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Hartselle City Schools purchases new school buses, updates technology 

By Staff Reports 

At its regular meeting March 14, the Hartselle City Schools Board of Education approved the purchase of three 72-passenger buses from Southland Transportation, at a cost of $87,958.25 each for a total of $263,874.75. 

The new buses have updated technology that will keep Hartselle students safer, according to Superintendent Dr. Dee Dee Jones.  

Darryl Weidman, who serves HCS as the district mechanic said the technology will help law enforcement control the problem of cars passing stopped buses. “We seem to have a lot of problems in Hartselle with cars passing by when the stop arm is out. With these cameras, you can get the car coming up and going away from the bus, and in clear weather, get a license plate number,” he said. 

“Every bus has a completely new camera system that is up to date with six cameras on the bus, with accessibility to add two more. There are four cameras on the inside of the bus where you can see everything; you can also see where the driver is sitting,” Weidman said. “We have a camera now on the windshield so that when the kids are crossing in front of the bus, you can see what’s going on there.” 

With the updates, the district will have access to two weeks of video and sound recordings; the previous camera system stored five days.  

Weidman said the buses are Bluetooth accessible, and because they are under warranty, he is able to send automated reports to the manufacturer before a small issue becomes a big one.  

The basic technology can be added to the existing buses owned by the district.  

In other business, the board:  

  • Approved an out-of-state field trip for the Barkley Bridge Elementary and Hartselle Intermediate Robotics Team to Dallas, Texas, May 9-13, to attend the IQ VEX World Competition. 
  • Approved the request from Hartselle Intermediate School for Haley’s Flooring and Interiors to complete the reflooring project of tiling 23 classrooms.  
  • Approved the substitute pay scale to be extended through the end of the 2021-2022 school year. 
  • Approved the Simplified Sellers Use Tax Resolution. 
  • Approved a number of personnel leave requests, resignations, transfers and employment, among them: retirement of Penny Roy from BBE and Denise Smyth from Crestline and resignation of PE teacher and football coach Cyrus Swearingen. 

The board also added names to the substitute teacher list and extended the following principal contracts for an additional three years: Tina Towers at Barkley Bridge and Rocky Smith at Hartselle Junior High. 

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