Lakota is bringing back busing. Kind of.
After moving to state minimum transportation two years ago, the school district announced Thursday that it will provide busing to all kindergarten and first grade students, beginning the 2013-2014 school year.
Chris Passarge, the school district’s chief operations officer, said that the service can be provided at no additional cost.
“Now that we have worked for a while with all the new routes and schedules since bus service was reduced, we identified some areas where we can rearrange some existing routes or schedules and include these bus runs in the system as well,” Passarge said.
“It may mean some longer routes in certain cases, or more students on some of the buses, but we think it’s important to try to restore busing to the schools serving the youngest students.”
Students who attend the pre-kindergarten classes, which are operated by Butler County, in the Lakota early childhood schools will receive bus service if identified in the student’s Individualized Education Plan as a related service.
For the past two school years, only K-8 students who live more than two miles from school received bus service. As part of the reduction, the district eliminated busing for all high school students.
This past year, the school district provided busing to 1,745 K-1 students and didn’t provided service to 527. Lakota also provided service to 5,033 other students in grades 2-8 and didn’t provide busing to 4,278 students in grades 2-8 or to 5,036 high school students.
The decision to move to state minimum transportation, prior to the 2011-2012 school year, left about 40 percent of Lakota’s students without busing and saved the school district approximately $2.8 million per year.
Due to the time it took to have children dropped off and picked up by parents, school officials were concerned instructional time was being lost in the classroom.
“We’ve been very concerned about the disproportionate amount of lost instructional time at the ECS buildings,” Passarge said. “With so many very young children being dropped off and picked up by parents in cars, you lose class time as so many children are essentially hand-walked to the proper car.”
Information about bus stops, bus routes and schedules will be available in August.
Below are the four schools affected by this busing change
Creekside Early Childhood School
5070 Tylersville Road
West Chester Township
Liberty Early Childhood School
6040 Princeton Road
Shawnee Early Childhood School
9494 Sterling Drive
West Chester Township
Wyandot Early Childhood School
7667 Summerlin Blvd.
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