GFW board OKs camera bus system | News, Sports, Work

GIBBON — The Gibbon Fairfax Winthrop (GFW) school board unanimously approved Monday’s purchase of a hybrid HD bus camera system.

The action comes on a motion by Marisa Lee, assisted by Drew Schmidt, to purchase a Pro-Vision HD hybrid bus camera system with four cameras for each of the 18 school district school buses this fall for $32,832 including installation, enhanced connectivity bundle, and one year device license.

Director of Transportation Greg Johnson recommends purchasing a passive GPS tracking camera system with Wifi download, solid state drive, and a five-year warranty.

Johnson says electronic solid state drives are usually faster and perform better in extreme temperatures. Other system costs including direct and passive systems are more expensive, up to $45,000 and having only two cameras per bus.

Director of Technology and Online Learning Wade Werner said the bus camera system could be operational when schools started in September.

Superintendent Jeff Horton said having four cameras on the bus would allow the school district to know exactly who was on its bus and detail things like bus stop arm violations and other possible problems such as when students get on and off the bus.

Council also:

• Hear Horton’s latest COVID-19 guide which strongly recommends vaccinations for students 12 years of age and over.

“The wearing of masks will be mandatory on buses, from now on, and in schools, especially for those who are not vaccinated,” Horton said. “Right now, it looks like we will have local control. The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) can enforce public mandates.”

“There are more chances of having a normal school year if we so choose,” Horton said. “Families who used distance learning last year, strongly chose to return to school this fall. People are signing up for school student vaccines.”

Horton said the school’s strategic plan includes more mental health support systems this fall.

• Overheard facility manager Dave Sellner report a broken underground sewer at Winthrop’s school and he’s looking for a solution.

• Employed employees include a full-time middle/high school mathematics and English teacher, director of health services, and a speech language pathologist, also known as a speech therapist.

• Resignations include .25 FTE junior/senior high-tech and lumber shop teacher Scott Robinson, special education teacher Heather Bakke, Ann Albrecht, bus driver Elaine Grosklags and baseball head coach Jim Templin.

• unanimously approve 10 year long term facility and maintenance plan resolution.

• Approve school districts pay a $15 volunteer background check for volunteers.

• Middle and high school principal Brittany Galetka reports staff participating in professional development this summer and students participating in driver education under the direction of Patrick Schreiner.

“I am very excited to complete staffing for next year and look forward to additional staff to support the academic and social emotional needs of our students.” Galetka reports.

Elementary school principal Jennifer Thompson reports summer school (EDGE) will run Monday through Thursday, July 19 through August 5. He thanks Sharon Fossum, Chelsea Wade, Cecelia Zendejas and Geri Groebner for their help.

Galetka said high school science teacher Bix Baker will work with students on robotics and science every day and 26 students are enrolled for summer school.

In addition, Galetka said 30 students in grades 3-8 attended the summer arts camp and wore “extraordinary” production of 101 Dalmatians.

He said T-Bird Community Arts is preparing to purchase and install high school sound theater equipment with grant money it received last summer.

• Donations received at the meeting included a $3,000 agricultural education grant from Compeer Financial and $2,500 from America Farmers Grow Communities to the high school music department on behalf of Chris Lee.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.

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