EVART — Four new buses are expected to be added to the Evart Public Schools fleet. At a meeting on March 14, the EPS Board of Education approved authorization to purchase the vehicles.

The purchase includes two 65- or 71-passenger buses, one 84-passenger bus and one 26- or 27-passenger bus with a lift. The district will collect bids and award one bidder at a future meeting.

In more business, EPS Interim Superintendent Shirley Howard said the district's official student count is 850, but the three-year blended count is 896 students, which is about six students fewer than budgeted. However, she said there was no loss of students between fall and spring count days of this year.

Howard also said five leaks were discovered in the elementary school roof. The warranty is valid until 2018, so she has sent a letter to the company and is waiting for a response regarding repairs. The roof was not a project listed for the bond which was passed by voters in November.

In addition, Howard discussed the idea of beginning a developmental kindergarten class at the elementary school. She said the class would be for students who are not quite ready for regular kindergarten, but still need a full-day school experience. The goal is to help students developmentally, and each student going into kindergarten would be assessed socially, emotionally, physically and cognitively. The idea also is supported by elementary school principal Sarah Bailey.

"I think it's a step in the right direction and I think we need to see if it's right for our students," Howard said. "The gift of time won't hurt."

In more business, the board:

  • approved the purchase of 23 Chromebook carts for $1,000 each;
  • approved the resignation of Nancy Brewer as the part-time custodian and moving her to become a high school lunch aide; and
  • approved Shirley Galloup as the elementary aide and Jeanine Dyer as the elementary school educational assistant.

The next board of education meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 11, and host the beginning of superintendent interviews.