Fort Mill is still working to hire six new bus drivers as the school district handles additional routes for a new high school and the need to transport students who can’t fit into locations with enrollment freezes.
At Tuesday night’s board of trustees meeting, FMSD Transportation Supervisor Tom Buckley said the district now has 102 routes, up five from last year. Of those routes, 22 are for special needs students.
Even with new propane buses added to the fleet, the district is still using 10 buses without air conditioning, Buckley said. He said parking issues for the growing bus fleet are being handled with the use of space at Springfield Middle School and Catawba Ridge High School. A satellite bus office is being built at one of the new elementary schools that will open next year, he said.
In other school news, the current student population is 16,940 students, with another 160 students expected to enroll in Fort Mill school before the end of the year, Superintendent Chuck Epps said. The enrollment marks an additional 928 students in the district from this same point last year. “It’s amazing what’s going on,” Dr. Epps sad.
At Tuesday’s meeting, the school board also:
• Recognized several employees who reached 25-year or 30-year milestones of working for the district.
• Handed out certificates for 15 schools that scored a perfect 100 for their cafeterias through the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. Several of the schools have received repeated 100 scores.
• Heard a report from Student Nutrition Director Tammie Welch on the start of school and breakfast and lunch programs. The district ended last year with increased participation, she said. Breakfast participation was at 14% and lunch increased a percentage point to 37.7%. The district averaged 8,000 meals a day which equals 1.44 million meals served.
The board did not address a petition from parents that asks the district to change the dress code policy. Parents are expected to speak at a future board meeting about a policy some are calling unrealistic and unfair to females, an organizer said.