Shelley board approves purchase of new bus

SHELLEY – Buses and bus safety were the main topics of discussion at the Shelley Joint School District school board meeting Thursday evening.
Shelley trustees approved the purchase of an International 77-passenger conventional school bus for $81,144.
School districts have 60 days to “piggy-back” on another school district’s bus bid, said transportation supervisor Ron Searle.
“I like to order the same bus as Bonneville because they order more buses than we do,” Searle said. “The bus is already built and will be delivered about mid-July.”
Two buses were purchased last year. Searle suggested every few years, the school district should purchase two buses.
Shelley Business Manager Trish Dixon said once the state establishes the school finances, that could be considered a few years from now.
This 2012 International model with a DT446 engine will replace a 2001 model in Shelley’s bus fleet.
As suggested by Superintendent Bryan Jolley, trustees will look into purchasing and storing diesel for the school buses. These would be above ground diesel tanks.
Trustee Loren Lund said there are significant permitting requirements and liability, security and vandalism issues.
Trustees also approved safety busing. Three safety zones have been established, Searle said. These are from Hobbes and Sunrise to Stuart, from Stuart and the high school to Sunrise and the Shelley area to Riverview.
It is normal for the Shelley School District to be one year ahead for its school calendar. Trustees approved the 2012-2013 school calendar. Teachers will begin Aug. 13, 2012; students will return Aug. 16. The last day of school for students is May 23, 2013.
School boards have 120 days from the release of census data to reapportion districts if need be. The Idaho census data was available March 10; the district has until July 8 to get the information to the State Department of Education.
Quadrant Consulting, Inc., and the Idaho School Board Association have partnered to apportion school districts according to the 2010 census data. The number of patrons each trustee represents cannot differ by more than 10 percent between districts.
Trustees have approved paying Quadrant Consulting, Inc., to apportion the school zones. Should two school trustees end up living in the same apportioned district, the senior trustee would represent the school zone. The cost is $854 for phase one.
The trustees will have opportunity to review the suggestions before acting upon them.
Three consultants from the State Department of Education are on hand to help Stuart and Hobbes get out of “AYP jail.” Each of the five schools in the district will be surveyed and compared with characteristics of high performing schools.
“[The consultants] have been very helpful,” the superintendent said.
Two policies will get another reading by trustees during their April meeting. The Emergency Plan defines transporting students if an emergency required the evacuation of school buildings.
The middle school graduation requirements will be reviewed again next month. As the policy states, middle school students must pass 80 percent of their core classes to be promoted to the next grade. Some of the helps offered would be summer school or on-line classes. Trustees questioned some of the phrasing of the policy.