Brown County School Board of Trustees approved the new grace period Jan. 4. It allows all buses to meet the age requirement in the 2015-2019 fleet contract by June 30, 2018.

“It gives them six months to get those purchases made, because it takes that long to order a new bus,” said Superintendent Laura Hammack. “That’s why need that grace period, and we appreciate those contractors who wanted to make sure they are doing the right thing.”

In December, the district’s transportation department and a school board member were approached about changing how the age of a bus is calculated.

When a bus is 12 years old, it has to be retired and a new bus must be purchased, Hammack said.

Currently, the age of the bus is determined by when it was manufactured. The proposed change would have calculated the age based on the date of the title.

After receiving feedback from contractors and bus drivers, in December, the board decided not to make any changes to the current contract, Hammack said. But the board is “very open” to changing it during the next contract period, Hammack said.

Charlie Wright said he approached the school district in October about using the title date for the school bus age. Wrights owns school buses used by the district. “Here it is, Dec. 22, and we have to try and replace school buses by Jan. 8, correct?” Wright asked. “I guess I need to get on the search for school buses. I wanted a couple of months if that was the case, but I understand.”

Bus contractor Lloyd Wagler said he would support going by the title date, too. “If you go buy a 2017 car in 2018, is it not a new car to you? It’s put into service at that date,” he said.

This grace period is a compromise, still allowing the contractors six months to meet their obligations.

School board approves personnel changes, officers

The Brown County School Board of Trustees approved the following Dec. 21 and Jan. 4:

  • Appointing Brown County High School intense intervention paraprofessional Anastasia Petro, full-time with benefits, $11.25 per hour, effective Dec. 14. She is a replacement for Alissa Newlin.
  • Appointing BCHS assistant varsity boys track coach Connor Bell, $1,535 stipend, effective Feb. 12.
  • Appointing Brown County Intermediate School counselor Wendi Gore, part-time without benefits, $11,565.12, 22.5 hours per week, 56 school days for 2017-2018, effective Jan. 8. This is a new job funded by the school district’s counseling grant.
  • Appointing Helmsburg Elementary School preschool teacher Caroline Muller, full-time with benefits, $17.25 per hour, effective Jan. 8. This is a new job to meet the growing preschool class sizes at Helmsburg, Hammack said.
  • Transferring SES paraprofessional Sasha Robinson to intense intervention paraprofessional, $11.25 per hour, effective Jan. 8. She is a replacement for Jessie Spurgeon.
  • Separating BCS custodian William Franklin, effective Jan. 5. This was not a termination.
  • Steve Miller Jr. as president of the school board and president of the board of finance; Carol Bowden as vice president; Marlene Barnett as secretary and as secretary/treasurer of the board of finance; Julie Smith as district treasurer; Jill Wray and Renee Seacat as deputy treasurers; Michelle Cooper as corporation attorney and Renee Seacat as recording secretary.