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Board OKs new bus, pay scale

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

McCook school board members approved purchase of a new route bus and set a new base salary for teachers Monday night.

The McCook Public Schools board of education agreed that the school should spend $74,600 to replacing a 1993 route bus with about 270,000 miles.

During their regular monthly meeting, board of education members accepted the bid from Nebraska Central Equipment of Alda, for a 2011 59-passenger Blue Bird bus. Nebraska Central offers an option to deduct $900 if the bus is prepaid within 30 days of the order.

Finance director Rick Haney told board members that $15,000 has been set aside for each of the last four years and $20,000 was budgeted this year to purchase a new route bus.

Other bids came from Omaha Truck Center, a 2012 Thomas bus, $78,885; and Cornhusker International, a 2012 International bus, $83,374.

Maintenance supervisor Chris Wallace said this morning that the new bus will replace a 1993 Thomas route bus with about 270,000 miles on it. The old bus will remain in the school district's fleet, and although it's nearing the end of its useful life span, it will be used as a spare. "It'll still be a good bus to run -- I wouldn't put it out there if it wasn't," Wallace said.

Following a closed session, board members approved the proposed certificated staff compensation package, setting the teacher's base salary for 2010-11 at $30,570 -- up $527 from $30,043 in 2009-10.

They also approved Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance with a $600 deductible.

During a public comment session, Theresa Steinbeck, a mother of a student at McCook Elementary, told board members that she disagrees with a rule at the school in which students who have forgotten to take their coats with them for outdoor recesses and/or after lunch cannot go back inside to retrieve them.

Steinbeck said that she learned by talking with the principal, Lynda Baumbach, that the rule isn't going to change, although teachers have been asked to remind students to take their coats and that they will not be allowed to take their coats off and leave them on the playground if they decide they don't need to wear them.

Searching for a solution to the situation, Steinbeck said that she and fellow mother Sarah Kinne did some research and found safety hooks that they would like to purchase and ask the school's permission to place on an outside wall so kids can hang their coats up if they decide they don't need to wear them.

Steinbeck said that she and Sarah will conduct fund-raisers to purchase the hooks from HangSafe Hooks of Nixa, Missouri, a manufacturing firm owned by Kevin Schauer, a 1973 graduate of McCook Senior High.

The hooks can be viewed at www.hangsafehooks.com

Laurie Brenning, representing the McCook Elementary PTO, volunteered the PTO to help with fund-raising for the hooks.

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