April 21, 2024

Transportation and staffing top Ashby School Board discussion

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Jake Sias
Grant County Herald

Ashby School Board’s latest meeting, held on Wednesday, covered a range of topics, including the approval of the senior class trip, partnerships for educational programs, and strategic discussions on staff recruitment and transportation management.

During the meeting, the senior class presented their plans for a trip to Duluth, seeking approval from the board. In addition, the board acknowledged the achievements of the Knowledge Bowl Team, which has advanced to the state championship scheduled for April 11-12 at Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd.

It was mentioned that the Fergus Falls Special Education Cooperative, of which Ashby School District is a part of, will be leasing office space from Productive Alternatives Inc. (PAI) in Fergus Falls. PAI will not be directly working with students, but Superintendent Moore commented that, since many of the students who are benefited by the co-op will go on to work with PAI, it is a beneficial working relationship. The board also delved into staff recruitment and retention strategies, with the idea of a four-day work week being prominently discussed, although no definitive decision was reached.

The board also addressed operational challenges, particularly in transportation. With the rising costs of maintaining an in-house fleet of buses, the idea of outsourcing transportation services was discussed. Collaborative efforts with nearby districts, such as Brandon-Evansville, for sharing bussing costs were considered, reflecting a strategic approach to managing resources more effectively.

Eleora Demuth, representing the school’s agricultural programs, provided insights into the diverse range of activities offered. A notable initiative is the new class designed to prepare students for obtaining their Commercial Driver’s License (CDL). This program, focusing on the knowledge-based portion of the CDL certification, requires students to further pursue the driving component through a partnering college. Additionally, the innovative Supermileage class, which challenges students to design fuel-efficient vehicles, was highlighted. The class will take their vehicle to the Brainerd International Raceway for the competition on May 12-14. 

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