STMA, Don’s Bus Co. to negotiate new transportation contract

(File photo)
(File photo)

The St. Michael-Albertville School Board gave its nod to negotiating with Don’s Bus Co. of Albertville for a new “2 plus 2” year contract.

The board also heard a high school update.



The school board was updated about the transportation contract that soon expires with Don’s Bus Company.

The contract would be similar to the last one, in which it would be approved for two years with an option to approve an additional two years, meaning the contract would run four years if fully implemented.

The district did a bid process last time where it accepted bids from outside transportation providers, but ultimately accepted a bid from Don’s, STMA’s longtime transportation provider.

“We’ll sit down with Don’s to negotiate a ‘two plus two’ contract,” Supt. Jim Behle later said. “If we don’t get an agreement by Feb. 1, then we’ll go to the open bid process.”

In negotiating, Behle said that besides rates, STMA would ask Don’s to look at technological improvements, such as more bus cameras and GPS (to monitor buses and record speeds) for safety monitoring.

“We’ve been very pleased with Don’s and their relationship with the school district,” Behle said. “If we can negotiate a package, it’s to the benefit of the community.”



In other news, the school board heard from high school principal Bob Driver with an update.

Driver said the school is continuing to implement partnerships with a four-year initiative to improve student achievement based on learning targets. That would improve students’ better sense of what they’re expected to know.

Driver also said another goal is to better access students in the classrooms.

Lastly, Driver updated the board about the recent student musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” which he said was very successful in production and attendance.