How will transportation work if my child currently rides a bus?
If your child was on a bussing route this year (2018-19), he will be able to ride the bus to and from school at a neighborhood stop similar in location to the one provided this year. Bus routes will be posted this summer after new kindergarteners are entered into the route system. While routes are always subject to change, we do not expect significant changes to our route.
Kindergarten and 1st grade students will not have to transfer busses. These youngest children will stay on the bus that picks them up at their bus stop all the way to South School. Students in Grades 2-5 may have to transfer busses at one of the three elementaries, similar to the way many children do now.
The procedures at the end of the day will work the same way. All students who ride a bus will get on the bus at the end of the day and will exit the bus at their neighborhood bus stop. Again, some students in grade 2-5 could have a transfer; however, kindergarten and 1st grade students will not be transferring busses.
What if my child is a “walker” to school and a bus does not currently pick my child up?
Your child’s “bus stop” will be the elementary school closest to you. If that is your child’s school, she will stay there and walk home at the end of the day. If your child is attending another building, there will be a designated area with supervision as she waits to ride the bus to the appropriate school. At the end of the day, your child will do the same as she rides the bus back to the school that is your child’s “bus stop.” She will walk home from there.
What if I choose not to use the bus system and drive my child to school?
Parents can choose what is most convenient for their family . Our plan includes a morning and afternoon time period of 25 minutes to allow family members to drop off and pick up children from school if they choose not to use the bus system. Supervision will be available at each school at 8:30am and school will begin at 8:55. This should allow a window of time for parents to drop off or pick up at more than one school if they choose.
A benefit we have in Dover is the proximity between our elementary schools. The distances and estimated travel times are noted below:
East -- Dover Avenue: 1.3 miles || 5 minutes
East -- South: 1.6 miles || 6 minutes
South -- Dover Avenue: 1.9 miles || 6 minutes
Will my child still be able to ride the bus from a babysitter’s house or child care center?
Yes. Actually, this new system allows us to transport children to any of our schools from any home or child care facility within the district.
Will this change mean my child will be on the bus longer?
As always, these will vary by route. However, the transportation plan only extends our length of time for elementary routes by approximately 5 minutes. We do not expect drivers’ bus route times to change significantly. Due to annual rerouting, it is possible that a student’s “bus stop” location or time schedule could change, which occurs every year based upon current student enrollment.
Will you still transport 5th grade band and orchestra students to school from the middle school?
Yes, this route will actually be shorter, and routes will be reduced in number because all students will be going to Dover Avenue. Additionally, students will arrive at school in time for breakfast and on time to class.
When will I find out my child’s bus pick-up and drop-off times?
We typically post these routes in mid to late August and plan to meet the same timelines as in years past.
Given the changes to this year’s schedule, we will work to post this information as quickly as possible this year.
UPDATE -- The following information was included in a letter and survey that was sent to parents in early March 2019:
Transportation is a top priority. We want to provide the best options for our families. While all schools will still start and end at the same time, it is likely that schools will dismiss groups of students at different times to help with traffic flow, bus routes, and parent pick-up routines. Our elementary schools currently use these practices and will continue to do so.
Our Transportation Department has been working hard to run simulations with our current students, and while it may change some after we register our new kindergarteners this spring, routes look to remain consistent.
We want to help families and provide options for your specific needs. Depending on your address, if your children currently walk to school, your nearest “bus stop” may be at that nearby elementary school. If you are currently on a bus route, your children can ride a bus and we will take them to their school(s). We remain committed to kindergarten and first-grade students not transferring busses within their routes.
A key to success will be consistency for students and early awareness of our families’ transportation needs and desires. We are also interested in working directly with our families with children in all three schools who need to drive their children to and from school.