The Greater Johnstown School District’s Board of Education held its annual reorganizational meeting and first business meeting of the 2023-24 school year on Thursday, July 6, 2023, during which it elected its board officers and approved a transportation policy to implement centralized bus stops throughout the District, among other business items.
Board members unanimously re-elected David D’Amore president for the 2023-24 school year and Jennifer Sponnoble as vice president. Incumbent BOE members David D’Amore and former vice president Joyel Richardson were also sworn in as newly re-elected board members with each serving three-year terms that will expire on June 30, 2026.
After completing reorganizational business matters, the board conducted its first regular meeting of the new school year and approved several new business items for the 2023-24 school year. Among them was a resolution to improve transportation efficiency by implementing centralized pickup points within the District’s limits for students who qualify. Information about this change in transportation, including pick-up points and times, will be communicated directly with families as soon as it becomes available.
Board policy 5730 specifies which students qualify for transportation, including students in kindergarten who reside more than ½ mile, students in grades 1-8 who reside more than 1.5 miles, and students in grades 9-12 who live more than 2.5 miles from their legal residence to the school building they attend.
“Restructuring and strengthening the District’s transportation department has been one of my top priorities since becoming Johnstown’s Superintendent in 2020,” Superintendent of Schools Dr. William Crankshaw said.
Crankshaw said that the District’s transportation decisions are being informed by the results of an in-depth study on District transportation and bus routing, and by the input of the District’s Shared Decision Making (SDM) ad hoc committee on transportation. One suggestion to come out of the SDM committee was to reestablish the position of transportation director for the District — a position that was filled by Julia Barringer this past May.
“Mrs. Barringer has only been with us for a short time, but we are already experiencing the positive effects of having an internal team member who is 100% dedicated to the critical transportation functions of the District,” Crankshaw said. “We see centralized bus stops and single start times for next school year for eligible students as important steps to making our transportation department continually safe, more efficient and effective, and a powerful tool to help combat chronic absenteeism and tardiness.”
As the Board of Education prepares itself for the coming school year, it would like to share some important reminders about how the public can be involved with BOE meetings:
- 2023-24 Meeting Calendar: Monthly board meetings are generally held Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Specific dates vary, but meetings will always be posted on the District calendar on the website. A full list of meeting dates for the 2023-24 school year can be found on the Board of Education page of the district website.
- Livestream: As a courtesy to the community, GJSD provides a livestream of all board meetings on the district’s YouTube channel (listed as Johnstown Live Events & Videos). Past meetings are also archived here.
- BOE Meeting Agendas: Agendas for regular meetings are generally prepared on the Friday before the meeting and available to the public on the Monday before the meeting.
- Public Comment: The public is welcome to attend Board of Education meetings to observe and listen. The opportunity for the public to speak at BOE meetings takes place during the public comment portion at the beginning of each meeting. Each person wishing to speak is allotted three minutes.
- Contact the BOE: Residents, staff and students may express their views by sending an email to District Clerk Larraina Carpenter at email@example.com for distribution to Board members.