Board Thanks Camps Busing For Good Service Since 1949 Issue Date: December 27, 2017
Since 1949, Camps Busing has been transporting Coleman School District students. At its meeting on Monday, Dec. 11, Coleman School Board received the formal announcement that Gary Camps is retiring on June 30 and Camps Busing will go out of business at that time as well. Jim Bushmaker, second in command at Camps Busing, also is planning to retire when the current contract period ends in June.
Both Camps and Bushmaker received accolades from District Administrator Doug Polomis and board members for the excellent service they have provided for students of the district for nearly 70 years, and for hiring drivers who put the well being of students first.
Board President Ryan Wendt, who rode Camps busses when he was a Coleman student, thanked Camps for the quality of drivers they have hired over the years. "The bus driver is the first person to greet kids in the morning. A good greeting starts the day off right for them," he said. "What you guys do is very important for a lot of us," Wendt told Bushmaker.
Camps Busing was started by Clarence and Alma Camps, father of the present owner, in 1949, and has been transporting Coleman students to and from school and for special events ever since.
"We have been fortunate to have that bus service," Polomis declared. "Safety of the students has always been their first concern."
Bushmaker was present for the meeting. Camps was not. Polomis said they would have liked to thank him in person, "but that's Gary." Bushmaker was on hand, and Polomis asked him to pass along their thanks to Camps, "with accolades for his service to students, staff and this entire community through the years."
He said Bushmaker, who has been with Camps Busing on a part time basis since 1974 or 1975, and full time since 1978 or 1979, also will be recognized for his service to the district.
Bushmaker and Camps made a great partnership, Polomis declared. He said Bushmaker keeps the busses in great mechanical condition and keeps routes on schedule. When bad weather threatens Bushmaker is up at 3 a.m. to check the forecasts and decide if the busses should run that day. He works with district staff to be sure parents are informed if school is to be cancelled, or if there will be a late start or early release.
Camps Busing added extra routes and provided special stops and special trips when needed, and did all this at a very low cost to the district, Polomis said. He predicted they will see a hike in transportation costs when a new contractor is hired.
Later in the meeting, Board Member Barb Van Drisse said the Camps contract will take them through summer school but then they will need to have a new bus service. She said the Building and Transportation Committee will be looking for bids in February or March.
She said Camps has agreed to look at the bid responses to be sure they match what they have now, "...to be sure we get the same quality that we have now."
"The building referendum and transportation...these are big items for a district to deal with," Wendt commented.
The Board considered two options for the 2018-2019 school calendar. The staff had the opportunity to vote on each one. The biggest differences is one of the options provided a March break.
Option 1 allowed for the spring break in March, but required staff to come in for in-service on the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving Week or deer season, while Option 2 gave the traditional full week off from Nov. 19 through 23. Students would be off, but teachers would need to come in for in-service on the Monday after Easter. The board was told staff voted 38 to 31 in favor of option 1.
Polomis commented Option 2 meant the students would go a long time without a break. They would have only one day off in February. Asked if it is mandatory for staff to be there on in-service days, Polomis said that is up to administration.
Scott Herzog felt a full week off in March could create baby sitter problems for parents. He said many have already made vacation plans for Easter week next year, and asked, "Whatever happened to that agreement, that we would look at it (the calendar) from the parents' point of view?"
Nowak voiced the same opinions. On motion by Herzog, seconded by Nowak, the board voted 5-2 with Graetz and VanDrisse voting no for Option 2, the more traditional calendar schedule.
The board also approved adding two paid holidays, Christmas and New Year's Eve day, for support staff as recommended.
With Joanne Nowak casting the sole opposing vote the board approved a the 8th grade trip to Washington, DC from Oct. 13-18, 2018. Nowak had been concerned that their itinerary makes no provision for attending Sunday church services. Polomis said parents who are concerned could contact the advisor and perhaps arrangements can be made.
The board also approved the 6th grade stay at Camp Bird for Sept. 18-21, 2018.
They accepted the resignation of Christine Zielinski as varsity volleyball coach. Nowak commented Zielinski said she enjoyed coaching very much, but needed more time at home. The resignation was accepted with appreciation and thanks.
Also accepted with appreciation and thanks were donations of $1,500 from the Chet Krohn Lions Trust for the "Every 15 Minutes" program, and $200 from Daniel and Dorothy Kaminski in memory of Shirley Peterson, "who loved to help with school and school projects. The $200 will be used toward the 5th grade winter field trip.
They also approved having Coleman High School graduate Mitchell Woulf as a student teacher for the spring semester. Polomis said he had been contacted by UW-Green Bay in regard to the student teaching. Woulf will work with history and social studies teachers in middle school and high school.
In his high school principal's report to the board, Polomis said Mr. Tate accompanied several students to NWTC in Marinette for a career opportunity event on Thursday, Dec. 7. The Winter concert was to be held Monday, Dec. 18. Mr. Wautier and FFA had organized an Operation Christmas cheer
to assist the senior citizens in the local community. Winter break for students and staff is from Dec. 23 through Jan. 1.
Elementary/Middle School Principal Yvette Marshall reported when students return in January they will begin assessments to give teachers a growth benchmark for students which is useful in terms of adjusting instruction for the remainder of the school year.
The high school Student Council has been working with local nursing homes to make the holidays a little brighter for their residents as well as a few children in the community with the Giving Tree in the school lobby. Students were invited to select a tag off the tree that has an idea for a gift to be delivered to a resident. Santa again visited the early grades, thanks to the Coleman/Pound Lion's club
The Elementary Winter Program was held on Wednesday, Dec. 20 (rescheduled from Thursday, Dec. 21 pending inclement weather), following the Senior Citizen Luncheon in the high school cafeteria.
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