Tallmadge Middle School students needing to catch a bus to and from school will have to arrive 10 minutes earlier in the next school year.
The Tallmadge School Board unanimously approved the time change at a special Aug. 7 meeting. It aims to ease traffic congestion around the schools and alleviate problems with buses arriving late.
Controlling congestion will be crucial as the district starts construction of a new middle school and elementary school.
Voters approved a 3.9-mill bond issue in November 2016 to replace the 50- to 60-year-old buildings with one new elementary school to house pre-kindergarten through grade five and a new middle school to house grades six through eight. Currently, the district has two elementary school buildings: Dunbar Primary School, which houses the district’s kindergarten through second-grade students, and Munroe Elementary, which teaches third- through fifth-graders.
Superintenent Jeff Ferguson said that the district had been combining the middle and high school bus runs. By splitting the fleet — one fleet for the high school and one for the middle school — traffic congestion and delays should be reduced, and the necessity of high school and middle school students being on the bus together will be eliminated. The change "also will mean shorter runs and less time on the bus," Ferguson added.
New middle school assistant principal
The middle school school also will welcome a new assistant principal with the start of the school year.
The school board unanimously approved hiring Kimberly Hussing, who replaces Jeff Manion, who was recently hired as the middle school’s principal.
"I am so glad to see her come back," said Vice President Christine Cipa. "She was a dynamite teacher at Munroe."
Ferguson said Hussing had been with the Tallmadge school district before accepting an assistant principal position with the Revere Local Schools.
"We had a lot of great candidates," Ferguson said, adding that Hussing said that returning to Tallmadge "was her dream job."
Ferguson said that, in all, 22 people were hired into the district to replace those who had retired or had moved to other jobs. This is the most the district has hired in since he became superintendent.