Donnie Pitts presented a report to the Calhoun Board of Education this week regarding concerns over "dead head" or "empty miles" school buses.

Board President Carlene Frederick said "It has been a complaint since I got on the board."

The issue surfaced again because of the high cost of gasoline.

Pitts had a list of buses that do not park at the end of bus routes, saying because of safety and vandalism problems, buses are often taken to a different location.

"If there is some way we can cut the empty miles to save gasoline, we will try to cut them," Pitts said, indicating parking places for buses often require electrical hook-ups for winter driving, a location near a dwelling for security and a stable or rocked parking place.

"It seems easy to say all the buses should be parked at the end of the route, or restrict how far they can be driven empty, but it becomes more complicated," he said.

Board member Rick Fitzwater asked if drivers can be "flexed" to different routes to make the system work better. Superintendent Ron Blankenship said there is very little flexibility under the personnel rules to juggle drivers.

A monthly attendance report was presented to the board.

A special award was given a student and a request was made regarding gasoline funding for extra-curricular activities. (See earlier Herald stories)

The resignation of Nola Smith was accepted effective January 13, 2006.

A home school request was approved for David King (grade 5).

An out-of-state conference request to attend National FFA Conference in Louisville KY was approved for Donald Poage.

Employment approved: Christoper Stewart, bus operator #12,custodian; Beth Alltop, computer applications teacher CM-HS; Connie Hall, computer applications teacher CM-HS; Stephanie Carpenter, mentor, half-time, language arts CM-HS; Phyllis Evans, mentor, elementary teacher, Arnoldsburg; Jan Jarrell, mentor, half-time, CM-HS; Terri Thomas, substitute; Brian Arthur, substitute bus driver; Kenneth McCumbers, substitute bus driver; Charles Ritchie, substitute bus driver.

Finances were approved.

The next meeting is scheduled for Nov. 14.

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