WASHINGTON, Ind. — The local school system has made changes to its bus routes in the face of state budget constraints in order to continue offering bus service to all students.

Officials for Washington Community Schools said that the bus routes are now set up very similar to transit bus routes, where there are designated stops within an area or region throughout the city limits. School buses will no longer travel down the majority of streets doing door-to-door stops. Therefore, students will have to walk a short distance to their closest designated stop to catch the bus that services their area.

Specific route maps will be located at each school for students and parents to get information on what bus will be servicing the area in which they live.

In addition, the buses will pick up and drop off students at accredited child care providers only if they are on the route of the bus serving that location. Pickup or drop-off must be daily throughout the school year, and officials said a bus route will not be altered or created to accommodate a child care provider that is not on an existing route.

The district will also not allow sporadic pickup or drop-off of students at a different location from where they live or from their normal bus route at the request of a parent or guardian.

By extension, Washington Community Schools will not provide “convenience transportation” to or from town or to or from a different school that students attend. The district will have a designated shuttle bus in order to transfer grandfathered choice students, but those transfers must be approved by the district’s administration.

If students don’t ride the shuttle bus the first two weeks of school and/or on a daily basis after the first two weeks to attend school or board a transfer bus, they will not be allowed to get on the bus.

The changes with Washington Community Schools’ bus routes will take effect Aug. 14.

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