School District Doing Well in Snow Expenses So Far

The Derry Cooperative School District is in good shape for snow removal, though the season is far from over, Business Manager Jane Simard told the board and television audience.

Simard said at the board’s Tuesday, Jan. 14 meeting that the district does not hire out for its winter upkeep, but uses the staff it already has, with maintenance workers plowing, sanding and salting and custodians wielding the shovels. She praised staff members for coming in early on snowy days and said, “It is a team effort.”

Simard budgeted $15,000 for this year’s snow expenses and has spent $3,700 so far, she said.

The maintenance and custodial workers are responsible for clearing snow and ice from seven schools, the School Administrative Unit (SAU) building and the district warehouse, she said.

There have been a few glitches this year, Simard said, including a pickup truck whose transmission quit while it was being used with a sander. “We put the sander on another truck and we were back in business,” Simard said.

A pipe burst at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School behind the cafeteria ceiling, she said. “It was the same place it burst last year,” she said. “We changed out the majority of the piping and put in a sensor alarm.”

It’s the same type of alarm she has in the district freezers, Simard said. “When the temperature rises, it goes off in the freezers and notifies us,” she said. It works in reverse in the ceilings “It will notify us if the temperature is too low,” Simard said.

The problem was fixed in a day, she noted, saying, “The students brought their lunches into the classroom that Monday.”

Simard and the maintenance staff are also being trained on an element of the School Dude software that will enable them and other staff members to log and keep track of maintenance requests. “The repair requests will be entered by secretaries and routed through to maintenance,” she said. “We can run reports and be able to track them.” The program will log requests, note if parts have to be ordered, and keep track of the results, with updates being sent to building principals and secretaries, she said.

“Instead of wondering, ‘Did they fix the sink in the boys’ restroom?’ they can log on to the maintenance module and find out,” she explained.