Pelham - Windham News 8 - June 10, 2011
School Bus Transportation in Need of Evaluation
by Barbara O’Brien School Administrative Unit (SAU) 28 Business Administrator Adam Steel is recommending that the existing school bus transportation system employed by the two towns in the school administrative unit be evaluated. SAU 28 includes both the Windham and Pelham School Districts. “School bus transportation has not been re-evaluated for a long
time,” Steel told board members from both districts during a joint meeting on May 24. First Student has provided regular school bus transportation for more than 20 years, he said. Safeway supplies special education school bus transportation. “This is a very unique
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service,” Steel commented, referring to special education busing. Steel said that the average age of the school buses used to
transport Windham and Pelham students is about 10 years—older than what is used in most school districts. First Student and Safeway “might be the right model, but there could be a better model,” he said.
Busing for Pelham and Windham students to school in the morning and back home again in the afternoon costs approximately $13.1 million per year, according to Steel. Steel is recommending that the SAU contract with Transportation
Advisory Services of New York for a fee of $10,000. The firm would be responsible for evaluating three different options for a 10-year plan: • Outsourcing transportation services with an outside vendor; • Using in-house transportation by leasing/purchasing own school buses and hiring own drivers;
• A hybrid model where the SAU owns the school buses, but contracts with an outside company to operate the service. School Superintendent Frank Bass spoke highly of Transportation
Advisory Services, saying that the firm was hired by the Manchester School District several years ago, when he was assistant superintendent in that district. “Manchester was extraordinarily pleased [with the results],” Bass said. Windham School Board Chairman Ed Gallagher said he’d like to know what the SAU’s own analysis might be before consulting an
outside source. “I’m a little concerned about getting consultant- happy,” Gallagher said. “There’s definitely room for improvement,” Windham School
Board Vice Chairman Bruce Anderson said. “We need to do something.” Gallagher agreed with Anderson that there is room for improvement. Windham School Board member Stephanie Wimmer said she hears a lot of complaints about problems with school buses throughout the year. “We’re putting our children on buses and we want to make sure they are safe,” Wimmer said. It was mentioned during the meeting that Pelham has a very
effective transportation committee to deal with routes and associated issues, while Windham does not have a committee that functions as well. Pelham School Board member Andy Ducharme said he wants Steel to put together more data prior to making a decision on contracting with an outside consulting firm. Steel said he was concerned about the timing. “The timeline is such that if we delay we’d have to wait another year to implement” a new system, Steel said. Anderson said the SAU Board could certainly call a special meeting to reach a decision, if necessary. No decision was made during the May 24 SAU Board meeting. It is anticipated that more information will be made available to both School Boards in the near future.
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was the site of the 18th Annual New Hampshire Excellence in Education Awards Celebration. The awards, informally known as the “ED”ies, celebrate the many examples of educational excellence in the state. A majority of the statewide education associations collaborate in this event. The New Hampshire Association of
Family and Consumer Science has selected Katherine Shoubash as their Family and Consumer Sciences Teacher of the Year award recipient. Shoubash teaches “Foods and Nutrition,” “Creative Cuisines,” “Fashion Design and Textiles,” “Parenting and Child Development,” and “Human Relations.” Her principal describes her as “Passionate about her subject and supportive, as well as compassionate toward her students. She brings excitement
and enthusiasm into her classroom that is infectious.” Over 750 peopled attend the celebration last Saturday, where 43 educators and schools were recognized for excellence in their specialized fields. Twenty-nine associations, councils, and programs collaborate to celebrate their best of the best. Selection committees determine if schools deserve recognition as school of excellence and the winners are recognized at this annual event.
Funding for the “ED”ies is provided
by the McDonald’s Restaurants of New Hampshire. The Excellence in Education Awards is unique to New Hampshire, but other states have asked for help in patterning the awards.
Katherine Shoubash of Windham High School is honored at the “ED”ies
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Cub Scouts Annual Family Fun Day Held
at Windham High School
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Pack 266 of Windham enjoyed a day of fun with each other in commemoration of the past year in Scouting. “It’s a chance to get families together and have fun,” explained Kimber Leutertiz. The Windham Endowment is the charter organization that allows Pack 266 to get together. In order for this event to take place, many donations were made by sponsors in support of the Windham Cub Scouts by donating various items,
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from food to gift cards to plants. Windham High School has offered a space for the Cub Scouts to congregate and meet every third Friday of the month. As a thank-you, the Cub Scouts of Pack 266 planted a variety of annuals around the grounds of Windham High School. “We were told to plant bright colors to help bring out the shrubbery that has already been put into place. We are so blessed to have the opportunity to hold our meetings here and we wanted to give back and say thank you,” explained Leuteritz. The Cub Scouts’ ages
range from first to fifth grade, with most members being between fourth and fifth grades. After Cub Scouts finish fifth grade, they may enter into Boy Scouts. For further information or interest in joining Pack 266 Cub Scouts, contact Kimber Leutertiz or Russ Redard at email@example.com
and/ or firstname.lastname@example.org
. For general information about Cub Scouts, visit NHscouting. org or Beascout.org
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