Students’ behavior on Madison-Plains school buses soon will be recorded with high-tech equipment.
On Oct. 16, the Board of Education gave interim superintendent Boone Hall the go-ahead to begin replacing the district’s old bus cameras with new state-of-the-art digital cameras.
The old equipment records footage in black-and-white without sound and, according to Hall, “Invariably, when we need the camera, it doesn’t work.”
The new cameras record footage in color with sound and offer better reliability.
Hall’s plan is to eventually replace the entire fleet’s cameras, two to three units at a time starting with the routes that have the most discipline problems. All of the district’s 17 buses already have the internal workings for hook-up of new units.
“The days of looking back in the mirror to control 50 or 60 kids” are long gone, Hall said. The new technology will help bus drivers keep themselves and their passengers safer on the road.
In other business on Oct. 16, the board decided to start publishing a quarterly newsletter to be mailed to all district residents. The first edition is set to come out before the Nov. 6 election, in which Madison-Plains has two levy renewals on the ballot. The edition’s theme will be technology, with photos and short articles from each of the district’s buildings.
Board members see the newsletter as a way to increase communication with district residents on the activities and achievements of students and staff. The goal is to pack the publication with names, photos and information.
Board member Don Swonger said students could get involved with the publication’s production. For instance, the high school Civics/English class could take it on as a project, he said.
The board invited recent district retirees to the Oct. 16 meeting to be recognized for their service to the schools. Those present included: Gordon Ell, bus driver; Rita Ell, cook; Steve Jackson, high school teacher (who has returned to to the district to teach some more); Diana Lowery, high school math teacher; Albert McIntier, bus driver; Georgia Mercer, bus driver; and Donna Sheridan, middle school secretary.
The school board’s next meeting will take place at Midway Elementary on Nov. 20, starting with a tour of the building at 6:30 p.m. followed by the meeting at 7.