Beatrice Public Schools will likely continue to work with its current bus provider for another school year.
The BPS Board of Education discussed its current contract with Mid States School Bus, the company that provides bus services for BPS.
During Thursday’s committee of whole meeting where the board meets to discuss items without taking action, Superintendent Jason Alexander said the district has built a solid relationship with Mid States that he thinks should continue.
“Just over the course of the last few days, and not to mention the first part of the school year, they’ve just made a lot of necessary changes in meeting our requests and our demands to make it a more efficient model all the way across,” Alexander said. “We started a great relationship per se just in this year of being able to communicate back and forth.”
BPS assistant superintendent Jackie Nielsen said one thing Mid States has done that the district approves of is implementing new software to improve the efficiency of bus routes.
“They’ve already put all of our routes in it and are really working with it to figure out, first of all, how we can get rid of the middle school hub,” she said. “It has gotten so much better this year than it has been, so much safer for our students, but we also know that it gets chaotic in the mornings.
“They have been really working with us this year, which is kind of the reason we talked about holding off for one more year and seeing if we can get our routes where we need them.”
Because of the good relationship, Alexander recommended that the board consider working with Mid States for another school year, rather than request proposals from other companies for bus services.
“With everything we’ve done, we feel like we’re operating with the three principles we said we wanted to at the start of the year: safely, more equitably for everybody and more efficiently,” he said. “I could delve into a bunch of minutia about why I think we’ve done those things, but those were our goals when we sat down at the start of the year, and I think we’ve accomplished them.”
Discussions regarding the bus contract will likely continue at future meetings.