SP School Bus Turnarounds-Proposed

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 24, 2012

School board approves 225 bus turnarounds

By Rupert Howell

Two-hundred twenty five school bus turn-arounds were approved during the monthly meeting of South Panola  School’s board of trustees held Tuesday, August 21.

Forty-nine former turn-arounds came off of last year’s list according to Superintendent Keith Shaffer who explained to his trustee board that the new list’s locations were determined following bus drivers running new routes at the beginning of the current school year.

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A driveway or private property designated as a school bus turn-around by the school board with approval of the board of supervisors allows the county road maintenance department to legally maintain the private drive.

The new list also includes 52 new turn-around sites and 54 handicap bus turn-around sites. Fifteen of the new turn-around sites are handicap turn-arounds. Turn-arounds for handicap busses are allowed to go to the front door of a dwelling.

The list now goes to Panola County Board of Supervisors where it came under scrutiny last school year causing school trustees to change policy. Prior to last school year, a master list was kept and turn-around sites were added as needed with none ever being removed.

School administrators explained that the former method allowed maintaining changing turn-around sites from year to year without seeking a board order every time a student enrolled, moved, graduated or bus driver changed.

Supervisors thought the policy too loose and open to abuse and sought clarification of the former policy.  District Five supervisor Cole Flint along with District Four Supervisor and board president Kelly Morris met with trustees and their transportation director to iron out a policy.

(See related list of school board approved turn-arounds below. N=New turnarounds; X=special services)