Despite a slightly lower bid price, the South Tama School Board chose the higher bid for a new school bus at the Monday, Jan. 21 meeting.
Present were members Ron Hala, chairing the meeting, Jackie Dvorak, Mark McFate and Anne Michael with Michelle Yuska absent.
There were two bids, one from Thomas Bus Sales and one from Bluebird. Total price of the bus after the trade in of a Thomas Lift bus was Bluebird at $90,787 and Thomas at $90,540.
Thomas' price was $247 lower, but the board chose the Bluebird bid based upon these reports: sheet metal panels are screwed together on the Thomas bus and Bluebird rivets their panels together; the previous buses from Thomas had a problem of many of the body panels rusting out; in the fall of 2008 a new back door was installed at a cost of $328; in the summer of 2010 some body panels and rub rails were repaired at a cost of $944; most of the fleet of buses for the school are Blue Bird, consequently resulting in the school having a number of parts for them and the school is familiar with the repair of the Blue Bird
Mary Boege, who took over duties as South Tama director of finance and operations was chosen as school board secretary and treasurer for the remainder of the 2013 year.
The posts have been filled by the fiancee director in recent years.
Michelle Evans was present for public comments with concerns about the grading system.
A weighted grading system is used in South Tama and many other schools, however this has an effect on scholarships and grants through some colleges. In this case her daughter is affected. She is concerned because of the amount of money for scholarships that can be missed when using the weighted system. Evans stated this would cost her family a large amount of money if she enters the college of her choice from a school using the weighted grade system.
The News-Herald sought clarification of the reasons for the reason school board decision to accept an invitation to join the WaMaC Conference.
Questions concerned the extra mileage cost, the later hours of returning to the school, the effect on the students home work etc.
Board member Hala said he understood that the events that were of a distance such as Independence would have their activities scheduled on Fridays so it would not affect coming to school after a few hours of rest.
Superintendent Kerri Nelson said South Tama has not yet been accepted in the conference. STC had been invited to change, and accepted the invitation The conference has to approve the change as well as several school boards in the conference must approve the change.
In other business:
a contract was approved for Kirk Dahms as Boys Tennis Coach, effective March 20, at a salary of $2,385.
Middle School aide Mary Bazal's transfer to the Elementary Building as an aide, effective Jan. 10 was approved.
continuation of the policy and procedures relating to Indian parental and tribal involvement in the education programs of the South Tama School System has not changed so the application for Impact Aid was approved after the board reviewed the policy and procedures.