As we are preparing for our first year operating our own transportation department, we are continuing to learn about all the various moving parts involved in bussing, student safety, driver certification and state requirements. It has been a good critical thinking exercise for all involved.
We believe we have enough drivers to safely meet pupil transportation requirements. For example, we are required to offer home-to-school transportation for all elementary students who live further than a mile from school. The same is true for secondary school students who live further than 1.5 miles from school. To meet these requirements with the drivers we have, we will not be running busses through the residential neighborhoods immediately to the north and south of our campus. This is a change from previous years.
Those students who live in the neighborhood south of campus (Locust Street entrance) have access to sidewalks and a paved walking path that safely allows for foot traffic to school. Those who live in the neighborhood north of campus (Rosalynn Drive entrance) have two options: there is a paved walking path that parallels Highway 395 away from traffic to campus OR students can walk up to N. Mamie Street and enter through the man-gate up by the maintenance building and walk down the paved path toward the elementary school. During the school year, the traffic gate is closed, and so there are no cars entering or leaving campus at Mamie Street other than our own maintenance vehicles periodically. We will continue our practice of having crossing guards near the building to help students safely get across the traffic zones to the sidewalk near the building.
For those utilizing bussing this coming year, masks are required on all busses as part of a federal mandate. Locally, we are also considering seating charts for contact tracing purposes should the need arise. Our transportation department will be cleaning busses daily to aid in our COVID-19 mitigation efforts. These collective efforts will help us to keep students and staff safe while keeping school open.
We ask that parents and students be patient with us as we get our transportation department off the ground. We are working hard to provide the best services possible, and we are really looking forward to the new school year.