Maries R-2 board okays summer school transport, new bus purchase

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 4/14/21

BELLE — Belle Elementary School (BES) Principal Vanessa Feeler told the board of Education on March 30 that she not only wants to extend summer school to five hours a day for 12 days, she also …

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Maries R-2 board okays summer school transport, new bus purchase

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BELLE — Belle Elementary School (BES) Principal Vanessa Feeler told the board of Education on March 30 that she not only wants to extend summer school to five hours a day for 12 days, she also wants to use funds from the CARES Act to help provide more transportation routes.

“Four days a week, starting that first day after class is out,” Feeler said. “And normally we don’t have as much transportation, but we would like to provide more transportation.”

Superintendent Lenice Basham explained.

“We normally only provide two routes, but with the CARES Act money, we can use it to provide transportation if the need is there. Then we can run four routes without issue.”

The dates would be May 27-28, June 1-4, June 8-11 and June 15-16. No Mondays are included in the schedule. School would begin at 8 a.m. and go until 1 p.m. Breakfast will be served at 7:40 a.m., Feeler said.

The board approved with a 4-0 vote the summer school dates as well as increasing transportation if there is a need.

Maries R-2 Transportation Director Tony Gieck was present to ask the board for a bus purchase.

“Last year we talked about we were going to get a new bus, but because of COVID we didn’t know what we were getting into,” Basham said. “Mid-West Transit has been really good to us, so we started by calling them on the phone to see what they have and they gave us three options.”

Gieck said he requested that they be around that year because of emissions and to keep the fleet roughly using the same parts.

“They gave us 2015 with 38,000 was $50,000; 2013 with 50,000 miles was $42,000; and the one that he is recommending was 62,000 miles for $41,600,” Basham said.

Director Kenda Sanders asked if there was a warranty and Gieck said not really. The cost of the warranty was extra, but he would like to discuss with the board at a later date about a subscription to have WiFi on the buses.

“Some long-distance trips, students could be doing homework,” Gieck said.

Basham suggested talking about the wifi hotspot on the buses later when they had more information. The board approved the new bus purchase with a 4-0 vote.

The board also approved flooring to be replaced in the upper elementary level at BES with a 4-0 vote.

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