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School Committee Notebook: School Department Extends Contract With North Reading Transportation

Mar 29, 2017 12:42PM ● By Andrew Sylvia

On Monday night, the Dracut School Committee unanimously approved a one-year contract extension for North Reading Transportation.

The extension is set at a figure of approximately $1.2 million, up approximately eight percent from the district’s prior annual contract with North Reading.

School Committee vice chairman Joseph WIlkie told the board that he appreciated North Reading’s commitment to using newer busses than nearby competitors, citing that North Reading’s busses used in Dracut are only two years old.

In other news from the meeting:

  • Dracut School Department Superintendent Steven Stone told the School Committee that the Dracut Schools Department’s Food Service division is likely to end in the black at the end of the current school year. That estimate came in thanks to an incoming $135,000 reimbursement from the state as well as a $6,000 increase in revenue from school lunch purchases.
  • Stone also told the School Committee that the projected Fiscal Year 2018 budget will now propose a $500,000 net school spending increase after deliberations with town officials. Previously, the School Department was expected to see a proposed increase of $300,000 in FY’ 18.
  • E Plus Technologies is expected to begin work on wifi access points in Dracut’s elementary schools and Dracut Middle School starting in April. Approximately half of the $345,000 cost for the upgrades will come from a state matching grant. Stone told the committee that the other half to be paid by the schools can potentially be reimbursed at a future date.
  • The School Committee unanimously approved policy amendments regarding social media use and electronic device use in the schools by students and staff. The social media policy requires school staff not to speak on behalf of the school when using private social media accounts while the electronic device policy urges students and staff not to share any passwords online while using school computers. Additionally, the electronic device policy amendment was updated since its first reading to also indicate that anything created on Dracut School computers is owned by the School Department.
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