News Tyrone Daily Herald Archives

Tyrone Area School Board approves agenda items; agrees to share fuel costs with bus services

The Tyrone Area School Board held its August regular session last evening in the elementary school’s LGI room.
School board president Lee Stover and board member William Hartsock were absent from the meeting. Board member James Crawford filled in for Stover as president.
By a unanimous vote from the seven board members present, the Tyrone Area School District approved revised contract language for a fuel clause with Beckwith Buses and Raystown Transit Service for the 2008-09 school year through the current board-approved contract period.
Beckwith and Raystown provide student transportation with the district, and due to the high price of gasoline at the pumps, Tyrone has agreed to share fuel costs with the bus services.
Tyrone will pay 35 percent of Beckwith Buses fuel costs across the board, including athletic and extra-curricular transportation. Beckwith will pay 65 percent of the costs.
Raystown Transit Service’s calculation with the school district will be based on established daily route miles and actual miles of extra trips, as opposed to total gallons purchased.
Across the nation, school districts are struggling with paying for gasoline and still providing bus transportation services for students. In a recent Associated Press report, there are a number of districts shutting down bus services because it’s unaffordable.
Tyrone’s financial standing allows the district to assist Beckwith and Raystown through the extent of the existing contract, which will keep student transportation tires rolling.
TASD Business Administrator Cathy Peachey said that the district isn’t required to share fuel costs with its bus services, but instead comes in “good faith” between the three parties involved.
“We reviewed the proposal submitted by the contractors, and with keeping with local and community providers, we decided to go along with the proposal,” stated Peachey.
The school board also approved the 2008-09 listing of student transportation drivers for Beckwith Buses and Raytown Transit Service.
In other business, board members approved to enter into a contract with Tyrone Hospital for urine screenings for all students from seventh to twelfth grade who participate in extra-curricular activities at Tyrone.
The drug testing is in accordance with the chain-of-custody requirements of the school district at the collection fee of $30 per individual for collection, testing, and MRO review, and a $35 confirmation fee per individual for each initial positive result.
The contract lasts through July 31, 2009, and the fees involved remain the same as last year.
Elementary parent, middle school student, and high school student handbooks for the upcoming 2008-09 school year were also approved by the board.
There were ten policies that had minor changes that were approved for a 30-day review period prior to board action.
Nine of those policies pertained to students specifically, which included: student discipline, student expression/distribution and posting of materials, searches, suspension and expulsion, pregnant/married students, student rights/surveys, Student Assistance Program (SAP), electronic devices and student recruitment.
The tenth policy under review deals with opening exercises and flag displays.
Employee Relations Committee Chairperson Amy Stever had the board’s approval of the 2008-09 elementary, middle school, and high school teacher handbooks, along with the district’s Evaluation and Professional Growth Plan for this school year.
Educational Programs and Materials Committee Chairperson Peter Dutrow’s lone agenda item consisting of the TASD Academic Standards and Assessment Report of the Strategic Plan 2008-13 was also approved by the board.
The school board approved to enter into a contract with Ellen Hull of Port Matilda to provide services in relationship to grant writing and preparation of the district Crisis Preparedness Plan.
Hull will be paid at the rate of $40 per hour and no benefits, with total cost not to exceed $30,000. The district will reimburse for meals, lodging, and mileage for meetings, conferences, and other similar activities outside the district.
The Daily Herald will take a closer look at the district’s electronic devices (cell phones), student searches (metal detectors), and student discipline policies in the Saturday, August 23 edition of the newspaper.