North Dickinson in need of drivers

Open house Wednesday; classes begin Aug. 27

FELCH TOWNSHIP — Bus drivers are getting a little thin for the North Dickinson County School District as the start of the school year approaches Monday, Aug. 27.

Cory Roell resigned earlier this month as a full-time support staff member and driver after 14 years to become a full-time emergency medical technician with Aspirus MedEvac, according to his letter to North Dickinson Superintendent/Principal Angel Inglese.

Roell still will be able to do substitute driving when needed, said Darrell Oman, North Dickinson director of support services.

But a woman he planned to recommend hiring withdrew, citing a better offer, Oman told the North Dickinson County School Board, adding she was to replace another driver, not Roell.

A couple of past drivers willing to fill in part-time should help see the district through the first couple months of the coming school year, Oman said.

“But either way, we’ll have two and a half people we need to hire,” preferably before one of the drivers heads to Arizona for the winter, Oman said.

The district is advertising for drivers and also has some suggested potential candidates they might be able to recruit.

In other business, the board:

— Approved a new two-year contract with 16 teachers that provides an average 2.5 percent pay increase. However, the teachers agreed to divide the entire $23,232 equally rather than base it on salary, so those with a longer tenure don’t receive a larger share, Inglese said. The rise in the second year will be about 2 percent, she said. The board also authorized a similar pay boost for support staff and administration, though only for one year.

— Heard the school open house will be 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, with sixth grade and new student orientation at 5:30 p.m. The Parent-Teacher Organization will provide hotdogs, chips and beverages for families, and students will be able to meet their teachers and get desks and lockers set up.

— Raised daily adult lunch prices by 15 cents to $4 and adult breakfast by 75 cents to $2.50. Michael Roell, district finance and athletic director, said the rates follow the state’s scale for what should be charged.

— Heard the football team has 15 players, including ninth-graders, for the 2018 season. For now, that sounds like it will be enough to field an eight-man team, though it had board president Carl Steinbrecher questioning if the time has come to pursue a co-op arrangement with another district. “We’ll have to look in that area if numbers continue to fall,” said Finance Director Roell, who also is athletic director.

— Chose Dean Foods of Wisconsin, through Hoppe Dairy, as the district’s milk and dairy products supplier for the 2018-19 school year. The only bidder on the contract, Dean Foods offered for a half-pint of milk: 30.75 cents for 1 percent, 30.5 cents for skim fat-free, 30.65 cents for chocolate fat-free and 31.15 for strawberry.

— Approved the purchase of a new elementary and middle school math and English, language, arts textbook series from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for three years for $8,280.

— Said yes to an installment purchase agreement of $27,822 over 48 months for a 2018 Ford F250 through Town and Country Ford in Quinnesec.