School bus safety graphic courtesy of Indiana State Police

Centerville schools target routes with most violations

Area motorists are warned: Centerville-Abington Community Schools has installed five new stop-arm cameras on buses to catch those who might endanger student safety.

Assistant Superintendent Sean Stevenson told the school board Jan. 25 meeting that new cameras especially target where most violations occur: U.S. 40 and Pottershop and Centerville roads.

CACS buses stopping on U.S. 40 average three violations per week; other buses vary.

Stevenson said CACS sees more stop-arm violations than residents would think. One bus driver recently noticed three violations in one day.

Centerville police help significantly by catching violators in front of their U.S. 40 station, but violations occur all over, he said.

“It is difficult for our drivers to get license plate numbers when they are worrying about the kids getting off the bus safely, so the cameras will help with this,” Stevenson said.

Stevenson said the cameras provide great views, showing four traffic lanes, and continually record. Bus drivers click a button to mark the recording for easier sharing with police.

When National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services conducted its 2022 survey of stop-arm violations, nearly 80,000 school bus drivers reported 51,393 vehicles passing buses illegally on a single day.

New school board member Todd Dooley takes his oath of office Jan. 25. Photo supplied by Sean Stevenson

Other developments

  • New member: Todd Dooley was sworn in.
  • Facilities: The board approved the lone $856,000 bid to replace the junior high cooling tower and make related repairs, as well as the lower of two bids ($478,000) for new windows, entrance doors and shades at Centerville-Abington Elementary’s 1950s section. Thor Construction won both. An entryway plaque design was approved for CAE’s addition. Superintendent Mike McCoy said he hopes summer construction will be done before school starts.
  • Instruction: The board approved the Ready, Set, Go summer kindergarten readiness program, returning for its 11th year.
  • Enrollment: CACS is finalizing enrollment before the statewide Feb. 1 student count that determines schools’ spring funding. It expects to have about 1,737 students, which is six more than in September. Although enrollment is lower than last year, largely because of a small kindergarten class, fewer students moved away mid-year.
  • Repairs: A CAE cafeteria boiler motor burned up at 2:30 a.m. Jan. 15 at CAE, prompting arrival of firefighters and police. Nothing else was damaged, and the motor was replaced.
  • Playground: Rose Hamilton Elementary has three new pieces of equipment in its new preschool playground. PTO has assisted.
  • Donations: Mauleco, Inc., $500 to CSHS French Club; Bed, Bath, and Biscuits, $2,500 for softball pitching machine; Jonathan Rhoads and family, $168.50 for student lunch debt.
  • Finances: The board approved Form 9, the district’s financial report from July 1-Dec. 31, for Indiana Department of Education’s Division of Finance.
  • Scholarships: Dooley encouraged monitoring Indiana House Bill 1002, which would establish a career scholarship account for students who do not plan to attend a four-year school.
  • Employment: Pending hires: Jesse Swiderek, interim boys varsity assistant basketball coach; Carol Moore, CSHS cafeteria server. Resignation: Joseph Lore, special education aide
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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.