Buses, operators score well in Cocalico

By on August 17, 2016

During a meeting filled with back-to-school actions, the Cocalico School Board Monday night, Aug. 15, approved new bus routes and contracts to provide transportation to several private schools.
The district will have 25 bus routes during the 2016-17 school year, down one from last year, according to Dave Lutz, transportation director. All but one of the district’s drivers but are returning, having passed physical and background examinations.
“We’re probably the envy of the industry,” Lutz told the board, noting the increasing difficulty of finding high-quality drivers with commercial licenses.
The district received eight replacement buses and vans from Lebanon-based Brightbill Transportation. Much of the fleet was replaced last year as Cocalico began using GPS to monitor its drivers and students.
Lutz also announced that the district’s required spending on private schools within 10 miles of its boundaries would be under budget for the coming year. The district buses students to three Mennonite schools.
Cocalico also reimburses a family for travel to Twin Valley Bible Academy in Narvon. But Lutz said the cost would go down because an older sibling will drive this year, cutting out return two trips a day by a parent.
In other action, the board renewed its annual contract with PA-Educator.net at a cost of $2,700.
The Web site serves as a clearinghouse for teaching and administrative applicants and provides a searchable database. Superintendent Dr. Ella Musser said the district relies on the site and local advertising to fill vacancies as they arise.
The district filled its final leadership vacancy for 2016-17 by appointing Susan Snyder assistant principal at Cocalico Middle School. She replaces Christine Gehring who resigned earlier this summer to take a job closer to home.
Much of the district’s reorganization was laid out in a series of job descriptions rewritten for 2016-17. The board adopted them unanimously.
While some positions were given new reporting lines or responsibilities, others are entirely new.
They include a new assistant director of special services and a new administrative assistant for the superintendent for elementary education.
In addition, some employees will get supplemental pay for taking on the new roles of counseling services coordinator and library services coordinator.

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