The Rochester CUSD #3a Board of Education held its regular meeting on Monday, January 24, 2022. The Board was introduced to the District’s new Director of Transportation, Ty Smith, who shared his excitement of becoming a Rocket. Mr. Smith recognized the existing challenges schools face with transportation, including here at Rochester. Specifically, driver shortage was addressed. During his presentation, Mr. Smith informed the Board that a recommendation to hire a bus driver was on the agenda and three additional new drivers are engaged in the hiring process. Future action that the department is reviewing in order to provide a recommendation to the Board is to incorporate GPS systems into the bus fleet. These systems will allow the location of all buses to be tracked and will also provide the value-added service for families to receive notifications of school bus arrival and departure ties. Additionally, Mr. Smith is also reviewing a rider attendance system that will track specific information about students who board and exit the buses. In addressing the Board Mr. Smith noted, “ Moving our transportation department into the modern era will meet the District’s standards of excellence and provide the high-quality services our students and families deserve.”
In other discussions, Superintendent Dan Cox recognized teachers, staff, and administrators for their tremendous efforts to keep schools open for in-person instruction during the recent Omicron surge. With student and staff positive cases at a high during the pandemic, Cox recognized that “everyone in our District has been stepping up to answer the call and do what needs to be done to keep our schools open for in-person instruction.” He further added, “In talking with our teachers, principals, and staff it is clear they have a strong commitment to helping our students remain in school. I am incredibly proud and inspired by the work they are doing.” Despite positive cases being on the rise since returning from winter break, Cox reported in recent days the number of positive cases has stabilized and begun to decline.
Following the superintendent’s report, the Board reviewed the District’s instructional continuity learning plan that provides for mitigations and safety guidelines that will maximize in-person instruction to the greatest extent possible during the pandemic. Changes made to the plan reflect the recent recommendations for the 5-Day return from isolation for individuals who are COVID positive or who are a close contact with a COVID positive individual.
To learn more about these and other items discussed and acted upon please see the full summary of minutes on the District website here.