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School system reaches transportation deal with Boys and Girls Club

Grady County School System officials met with Art Allen and Jeff Brown representing the Jackie Robinson Boys and Girls Club of Cairo/Grady County Thursday to discuss the transporting of club members from local schools to the clubhouse located at Holder Park.
Currently, the school system is diverting five separate school buses from their normal routes to drop off students at Holder Park.
During a meeting of the Grady County Board of Education last week, the transportation issue was raised by board members and it was suggested that Superintendent Lee M. Bailey and Operations Director Jerry Cox meet with Boys and Girls Club officials to address the school system’s concerns.
According to Superintendent Bailey, the current arrangement delays other students getting home in a timely manner and there have been discipline issues on the bus involving club members.
The superintendent says that when discipline issues occur on a bus, the bus driver returns the students to their school and the situation is turned over to the school principal.
“Then it becomes the principal’s problem in getting that child or children home safely,” Bailey said.
The superintendent said that last week’s meeting with Art Allen was productive.
“Mr. Allen shared with us information from the Boys and Girls Club in Thomasville where the club there pays for drivers and, also, a bus monitor who handles discipline. I would like to see a similar arrangement here, but that would be up to the board of education,” Superintendent Bailey said.
After discussing the situation, Allen agreed to accept the school system’s offer to provide and maintain a bus for transporting students to the club provided the club provide a certified, trained driver.
Allen requested the school system continue to transport students as they have been doing since the club opened and he pledged to have a driver hired by March 1, 2015.
According to Superintendent Bailey, the school system will provide the necessary training for the driver employed by the Boys and Girls Club at no charge.
Under the school system’s proposal, the school district will maintain insurance coverage on the bus, perform routine maintenance and repairs as well as provide fuel for the bus.
“We want to continue to support the Boys and Girls Club, but we really cannot continue to divert five buses to handle what one bus could do in one trip to each of the in-city schools and possibly two to Southside,” Superintendent Bailey said.

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