OBSERVER Staff Writer
OBSERVER Photo by Samantha McDonnell
Gowanda Board of Education President Mark Nephew (right) gave the oath of office to Board of Education Clerk Amanda Pickering (left).
GOWANDA - Students in Gowanda may not be riding the bus with their peers of different grades after all. The Gowanda Board of Education heard a recommendation to discontinue the process of researching the possibility of single routing.
The transportation committee came back with results that single routing for buses will not save the district any real money. According to Superintendent Charles Rinaldi, if the district were to add three buses with the single tier routing there would be no change in the budget.
Rinaldi did say if the district were to keep the one mile limitation for students, the district would save over $20,000. The one mile limit is for students who live within one mile of the school, the district does not transport those students.
By eliminating the limitation and picking up all students, the district would be penalized by the state in the amount of $91,000. The district would lose $65,000 for this penalization. Also adding additional monitors for the routes would add an additional $133,000 to the budget;
"Only 25 percent would be eligible for Native American aid," Rinaldi said speaking of the additional monitor costs.
He said that if the district would have looked at consolidating three years ago, there would have been more savings. The district recently consolidated more routes just under two years ago. Rinaldi did give some good news to the study. Students in grades kindergarten through fourth grades are more eager to learn earlier in the morning, which would have a projected earlier start time in single routing. Students dropped off in the afternoon from the elementary school would be dropped off in brighter daylight too during the fall and winter months.
The board members voiced their opinion to drop the study. Some surveys were not returned to the board.
"The survey to me didn't prove anything," Ann Martindale, board member said.
Vice President Lynn Hammond also said that since there is not a cost savings associated with single tier routing, she believes the district should not move forward with the process. The board agreed to take the transportation committee's recommendation and not pursue single tier routing.
The board also swore in Amanda Pickering as clerk to the board of education. Rinaldi announced the district will be starting a Facebook page. The High School Chamber Choir sang "Carol of the Bells." The High School Chorus and Band trip to Pittsburgh, Pa. was approved for April 19 and 20.
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