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School board discusses bus matters, insurance fee for theatre production

Sun Advocate publisher

The Carbon County Board of Education voted to allow Castle Valley Community Theatre to forgo the waiver of the insurance fee for the group's production of "Grease" at Mont Harmon Junior High in November.

Madelaine Nyffeler, stage manager and drama instructor at the junior high, and Mike Youso, community theatre president, appeared at the regular school board meeting last Wednesday.

Nyffeler and Youso explained that there are 16 junior high students and 24 Carbon High student in the cast and two adults. The production is a joint effort between Mont Harmon's drama department and Castle Valley Community Theatre.

The school insurance has always covered the performances, but apparently there was an accident and a claim after the last show, drawing attention to the activity.

Nyffeler pointed out the number of students who participate in the performances and explained that the community group could not function if the members had to come up with the $700 for the insurance.

The group already covers much of the repairs and maintenance at the school for items such as lights and curtains, indicated Nyffeler.

Mont Harmon is the primary insurer of the school facility and makes the district liable for claims. The board agreed that the performances are a partnership between the school and the theatre group.

However, the board requested that limitations be set and a letter of understanding be drafted to outline the parameters of the partnership. The members passed the motion, with Boyd Bell casting a no vote.

In other business, Carbon High wrestling coach Dave Smith appeared before the school board to request use of a tour bus to transport the wrestlers to Nevada to the Tournament of Champions in Reno in December. Carbon recently was asked to compete in the region invitational. The board had previously given permission to attend and Smith reported that approximately 14 students would be competing. A couple options were discussed including taking less students and using a school van or working with schools in Delta or San Pete to share the bus expense. The board approved the request with Debi Blackburn opposing.

Smith also discussed the youth wrestling program, in particular a sanctioned USA Wrestling tournament that Price hosts each year. Currently he works with Carbon recreation but the recreation board is having problems with the funds being part of the USA sanctioned tournament. Smith will appear before the recreation board this week and then report back to the school board should action need to be taken.

Mont Harmon Junior High School has chosen to change the emphasis of their School Land Trust plan and requested that the board review their new plan for approval. In his explanation of the request, Todd Lauritsen pointed out that the community council had seen the new PA systems at Castle Valley Center and decided it would better meet their needs. The overhead projectors were no longer available so they were deleted from the request and they decided they needed to fund the after school probation school.

"It is very important for our students to have proper behavior and how to be successful in school," pointed out Lauritsen, adding that Mrs. Ahmu has been very successful with this program. The committee met and approved these changes at the school level. Previously approved funding levels and expenditures will not change.

Transportation supervisor Regina McCourt appeared before the board and requested the annual purchase of school buses to replace aging buses at a cost of $193,275. It was pointed out that two buses need to be replaced since the vehicles no longer safely transport students, the maintenance is excessive and each bus is older than 15 years.

Carbon district tries to maintain a bus fleet free of safety concerns. At the rate of three new buses per year, the district can maintain a fleet of 45 buses with no bus more than 15 years of age. One of the replacement buses, which is special needs equipped and holds 84 passengers, would cost for $98,589. The board pointed out that since the district is down 1,500 students and several small bus routes have been consolidated, they didn't feel it was necessary at this time.

The board requested that McCourt complete a detailed survey showing the number of buses, number of children on each, number of routes, where the buses are stored, any special needs concerns, the number of buses needed for trips, the number of backup buses and how many buses are on the road at any given time. The board delayed the request until the next meeting. It takes almost a year before the new bus arrives after it has been ordered.

McCourt also requested permission to attend the National Association for Pupil Transportation's 30th annual conference the end of October in Cincinnati, Ohio. Several courses concerning leadership, management, bus routing, scheduling, safety and security are on the agenda. In the discussion the board suggested they treat transportation like other management positions and attend national conferences every other year. McCourt pointed out that safety issues were her primary concern and reason for requesting the conference.

Following the discussion it was approved that McCourt be put on the schedule like the principals and attend the conference every third year.

Deon Kone, building and grounds supervisor, appeared before the board asking for the approval of costs to engage an architect to do the drawings for a new roof on Carbon High School.

"I would like to start them on the project at this time in order to get the drawings done and the bid proposal on the street and bid by March," he pointed out. This allows the contractor to make the commitment of manpower to this project so it may be completed in the summer. His request to get the design on the entire building and bid it as a whole job, however, separates the Sawtooth portion into the first summer and the remainder of the flat roof of the main building and shop area into the following summer. It was pointed out that roof repair in the district is a 12-year program with a different roof replaced every summer. Currently the district building is getting a new roof. Kone estimated architectural and engineering costs to be about $99,000 for the entire project. This is based on a modified build-up roof and air conditioning of some type, if each is installed at this time. William Jewkes was appointed to serve another two-year term as the district business administrator.

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