Update: District switches to 3-tier transportation

Thomas McMahon
Posted on March 26, 2014

COTTAGE GROVE, Minn. — Bell times at South Washington County Schools will change from four to three tiers, but student walking distances will remain at their increased levels.

Those are the key transportation-related outcomes of the South Washington school board’s meeting on Thursday. Bell times and walking distances were the subjects of several proposals to improve the district’s transportation service, as SBF previously reported.

Under the option that the board selected last week, an 8:10 a.m. start time tier will be eliminated, shifting three elementary schools to the 7:55 a.m. tier and eight elementary schools to the 8:40 a.m. tier. Also, a non-public school and a public charter school will be aligned with the late tier, which is a 9:20 a.m. start time.

The move is expected to increase on-time bus performance — the district has struggled with late buses in the afternoon for the elementary schools in the 8:10 a.m. to 2:40 p.m. tier.

Ron Meyer, South Washington’s director of transportation services, told SBF that cutting the 8:10 a.m. tier will also eliminate the district’s need for contracted busing for its regular-education routes.

The switch to three tiers will take effect at the start of the 2014-15 school year.

Another proposal that South Washington County Schools officials had been considering was to reduce walking distances from 1.5 miles to 1 mile for middle school students and from 2 to 1.5 miles for high school students. The shorter distances were in place before the current school year, when they were increased as a budget reduction measure. The cost to revert to the shorter walking distances for the 2014-15 school year would have been an estimated $143,751.

At last week’s meeting, the school board decided against reverting to the shorter walking distances. Meyer said that the combination of keeping the increased walking distances and eliminating contracted busing will result in an anticipated savings of $268,000.

Related Topics: bell times, efficiency, Minnesota, walking distance

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories

Great Ideas Abound on the Bus

Great ideas come in many forms. What all of these innovations have in common is that they promote the role of school buses in student achievement.


School Bus Driver Teaches Students to Fish

Gary Kelmer of New Jersey invites students he transports to a local pond on spring break to teach them how to fish and get them to spend time outdoors. He has offered the activity for over 20 years.


VIDEO: School Bus Danger Zone Awareness

This dramatization from Georgia, based on a true story, teaches students about safely boarding and exiting the school bus — including what to do if they drop something.

Two bills that are intended to address school bus safety in the wake of a fatal crash in November have advanced in the Tennessee House of Representatives. One would raise the minimum age for new school bus drivers, and the other would require "a restraint system" on school buses.

Tennessee School Bus Bills Advance

A bill that would raise the minimum age for new school bus drivers in the state passes unanimously in the House. Another bill that would require restraints on school buses passes a committee vote.

Planning has begun for the 17th National Congress on School Transportation (NCST) in 2020. Murrell Martin and Bill Loshbough are shown here leading a discussion at NCST 2015.

NCST 2020 Planning Begins

Planning for the 17th National Congress on School Transportation is now in the works, with committee members being re-established and selected through this summer.


Video File Securement Solution

The SecuraMax automated video management software solution is designed to help users securely upload, manage, protect, and share video files.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!