In follow up to information provided in the February 19th Tiger Times, we are continuing to look at long-term changes to our transportation system. As you know, in August we quickly changed our transportation model in response to COVID. We changed from a one-tier busing system — where each of our buses had run a single route and pick up students Pre-K-12 — to a two-tier system. This year, each of our buses runs two consecutive routes. This also allows each driver to be scheduled for two routes instead of one. Because there is a statewide shortage of drives, a two-tier system is helpful in that it requires fewer drivers. We have also had fewer discipline incidents and were pleased to eliminate the transfer hub used in the past.
In February, we collected feedback from families about the two-tier system. We appreciated the thoughtful questions that guided our planning. The results of our survey indicated that 63% of respondents support tiered busing, 25% opposed tiered busing, and 12% were neutral. Based on our initial feedback and further review, we have further developed a recommendation and are ready to collect another round of feedback.
Our recommendation is to move forward with a two-tier system and staggered start times at each school for next school year. The primary and intermediate schools would start on the first tier and the middle and high school would be in the second tier, with start times as follows:
Start school 7:45 AM & Dismiss at 2:00 PM
Start school 8:45 AM & Dismiss at 3:15 PM
We are collecting feedback from parents and staff through the end of March and will be bringing a formal recommendation to the School Board in April or May. We expect to have a final decision in June. We hope this advanced information will allow families ample time to plan their schedules for the start of school in September.
- Tiger Times