National Trail focuses on school bus safety


NEW PARIS — In the wake of the tragic death of a Clark County elementary student who died in a school bus accident on Tuesday, Aug. 22, the same day as the National Trail Local Schools board meeting, those attending had bus safety on their minds.

On the first day of classes at Northwestern Local schools, a mini-van crossed the center line on the road to the school, forcing the elementary school bus off the road. It flipped, resulting in the boy’s death when he was ejected from the bus. Several other students were taken to Dayton Children’s Hospital for treatment of injuries.

National Trail Transportation and Safety Director John Toschlog said the news of the crash was disturbing, but he had already told his bus drivers to, “Just take things slowly and be safe.”

Toschlog said there had been problems with eight people in four days who had driven past stopped school buses that had their red lights flashing.

“They mostly were distracted drivers. One drove by me and never raised his head up,” he said. “The school is going to use a camera system that will identify the cars.”

With Superintendent Robert Fischer recently receiving bus driver certification, board member Cindy Lee wondered what other schools might have their FFA teacher and superintendent holding bus driver certifications as well. Fischer was to make his first bus-driving run the day after the board meeting.

Fischer also reported that the schools now have two facility/therapy dogs.

“Also, I have no report on state funding yet, but Oct. 2 is when the time period is up and I should have a report by then,” he said.

In other directors’ reports, Food Service Director Laura Brinkley said the schools’ “Second Chance” breakfast program is under way, with some students already taking advantage of it.

“This is a program where kids coming in late or not really awake can get food at the end of first period,” she said.

Director of Facilities Brian Smith said the fence at the sports complex should be completely installed before the first game.

“And, it was built with safety funds, not taxpayer money,” he said.

In board action, the members approved overnight trips recommended by the superintendent.

National Trail FFA Chapters Milk Quality Team was approved to go to Madison, Wis., to attend the World Expo on Oct. 1-3. There also will be a trip for National Trail Chapters to Indianapolis, Ind., to attend the FFA National Convention on Nov. 1-4.

Also, the 8th-grade Class Trip to Washington, DC, will take place with the group leaving on Tuesday, May 14, 2024, and returning on Friday, May 17.

The next meeting of the National Trail School Board will be at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 26, at either the media center or in the cafeteria at National Trail School, located at 6940 Oxford-Gettysburg Road, New Paris.

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