Safety is an important factor to Calvary Christian School. We want our students to be safe while on campus. To this end, we have improved our video surveillance on the campus. We have adjusted our procedures for people entering the building. We have strengthened our car pool procedures at the end of the day.
However, there is another area of safety we need to address…bus transportation. We provide bus evacuation trainings for our students twice a year. Our concern continues to grow regarding the safety and reliability of our current fleet of buses. Due to the financial constraints of our budget, CCS has been forced to purchase school buses that are leaving the fleets of other public school districts. This means that these buses are older, in fact, the age of CCS’s current fleet range in age from 18 to 26 years old. Additionally, as county school buses they all come to us with many miles on them. We have worked hard to make them as safe and reliable as possible. Each bus goes through a quarterly safety inspection and a larger annual KDOT annual inspection. These inspections are performed by professionals. However, due to their age, it is becoming more and more difficult to keep our buses on the road. Currently, only two of our three buses are road-worthy.
Safety is one issue, financial responsible is another. Over the last few years, CCS has spent around $40,000 to purchase and keep our buses running. To get our third bus (which may be our best bus) running it will cost about $5,000. As stated earlier, this is money we are putting into buses that are between 18 and 26 years old.
Buses are a necessity for CCS. We have looked into going to a bus service for field trips and it would be almost as expensive as our current system and their availability and reliability are also suspect. Every student at CCS from Kindergarten through 12th grade uses bus transportation for field trips. In addition, buses are used for the high school retreat, the sophomore trip, MS/HS Service Day, athletics, etc. Recently, there was talk of taking a bus of students to support our girl’s volleyball team at the “All A” Sweet Sixteen tournament at Eastern Kentucky University. I had to deny that request, due to the distance traveled and the reliability of our buses. I have also had to deny teacher’s requests for field trips due to distance.
We believe it is time for CCS to purchase a brand new bus. A new bus would provide the latest safety equipment, notable reliability and lower annual maintenance costs. Additionally, it would come with a one-year “bumper-to-bumper” warranty and a five-year warranty on the power train. We would be able to purchase the bus through a local county school district and receive their district pricing. A new bus would cost CCS approximately $116,517. Additionally, we would want to put a fence around our buses to protect them from vandalism. I believe we could do the whole thing for $121,000. That seems like an overwhelming amount, to me. However, I’ve come to realize that the total cost is a small amount to God and His people. (I’m reminded of this by the Chiller we purchased a few years ago as well as our preschool expansion.) Our goal is to purchase the bus before the beginning of the next school year . . . or earlier.
Here is what I am asking of you:
- Pray that God will give us wisdom and safety; that He will protect the school’s finances and Annual Campaign; and that He will provide these additional funds for a new bus.
- Search your heart to see what or how you might support this special campaign.As a guide, if each of our 400 students gave $302.50, that would cover the complete cost. That is $38/student/month or $8.75/student/week or $1.25/student/day for October through May. I truly believe this is doable.
- Support our PTCA events, I have asked this group to put all of their profits this year toward the purchase of this new bus.
- Think creatively about how you can help raise this money.
Thank you for your continued support of CCS.