Hillman to purchase new bus

HILLMAN – Hillman Community Schools Board of Education approved the purchase of a used school bus from Midwest Transit Equipment at a special meeting Tuesday night. The used 2011 model bus will cost the district $44,700, and is part of the rotation process of replacing those buses that are no longer able to be used.

“We will be scrapping three old buses that have been used for several years,” board President Brad McLaren said. “Safety is the main concern when it comes to buying a bus or taking buses off the road, especially with 66 passengers.”

The three older buses that will be sold for scrap are from 1996, 1997 and 1998, and have outlived their usefulness.

“Over 10 years is a long time for a bus to be in service,” McLaren said. “We try to rotate them whenever possible and have been trying to keep up with purchasing additional buses as some get older.”

The board also hired paraprofessional Candy Powers to work in the elementary with the third grade class. Powers will be working five hours per day to assist in the class, which has over 30 students. Parents of this year’s third graders have been expressing concerns to the board over the size of the class based on performance and learning research, and have been working closely with Superintendent Jason McElrath to address their concerns.

Several applications were received for the position, and at least three interviews conducted to find the perfect fit for the needs of the classroom.

“Candy will also go through training for the new reading program that will start this year,” McLaren said.

The board has been working with the athletic director to find out how many students are interested in playing junior varsity football, and with a positive response and good numbers, decided to hire Shane Allen as a coach for the position.

Nicole Grulke can be reached via email at ngrulke@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687. Follow Nicole on Twitter @ng_alpenanews.