R-2 achieves 2019-20 Fleet Excellence rating

By Roxie Murphy, Staff Writer
Posted 10/14/20

Maries County R-2 schools passed the 2019-20 bus inspection in July with a 92.3 percent approval rate and none taken out of service.

“None were taken out of service and that exceeds the 89.1 …

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R-2 achieves 2019-20 Fleet Excellence rating

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Maries County R-2 schools passed the 2019-20 bus inspection in July with a 92.3 percent approval rate and none taken out of service.

“None were taken out of service and that exceeds the 89.1 percent state standard,” said Superintendent Dr. Lenice Basham.

Transportation Director Tony Gieck said they achieved fleet excellence for the 2019-20 school year.

“That’s not bad, considering almost every one of our route buses has over 180,000 miles on it,” Gieck said. “Trevor and I worked really hard on that over the last three years to get that number up and we finally got it.”

He said he does not foresee the district needing to purchase a new bus for another year or so.

“I like the way you think,” Board President Joey Butler II said.

Gieck said bus No. 18, one of the main trip buses, is getting close to 80,000 miles on it and bus No. 10 was an old trip bus, with 70,000 to 80,000 miles, was assigned to a route this year. Bus No. 1 is still below 50,000 miles.

On route buses, one bus is running 230,000 miles but hasn’t caused any problems. The district recently installed a new motor in bus No. 9 last year that should go for another 100,000 miles.

“The numbers don’t scare me ‘cause you can buy parts cheaper than you can make a $15,000 a year payment on one,” Gieck said. “I don’t see hitting you guys up for a new bus for probably another year or so.”

Butler said the report looked good. No action was needed.

Additionally, the board of education approved the bus routes and the snow routes for the 2020-21 school year with a 7-0 vote.

“The buses seem pretty empty when they come by my house,” Board Vice President Dawn Hicks said.

“A lot of them are,” Gieck confirmed. “Yours has only got about 20 people on it at the most.”

Gieck said bus No. 4 and bus No. 21 are his two most loaded buses. Bus No. 4 has extra seats this year and bus No. 21 is down 10 to 15 students.

“We encouraged if you could bring your kids to school to bring your kid to school because 50 percent of our first quarantine was bus-related,” Basham said. “I know we have some parents who cannot do that, but 50 percent of our first quarantine was from riding the bus — 18 kids from the classroom and 18 kids on the bus.”

Basham explained that according to the Phelps-Maries County Health Department quarantine guidelines, anyone who sits two seats in front of and two seats behind the positive case is considered a close contact.

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