The Delaware City Schools Board of Education heard a presentation about transportation and approved a number of staffing changes Monday.
The meeting featured a presentation by Jason Sherman, the director of facilities and transportation for the district, and Tammy Cain, the assistant supervisor of food service & transportation.
Cain reported that after sustained population growth, the district added five bus routes to alleviate overcrowding on Dempsey buses and to shorten trip lengths for preschool and special needs students.
Cain said the district is currently running 48 routes and only has five spare buses to work with.
Sherman informed the board that all district buses passed annual inspections, and the district now has a total of 19 propane buses, which save the district between $2,000 and $3,000 per bus per year in fuel and maintenance costs compared to diesel buses.
Sherman added residents may notice the buses now feature stainless steel rims, which will prevent them from rusting in wet conditions.
Additionally, Sherman explained the buses have extra lights on them this year to give drivers even more warning of children crossing the street. He said the buses also have directional lights that shine across the road to give children a visual of where they are crossing in the dark and to make them more visible to drivers.
“It’s all an effort to keep kids as safe as possible,” Sherman said.
Board member Francis O’Flaherty asked Sherman if bus drivers have any issues with drivers passing buses while they are picking up or dropping off students. Sherman said it’s an issue everywhere.
“We see that every day,” he said.
Superintendent Heidi Kegley said the district has a partnership with the City of Delaware Police Department, and bus drivers can directly report to police any drivers who illegally pass.
Cain and Sherman said the district is currently fully staffed when it comes to bus drivers, and apart from issues with construction in town, everything has gone smoothly so far.
The board also approved a number of staffing changes Monday, including the resignations of Elizabeth Bowman, an administrative assistant at Hayes High School, and Franchesca Noday, who was the fall cheerleading reserve coach.
The board approved a number of employments, including Lauren Bricker, a kindergarten teacher at Woodward Elementary School; Amy Doup, a school nurse at Woodward and Conger Elementary; Holly Hayden, a science teacher at Dempsey Middle School; Megan Brooks, a School-Aged Child Care assistant site manager at Woodward; Janet Compton, a bus driver; Brooks Damphouse, a bus driver; Lynette Greene, a bus driver; Tia LeMaster, a bus driver; Gary Milner, a bus driver; Mattie Robinson, a bus driver; Brett Rosen, an educational assistant at Hayes; Chelsee Thiele, a SACC program assistant; Ian Tumey, an educational assistant at Dempsey Middle School; and George Zeoli, a bus driver.
The board also announced a public hearing for Oct. 7 to discuss re-employing Sandra Barrows, an employee who previously retired.
The next board meeting will be held on Sept. 16 at 6 p.m.