If all goes well, the Glenwood Middle School will be serving as more than a mid-point for the education of students in the district under a new plan approved by the Glenwood Board of Directors last Monday.
The district received permision from the board to begin the process of making the middle school a "transfer point" for its busing fleet for the start of the 2012-2013 school year.
The district’s current busing plan calls for the entire fleet of 21 buses to travel to each school to drop off and pick up students, meaning some students may be on buses more than 35 minutes each way, and each school has a staggered dismissal time.
Under the new plan, district buses would pick up students and deliver them to the middle school, where the students would then get on the appropriate bus to their school.
"We were literally running our entire fleet from one side of town to the other so we’re hoping to eliminate that," said Dave Greenwood, the district’s director of transportation. "For safety, we want to divide the fleet and send a specified number to each building and bring all students from that building to the central location where we can unload; they can get on their correct bus and we can re-load."
By doing this, Greenwood added, the district can extend the school day at its two elementary schools and have a universal dismissal time at all of its buildings.
"This will eliminate sending all the buses across town in a wagon train fashion and the other reason is we want to extend the day for elementary grades," hail and wind) is projected to exceed 30 percent – the federal government’s minimum requirement for a Secretarial Designation. Local officials expect the losses to be much greater than 30 percent when the final county-wide numbers are determined.
Cindy Bebout, Farm Service Agency Executive Director for both Mills and Fremont Counties, said the Secretarial Designation will allow qualified Mills County farmers who suffered a 10-percent production loss to at least one crop of economic significance to be eligible for financial benefits through the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE).
SURE provides benefits for farm revenue losses caused by natural disasters, such as flooding, hail and high winds. SURE guidelines require a producer to obtain crop insurance on all crops of economic significance. Hail insurance alone does not meet the requirement.
Consideration is given to "whole-farm revenue," including crop insurance indemnities and commodity program payments, when determining production losses.
"Once they’ve met the 10 percent (requirement), it’s based on revenue," Bebout said. "We have to look at what level of crop insurance they have and go through the market year."
The market year for crops planted last spring began Sept. 1, 2011 and ends Aug. 31, 2012, therefore sign-up for the SURE program (for 2011 crops) won’t begin until September 2012. SURE sign-up for 2010 crops is expected to begin later this year.
Bebout said the Missouri River flooding’s long-term impact on agriculture in western Iowa is unknown.
"Some of the guys flooded now don’t know if they’ll be able to plant next year," she said.
Producers with questions about the SURE program are encouraged to contact the Mills County Farm Service Agency office in Malvern at 712-624-8668 or go online to visit the FSA website.