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Transportation Update

Posted on: July 21, 2021
School Bus

Our district recently received some updated guidance regarding transportation for the 2021-2022 school year.  Like many of our parents, we have been eagerly awaiting information on this topic and we were able to discuss this at our most recent Board meeting.  We are excited to share that we will be able to offer more transportation services than we did last school year – including the reinstatement of transportation for many students within the two-mile radius from school, and the reinstatement of transportation for day cares within the attendance areas for each elementary school.  Those students who reside within a half-mile of school will continue to be in a “walk-zone” just as they have been for several years.  Transportation outside of the designated attendance areas for each of our new schools will not be provided.

Students will be required to wear masks on the school bus both to and from school to start the school year.  This is due to a federal mandate that applies to all public transportation, which is set to expire on September 13th.  If this mandate is not extended past that date, the district will review our policy for masks using the most up-to-date information on vaccination rates, number of cases in our area, and other relevant information to make a decision on masks on school transportation moving forward.  Our drivers will continue to disinfect and sanitize our buses in between runs to help prevent the spread of COVID and other communicable diseases.

We have many changes for the upcoming school year in our district – starting with three new elementary schools, a new Junior School, and continued renovations at the High School.  Among these changes, there was also a change in our student information system that has resulted in some delays for importing new student information into our Transportation, Food Service, School Messenger, and “Parent Portal” systems.  We are working with our new provider to get these updated as quickly as possible.  Due to this delay in getting student data into our systems, we do not anticipate routing to be complete until early August.  We hope to get information out to parents the week of August 2nd as we recognize that you need time to prepare, but also want to provide you with most up-to-date and accurate information so that you don’t have to change those plans. 

Southwest Local Schools GREATLY appreciates all of the parents who stepped up last year to drive their children to school, organize car pools, and find other ways to help out our district in these unprecedented times.  We are grateful that we are able to open up transportation to more students this year and bring many of those students who did not have transportation last year back on to our school buses for 2021-2022.