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More busing changes coming for district families

More busing changes coming for district families

District leaders are working to resolve ongoing transportation challenges by rerouting buses to focus available drivers on serving as many students as possible. We’re also making changes to create neighborhood hubs and exploring an adjustment of school start and end times to provide time for some buses to run double routes. 

Unfortunately, these changes will cause disruption for even more families within the district. These measures are temporary, but they are necessary. Families impacted by these changes will have details sent to them within the next two weeks.

See video message from Superintendent Lansfeldt

Temporary 2 mile no busing zone

The state requires that the district provide transportation to certain groups of students, including those who live 2 miles or further from school and students with disabilities who require specialized transportation. The district currently provides busing to all elementary students living .5 mile from school or more, and 1 mile or more for secondary students. Without service for all of these routes, we must prioritize limited resources to the state-mandated routes. The priority system we will put into place temporarily will feature two levels:

  • Priority 1: Students living 2 miles or further from schools; students with disabilities who require specialized transportation; and others required by law to transport
  • Priority 2: Students living within 2 miles of their school; and others who do not have statutory right to transportation 

The 2 mile no busing zone means families living within 2 miles of school who do not have a bus available will have to find alternative transportation. This is a temporary situation  during this transportation emergency and our goal is to resume regular service as soon as possible. Families will be notified directly if they’ll be impacted by this change.

Temporary neighborhood hubs

As another way to increase efficiency, we’ll be creating neighborhood hubs. These neighborhood bus stops will allow a single bus to stop once in a neighborhood, instead of numerous times. This means some students will have to walk further to their stop, but it will allow routes to be completed more quickly, allowing for a second round of pickup for a school. New bus routes and pick-up/drop-off times will be sent to impacted families.

School start and end times

District leaders expect the changes listed above will only partially solve the transportation issue. It is likely additional measures will be needed to cover the state-mandated bus routes. Staff are exploring the possibility of adjusting school start and end times for some of our buildings to allow for buses to run a second (double) route to pick up more students. Bell times would need to be adjusted by as much as 30 minutes at some schools. Staff are studying the option and will present more information to the school board in the coming days. 

Transportation changes will impact hundreds of students

It will take about 2 weeks for the new routes to be designed and the prioritized routes to be identified. Families impacted by any changes in service or adjustments to bus routes will be notified as soon as possible.

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In Other News

COVID-19 testing logo MDH

Children sent home sick during the day or those who have been identified as a close contact of someone with COVID are offered a free testing kit to take home.

Image of school bus windshield

The district is focusing efforts on establishing routes for students living 2 miles or further from school and others required by law to receive busing, creating neighborhood hubs, and continuing to recruit new bus drivers.