Lyon County Board of Education rubber-stamped several items at its December meeting earlier this month, including an increase in school choice opportunities, approval of its 2020 regular meeting schedule and the purchase of a new bus.

School choice

The board approved a new reciprocal non-resident agreement with Livingston County Schools, eliminating the maximum number of Lyon County residents who may attend school in the neighboring district and vice versa. The previous contract with Livingston County was capped at only four students.

The local school district has non-resident agreements with each of the neighboring counties.

Superintendent of Schools Russ Tilford said the Livingston County agreement further increases school choice options for parents who may wish for their child to attend class in a neighboring district for a variety of reasons. However, he said Lyon County Schools, as well as those in all neighboring counties, are selective about which outside students they want to bring into the fold.

"We tend to look at grades," he told board members of the district's selectiveness. "If you're not going to add value to our schools, we don't really want you."

Lyon County Schools Director of Pupil Personnel Rob Richey reports about 65 non-resident students among the district's enrollment of 925 or so.

Bus purchase

The elected body also OK'd $91,600 for the purchase of a new bus.

The 2020 model from Thomas Built Buses will carry up to 72 passengers.

Like most school buses for the 13 routes in the district, it will not have air-conditioning. A bus purchased last year for special needs is equipped with air.

No bus in fleet used on a regular basis is over 14 years old, the length of the state's depreciation rate plan, though some used in reserve are older.

Tilford said the board typically replaces a bus a year, having cycled in five over his six years as superintendent.

Meeting schedule

The board next year will stick closely to its typical meeting slate, gathering at 6 p.m. on the third Monday of all but three months to carry out governance of the local school district.

The only variations will be in February, July and October.

In February, the board will push its meeting to the fourth Monday, avoiding Presidents' Day on Feb. 17, which is also scheduled as a non-school day. The July meeting, too, will be delayed a week in order to allow more time to close out finances from the fiscal year that ends June 30. The October meeting will remain on the third Monday, but will be moved to 7 p.m. after a school-based decision-making meeting at 6 p.m.

Though Jan. 20 is a holiday and non-school day, Superintendent of Schools Russ Tilford asked the board to keep the meeting on schedule because of a legislative meeting he is slated to attend on the fourth week of the month.