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South Tama School Board– Update on transportation

June 17, 2019
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"There's 832 students on the average transported every day," South Tama Schools Transportation Director Chad Woosley told school board members. He presented his review of district school bus operations at the Monday night, June 10 board meeting.

In it he said there are 12 stops covering each city and he has heard no calls for additional ones. In the 2018-19 school year a stop was added in Toledo at North Center and Washington streets. Other than the added location, he reported no stops had been changed over the past three years.

The report said no changes are planned for the next school year in locations or number of stops on city route pick ups in Tama or Toledo.

Article Photos

Chad Woosley, South Tama schools director of transportation, is seen with part of the district’s fleet of school buses on Tuesday, June 11. He reported to the STC School Board Monday night no major changes are foreseen in routes when classes resume in the fall. News-Herald/John Speer

His report also noted "out of town riders is steady and in-town is rising." As a result, no reduction in bus routes can be made.

"We (had) a bad year with flooding and wet, soft gravel roads forcing us to use hard surface (only) roads a lot more," he told the board A total of 220 students are impacted by the restriction. Woosley noted the rural road conditions were a problem state-wide.

Woosley also told the board state law does not require elementary and middle school students to be provided transportation within a two-mile radius of the school building. For high school, the distance is three miles. However, he said the route of U.S. Highway 63 through both Tama dictates the bus routes be maintained "for safety reasons."

Issues with vehicles not stopping for school buses which are stopped on the roadway to pick up children on the U.S. Highway 30 Expressway west of Toledo have been noted. Woosley said a plan by the Meskwaki Settlement to provide an off-highway gravel area for school buses to turn around is expected to aid in resolving one of the problem areas near the Meskwaki Travel Plaza.

Bus Replacement

Woosley also said a plan is being considered in which five new school buses are lease-purcahsed once one year and paid for over a four-five year time frame. The district now has 20 total full-size school busses in its fleet and six Chevrolet Suburbans used for student transportation.

Woosley said a new 77-passenger bus costs about $90,000 and 84-passenger busses are priced at about $111,000. He told board members the additional seven seats are not worth the added $20,000 plus in cost. School board members asked and Woosley assured them intentions are to purchase any replacements with the 77-passenger models.


Staff additions and changes approved Monday night included: Stephanie Lane from one-half time to the equivalent of five- sixths full time for middle school art which increased from four to five classes and also appointed Lane as district graphic designs specialist in a two-hour per week role; Chelsea Ahrens, winter events coordinator; Ellen Moran, Special Olympics head coach; Sarah Weirmann, assistant girls volleyball coach; Conner McKibben, 8th grade social studies; Marsha Keahna, high school model teacher; and the transfer of George Kuhter to 7th grade social studies from 8th grade social studies.

Resignations were accepted from Kathleen Ohrt, elementary Title I aide; Chelsea Ahrens, high school assistant girls basketball coach; and Kellye Musel, middle school special education aide.

In other business the school board:

met in closed session allowed to review or discuss records which are required or authorized by state or federal law to be kept confidential.

approved Board Policy 400 revisions in a section entitled Employees. It sets out thee school board's "goals and objectives for employees in the performance of their jobs."

tabled approval of emergency planning operation documents

approved shared middle school baseball and softball programs with the Meskwaki Settlement School.

approved summer college credit program with Iowa Valley Community College for two STC students listed as taking business curses and one interested in certified nursing assistant training.

held discussion of a South Tama County Community School District statement to update one created in 2012. A final version is expected to be before the board for approval at the July regular meeting.

listed discussion items including board - superintendent communication and regular one- one meetings; parent feedback survey; and a State of the District Breakfast planned for Oct, 4 at the Reinig-Toledo Civic Center.



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