Greene Co. school board approves GPS trackers for bus system

By Rick Morain
Jefferson Herald

Bus safety became a bit more precise during the December Greene County school board meeting.

The board on Wednesday, Dec. 21 approved the purchase of Stopfinder GeoAlerts software and hardware with GPS trackers for the district’s school buses.

The equipment will allow parents to track their children’s bus location and know when to expect their bus to arrive at their stop. The purchase, from Transfinder, the district’s current transportation software provider, will cost $5,000 per school year.


• The board approved obtaining bids for replacement of two sections of the middle school roof, over the wrestling room and the gym. Bid advertising will begin this week, with completion of the project slated for this coming July. Bids will be presented to the board in February.
Estimated cost of the roofing project, using materials from The Garland Company, is between $350,000 and $380,000.

• Staff changes were approved as follows:
Resignations: middle school baseball coach Wesley Anderson, middle school media center associate Rona Challen, and custodian Rhonda Woltz.
Hirings: Kari Sanders as middle school math interventionist, Shawn Allen as assistant school business manager, Wesley Anderson as assistant girls’ soccer coach, and Beth DeMoss as a cook.
Also approved were 2023 coaching contracts for soccer, with Carl Behne as head boys’ coach, Chad Black as assistant boys’ coach, Maribel Hernandez as head girls’ coach, and Wesley Anderson as assistant girls’ coach.

• The board approved four goals for the district: academic excellence, recruiting and retaining quality staff, resource management, and community relations. Additional subgoals will accompany each category. The goals were discussed and developed at a Nov. 30 work session.

• Fundraisers approved were a basketball half court shot activity by National Honor Society and a PAWS fundraiser by the accelerated government class.

• The 2023-24 at risk/dropout prevention program plan was approved. The board directed the administration to submit a request to the state school budget review committee for a modified supplemental amount of $441,531 for implementation of the program.

• Superintendent Brett Abbotts informed the board that the current agreement with New Opportunities Head Start for preschool programming will end and a new agreement is being pursued beginning with the 2023-24 school year.
Abbotts has also appointed a 10-member superintendent advisory committee with representatives from each school building. He also presented the new website for the Career Academy.

• The board placed on first reading a new board policy on radon mitigation in the district’s building. The Iowa Legislature this year adopted a requirement for that purpose for all Iowa schools.
A board policy section on certified employees was reviewed and approved with no revisions.
Board member Michelle Fields was absent from the meeting.

The school board meets regularly the third Wednesday of every month at 5:15 p.m. in the board room of the middle school on Ram Drive at the south edge of Jefferson.

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