Time to Travel!
Lots of Miles Logged on Country Roads
Posted on 05/18/2016
Country RoadsWith seven small rural schools and the two Crane Schools besides the larger district in Burns, plus rural families in need of services, the vehicles are always on the go! The two home-based Head Start teachers from the Early Childhood Center travel four days a week for home visits with individual families. These two staff members alone average 120 miles per day! Head Start requires that they visit each family they serve every week. Speech and special education specialists also travel extensively each week. Computer technicians travel to perform maintenance, and make unscheduled rushed trips out in the event of a technical emergency in a school. Administrative services are provided to the schools who choose that option, and Superintendent Beck has attended board meetings and made visits to every school.

In addition to local travel, there are various meetings and trainings provided throughout the state to help staff keep abreast of educational issues and mandated meetings required by some grants and programs.

To handle all of this time spent on the road, Harney ESD has a fleet of eleven vehicles, with the oldest being a 1997 Isuzu Diesel Truck (for technology and currently listed for sale) and a 2000 Dodge Caravan with over 227,000 miles on it. The newest vehicle is a 2014 Ford Escape with over 24,000 miles. These vehicles traveled over 157,000 miles in the past year, averaging 13,128 miles per month. The fleet records and maintenance are managed by Gail Pointere, administrative assistant and Accounts Payable Clerk for Harney ESD. The vehicles are signed out on a large calendar by staff members, and the person traveling the greatest distance can “bump” someone who is headed somewhere closer to home.

It is a dance to juggle all the needs along with repairs and maintenance. Managing the vehicle policy can also be intricate, as in ensuring that staff members never leave a car with the gas tank less than ¾ full, and making sure all personal belongings are removed from the vehicle at the end of the day. An equipment checklist is provided for staff using the vehicles, too, so they can check the safety features and report if anything is not working. It’s a big job to get to all of our schools and clients, but it is all a necessary part of the service!