Trustees look at eliminating bus transfer system
LVN Editor Emeritus
Churchill County school trustees and Superintendent Summer Stephens decided at their June 12 meeting to delay a vote to eliminate the transfer system for transporting students to and between schools, a system used extensively since the mid-1990s.
Kenny Mitchell, director of Transportation and Safety, recommended the elimination of the transfer system and have every bus stop at all schools. With the reduction in services at Northside Early Learning Center, Stephens said there would be no schools north of Williams Avenue, but Mitchell said NELC would still be one of the stops. Problems with supervision have also been cited at NELC and Churchill County Middle School.
The transfer system allows students to take a bus to a central location, such as the middle or high school to catch their designated bus. The current system doesn’t require all buses to stop at every school.
Trustee Carmen Schank asked Mitchell what would happen I the transfer system was eliminated.
“Eliminating three routes would save $15,000 a route,” he said.
The savings would come from driver salaries, wear and tear on buses and fuel. He also said the average number of passengers carried on school buses is 60 percent, which gives the school district some flexibility.
“That’s why I feel comfortable about eliminating three routes,” he added.
However, Mitchell pointed out the bus to Middlegate has two students, but the Churchill Village bus is at near capacity. Schank, though, said the younger in-town students may have problems getting to school if the transfer system were eliminated.
“That may create a concern,” she said.
Board President Kathryn Whitaker questioned if the buses would have ample time in arriving at each school.
Stephens recommended her leadership team discuss the issue and directed Mitchell to gather as much information as he can.
CCHS Athletic Director Brad Daum gave a report on the Parent and Student Athletic Survey that was recently compile for the spring sports. More than 25 parents and softball players gathered to hear the results, but legal counsel Sharla Hales said because of the Nevada Open Meeting Law and the wording of the agenda item, people would not be able to comment on a specific sport, good or bad. Hales said the survey looks at all spring sports and coaches but not specific ones.
Additionally, Hales said concerns wouldn’t be allowed during the public comment session because the survey, according to state law, is on the agenda.
Daum said the survey was completed between May 13-22 and 47 athletes out of 120 completed the form, while 33 parents filled out the survey. Daum said there were “levels of concern across the board.” He said the main concerns focused on softball and track and field.
Softball had 12 players and 10 parents fill out the survey, while 15 athletes in track and nine parents did the same for that sport.
“We always use the survey and results of survey for input and for making our athletic program better,” Daum said.
The survey also gives Daum an opportunity to look at his duties. Daum said he also has talked to parents on previous occasions about the programs.
Daum said some of the biggest concerns involve the safety of athletes and the overall experience they have on their respective teams. Other concerns he cited are moving junior varsity players to the varsity without notifying him and coaches not being able to get along with their assistant coaches in front of players or parents.
“That will be addressed in the handbook and code of ethics,” Daum said about the coaches.
After a review of each sports season, Daum said changes or recommendations for coaching assignments will be made when needed. He said the goal is to add more training classes for the coaches.
Asked by trustees if all the coaches are aware of the survey results, Daum said he is still reviewing the survey with coaches.
“There are areas we have to work on,” he said.
In other action, the board voted on the renewal of the excess workers compensation coverage. Phyllys Dowd, director of business services, said the renewal offers the same rate as last year. Trustees approved the premium for $31,176 and the renewal of the bond will be $3,425.
Stephens reviewed some of the education bills passed during the last session by the Legislature and said she needs more time to study the overall state budget that was passed as time ran out. Because of the uncertainly of the budget and grant approvals, she said the second round of summer school has been canceled.
Stephens said she will give the school board an update at its next meeting where the school district stands on programs and funding. For an update on education-related bills, go to http://www.nsea-nv.org/home/232.htm.