School Board Notes
The Meetings in Review
During the July 19th work session of the Board, district transportation consultant Robert Schoch, presented a transportation improvement plan seeking direction from the Board. His presentation was the culmination of work completed by BusBoss Orbit Software, Inc. of Pottstown and work by the Transportation Committee (committee is comprised of parents, principals, First Student Management, and several others) formed in the Spring of 2016.
The recommended improvements come as a result of careful review of the district’s existing routes following several years of routing adjustments made without an eye on rider experience or efficiency of bus routes. It was explained that while the route changes are proposed, First Student drivers must first test these recommendations to best finalize the routes and times. It was shared that there are likely to be many bus route, bus number, and pick up time changes for the 2016-2017 school term. It is estimated that after careful testing of the routes, these changes are expected to reduce student ride time by approximately 25% and improve the overall transportation experience for students and families.
Dr. Zerbe, at the regular voting meeting on July 26, updated the Board by informing them that much progress is being made with respect to the work on the transportation improvement plan and preparing for the start of next school year.
He shared that “we received excellent cooperation from First Student Management and their drivers and have been out testing routes since Thursday of last week.”
Dr. Zerbe also shared that “the feedback from drivers has been very helpful and we will continue testing the routes with the help of the drivers and making appropriate modifications to routes and times in order to best prepared for the 2016-17 school term.”
Dr. Zerbe thanked First Student and the drivers for their assistance and cooperation.
He shared that a communication will be distributed this week informing parents that changes to routes and busses are likely and to outline some additional specifics such as the call center and driver route testing.
Dr. Zerbe stated “our goal is making sure that in collaboration with First Student Management and drivers, that we focus on cooperation and communication to restore the confidence of our families and maintain a safe and efficient transportation operation.”
Facilities Prioritization Services
During the Board's Tuesday, July 26 regular meeting, Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe presented the action item for facilities assessment prioritization by AEM Architects. This work was proposed following the draft proposal from AEM of the district wide facilities assessment. The motion to approve the action item was not approved and will go back to the Property Committee for further consideration.
School Board President, Chris Boardman, provided the public with notice that the Board is working with Superintendent Dr. David Zerbe on a contract renewal.
Items listed on the July 26 agenda were approved with the exception of item 13, d.: Facilities Prioritization Services, and action on item 10, n.: Volunteers, which will not be acted upon until the August meeting. Of particular note - the Board approved an updated 2016-2017 instructional calendar, reflecting a change in the Act 80 day for grades 9-12 from April 28, 2017 to April 21, 2017. This adjustment, Dr. Zerbe commented, was due to a change in venue for the high school prom.