October COW meeting: Board to consider transportation updates


H. Pohl

By Hailey Pohl

The Oct. 10 District 158 Board of Education meeting began with a positive appearance from elementary students from kindergarten to second grade. These exemplary students received a Positive Office Referral that allowed them to join. They talked about their favorite subjects in school and how the Explorer Special lets them have fun in class.

Diving into deeper discussion, Erika Schlichter, assistant superintendent, lead the school board into an analysis of the Every Student Succeeds Act. This act is the legislative update for No Child Left Behind.

“Essentially, it’s the school accountability law. The whole purpose is to guarantee equal opportunity for students, which is something that I think we all support,” Schlichter said. 

One major change to the act is that all students with an IEP or 504 plan are now labelled as children with disabilities. The purpose for this change is to include all students of District 158. To ensure equity and equality, Huntley High School collects all sorts of information to trade with other schools in our state and nationwide. 

Furthermore, families have been clamoring for years for updated technology on behalf of bus schedules and efficiency of the current system. Melissa Maiorino Scheiblein, school board member, has started working with administration to improve the technology and services of the transportation department. 

“Some of the things that we looked at, and were our primary area of focus were to increase student safety, ridership data along with bus location tracking for GPS, and student ridership,” Scheiblein said.

The piece of equipment would improve many issues parents and students have with current bus procedures. Parties can be notified if their bus is running later than usual so that students won’t have to wait outside in unideal conditions, like freezing snow or pouring rain. The app would greatly reduce the risk for lost substitute drivers or parents that may need to be somewhere else and not at a bus stop.

According to Michael Fleck, board of education president, the total cost for the project in its initial years is $273,844 with anticipated ongoing costs of $73,910.