Ennis ISD transportation director John Doshlich recently addressed board members to tell them the present system of transporting the district’s children to and from schools is at capacity and will be overloaded when the two new schools are brought on board.

“The present system is maxed out. Adding two new schools, the system will beyond its capacity,” Doslich said, saying some students are picked up as early as 6:15 a.m. and not taken home until as late as 6:30 p.m.

“Our students are on a bus as long as a total of five hours every day,” Doslich said, describing a “parade style” of transportation. 

As described by Doslich, a bus will go from school to school picking up students and driving one long route.

Doslich’s proposal would be a tier system where buses pick up and deliver from schools on a schedule where they would drive two small routes.

“The children would spend less time on the bus, there would be less time on the bus for the students and the tier system would reduce the number of buses by eight,” Doslich said, describing his proposed system, which he has modeled on one that benefitted Pflugerville ISD.

Doslich estimates the savings at about $200,000 per year.

“This will greatly help our aging fleet of buses. Two-thirds of our buses are over 10 years old and have over 100,000 miles,” he said, noting the average life of a bus is 15 years.

Board members discussed the proposals and agreed to meet in a workshop to discuss the option and determine financial benefits.

In other business, the Ennis Childhood Center was recognized by Region 10 as a Texas Readiness Certified Center, with representative Lee Ann Kite making the presentation.

“The center was a part of a statewide project of professional staff development to build an early foundation to build a lifelong successful student,” she said.

The center was chosen after a study tracked the success of students from the 2006-2007 school year.

“They demonstrated they were well prepared to begin the education and showed significant progress,” she said.

School board president Mack Boyd addressed the staff of the center, saying, “It is very gratifying to see this campus awarded.”

Board members called for the annual school board election to be held May 9 for places three, held by Boyd; four, held by David Estes; and five, with Conni Durbin in the seat.

The election will be the same day as the city’s election, with the polling places the same as the city’s with the addition of the district’s administration building.

The board took no action on consideration of an interlocal agreement with the city relating to the widening of Caesar Street in preparation for one of the district’s new schools.

The discussion began with board member Pete Bibby asking if the original agreement was for a set amount or for the school’s portion of the street project to be up to an amount. The school district and the city are sharing the cost of the street project.

After the discussion, Boyd announced there would be no action on the item.