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Transpo undergoing big changes

Bethlehem Area School District is adjusting to the transportation department’s first electric buses, as well as implementing various technologies that will streamline the transportation system. Details were shared with school board members Sept. 11.

Recruiting drivers is a constant process and the district is using the “Drive Bus with Us” commercials targeting a variety of demographics. Fifty-seven new drivers have been hired since July of 2021. Retention goes hand in hand with recruiting, and the goal is to make drivers feel more appreciated through celebrating key performance in individual driver score cards, as well as more team gatherings. The board is aware that this is a process that is continually being developed with the aid of parent questions and concerns.

The Facilities Committee is recommending that the board continue maintaining monitoring of fire alarms and security panels for each school by contracting with Altronics to monitor, maintain and inspect the systems and elevators.

The Curriculum Committee reviewed the Tier 3+ Contract for visual Consultation Services. This is a grading system to help teachers, principals, students and parents identify initial concerns, anticipate difficulties and directly address troubling issues, guaranteeing greater educational success. This system supports grades 6-12 multiple grade report card implementation. This contract will be at a cost not to exceed $30,000 and will be on the agenda at the next regular school board meeting.

Dr. Mark Singer from Northampton Community College reported dual enrollment for Bethlehem students at NCC has shown growth in all areas of study; summer enrollment was up 5 percent and there is a 3 percent gain in overall enrollment. NCC administrators are eager for the new health care classes to be launched next year, including Respiratory therapy, Cardiac Stenography, and occupational health.

In this early stage of his tenure following the retirement of Joe Roy, Superintendent Dr. Jack Silva listed literacy and math as his top academic priorities, while updating the grading system has been a longtime objective.

The next regular meeting is scheduled for Sept. 26 at East Hills MS at 26 at 7 p.m.