CRYSTAL FALLS—Troopers from the State Police Iron Mountain post are going to help the Forest Park schools deal with the problem of drivers illegally passing school buses.
Superintendent Becky Waters updated the School Board about the situation during its Dec. 16 regular monthly meeting, held at the Mansfield Township Hall.
It is illegal for drivers to pass a school bus that is flashing its red lights when picking up or dropping off students. Whether drivers are following the bus or approaching from the opposite direction, they must come to a complete stop until the flashing red lights are switched off.
The issue was highlighted after the board’s November meeting, but there apparently are some slow learners among drivers in the eastern half of Iron County.
“They’re going to work with us,” Waters said about the State Police, “because it’s so prevalent on two of our runs.” Those are: U.S. 141 towards Amasa and U.S. 2 towards Iron River.
“Those two main roads are where we are seeing an increase,” said Waters, “so they are going to set up a program to work with us, possibly tracking the times that occurs. There could be an opportunity for one of their troopers to ride our buses, to alleviate some of this problem.”
The week before the Christmas break, she said, drivers passed buses with flashing lights twice in the same day. “Once in the a.m. and once in the p.m.”
• Board Member Don Peterson reported that the Log A Load program has been scheduled for May 7 at the school forest near Amasa, for all K-12 students.
Through Log A Load, students will learn about one of this region’s biggest industries, from start to finish. Students will see how trees are selected for harvesting, how they are harvested and transported.
This will be a one-time event. “We were lucky to get the grant to do this,” the superintendent said. A January meeting will deal with the logistics of the event.
• Harold Payne, guidance counselor, gave an overview of plans for the annual junior class college trip. About 30 juniors will take part in the trip this spring. The cost will be roughly $100 per student, with the Academic Boosters covering all transportation costs.
The dates of the trip and which schools will be visited won’t be announced until January.
• The concessions area of the cafeteria will be moved to a different area to create a new casual seating area for students to meet and relax together during school lunches. “It’s to create a more inviting place for the students to come and eat,” Waters said.
• Board President Jim Nocerini congratulated the football, volleyball and cheer teams and the band for their achievements this fall. He also noted that last winter’s Trojan boys basketball team won the sportsmanship banner awarded by MHSAA, as decided by the referees who worked those games.
• Waters reported she had completed requirement for the state technology readiness assessment. As a result, Forest Park will get $10 more per student in state aid.
• In other business, the board:
--Awarded a snow-plowing bid to Leon Fabbri.
--Awarded the roof contract to Nasi Roofing of Minocqua, Wis., for replacing the roof of the 1998 elementary building and the high school gym. The gym roof will be done first.
--Accepted with regret the retirement of Dianne Blazier, who has been with the district as custodian since 2005.
--Learned that the special education department met all requirements for continuous improvement and monitoring. “Our special ed department did a fantastic job.”
--Accepted with regret the resignation of Karen Nylund, who had been a secretary with the middle school-high school office.
--Hired Charly Sartori as at-risk interventionist. She will be working in the K-1 early childhood area. A Forest Park grad, Sartori later attended Finlandia University.
--Agreed to advertise for substitute bus drivers.
--Did its second reading and then adopted new NEOLA policies.
--Adopted an open weapons resolution.