Board to consider contract bussing
By Katie Zerr
Mobridge-Pollock School District Superintendent Tim Frederick told the school board Monday, Jan. 9, it is time to consider contracting a bussing company to fulfill the district’s transportation needs.
Frederick said he has been researching costs and a proposal from Foreman Bussing Service in Miller. He said he is researching possibly selling the Mobridge-Pollock bus fleet and contracting the company to provide services.
Frederick explained the reasoning behind the consideration, telling the board the age and mileage of some busses in the district fleet make them liabilities to the district.
“In the next three years we will spend a minimum of $200,000 on the bus fleet with the miles we are currently putting on those vehicles,” he told the group.
He said the distance traveled by Mobridge-Pollock busses to activities is the main reason the busses are high mileage. He gave examples of the wrestling team, boys and girls basketball, telling the board teams this year will travel 3,794 miles, 4,432 miles and 3,618 respectively. The district puts approximately 27,270 miles on the fleet’s vehicles traveling to the middle school and high school activities. The yearly mileage on the route bus is 11,282.
“It would be well worth the extra money to send them on a charter because of the miles our students travel,” he said. “
The company would purchase the Mobridge-Pollock busses (those that have value and are usable) and be responsible for all maintenance. The contract would be a five-year deal with an escape clause of one year if the district is unsatisfied with the service.
He said he has spoken with superintendents of districts similar in size to Mobridge that are using a bussing contracting service. He said all comments have been positive and those that use the company have been satisfied with Foreman Bussing Services.
“I would like you to consider this while I get you the hard facts,” he told the board. “Schools that have the opportunity to do this are doing it and are satisfied that the costs are comparable to what their districts were spending on bussing.”
The board approved advertising for a CTE (career and technical education) instructor after the results of a student survey will help determine the needs of the district.
“We are at a tipping point with developing our CTE curriculum,” Frederick told the board. “If we go with the bussing contract, the bus barn will be the perfect spot to remodel for these classes. It might even be a good project for Mr. Goehring’s class.”
He said the district told their patrons that the CTE curriculum would expand after the contract with Northwest Area Schools was dissolved. He said by determining which direction the district needs to move to fulfill the needs of students, plans can be made and an instructor hired.
The board also approved the school calendar for 2012-2013, which includes a start date of Aug. 27 and an ending date of May 17.
Frederick told the board the committee had met three times and created three different calendar options for consideration. The administration had surveyed the staff, parents and students to determine satisfactory starting and ending dates and dates for holiday breaks and required staff development days.
He said through the surveys, the majority of parents would have liked school to start after Labor Day, but still wanted school to end the third week in May. He said realistically that could not have happened because of the required number of school days (171) plus the two days of teacher in-service, two days of parent-teacher conferences and three days for staff development.
– Katie Zerr –