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Security cameras will be installed on 34 new school buses and four special needs buses for the 2019-2020 school year under a contract approved last week by the Harford County Board of Education.
Security cameras will be installed on 34 new school buses and four special needs buses for the 2019-2020 school year under a contract approved last week by the Harford County Board of Education. (Courtesy Harford Public Schools / Baltimore Sun)

New school buses put in service for the upcoming school year will have new security cameras on them, under a contract approved by the Harford County Board of Education last week.

The are installed on both contractor- and county-owned buses “to enhance safety of HCPS students,” Cathy Bendis, director of transportation for the school system, said. All of the cameras are owned and maintained by Harford County Public Schools.

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The school system owns all the county’s special needs buses, four of which will be replaced this year and have cameras installed on them by the vendor, AngelTrax of Dothan, Alabama, Bendis said. Cameras will also be installed on 34 new replacement buses.

For the 2019-2020 school year, 256 contractor buses and 48 special needs buses will have cameras.

The school system has 431 route buses and 65 spare buses, Bendis said. Of those, 97 are for transporting special needs students and 334 are general education buses.

“The cameras are used for safety and security on an as-needed basis similar to how camera systems are used in school buildings,” Bendis said.

The total annual expenditure is expected to be in excess of $100,000. The contracts will be used on an as-needed basis. Any single purchase exceeding $100,000 will require school board approval.

The school board approved several other contracts at its July 15 meeting:

⋅ With W.B. Mason Co. of Brockton, Mass., for purchase and delivery of copy paper, piggybacking on a Carroll County contract for $26.07 per case of paper. The contract is effective through July 31 with the provision for an additional six-month term.

⋅ With Skyline Technology Solutions for $149,602 for the annual license renewal of Microsoft products; for $228,583 for the existing Palo Alto firewall equipment; the firewalls are required to protect HCPS’ network infrastructure; and $105,592 for the existing Aruba Wi-Fi components.

⋅ With Bell Techlogix of Richmond, Va., for $381,058.32 for the annual licensing renewal of Microsoft products.

⋅ With PowerSchool Group LLC of Folsom, Calif., for $112,964.25 for the annual licensing renewal of PowerSchool eSchoolPlus, a student information system that manages student information for the district’s unique needs, and for $185,000 for the annual licensing renewal of PowerSchool Performance Matters Assessment Analytics, which has been in place since 2010.

⋅ With Dean Dairy Holdings LLC, doing business as Swiss Premium Dairy LLC, of Lebanon, Pa., for the estimated net amount of $817,770 to supply and deliver milk and dairy products served in the school food program.

⋅ With Crown Hills Enterprises Inc. of Nottingham; PRN Inc. of Bel Air; and Compassionate Healthcare Nursing Services of Baltimore for contractual nurses to provide one-to-one nursing care for medically fragile students throughout the entire school day. Duties and activities that may be required of the nurses include ventilator care, tracheotomy care and suctioning, medication administration, toileting/diapering and oral feeding. The nurses provide care for students from the point of bus pickup through bus drop off.

The total annual expenditure for each contract may be in excess of $100,000. The contracts will be used on an as-needed basis.

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