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SLSD Forced to Begin Year with State Minimum Transportation

Posted on: August 3, 2020

August 3, 2020

Dear Southwest Local School District parents / guardians;

At our July 30th Board of Education meeting, we had a deep discussion and ultimately a unanimous vote to reduce our transportation services to Ohio’s state minimums.  After a review and input of data from our most recent School Reopening survey via Final Forms into our transportation software, we started the process of routing students for the 2020-2021 school year.  Unfortunately, we have determined that it is not currently possible to place all those students who have requested transportation to and/or from school for face-to-face instruction on our limited number of bus routes with the current COVID restrictions in place.  As a result, Southwest Local School District has been forced, along with many other districts around the state, to move to the minimum transportation standards required by the state of Ohio.  We had really hoped to avoid this outcome and greatly appreciate all those parents who have offered to drive their child to and from school or arranged for car pools with their neighbors in order to limit our ridership and give us the greatest chance to avoid this move - it simply wasn't enough unfortunately.

To start the 2020-2021 school year, students attending both public and non-public schools who utilize Southwest Local School Bus Transportation and live within two miles of their school of attendance will not be eligible for school bus transportation.  Additionally, no school bus transportation will be available for commercial day cares or intra-district transfers to start the school year.  Those students who are eligible for school bus transportation and reside outside the two mile radius will be asked to select just one address for pick-up and/or drop-off purposes to prevent one child from taking up a "seat" on more than one route as we create seating charts for the coming school year.  

Please note that we expect this move to be temporary.  If restrictions change or we see an opportunity to reinstate services in some capacity as the school year progresses, our district will make every effort to expand transportation services beyond the state minimums.  Maps of the current "no-transportation" zones are posted HERE, if you are unsure whether you will remain eligible for transportation or not.  As we do each school year, school bus stop, route number, and pick-up/drop-off time information will be communicated to parents at the end of August, prior to the start of the 2020-2021 school year.  For those families who are no longer eligible for transportation services and are unable to provide transportation to and from school, you may elect to switch to our virtual learning option via an update to your Final Forms survey submission until Friday August 7th.  You are welcome to contact our district office staff if you have any questions regarding how to make this adjustment at 513-367-4139.

Thank you for your understanding and flexibility in these unprecedented times.  We look forward to the time when we can provide transportation services more in line with what we have been able to do in recent years.  Have a great end of the summer and we hope to see many of you in September!