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Bus Transportation Opt-Out Survey
Bus Transportation Opt-Out Survey: Aug. 6 Deadline
Posted on 07/27/2021

Bus Transportation Opt-Out Survey:  Aug. 6 Deadline 

To help us align transportation resources, we are asking families who will not need bus service in the fall to participate in a Transportation Opt-Out survey by Aug. 6.  The opt-out survey is voluntary and is designed for us to gather information on families who know they will not need bus service for their child in the upcoming school year.    

 We are actively planning for qualifying students to ride the bus, but we need to rethink how to provide transportation given the impacts from the pandemic, the recently adopted (May 2020) bell schedule, and the nationwide driver shortage.  Forecasting our student ridership will help us optimize travel time on bus routes, identify appropriate bus stops, and allow for more consistent and efficient transportation service.   

Next Steps:   
In the coming weeks, our team will use opt-out information to develop routes with the goal of trying to plan for as many students as possible.  It is likely routes and the distance between stops will be longer so that drivers can cover more geographic area. Please know that even with the best planning efforts, bus routes and schedules will change this school year.  

Bus schedules and route information will be available Aug. 23. 

For more information on bus transportation, in addition to a back-to-school checklist, visit the district website.  Thank you in advance for helping us plan for fall.      


Commonly Asked Questions: 

Q:  If I opt my child out of bus services for the school year, can they still ride the bus? 
A:  Yes, provided you contact Transportation with a request to resume bus services.  Students who opt out of bus transportation for the beginning of the year can resume transportation within 72 hours (3 working days) upon giving notice to the Transportation Department.   

Q:  Is this opt-out survey mandatory and do all families need to participate? 
A:  No.  Although the opt-out survey is voluntary, we are strongly encouraging families who know that their child will not need transportation to let us know now.  Having this information will help us plan for the most efficient routes possible.  If your child plans on riding the bus, no action is required.   

Q:  By law, isn’t the district required to provide bus service for all students? 
A:  Although we are only federally mandated to provide transportation for students with disabilities or those experiencing homelessness, our planning is focused on optimizing transportation resources for all students who need and qualify for bus services. 

Q:  What students qualify for bus services? 

• Elementary:  All students who live outside a 1-mile radius (excluding Maplewood Elementary due to walking school status).  
• Junior High:  All students who live outside a 1.25-mile radius. 
• High School:  All students who live outside a 1.5-mile radius. 

Q:  Will there be an impact on ride times? 
A:  On a handful of routes, the maximum ride times could increase from the current 45 minutes to as much as 60 minutes.   

Q:  Will my child’s bus stop change? 
A:  To create more efficient routing, the district will closely follow the policy for assigning school bus stops.  As a result, some drop-off and pick-up locations may change for some students, with students being required to walk to their bus stops.  Fewer stops mean more efficient ridership and routes.   

Q:  Will participation in this survey impact transportation to athletic events, field trips, etc.? 
A:  No.   The transportation opt-out program will not impact your child(ren)’s ability to ride district provided transportation to attend field trips, athletics events, in emergency situations, etc.   

Q:  What are other ways my child can get to school? 
A:  Our team is eager to help families plan for alternative ways to get to school:

 • Carpooling: Assess the needs of your neighbors and see if there’s an opportunity to create carpools or groups that ride together to and from school.   
• Walking or Bicycling:  Explore safe walk and bike routes.  Keep in mind that the best route by bicycling or walking is often not the same route you would take by car. Review safe walking and biking tips online. 
• Park & Walk: Avoid the hassle of the hug-n-go and locate a quiet spot to park and walk your child the rest of the way to school. A short walk is one of the best ways to prepare your student’s brain for learning each morning. 

Q:  What are the current health and safety guidelines while riding the bus? 
A:  Students are required to wear a facemask.  When possible, students will be encouraged to sit with household members or classmates. Windows will be opened or cracked to maximize outside air flow. Students will be encouraged to wash or sanitize hands before boarding the bus.  Buses will be cleaned and disinfected frequently, including the tops and backs of seats at the end of the day.  

Q:  Where can I find more information about becoming a bus driver? 

A:  If you are looking for a flexible work schedule with competitive pay and benefits, visit the district website to submit an application to join our transportation team.  We need regular drivers and substitutes.  Starting pay range is $20.08-22.31/hr. and includes a paid training program.