As you may be aware, we have been experiencing transportation issues due to a bus driver shortage, which is an issue state and nationwide. At this time, we are no longer able to sustain our current busing system and will be making a transition to combine our intermediate/high school routes with our middle school routes. Thus, intermediate, middle, and high school students will ride together and routes will change. The majority of the elementary routes will remain the same, however, there will be some changes to a few elementary routes. The new routes will begin on Wednesday, February 1, 2023.
The timeline for this transition is as follows:
Friday, January 20, 2023 @ 4pm: The transportation module in PowerSchool will no longer be available.
Tuesday, January 24, 2023: The new times and stop locations will be available in PowerSchool, bus number will not be available at this time.
Friday, January 27, 2023: Bus numbers for the new stops and times will be available in PowerSchool.
Wednesday, February 1, 2023: The new routes will begin.
We appreciate your patience and understanding on this necessary transition. Please know that no one is losing transportation, but pick-up times and locations for all students in grades 5-12 will likely change. The majority of our elementary students’ times and locations will either not change or will be close to their existing times. Please check PowerSchool Parent Portal to confirm your student’s bus times and locations beginning January 24.
Again, we thank you in advance for your patience and understanding. If you have any questions about this transition, please contact your student’s school. If you have any questions about your student’s new route after it is ‘live’ on January 24, 2023, please contact our transportation department at (740) 965-8967.
Frequently Asked Questions:
How will grades 5-12 be affected?
All routes will change as well as the pick-up and drop-off times. In a few cases, some bus stop locations will change.
All students in grades 5-12 will be transported by the same bus. The district currently transports grades 5-7 & 9-12 on the same bus.
On average, students will spend less time on the bus; all routes are now less than 50 minutes long compared to the current routes, with some going as long as 1.5 hours.
Currently, students are picked up starting at 6:15 am. Under this plan, the first students will be picked up at 6:30 am.
The start and end times for, BWMS, and BWHS will remain the same. Buses will start arriving at 7:15 and again at 7:25. In the afternoon, buses will load at 2:20 and 2:35. BWI will have to move up their dismissal time.
The new routes find their efficiency using a “Hub and Transfer” model.
What is a “Hub and Transfer” Route?
All 5th-12th grade students will be picked up and dropped off by one bus, greatly reducing the miles driven. Miles=Time.
Ten buses will call BWI their hub - 6 buses BWMS & 13 BWHS.
7:15 am - The buses will arrive at their “Hub” school and unload the students that attend the school where they are parked.
Buses will then prepare to go to their “Transfer” school.
Example: Bus #1 arrives at the HS, its hub. After dropping off its HS students, it will transfer the MS students to its partner bus, bus #2. Bus #2 will go to the middle school with just middle school students. Bus #1 will load the Intermediate students from bus #2 and then proceed to its transfer school, BWI, where it will drop off all students by 7:30 am
7:30 am - Transfer buses drop off the second round of kids at their schools.
In the afternoon, the process is reversed, with the students loading onto their “transfer” buses which is the same bus # they arrived at school. The bus will then go to the “hub” school, where they will first transfer students to the partner bus and then load the remaining students that attend the school where they are parked.
Why are we doing this mid-year? It is very disruptive to families.
If the number of routes is not reduced by February, the District will have to start canceling, delaying the start, delaying the release, and early dismissing routes regularly.
Currently, the district has 34.5 daily routes and only 32 contracted drivers. The other routes are filled with sub-drivers and the transportation office staff.
We currently have the equivalent of 3.5 subs, and one is leaving at the end of January.
As of the first of February, if all of our subs drive every day and no one calls off sick, we will be able to cover our routes. If a substitute is unavailable to drive or a driver calls in sick, we will not be able to cover the route. This will result in parents not knowing when their bus will be coming and who their driver will be.
The new routes will eliminate four routes, resulting in 1.5 extra drivers daily available to cover routes as subs.
Currently, there are two people being trained and they should have their licenses by spring break. This will allow the transportation department to be fully staffed for the first time in a long time.
When you can find a candidate, it takes about 4-6 months to train a driver.
Why not move the walk zone to two miles or eliminate high school transportation?
Once transportation starts, state law does not allow districts to reduce transportation services during that school year. Thus, we cannot eliminate HS, Private Schools, and pre-schools nor move the walk zone to two miles this school year.
Under this plan, no one will lose transportation.
How will the elementary routes be affected?
Three smaller elementary routes will be split up, and those students will be placed on other buses. Other than those changes, for the most part, the elementary school routes will be the same
Elementary students most likely will have a new driver and a different bus number.
Morning drop-off and pick-up times at the elementary schools will not change. With the shorter routes, there should be no issue getting buses to the elementary schools on time in the afternoon.