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School Board hears good news Monday

Posted: Wednesday, Aug 27th, 2014

HURON — The Huron School Board received good news Monday evening from Transportation and Building-Grounds Superintendent Rex Sawvell about the issue of bus drivers.

The board had to meet last Monday in emergency session to pass a resolution boosting pay and recruiting bonuses in hopes to attract some candidates as there were hardly any substitute drivers and two routes that were currently unfilled.

“Since you stepped up and made a commitment to the transportation department, we have filled our vacant positions,” said Sawvell. “As of right now the team leader out there has five applications on her desk.”

Those applications are awaiting fingerprinting and background checks.

He also said that he has one on his desk and took a phone call from another.

“I think we are going to be doing pretty good, when we get a few more subs lined up ... we will be in good shape thanks to you guys and your commitment.”

The board also approved on first reading the job description for team leader in the transportation department.

According to a memo that was part of the board’s packet, the position will report to Sawvell and be based at the school bus garage.

An overview of the position states the purpose for the team leader will be to manage the day-to-day operations of the school bus garage.

That includes assigning bus routes, drivers (including field trips and activity busses), hand-ling concerns of parent, school and administrators, as well as department budget and billing.

New business that the board addressed on Monday included passing a resolution to approve an agreement for the school resource officer. The only new stipulation to the contract is that the compensation to the city for each year after the 2014-2015 school year will come with a 3 percent increase in the fee.

The city or the district has until June 1 to decide on whether to renew each year’s contract.

According to Superintendent Terry Nebelsick, the district is about in the middle in regard to how districts compensate this position.

The only school board concern was how the 3 percent increase would compare to increases for other district employees from year-to-year.

The board also approved a third change order for the Buchanan Elementary addition and renovation.

The order concerns mostly the unit ventilators that had to be installed.

However, Business Manager Kelly Christopherson also said that some problems where encountered when renovating the old classrooms in the school.

When taking out chalkboards and wipeboards, some of the walls lost their structural integrity and had to be redone with drywall.

The total cost of the change order was $197,447. Christopherson also commented on the next item of business, which was approving the board’s commitment to the Association of School Boards for South Dakota cooperative purchasing agreement with the BuyBoard program.

Christopherson said he didn’t see a huge impact from joining the agreement but he did say, “It gives the district another tool in their toolbox” when needing to purchase items.

As part of the program, the district would likely see reduced costs because of the buying power of the cooperative.

The final item of business for the board was an introduction to Section E of the board’s policy manual.

Section E is entitled Support Services, but according to Nebelsick one of the more important parts of E is emergency response and crisis planning. The board can look through the section, recommend changes and submit them to Nebelsick for the next meeting.

For the complete article see the 08-26-2014 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 08-26-2014 paper.

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