New school zones will mean some changes for buses
New boundaries mean new schools, and new schools mean new bus stops for some students in the Quincy School District.
“The only thing that will change is the hub configuration,” said Rob Henne, the QSD’s transportation manager.
With attendance boundaries seeking to balance the enrollment at each elementary school, some students who might have gotten a school bus ride in the past will live closer to their new school than the minimum distance required for a bus ride (one mile).
On the other hand, some students attending the new elementary, Ancient Lakes, next year who did not get a bus ride before will get one, to keep them from having to cross the railroad tracks by foot.
The changes ought to reduce the number of buses at hubs – the spots where students meet to catch their buses, Henne said.
“The hubs in town chew up a little bit more of extra time,” he said. “As much as 15 minutes, so if we can get rid of a few of those, we will be able to reduce the ride time of the country students for a few routes.”
Country students are the students living outside of city limits, he added. Students inside city limits that will be attending Pioneer and Monument elementaries will not be bused anymore, as they will fall within the one-mile mark.
As a result, motorists should be ready to deal with more students walking around in their neighborhood school area, Henne said.
“They should take caution,” he said.
Parents wanting their children to go to a particular school instead of the one near their neighborhood can still do that, QSD Assistant Superintendent Nik Bergman said, adding that parents have two options if they want to do that.
Option 1 is Open Enrollment, which lasts from Monday, April 8, to Tuesday, April 30. Parents may then fill out an open enrollment form requesting their child attend a particular school. If a school is lower than 90 percent of capacity in that child’s grade level, then there’s room, Bergman said.
“The moment we hit 90 percent at that grade, it’s not available because we want to save that 10 percent for neighborhood students that might enroll in September,” Bergman said.
Option 2 is called Transfer For Cause. If there’s an issue that the family views as detrimental to their child’s education, they have the option to transfer at any time. They fill out a transfer form, then meet with Bergman or with Superintendent John Boyd, and then come to a decision as a group.
“Those are really rare,” Bergman said of the transfers for cause. About 16-20 open-enrollment moves occur every year, while transfers for cause might happen once or twice a year, he added.
“Generally, our families are pretty happy with the school they are at,” Bergman said.
(This is Part 2 of a series. To read Part 1, click here.)
By Sebastian Moraga, email@example.com