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School Board authorizes its Executive Committee to sign contract for student transportation services

By Bill ShortMillington Schools logo

The Millington School Board voted last week to authorize its Executive Committee to sign a contract with Durham School Services for student transportation.
Board members took the action last Thursday night during a special called meeting on a motion offered by Vice Chairman Don Holsinger and seconded by Cody Childress.
The motion was passed by four affirmative votes, with Larry Jackson, Louise Kennon and board Chairman Greg Ritter absent.
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools, said the attorneys for the various municipal school districts were still working on the final dotting of “i’s” and crossing of “t’s” on the agreement.
“All of the attorneys are comfortable with the agreement as it’s outlined, and moving forward with this,” he noted. “But we don’t have the actual, literal language of the contract to present to the board.”
When the final language is prepared, Roper said, the Executive Committee can sign the contract and “move forward” with the agreement. So, the board will not have to schedule another special meeting “just for that purpose.”
He said the “substantive parts” of the agreement and its total cost are not changing. That includes allowing the school district to reduce “bell times” (the schools’ daily starting and ending times) from three to two.
Millington Middle School and Millington Central High School operate on a 7 a.m.-to-2 p.m. daily schedule, with Millington Elementary School from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For a number of years, E. A. Harrold Elementary School has been on a 9 a.m.-to-4 p.m. schedule. But starting on Aug. 4, it will operate from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
During an interview after the meeting, Roper said the administrative staff kept working “very closely” with the Shared Services personnel who are planning the bus routes.  He was recently informed that reducing Millington’s bell times from three to two is “actually doable.”
Roper noted that this will not amount to “any significant additional cost” for Millington or any of the other municipal school districts. He said it might actually result in “some small cost savings.”
“The way that works is, you determine how long each bus route runs and the hourly rate that you pay the bus driver for running that route,” he said. “So, by going from a three-tiered to a two-tiered schedule, it could possibly cut down on the number of bus driver hours that have to be paid.”
But even if those savings do not occur, Roper said the “good news” for Millington is that this will “fit” within the school system’s budget without any kind of large additional cost. And both elementary schools will have an 8 a.m. start time.
The superintendent also said the weekly tornado siren test that Shelby County conducts at 3:30 p.m. each Wednesday will “no longer be an issue” for E. A. Harrold Elementary, which has a siren on its roof.

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