School buses to be equipped with GPS
The Emery County School District held their monthly meeting on Aug. 13. A public hearing was held for the final tax rates for tax year 2014. All of the tax rates were within the certified rate except for the judgment levy. The total of the judgment levy was $179,407. The school board approved the final tax rates for the year 2014.
The board approved two new hires for Ferron Elementary, Melinda Meccariello and Joyce Housekeeper. The board accepted resignations from Rob and Melissa Maughan from Green River. He has accepted a position at Cottonwood High School.
Bret Mills, Emery County communications, approached the school board with a proposal for the school district to work with the sheriff's office on use of their communications site at Cedar Mountain. The school district's communications site is next to the county site and would save money if the school district would allow the county to use the site. There will be a Memorandum of Understanding between the school district and the county. The school district has contacted the BLM in Price for a permit for right of way for the county to use the site. The school board approved the request from Mills, as long as the BLM will issue the right of way permit.
The annual asbestos containing material notification to the public has been published in the Emery County Progress.
Roger Swenson, supervisor of transportation presented the school board with CSN Safe Bus, which is a project with the Child Safety Network. CSN Safe Buses have GPS and route guidance software installed; plus a unique parental notification system to alert parents when their student's bus will arrive. The program is 100 percent paid for by school board approved corporate sponsors. CSN Safe Bus provides desperately needed revenue to participating school districts throughout the United States. CSN shares sponsorship revenues from CSN Safe Bus corporate sponsors with each school district. CSN Safe Bus provides national celebrity public service announcement campaigns to reduce distracted driving near school buses. Partners at the School Bus Safety Company have developed the comprehensive school bus safety curriculum; now in use in more than 2,700 school districts with an astounding 30 percent decrease in preventable school bus accidents and injuries. The training courses teach kids how to be safe on-board, and prevent bullying. For the drivers, the courses cover advanced safety protocols and how to transport students with special needs (www.csnsafebus.com).
The school district can accept or reject any potential corporate sponsors. The sponsorship is for two years and the district can cancel at any time. This GPS system will be real time and it would allow for notifications to parents if a bus is running early or late. Drivers will go through training every five years. CSN will pay for all of the installation, maintenance and upkeep. The district will have to provide a space on their website for parents to sign up for notifications and emails from CSN. Parents will have the option to track their child's bus. Participation in this is optional. CSN has been in operation for 25 years and is a reputable organization. Swenson also gave the prices for comparable GPS systems for district buses. The school board made a motion to proceed with the GPS system from CSN.
Superintendent Kirk Sitterud gave his report. He said, September is Utah attendance awareness month. Chronic absence from school has a great impact on student learning and their ability to perform in school. It is important to have your children attend school on a consistent basis. At the state conference, the state extended the waiver for the No Child Left Behind. In the original NCLB, all students were supposed to be 100 percent proficient in math and reading by 2014. This waiver will allow flexibility from some of the requirements of NCLB.