Elmwood school board extends bus leasing

For The Weekly Post

ELMWOOD – The Board of Education on Monday reached an agreement with Midwest Transit Equipment, based in Kankakee, to extend the current bus lease to take advantage of changes in operations during the pandemic.

“Due to the lack of extended usage of the buses, the ‘normal’ wear and tear has been minimal, and Midwest Transit has offered to extend the lease for one more year at the same cost and terms as the previous contract,” commented Superintendent Chad Wagner. “The administration believes that we can eliminate one of the buses, as we have eliminated a route this year, and due to the decrease in enrollment, will plan to continue this practice moving forward.

“Having one less bus to coincide with this move not only makes sense, but saves the District $12,825 in the Transportation Fund,” he added. In other action, the Board chose a 2021-22 school calendar preferred by most employees surveyed. Students are scheduled to report Aug. 17; a longerthan-usual Spring Break is set for April 11-15, 2022; and the last day will be May 24, 2022.

“We plan to utilize eLearning Days in place of snow days,” Wagner said, “and therefore utilizing Emergency Days on the last Fridays of May is no longer necessary.”

In other news:
• Junior/Senior High School Principal Tony McCoy reported that Band director Luke Pratt and Chorus director Dawn Buchanan are planning the traditional Junior/Senior winter concert to share in a non-traditional way. Performances will be recorded during scheduled class periods, edited, and released through the school’s YouTube channel.
• The annual “Stuff-aBus” Food Drive will be accepting monetary donations this year to limit the amount of touching and sharing food items.
• Student activity funds at the end of the calendar year show a Junior/Senior High School balance of $86,888.70, led by groups such as Boys Track ($8,351.74), Junior High Athletics ($7,330.72), and High School Yearbook ($7,011,39), and the Elementary School balance of $33,212.10, with the general Extracurricular fund $9,742.34, and the Grade School Yearbook $8,071.39.
• In Personnel, the Board approved employing Taylor Whitehurst as a paraprofessional at a rate of $11/hour for the 2020- 2021 school year, and OK’d maternity leave for Amber Waddell. BILL KNIGHT can be reached at bill.knight@hotmail.com