By Christine Keeling
The Canfield school board talked transportation and terminated academic pay-to-participate fees.
More than 20 people attended the board’s Wednesday regular meeting where parents raised concerns over the location of bus stops, and the board approved using $51,600 the district received from the state for its “excellent” rating to eliminate academic pay-to-participate fees for clubs and activities.
“It’s not safe,” said one parent in regard to her children’s being picked up on Tippecanoe Road. The bus used to travel down Sperone Court, a cul-de-sac.
“It’s just an accident waiting to happen,” said another parent, about 15 children being asked to wait for the bus on a curve in the road. “You can’t see in either
direction on the curve.”
So far this year, 25 changes have been made in transportation routes and timing, and looking at how changes impact students is a factor in those decisions, said Superintendent Dante Zambrini. He assured parents that he would contact the sheriff’s office to address motorists’ not stopping for children getting on and off the bus on busy roads.
Zambrini said that if the levy passes, the district would restore bus routes that travel down cul-de-sacs by Dec. 1, but not busing for high-school students.
“When we have five fewer drivers, we don’t have time to go in [cul-de-sacs],” said Zambrini. “If we bring back drivers, they will have time.”
The board earlier this week announced that money from the 4.9-mill levy, if it succeeds in November, would be used to hire four to five bus drivers, transport high-school band members to away games, restore bus-stop locations for children in kindergarten through eighth grade and retain teachers.
“This is new to everybody,” said Brian Kesner, board president. “The goal is to run the district in the black.”
The board called back to work Maria Koby, Linda Genuske, Deborah Matavich, Amy Wittman and Lori Pitzer as bus aides and
approved the hiring of Chester Kaschak as bus driver for special-needs children and Sandy Milligan as elementary health aide. Milligan will receive $20 per hour for three hours a day, and Kaschak will earn $12,291.51 per year.
An “excellent” rating on the State Local Report Card earned the district a subsidy payment of $17 per student. The board approved using the $51,600 to cover the projected $47,000 revenue it expected to recover through academic pay-to-participate fees.
The fees were $25 per activity for middle-school children and $50 for high-school students that were enacted during cuts the district made after a
6.9-mill operating levy failed in May. No change was made to sports pay-to-participate fees, which are $100 per sport at the middle school and $200 per sport at the high school.
The Canfield school district is one of only 22 out of 613 districts that have received an excellent rating for 12 consecutive years.