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August 24,  2010

Brandywine will realign

its school bus routes

For the most part, Brandywine school buses will shun developments and narrow streets during the coming academic year under a plan revealed at the school board's monthly meeting.  

"We're going to consolidate [routes] to be fiscally responsible, but not at the expense of safety," superintendent Mark Holodick said. He said the new arrangement will have  the buses mostly stay on main roads and pick up children at the entrances of developments. They will go into large developments, but the number of stops will be reduced. In Wilmington they will travel on wider streets. Holodick said he expects to get complaints as parents receive notices of where their children will get on and off the bus. "I'm receptive to their concerns, [but] students are going to have to walk a little farther," he said. The changes are necessary, he said, in view of state transportation budget cuts and the district's experience navigating snow and ice last winter.

In other matters at the meeting on Aug. 23, Holodick announced that Mount Pleasant High School will be one of only two Delaware public schools to receive federal school-improvement grants. It will get $1.8 million over four years to implement a consultant's 14 recommendations to address shortcomings. P.S. du Pont Middle School principal Lincoln Hohler was named director of the district's 'Race to the Top' program and assistant principal Lewis Cheatwood was appointed P.S.'s acting principal. The board approved a new pay scale for administrators which restores the 1% cut in the state-financed portion of their salaries last year. Holodick said that, with the assignment of a city police officer to P.S., all secondary schools will have on-site 'resource officers' this year.

The new wing at Lombardy Elementary is ready for the new year, meeting an accelerated construction schedule, and the foundation is complete and walls are about to go up at the new Brandywood Elementary building.

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