After a public hearing at which no one spoke, the El Dorado Springs R-II School board approved an Aug. 15, 2013, start date for school this fall.
The board then opened bus bids from Durham, Apple Bus and First Student.
The board voted to accept the low bid from Durham for buses with a maximum age of seven years. The vote was five in favor with Scott Cluck voting no. Board Member Jay Farris was absent. Also present were Benny Brower, Allen Hoover, Kevin Fast, Greg Beydler and Darrell Eason – presiding.
Now that the board has picked a bus provider, they can negotiate. One possibility is to have two new trip buses, which was an issue with Cluck – old buses going to other schools. They will negotiate for four spares that are less than five years old.
Vanessa Hardy, local manager for Durham, suggested that they negotiate for four spares and two activity buses.
Data Director Tracy Barger took the board to the computer lab next door to the library and showed them how complicated it is to use the Data Direct program to build a test which meets all the course guidelines. She said it took one teacher five hours to build an 18-question test.
High School Principal David Hedrick confirmed how hard it is to use Data Direct. He said it has become much more complicated since he selected it.
Ms. Barger said that Acuity, which has been in use in the Elementary and Middle School for some time and recently expanded into High School coursework, is much simpler to use and has a lower price tag by several thousand dollars.
Activity Director Bob Ramsey gave a report on his investigation in a possible conference affiliation for El Dorado Springs R-II. He said the Cross Roads Conference has invited El Dorado Springs to join, but many of the schools are in the Kansas City area.
He said El Dorado Springs made a request to the Mid-Lakes Conference, which is made up of schools which are much closer, and “they didn’t say no for the first time in 19 years.”
The school will wait to see the outcome of the Mid-Lakes request and will still have time to respond to the Cross Roads offer.
The board approved the 2013-14 school calendar.
In executive session, the board rehired all administrators for 2013-14.