Wolf Creek BOE talks buses, fingerprinting | News, Sports, Jobs

Wolf Creek Local Schools Treasurer Rachel Miller, left, discussed finances at the board meeting Monday at Waterford High School. Also pictured was board member Greg Adams. (Photo by James Dobbs)

WATERFORD – The Wolf Creek Local Schools Board of Education approved the purchase of four new buses at its meeting on Monday.

“This will have all of our regular route buses within eight years old and that was the goal,” said Superintendent Doug Baldwin.

The State of Ohio bus grant will pay for $180,000 and the remaining cost of $300,460 will be covered by the school district’s Permanent Improvement fund. Baldwin said he believed that there would be funding for buses again next year, but that could always change. He said he doesn’t believe that the new buses will come in until late spring and would be surprised if they came any earlier, due to the amount of buses that are being purchased at this time because of the bus grant. He said the old buses won’t sell until after the new ones arrive.

During the superintendent’s update, Baldwin said he plans to attend a webinar this week about electric school buses. He said there is grant money available for electric buses. They can go 160 miles on a single charge, said Baldwin.

“There’s one that I got my eye on which would be a smaller type bus. We can get that for free basically with grant money,” he said. “That would be a good deal.”

Wolf Creek Local Schools Superintendent Doug Baldwin, left, discussed buses and fingerprinting during the superintendent’s update on Monday. Also pictured was board President Hugh Arnold. (Photo by James Dobbs)

Baldwin said the infrastructure and charging port for the bus would cost $20,000 to $30,000, but could also get paid for through grant money. No decisions were made at this time about the electric bus, the discussion was for information only.

Baldwin also spoke about starting a fingerprinting shop at Waterford High School. He said fingerprinting has become an inconvenience, because anytime someone needs their fingerprints taken, they have to travel to Marietta. He said school employees have to get their fingerprints done during background checks and license renewals and so do parents who volunteer for field trips. Baldwin said it would make things easier for employees and new hires if they did fingerprinting at the school for a fee. The fingerprinting shop would be open to the public. Baldwin said it would be a few months before the shop would be available.

“So we’re looking at it, there are some upfront costs for the equipment,” he said. “And then every fingerprint you do there is a fee, which we would pass that part on to the person–but it may still be cheaper than driving to Marietta to get it done and it would be more convenient.”

Brad Lanier, Waterford Elementary School principal, gave an update on elementary education. He said there will be a “Meet Your Teacher” night on Aug. 23 at 6:30 pm During the event, they will start promoting their new district literacy committee.

“We’re hoping to get some interest and educate and talk about what those next steps are and what we want to do as a Waterford community, with all these dyslexia guidelines coming up and over the next year” he said.

Newly passed legislation changed some of the dyslexia support laws. The timeline for the annual screening requirement has been delayed to begin in the 2023-24 school year for grades K-6. Lanier said they are going to have the screening in place when it is required.

Lanier also expressed his excitement for the partnership they will be doing with the Boys & Girls Club of Washington County. He said they will be offering an after school program at Waterford Elementary this year from 3-6 pm He said Executive Director and CEO of the Boys and Girls Club Rebecca Johnson will attend the next board meeting to share more details about the program.

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