P-C board discusses transportation

Okays sharing transportation director, nixes any discussion of opening borders to buses

The Paton-Churdan board at its May 7 meeting approved an operational sharing agreement for a transportation director with Greene County Community Schools.

The Greene County board at its April meeting had suggested that if the schools were to share a transportation director, this would be an opportune time for a committee of board members and administrators to look at the existing transportation agreements. Currently, Greene County buses are not allowed to pick up open enrolled students who live in the P-C district, and vice versa. Greene County board members Mark Peters, Sam Harding and Ashley Johnston were appointed to the committee.

In discussion at the P-C board meeting superintendent Rob Olsen said he notified Greene County superintendent Tim Christensen that the P-C board had no interest in that. “I made it pretty clear we want to stay firm on that,” Olsen said.

With that information, according to Olsen, Christensen said that sharing a transportation director could be acceptable without changing the current busing policies.

The shared transportation director would handle administrative duties and reporting. Also in the agreement is shared bus maintenance.

The operational sharing agreement will be on the Greene County board’s agenda for the May 20 meeting.

In a later agenda item, Olsen reported attending a meeting of eight or so districts including Carroll, Audubon, Manning and districts in that area. He said that none of those districts had opened their boundaries for other districts to transport open enrolled students. “By all means, we’re not different. We’re doing what everyone else does in making that choice,” Olsen said. “For us to stand firm is what most districts do.”

In other transportation-related discussion, Olsen recommended adding WiFi to the propane bus used on activity trips, saying that with the time students spend traveling, having internet access would be a benefit to students. The plan Glidden-Ralston has with U.S. Cellular costs that district about $80 per month, and that service can be suspended during the summer months. “It’s an investment, but when you’re a ‘one-to-one’ school and you’re encouraging your kids to utilize that device for their schoolwork and you’re traveling long distances, I think we can provide them the opportunity to do that work,” Olsen said.


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