RUSD submits grant application for electric buses


The Ripon Unified School District is looking to replace some of the old diesel buses with pollution-free electric vehicles.

An opportunity to do that could come through the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Bus Replacement Program via the California Energy Commission.

According to the California Energy Commission’s website, the funding for the program is being made possible by SB 75, which allocated $75 million from Proposition 39 money to replace the oldest diesel buses in the state with all-new battery electric buses equipped with the installation of the supporting charging structure.

Trustees, at Monday’s school board meeting, approved the resolution, 5-0, to apply for the school bus grant funding from the San Joaquin Valley Pollution Control District.

With that, Director of Maintenance & Operations Andy Strickland received the green light to submit the package for the grant funding.

“We’ll wait to hear within the next 60 days,” he added.

New hires

The Ripon Unified School District announced the hiring of 21 new employees at recent school board meetings.

This includes one Resource Specialist Program teacher (Mario Desacampos) and a Psychologist (Jessica Ronchetti) at Ripon High, and a counselor (Melissa Lapena) at Ripon Elementary School.

Among the new hires are teacher Sandy Bakus, substitute teacher Jordan Pellegrino Posz. Speech Language Pathology Assistant Courtney Zapien, and Vesteen Blackman and Courtney Clark, both are instructional aids – all five listed are assigned to the District Office.

Other RUSD newcomers are custodian Daylen Cofoed at Colony Oak Elementary School, instructional aide Madison Curtis at Ripon Elementary, Brooke Silva of the Ripon Afterschool Program assigned to Ripon Elementary, and substitute yard duty personnel Kristen Hart and Sherri Shockey at Weston Elementary School.

Resource Specialist Program teacher Lisa Rodler, Speech/Language Pathologist Nicole Burns, and Technology Support Assistant John Faria were among those brought aboard for the 2022-2023 school year.

The others on the list were Instructional Aide Leticia Ochoa, substitute custodian Zander Pittson, substitute teacher Kayla Inthavong, substitute teacher Danielle Garcia and substitute teacher Maricela Hernandez.

Enrollment (10th month)

RUSD closed out the school year with a total enrollment of 3,247 students.

This tally was from the reporting period of May 2 through May 27.

RHS had 955 students or 30 fewer from a year ago at this time.

Harvest High finished with 12 students while the Independent Study program had a count of 31.

At the kindergarten- through- eighth- grade sites, Colony Oak (467) led the way, followed by Weston (451), Park View (449), Ripon El. (448) and Ripona (434).

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