Buses won't run on half-days

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

School buses will definitely not run on abbreviated school days, the School Board confirmed at its November meeting last Thursday.

"How are we handling the abbreviated days?" asked board member Mark Wilkerson as the transportation committee concluded its report.

"I thought it was a done deal," replied vice chairman Kristen Gold.

"I take full responsibility," said Stan Curtis, Director of Schools, referring to the memo of Oct. 29, which stated that there would be "no bus transportation on abbreviated school days." "We thought there was a short day before Thanksgiving and we wanted to get the information out," Curtis explained. In fact, the next abbreviated day is Friday, Dec. 19, at the start of the Christmas holiday.

The memo was cancelled on Oct. 30, with a notation that read, "The Board has decided to revisit this issue at a future date. We will inform you closer to the Dec. 19 abbreviated day."

"Buses on abbreviated days are a waste of money," said Curt Denton, chairman of the transportation committee, adding, "I'm speaking for myself, now."

Wilkerson asked if the transportation committee would address the issue, and Denton moved to let Curtis make the decision.

"We already agreed not to run the buses on abbreviated days," said school board chairwoman Ann Tears. She was backed up by Gold who said the decision had been made during the budget-cutting talks this summer.

Denton had the bus figures from September. He also had the inventory of tools at the bus garage ready for the board.

"It's amazing they get the buses on the road with the few tools they have," commented Denton.

Craig Michael congratulated them on getting the inventory done, and he and Wilkerson requested a cost-benefit analysis before the board agrees to a big expenditure on tools.