Bus purchase completes transportation plan

The Broken Bow School Board approved the purchase of a route bus Monday, bringing to completion a two-year transportation improvement project for the district. At the board’s regular monthly meeting Monday, the decision was made to go forward with buying the 2006 International CE300 from Master’s Transportation for $58,650. The 32-passenger bus comes with two wheelchair positions. While the price tag for the bus is about $15,000 more than what is left of the district’s stimulus funds, the amount was budgeted for this school year. Stimulus dollars were used to purchase the three buses over the past two years to complete the updated fleet. The district will now have four buses with lifts, as well as a stand-by bus which it currently does not have. The transportation department will now consist of seven route buses, two activity buses and the two MCI buses, along with the stand-by. State law requires that transportation be provided to students living four miles or more from the student’s attendance center. The district currently has 84 students who could be transported each day. The regular bus routes cover approximately 600 miles per day, or around 106,560 miles per year. In addition, approximately 95,147 miles a year are driven on activity trips. Superintendent Dr. Virginia Moon presented the district’s report card at the meeting, which included an overview of the Broken Bow Schools, results from the Stanford 10 and ACT tests, results from state assessments, and results of an annual survey given to graduating seniors each spring. The Broken Bow School District covers approximately 426 square miles in Custer County, and consists of five educational sites: SESC preschool at Tappan Valley, grades kindergarten through two at North Park, grades three through five at Custer, grades six through eight at the Middle School, and grades 9 through 12 at the high school. The 2009-2010 value of the district’s buildings and contents was listed at $17,153,492. “Where it is good for us to be above the state average we are, and where it is good for us to be below the state average we are,” said Dr. Moon as she presented the report. Some of these figures include:Financial (2008-2009) Average cost per pupil daily membership: District - $9,778.03 State - $10,023.20Student attendance 2009-10 District Rate - 95.10 percent 2009-10 State Rate - 94.76 percentGraduation Rate 2008-09 District Rate - 98.65 percent 2008-09 State Rate - 89.86 percentDrop-out Rate 2008-09 District Rate - 0.25 percent 2008-09 State Rate - 1.59 percentOption Enrollments Enrollment In - 62 Enrollment Out - 36Student CharacteristicsEligible for free and reduced meals: District Average - 35.96 percent State Average - 41.22 percentMoving in or out during the school year: District Average - 8.83 percent State Average - 11.86 percentLearning the English language: District Average - .86 percent State Average - 6.56 percentReceiving Special Education Services: District Average - 18.16 percent State Average - 15.27 percent The report card also contained achievement test scores, ACT scores and Nebraska statewide assessment numbers. A copy of the report card is available at the superintendent’s office. Stuart Fox of Nebraska State Bank was present at the meeting and presented options to the board to insure the safety of the district’s deposits that exceed FDIC limitations. Dr. Moon noted that the district does frequently have more deposit in the bank than is insured by FDIC, and Fox suggested the board consider a Letter of Credit with the bank as an added level of protection for those funds. “The Letter of Credit guarantees that none of the district’s funds are ever unsecured,” Fox explained. The board will vote on the Letter of Credit at the February meeting. The board entered closed session for the purpose of evaluating interim superintendent, Dr. Moon, and review the new superintendent contract. The next regular meeting of the board will be Feb. 21 at 7 p.m. However, they will meet a couple of times prior to that - Jan. 20 to review superintendent applicants, and again Jan. 25 and 26 for superintendent interviews.