Dublin City Schools will soon purchase four new buses.

Dublin City Schools will soon purchase four new buses.

Dublin Board of Education members last week approved a resolution for the district to advertise for bids for three 72-passenger buses and one 48-passenger bus.

The district originally planned to purchase 11 buses this year, but was able to reduce that number to four, according to Superintendent David Axner.

"Through preventative maintenance we've increased the life of buses and break-down time," he said.

The move to purchase fewer buses saved the district more than $500,000.

The district anticipates spending $79,000 each on the three 72-passenger buses and $86,000 on the 48-passenger bus, which has a wheelchair lift.

The preventative maintenance plan is part of an effort to promote greater efficiency around the district announced last week that could save $1 to $1.5 million. The efficiency plan includes letting school buildings get warmer when unoccupied to reduce air conditioning costs.

Business affairs director Annette Morud said the crew that takes care of the district buses also will take over maintenance of grounds and maintenance vehicles to save money.

The district is trying to cut $7.1 million from its budget over the next two years following the defeat of a 7.2-mill operating levy and $25-million bond issue last fall.

In other news, the board approved a resolution to request a waiver from the state to exempt the district from screenings for body mass index.

Dublin City Schools received a waiver last year for the requirement contained in Ohio Senate Bill 210, a statewide effort to reduce childhood obesity. The law requires districts to test body-mass index for students in kindergarten and grades 3, 5 and 9. The district must record results and give them to students and parents.

When the board initially discussed the bill in 2010, some questions were raised over testing a potentially sensitive subject at school. Staff hours spent on the testing and recording of results also were a concern.

"I still have concerns of the sensitive nature of doing something like that at school," board member Gwen Callender said last week.

Board member Lynn May asked about the possibility of the state doing away with the mandate.

According to Axner, nothing has been discussed at the state level, but the district can ask for a waiver every year.

"The purpose and success is they wanted this discussed at the local level," he said. "And it has been."

A school calendar for the 2013-14 school year was approved by board members last week as well.

According to the calendar, school will start Aug. 21, 2013 and end May 30, 2014.

Thanksgiving break is scheduled for Nov. 27-29, winter break Dec. 23-31 and spring break March 24-28.

The board also recognized two Dublin City Schools staff members with Golden Shamrock Awards.

Bus driver Penny Kinniard and Rosita Sewer, a bilingual aide at Davis Middle School, were honored for their work with students.