Board updated about bus routes
Pigeon River influences Clintonville travel times
By Bert Lehman
The Clintonville School Board received an update at its meeting, Monday, Nov. 23, regarding the school bus routes in the district.
The length of the bus routes were scrutinized at its previous meeting.
Tom O’Toole, superintendent for the School District of Clintonville, told the board he researched school busing policy for seven or eight school districts. He said only one of those districts included anything in its policy regarding the length of bus routes.
O’Toole said he also met with the transportation director at Lamers.
“Some of our routes are determined by the river that runs through the route and the inability to cross except at only a couple of places,” O’Toole said. “So that adds quite a bit of time to the routes.”
There was some question at the previous meeting as to what constitutes a bus route.
“All the route times that were given are based on if every kid rides,” O’Toole said.
O’Toole added that because of school activities and students out sick, seldom is every student riding the bus any given day.
After researching the routes more, O’Toole said one route, which was listed at an hour and 21 minutes, included two students who were on that bus route every other week.
“Another week they ride a different bus and stay with a different parent,” O’Toole said. “That route is 15 minutes shorter on the off weeks.”
He added, “It’s really a very fluid operation.”
O’Toole said the routes wouldn’t change much if another route was added. The cost of adding another route is about $3,600 per month, or $32,000 per school year.
There have been no complaints about bus route length to Lamers or school administration, O’Toole said.
Discussion continued regarding the future of the elementary school building complex.
Board President Ben Huber said he has received some feedback regarding what the district should do, but the feedback has been mixed. He added that it doesn’t seem to be a “hot-button” item.
O’Toole said at some point the district will need to hire an architect or someone familiar with school building codes to provide the district guidance.
Board member Clyde Tellock said the district can’t make any decisions until it has some costs to compare.
The proposed calendar includes the same number of student days and staff days, and the same number of parent teacher conferences. The last day of school would be June 1.
“There was some thought about maybe having some early releases to get some staff some additional communication time together, so I would be curious about board thought on that,” O’Toole said.
O’Toole told the board one teacher asked if it would be possible for a week off around Easter. O’Toole said that’s not possible if the priority is for school to end the first week of June. He added that school policy was made more flexible in order for staff members to use personal days around the Easter break.
School administration would like the proposed calendar approved at its December meeting, O’Toole said.