A1,100-student school district in Minnesota had been purchasing food supplies through a buying group of five other school systems—but it wasn’t efficient. “We would have to meet quite often,” says Director of Food Service Sandie Rentz of Wadena-Deer Creek Public Schools. “We wrote our own bids and market basket. Then we would go out for bidding and tabulate the results ourselves.”
To engage students with diverse interests, high schools are adding nontraditional sports such as flag football, bass fishing, sand volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, orienteering and esports, to their lineups.
The recent shooting, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, has rekindled the hot debate about gun control in the United States. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), a proponent of more restrictions on firearms, argued, "This happens nowhere else, other than the United States of America. It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else."2
What are the top transportation challenges at school startup?
The biggest challenges are routes, drivers and buses. School bus routing is more complex than other routing. District routes can be affected by ongoing school enrollment and by families moving. During the summer, districts experience higher turnover in bus drivers, which can impact startup. Lastly, readying vehicles for service after sitting through the summer and preparing new incoming vehicles for service presents additional challenges.
The reach of K12 bulk purchasing and co-op agreements has expanded substantially as more districts join to save substantial amounts on everything from software to playground equipment, according to a recent AASA report.
Looking to illustrate an abstract concept from a novel she’d read, an Oklahoma high school student turned to her building-level school librarian. Then, with the school librarian’s encouragement to tinker in the makerspace, the girl sculpted a clay model of a kneeling woman balancing a 3D-printed replica of the earth on her back.
The K12 transportation landscape is getting increasingly complex, as districts wrestle with issues ranging from school choice and questions of equity to how to subsidize mass transit for urban students.
Up-to-date school floor plans and detailed images can be the difference between life and death when first responders are racing against time to find a shooting suspect or to rescue survivors after a natural disaster.
Lori Peek, the director of the Natural Hazards Center and professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder, recently helped write FEMA guidelines for protecting schools against natural hazards.