EAST WHEATFIELD TOWNSHIP — United School District students will have transportation services provided to them for after-school activities through Tri County Transportation Inc.
Board members on Tuesday voted to implement the transportation services for the benefit of the district’s students who participate in sports or any other after-school activity. Such services were cut in the past due to budgetary concerns.
Board President Don Davis said Tri County “was able to bring that back” at virtually no cost to the district save for anything over the price of the diesel fuel, the wholesale cost of which is $1.50 per gallon. Tri County would accept the money it received from the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Davis said.
The district has gone at least two years without after-school transportation as a cost-saving measure, leaving parents responsible for transporting their children home.
Davis said when the district negotiated its contract with Tri County, the after-school transportation service “was one of the things we liked about their proposal.”
“This is a great service for our students and district residents, because we do cover 132 square miles,” he said.
“We didn’t want any student to not be able to participate in an after-school activity just based on transportation needs, whether it’s the cost of fuel for the parents or just the time involved to get here.”
Davis said the district isn’t sure yet where the buses are going to go; that it depends on the number of students using the services and which areas “they’re going to head to.” But he said most likely it will be a route through the northern part of the district and another through the southern part. The number of buses to be used also will depend on the number of students using the services.
Davis said sponsors and coaches were asked to poll their students to gauge interest so the district can make best use of busing resources.
The services are expected to start at the beginning of the school year, Davis said.
Also Tuesday, the board accepted, with regret, the resignation of high school French teacher James Dykun, who has taken a position at Indiana Area High School. Dykun has been with the district for three years, and coordinated United’s French exchange student program.
Dykun addressed the board at the start of the meeting and thanked the directors and administrators for giving him the opportunity to work at United.
“I feel like I had a really good support network here, and this school has been really fantastic. I have nothing but good things to say about it,” he said.
Dykun said he hopes to form a working relationship with his replacement “to continue with the French exchange, which is still going on as planned.”
Davis said the district still hopes to have a relationship with Dykun “because we did think a lot of him,” and Dykun had also worked with Indiana Area School District to get some exchange students from France.
Superintendent Barbara Parkins said the district has advertised for Dykun’s replacement.