Potentially major changes in school transportation are proceeding somewhat quietly down the road to a vote at this week’s Seattle School Board meeting. A local mom suggested we write about this to increase the chances people know before it’s too late to even try to comment. The proposed changes came out at the last board meeting before Christmas, and are up for a vote this Wednesday (January 22nd). They are summarized on the district website here, including these toplines:
The District is proposing to:
• End yellow bus transportation to option school students who live outside that school’s middle school attendance area
• Eliminate transportation to elementary school students who live outside that school’s attendance area
• Sunset any previous “grandfathering” of transportation that was allowed when the New Student Assignment Plan took effect in 2010 11.
• Standardize all yellow bus arrival times: 7:35 a.m., 8:25 a.m. and 9:15 a.m. Please note these are not start times for schools, but the arrival times for buses. Next fall’s school bell times will be set later this winter.
The district says these changes would save more than $3 million. For full details on the proposed changes, see this district document which color-codes exactly what’s been written into the policy and what’s been taken out. The school-by-school list of next year’s proposed bus arrival and departure times can be seen here; again, as noted above, those are not the same as the bell times; you can compare to the current list of arrival/departure times. In our area, Pathfinder K-8 stands to see the largest schedule change, since it’s one of five K-8s that would be moved to notably earlier arrival times – Pathfinder’s arrival time is proposed as 7:35 am, 25 minutes earlier than it is now.