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North Crawford Board discusses on-bus cameras
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NORTH CRAWFORD - The North Crawford School Board’s agenda at their Wednesday, March 20 meeting, addressed a variety of staffing issues and installation of cameras on school buses, among other issues.

The meeting started by showcasing Eric Hady and the North Crawford-Seneca Wrestling program for their successful 2018-19 season. Coach Hady was present with several members of the wrestling team to highlight the team’s achievements, and thank the board and district for the support the team had received. Raiden Steele, who took a sixth place in state competition, received an ovation from the board and other citizens present at the meeting.

Joanne Gonos addressed the board during the public input part of the agenda. She praised the North Crawford students who volunteer with her at the Second Harvest Food Pantry, and suggested that the students could benefit from some community education around the issue of climate change, in solidarity with youth from around the globe who had participated in the ‘Global Strike for Climate Justice’ the previous week.

Bus cameras

During the transportation committee report, Superintendent Brandon Munson reported that cameras had been installed on the buses in the North Crawford fleet, on the stop signs mounted on the buses. The cameras are intended to capture video footage of drivers that fail to stop when the drivers are picking up and dropping off students.

“The drivers have been able to write down the license plate numbers of drivers that do  not stop for the school bus,” Munson explained. “But, we believe that this will increase our driver’s ability to capture that information safely, while allowing them to focus on their primary responsibilities.”

Munson explained that the dramatic increase in motorists failing to stop when school buses were picking up and dropping off students was a statewide phenomenon.

Staff changes

Discussion of staffing issues came as board approval of retirements, recommendations for sports coaches and for the summer school program coordinator, a contract extension and a restructuring of the food service department.

The board approved the retirement of 20-year teaching veteran Lori Fox-Gillespie, and school library aid of 27 years Nancy Brockway. Brockway was present at the meeting, and addressed the board.

“I want to thank the North Crawford board and administration for the support that we’ve always had in the library,” Brockway said. “It has been more of a joy than just a job to come to work and help to do what is best for our students.”

The board went on to approve Brian Steyer for the position of Assistant Track Coach, and Rob Sailor, middle school math teacher, for the position of Summer School Coordinator. Amy Anderson had decided to step down from the position recently.

The board also voted to approve an extension of Interim Middle School/High School Principal Holly Jones’ contract through Friday, June 7.

Superintendent Munson reported to the board that district administrative assistant Angie Boland had asked to be relieved of her additional responsibilities as Foodservice Director. Boland has served in the role for the last two years.

“When Angie took on the role two years ago, it was never intended to be a permanent situation,” Munson told the board. “While serving in that role she has done a tremendous job, and introduced a lot of innovative new ideas, and successful new programs, for example, the salad bar program.”

Munson told the board that it was time to hire a part-time director for the program and take this workload off of Boland’s plate.

The board approved the hiring of a half-time director for the foodservice department. This new hire will ideally start in the position before the end of the school year, and be on staff to oversee the summer school food program.

Munson also reported that the foodservice department had recently coordinated a well-received ‘Family Style Meal,’ where high school students served meatballs, mashed potatoes and gravy to middle school and elementary students.

“This was a very popular event,” Munson said. “The little ones asked if we could do this every day for them.”

Other business

In other business, the board:

• heard about how funds from a Crawford County Community Foundation grant had been used to install a ‘sensory path’ feature in the school commons

• conducted a first reading of updated board policies

• approved repeating the School Perceptions survey with staff, and adding a ‘Student Engagement’ survey.

“The drivers have been able to write down the license plate numbers of drivers that do not stop for the school bus,” Munson explained. “But, we believe that this will increase our driver’s ability to capture that information safely, while allowing them to focus on their primary responsibilities.”
Superintendent Brandon Munson