JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — Some high school students here will lose school bus service next year with an expansion of the “no transportation zone” (NTZ) around the school.
Greater Clark County Schools announced that it will enforce an adjusted NTZ for Jeffersonville High School students beginning with the 2018-19 school year.
According to Greater Clark County Schools, the new NTZ is an area of about 1 mile or less from the school. A map posted on the district website shows the previous NTZ for Jeffersonville High School outlined in red, with a larger area shaded in purple illustrating the new NTZ (see image above).
According to the district, there were 75 students living in the previous NTZ for Jeffersonville High School. Based on data from the 2017-18 school year, the NTZ expansion will directly affect 160 students.
Students who live in the NTZ will not receive school bus service. The district said in a Q&A on its website that those students’ options include “walking to school, riding with friends or family, riding a bike, or any other form of transportation.”
Also, parents can apply to have their children walk to a school bus stop outside of the NTZ. The district said that approval will be based on bus seat availability and safety of the student getting to the stop.
Greater Clark County Schools noted that NTZs are not new, and many neighboring school districts have NTZs of 2 miles in place for their high schools. Greater Clark County Schools has decided to cap its NTZs at 1 mile for all of its schools.
In a July 10 presentation to the school board, the district described the NTZ adjustment as an effort to ensure fairness across schools and effective use of funding.
“At a time when some districts look to eliminate all transportation services because of budget cuts, [Greater Clark County Schools] is being fiscally proactive, positioning the district to continue transportation services for those who do not live in an NTZ,” the board presentation said.
The move is also expected to provide more flexiblity with buses, enabling the district to move some routes to a two-run system and allowing more time to transport middle and elementary school bus riders.
“With the implementation of the expanded NTZ, this would give us the ability to eliminate three runs and condense two additional runs,” the board presentation said. “This will free up the mentioned buses to help alleviate timing issues at River Valley [Middle School]."
In the July 10 meeting, the Greater Clark County Schools board approved the adjusted NTZ for Jeffersonville High School for the 2018-19 school year. Also, the district said that its transportation department plans to review the NTZs for each school over the next several months.