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Articles: Maintenance

Many districts have bus fleets that are over 10 years old. Why is this a growing problem?

Many school districts are having overall budgeting challenges and it’s difficult to come up with a large amount of capital for fleet replacements, which can range from $85,000 to $150,000 for a single bus. As a result, replacements get deferred for years, especially by districts that have great mechanics keeping these older buses running.

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.

Lori Peek is the director of the Natural Hazards Center and professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Colorado Boulder. She co-authored Children of Katrina and most recently helped write FEMA guidelines for protecting schools against natural hazards.

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.

Source: U.S. Department of Energy / Source: Orlando Utilities Commission

Faced with tight budgets and the expanding use of electricity-hungry technology, districts are turning to energy efficiency solutions that don’t sacrifice learning power.

The much anticipated third and final phase of Sonora High School’s construction project ended with the creation of a new aquatic center featuring a 25-by-30-yard outdoor community pool.

Bellevue School District in Washington transformed its one-story Sammamish High School into a three-story educational facility.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, Sheldon ISD in Houston has relied on community support and its own resilience to get classes going again.

MAGIC SCHOOL BUS—The 71-passenger all-electric school bus has a range of 100 miles per charge and zero emissions.

Districts in Minnesota and California are participating in pilot programs that provide all-electric, zero-emissions buses that should cost much less to power and maintain.

ACADEMIC EFFICIENCY—Los Angeles USD’s CIO, Shahryar Khazei, has integrated enterprise resource planning software (which streamlines administrative functions) with the district’s student information system.

Some early adopters in K12 education have deployed ERP to manage a range of operations more efficiently.

Mold growth at California’s Klamath-Trinity Joint USD three years ago was an asset in disguise.

The new state-of-the-art Asheville Middle School accommodates nearly 800 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders, with room to grow.

Mold may raise images of sick students and rotting buildings, but in reality, it’s an easy—and most times inexpensive—problem to solve if dealt with quickly and effectively.

Nearly 4,000 K12 schools have been fitted with solar installations as of 2014, according to the “Brighter Futures” report for the U.S. Department of Energy, based on data from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

School with a view—beautiful but dangerous? Seaside High School is the only building in Seaside School District in Oregon with ocean views, above. Broadway Middle School is in the tsunami inundation zone, but without a view.

The earthquake-susceptible Seaside School District in Oregon—which covers the communities of Gearhart, Cannon Beach and Seaside—faces an estimated $99.7 million bond referendum November 8 to move its schools out of a tsunami zone on the Pacific Ocean.

Seaside has three schools with 1,500 students in the tsunami inundation zone, says Douglas C. Dougherty, former schools superintendent.

Designing new buildings or retrofitting existing ones to meet standards for natural disasters is an especially complex challenge for school leaders. But building to a more modern code makes a district eligible for more federal assistance

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