This fall: Cameras on buses

FAIRMONT – All buses running routes for Fairmont Area Schools will be equipped with cameras next school year.

The district and its transportation provider – Minnesota Motor Bus – will split the cost, with both entities paying $10,400.

The cameras will be located in four areas of each bus and record audio and video. Older cameras currently on six of the buses will be removed and re-installed on special education vehicles.

Minnesota Motor Bus plans to have a bus available during school registration in August so parents and students can see and understand how the new units work.

The decision to buy the cameras was prompted, in part, by the new bullying law recently enacted by the Minnesota Legislature, said Superintendent Joe Brown. A number of bullying allegations stem from bus incidents.

In other action at the school board meeting Tuesday, Crystal Hanson, human resources manager at 3M Fairmont, presented a 3M Foundation grant for $19,960 to the Junior/Senior High School mechatronics program, i.e. the robotics program.

Bob Bonin, vocational instructor, said the funds will be used to purchase computer programming for three-dimensional models. The software will enable students to build and test an object in virtual reality before they actually construct it. Three 3D printers also will be purchased with the grant.

In other business, the school board:

o Hired, effective Aug. 18, Chelsey Haase, first grade; Samantha Meysenburg, second grade; Lucas Kaplan, fourth grade; Emily Labes, elementary music; Courtney Luniewski, elementary special education; Anna Bents, junior high math; and Robert Bosma, senior high English. These hires are filling vacated positions.

o Accepted the resignations of Mandi Fletcher, business teacher; and elementary special education teachers Keri Murphy and Kellie Fischer, effective June 6.

o Increased pay for substitute teachers, effective for 2014-15, from $95 to $100 per day, putting Fairmont in line with neighboring districts.

o Accepted a grant of $2,500 from the 3M Foundation to the Early Childhood Family Education Program to purchase books; and a gift of $500 from A&E Construction for the robotics program.