In the letter, Nick and Shirah Crafts raised concerns about students who attend middle and high school in Brattleboro using the MOOver. At the time, chair Rich Werner asked principal Matt Martyn to look into costs for alternatives. On Tuesday, Martyn said he hadn’t yet gotten firm estimates but had opened discussions with West River Transportation, First Student Inc., and the MOOver regarding the matter.
“I’ve also reached out directly to the principal at Brattleboro Area Middle School, who is very interested in working something out with us,” said Martyn. “They have a couple of extra buses and may be able to send a bus from BAMS to Dover in the morning and afternoon.”
Vice chair Laura Sibilia, who was not present at the October 16 meeting, raised concerns about the scope of what Martyn had been tasked with, noting that the board needs to be very clear about what problem it is attempting to solve and how a possible solution lines up with their stated policies.
Werner said he thinks the issue is ultimately something the school’s transportation committee should look into further, and Martyn said he thinks a meeting of the transportation committee on the issue, possibly including representatives from providers including the MOOver, may be prudent.
In other matters, Martyn said he is looking into an upgrade to the school’s PA system, allowing for announcements to be heard in the hallways, gym, and library in addition to classrooms. The school’s new pre-K playground is in the process of being built and should be ready for use soon.
The school’s water tank, which was replaced at the end of summer and failed initial volatile organic compounds testing, passed its last test and the school has been granted permission to operate it.
Discussion about the tank spurred Werner to comment about a discussion being had at the supervisory union level about potentially employing a facilities manager at the supervisory union’s central office rather than tasking individual schools’ principals with facilities-based issues.
“I’ve asked Matt to give us an estimate on the hours he spends on issues like this,” said Werner. “Could that time have been better served doing something education-based? We should utilize our experts to do what they’re best at.”
“Principals’ jobs have become more and more challenging,” said superintendent Bill Anton. “They’re not managers, they’re instructional leaders. That’s tough when you’re getting distracted and diluted by (facilities-based issues) that do need attention.”