The Trenton R-9 Board of Education has approved a multi-year extension of the school bus transportation contract and authorized officials to proceed with negotiations leading to a contract to have fiber optic connections to all school buildings in the district.
After expressing satisfaction with the Apple Bus Company, board members voted to accept a recommendation for a five year extension of the contract. Director of Supportive Services Dennis Gutshall told the board when comparing to a three year extension, choosing a five year extension saves Trenton 17 thousand, 800 dollars during the first three years. Now in the final year of a three year contract, the school district is paying 338 thousand dollars for bus transportation. With the extension, there's an average increase in cost of three and a half percent per year.
Board member David Whitaker praised Apple Bus Company for cleanliness of the fleet. Another member recognized the quality of buses when Gutshall stated Trenton R-9 has a requirement that school buses average six years of usage and none more then ten years including spares.
While fiber optic cable was installed this summer for Trenton high and middle schools, plans are moving ahead to add fiber to Rissler so all schools are connected.
Four proposals were received by Trenton R-9; then reviewed last evening by Superintendent, Becky Albrecht. The board authorized her to meet and negotiate a contract with the low bidder: WANrack of Kansas City, Kansas. That firm describes itself as an education I-T company offering an E-rate compliant fiber optic, wide areanetwork (WAN) on a lease agreement.
The difference between the two lowest bidders was listed as 569 dollars a month. (Their quote is $3,405 per month) A ten year agreement with WANrack will be sought.The school district also hopes the federal e-rate system pays 75 to 80 percent of the cost.
In a technology update, Mrs. Albrecht said I-pads have been ordered for 7th and 8th grade teachers; Apple will load them with educational apps; and offer professional development instruction. A job description is being prepared for Trenton R-9 to hire a technology specialist to begin this new facet of instruction.
The board accepted resignations from para professionals Taylor Turner and Mackenzie Weaver; approved a part-time attendance request from a senior: Kaylee Russell; selected Cassidy Cotton as the R-9 nominee for the Belcher scholarship; and authorized two grants to be submitted to the G-E-C Community Foundation, one from Greg Dalrymple and the other from Lori Duff. No local match is required.
The board approved changes affecting substitute teachers requiring them to fill out a time sheet each day they work and changing the way they are paid. Instead of paid 70 dollars per day, substitutes will be paid ten dollars per hour which for a regular school day of seven and a half hours equals compensation of 75 dollars.
An evaluation of the guidance and counseling department was heard last evening.
Making the presentations were employees Kay Moore, Terri Critten, Leslie Woodard, Robin Brown, and Carrie Crouse.