Aurora -- Bad student behavior on buses can be a problem for any school district, but Aurora has taken steps to ensure problems are kept to a minimum.
"Principals handle 'bad' behavior," Superintendent Russ Bennett said. "The bus drivers handle anything minor, but will give 'bus cards' for infractions that become more problematic."
Bennett said a fight will result in a bus card, and more minor things like standing up and inappropriate language may result in a card the second time a driver has to address it.
"We try to address issues like we would as parents," he said. "Sometimes, just talking with a student changes behavior, but persistent or more severe things result in greater consequences. We have expectations and for the most part, students follow them. If they don't, drivers make appropriate choices and work with principals on the discipline."
Bennett said all school buses have cameras, and administrators, if necessary, can review recordings. He said the cameras are protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, so their recordings are not accessible for public viewing.
"We also have assigned seats for students so we can pinpoint problems, if necessary," he said, adding the assigned seats policy was implemented last school year.
"We're fortunate we have great students and their behavior is typically very good," he said. "But when we do have situations, we handle them quickly and through the building principal."
As school gets under way today (Aug. 21), Bennett said there were a lot of minor projects done this summer "to keep our buildings and infrastructure sound."
The pavement on the parking lots was sealed and striped, and directional arrows for pickup and dropoff at school buildings were painted. Some of the carpeting at Craddock School was replaced.
"All regular cleaning has been done in all buildings," he said. "Every desk, chair and wall were wiped down, and our floors were waxed and buffed. They look good."
Bennett said the school buildings are in great shape.
"We always do preventative maintenance procedures with changing filters and belts on our air handling units," he said. "Overall, our custodians have done a great job preparing our buildings."
There is one new teacher and three other certificated staff members in the district this year, according to Bennett.
Brandy Heflin is a new physics teacher at Aurora High School. She is a Yale graduate with nine years of teaching experience. "We look forward to her experience in the science department," Bennett said.
Three tutors have been hired so far. They include Laura Arters, a reading tutor at Craddock School; Rosemarie Ryan, a reading tutor at Leighton ; and Ashley Tyler, a tutor at Miller.
Bennett said the district is in the process of hiring two more tutors for Leighton.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC