The Canfield Board of Education approved a resolution to bypass normal bus purchasing to replace a bus that was totaled a few weeks ago. The resolution will allow for a quick purchase to bring the fleet back to strength.
"It can take up to six months to bid and purchase a bus," said business manager Rich Archer. "This will allow us to purchase the bus a lot sooner and get it into service."
Archer said during the incident in question, a 10-year-old bus was at an outlying parochial school about four weeks ago. No students were on the bus, only the driver, who struck a light pole and damaged the front of the bus as well as the engine. Superintendent Dante Zambrini said it could have had something to do with ice and no time to stop.
Archer said the bus may have been old, but it was one of the better ones in the fleet. He went on to say the school's insurance company declared the bus totaled. The district is expected to get around $6,800 towards the purchase of a replacement bus.
Prior to the board meeting, Archer said permission was received from the state auditor to allow the district to bypass the normal bidding process since it was so badly needed.
"With spring sports and activities coming, there was no time to go through the normal bidding process," he said.
Archer continued to inform the board that a new bus costs around $71,000 to $81,000. That amount would be covered out of permanent improvement funds that were set aside for just such a situation.
"No money will come from the general fund," Archer said.
He closed the information session by saying he has already contacted companies who have bid in the past and got prices. With the board approving the resolution, a replacement bus can be purchased and put into service as soon as possible.
On another topic, the board heard a report on a Social Emotional Learning grant the district received. The grant was for $75,000 and teams with the Neil Kennedy Recovery Center to develop a program to help students cover all the problems they face in school. The grant, written by Zambrini, would help develop class sessions for all grade levels that will better prepare them for the challenges of life.
"We're trying to give every student skills to make the right decisions," Zambrini said.
In other business:
Archer reported that the district is saving a lot on overtime snow removal and cleaning, thanks to the warmer temperatures and lack of snow.
Parent Jeff Barone addressed the board regarding a lockdown that took place at C.H. Campbell on Feb. 14. A parent had signed in at the school, then changed into a costume and wandered into an area that was not listed on the sign-in sheet. It caused staff members to react and put the school on lockdown. Barone said he was just as scared as the students were when he came to pick his kids up and found the school locked up tight. The incident was no threat, but board President Addrianne Sturm said, "the safety of the students will always come first and foremost."
The board accepted the resignations of CHS social studies teacher Michael Roussos and Superintendent Zambrini, both effective at the end of the school year.
Donations were accepted as follows: $83.79 from E. Craig Olson for Fourth of July candy; $6,300 from the Canfield Speech and Debate Boosters for lodging for the CHS speech team's Sylvania trip; $400 from the Lion's Club for the CHS Leo's Club; $13.52 from Ohiopyle Prints Inc. for the CHS Principal's Fund; and $2,926.91 from Canfield PTO for five Acer notebook computers and three Epson projectors.
The board approved the summer school program at CVMS and an overnight trip for the CHS speech team to Jackson High School in Massillon in March for the state speech tournament.