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School buses at full capacity

Posted on Tuesday, September 18, 2012 at 11:59 pm

Colonial Beach Public Schools started the school year with an incredible enrollment of 630 students, not including Pre-K, according to Kathleen Beane, who was standing in for Dr. Donna Power at the September School Board meeting.

Colonial Beach Public Schools started the school year with an incredible enrollment of 630 students, not including Pre-K, according to Kathleen Beane,

The anticipated average daily membership (ADM) was set at 585 students for the year. If enrollment remains at this level, increased federal funding will become available for the school system. Pre-K enrollment is 18 students, but does not come into play with standard school funding as it is funded by a separate program.

The Elementary school has a total enrollment of 271, 289 with Pre-K included. Middle school has 161 students and the high school has 198 students. Nine out of 13 of the grades have 50 or more students total.

As the number of students has increased to such a large level, all seven of the bus routes are at capacity. “If we have any more students enrolling we will really be in trouble, we will need another driver. Every bus is three to four to a seat,”stated Richard Tunstall head of maintenance and transportation, adding that the school owns nine buses, seven of which are used daily.

When asked if they were looking for a bus driver to add to the school system, Tunstall let the board know that they had run an ad for two months. During that time they received only three applications and no one could pass the tests to become a driver. Board member Wayne Kennedy asked that they find a way to encourage senior citizens to apply.

Other maintenance issues that Tunstall touched upon included numerous projects that were worked on during the summer break. Three new ramps were installed on the elementary ModPod, the high school roof was sealed, all fire extinguishers were inspected, new gravel was spread on the middle school’s Mod Pod parking lot, as well as multiple other projects.

On the transportation side of things, a new bus will be delivered on Sept. 20.  There were also new radios installed on all buses. The buses were all detailed, inside and out, and inspected for the new school year.

Upcoming projects include installing new tile in the locker rooms at the high school, power washing and painting the high school, and completing repair work in the cafeteria and locker room bathrooms. The staff is also working on installing 18 security cameras around both campuses of CBPS.

Principal Clint Runyan thanked the maintenance staff for their work on the high school, including repainting the interior of the high school. He also thanked the Colonial Beach Youth Athletic Association for the purchase of toilets for the concession stands. The Methodist and Baptist Churches were thanked for their donations of numerous school supplies for students whose parents cannot afford them.

Runyan also stated the athletic department is selling raffle tickets for a $500 gift card to Wal-Mart and discount cards to local businesses for ten dollars each. As of the meeting, student Matt Collins, had sold $1000 worth of cards.

Elementary Principal Mary Fisher stated that they have already implemented math stations to help address the low test scores on the Math SOLs from last year. Overall the math scores for the entire state averaged 46 percent due to a complete restructuring of the test.  She also stated that Title 1 is keeping up with the testing of new students who are referred to them by their teacher.

“As we have a fairly transient population… there are many students who slip through the cracks and we are catching them,” said Fisher.