Partial privatization of custodial services at St. Louis Schools may be in the cards as the district seeks ways to reduce costs in the face of an anticipated $300,000 deficit going into the 2018-19 school year.
School board members voted unanimously Monday to authorize Superintendent Kristi Teall to seek bids on custodial services for the high school, board office and bus garage. “We will find out what our options are and go from there,” Teall said.
The recent retirement of custodian Ted Doll and just announced retirement of custodian Thomas Hamilton created the opportunity to do this without laying anyone off.
“No one would lose a job if it was decided to outsource custodial services for the high school, board office and bus garage,” Teall said in an email. Whereas privatizing the entire district would cause layoffs. “I do not want to consider that at all as I don’t want anyone to lose their job due to outsourcing,” Teall wrote. “Given the more than $300,000 deficit we are anticipating going into the 18-19 school year, we have to look at options to save money.”
The board voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of a new school bus to replace bus No. 27A, a 2007 International that Transportation Director Ernest Teall described as a “lemon.”
He noted that board members would probably recognize 27A for having seen many service records to keep it running.
The district’s buses were inspected by State Police in February, and 27A and B barely passed. Teall said the inspector said the buses would like NOT pass inspection next year. Hence the decision to replace.
The new bus will come from Capital City International Trucks of Lansing and cost $82,862, Teall said. The board agreed to pay for the new bus in three installments over the next two years. That’s more expensive than paying cash, but only by $1,600, Teall said. The school district will take delivery in late May or early June.
Although Teall wants two new buses, only one is being purchased at this time, as the district can’t afford to buy two at once.
The school district owns 12 buses all together and has nine daily routes. Ergo, there are nine regular drivers and four substitutes.
New drivers are not easy to find, Teall said, adding that he would advertise for a new driver to replace Holli Anderson, who recently resigned.
Bus drivers work four hours a day Monday through Friday on school days and make $17.44 per hour. The job entails picking kids up at bus stops in the morning and taking them to school, then picking them up at school in the afternoon and taking them home.
If you’d like to inquire about being a bus driver, contact Teall at email@example.com, or visit the bus garage at 312 N. Union Street. If you are hired, the district will pay for the training you need to get a commercial driver’s license.
Additions and subtractions
The board approved the termination of custodian Brandon Delong and the resignations of Ag Science teacher William “Tommy” Reck, bus driver Holli Anderson, custodian Thomas Hamilton, JV boys basketball coach Tyler Allen and varsity boys basketball coach Daniel Nealy.
Reck will be hard to replace, said Superintendent Teall in an email. “Tommy teaches all of our FFA classes and runs our FFA chapter in St. Louis. He also teaches some regular core classes and is our assistant track coach. Tommy will be here through the end of the year and including the summer program. Replacing Tommy in all of these capacities for next year will be very difficult. We will be meeting this week to put a plan together.”
Coach Nealy, you may recall, had a part in saving the life of senior Maverick Giles in December 2016. “Maverick went into cardiac arrest at a basketball practice,” said Kristi Teall in an email. “Dan, along with several other coaches, students, first responders and police, were all credited with saving Maverick’s life.”
Angela Adams was hired to be the varsity sideline cheer coach, and Amiee Taylor was hired to be varsity poms coach.
Adams is also a teacher at Carrie Knauss school. “Anytime I can get staff members involved in coaching it’s a win win,” said Athletic Director Scott Hemker.
April 24 National Honor Society Inductions
April 30 Top Ten Tea
April 29 4 year athletic banquet
May 14 Evening of Excellence (seniors only)
May 24 Graduation 7 p.m.
All board members (Jeff Baxter, Don Kelley, Greg Walterhouse, Carrie Beeson, Carrie Salladay, John Pavlik and Kelly Bebow) were present.
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