Up-Island school committee makes plans to transfer buses to high school


The Up-Island Regional School District (UIRSD) school committee voted at a meeting on Sept. 15 to transfer ownership and management of the district’s school buses to Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) as soon as possible, according to superintendent of schools James Weiss.

Liability concerns led the UIRSD to propose the new arrangement to the MVRHS school committee, which approved it on Sept. 4. The district’s six buses, valued at approximately $120,000, will be folded into the high school’s 20-bus fleet, and the UIRSD will pay a per-run fee, as do the down-Island elementary school districts.

In reports handed out to school committee members, Chilmark School principal Susan Stevens noted that roof work started over the summer is complete and some exterior painting will be done next. She said she will be readvertising to fill the position of a part-time special education support professional. Only one candidate responded the first time, and declined the job when she realized the cost of childcare would exceed her salary.

West Tisbury School principal Donna Lowell-Bettencourt reported that she has been working to address a list of building maintenance and repair items the West Tisbury building inspector said needed immediate attention prior to school opening. Ms. Lowell-Bettencourt said some of the items, such as plumbing and electrical work, had a large financial impact. Since the unexpected expenses were not in the school budget, she said she plans to bring a full analysis to the next school committee meeting and to request a funding source, such as excess and deficiency funds.