West Branch pleased with transportation changes

BELOIT- The West Branch Local transportation department was commended Thursday for a job well done at the start of the school year.

Schools Superintendent Dr. Scott Weingart told the school board that the department this year has shifted pick up and drop off to the common area between the high school and middle school, making it possible for both to start and end at the same time. The change has enabled drivers to save 10 minutes from last year’s schedule in picking up and dropping off elementary students, he said.

Weingart said even though the change seems insignificant, it has made a difference for the elementary students. He noted that he typically receives telephone calls from concerned parents at the beginning of each year regarding transportation, but this year has received none so far.

In other business, the board granted a continuing contract for the 2013-2014 school year to intervention specialist Aaron Bernstein and hired Traci Courtney as a five-hour transportation aide, Mindy Steer as secretary in special services, Kelly Vrable as an intervention specialist and John Ault as a substitute administrator as needed. The board also accepted the resignation effective Sept. 20 of bus driver Cheryl Firestone, who had been with the district since 1995.

The board also approved supplemental contracts to Tiffany Fitts, Jennifer Woods and Andrea Soltis, freshman volleyball; Abbie Millard and Krista Roe, eighth-grade volleyball; and Susan Miklos-Moss, middle school newspaper.

Additionally the board granted permission for John Zamarelli and the Young & Alive to travel to Florida from Dec. 26 through Jan. 3 to perform at Walt Disney, Sea World and Busch Gardens; and approved a Letter of Engagement with the Auditor of State for the audit of the district not to exceed $20,992 (cost of each of the prior three audits $21,000 per year).

The board also accepted donations of $20 from Valic, $35 from Baxter & Associates and $100 from ASECU to the West Branch Local Schools for staff breakfast; $100 from the American Legion to the National Honor Society for flagging veterans’ graves; supplies for breakfast from Catered Affair and Nickle’s Bakery; and school supplies from the American Legion Post 76 Youth Foundation.

The next regular board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31 in the high school library.