Unit 1 will limit stops for bus riders


The Unit 1 School District will be sending out a message this week to make parents of bus eligible students aware of a policy change that could affect where their students get on and off the bus.
As previously reported the Board of Education has discussed a number of changes to its student transportation service, measures aimed at reducing costs and increasing student safety. It is the latter of the two that prompted the board to amend its policy with regard to alternate bus stops.
For several years the district has offered alternate bus stops to students. At one point it was an unlimited number of stops, but that practice was cut due to safety concerns and cost. Even through the practice was eliminated, the district continued to allow parents to select two different morning and afternoon locations.
“Although the district has been fortunate to provide this extra service to parents in the past, our district is getting too large and we have too many schools to continue this service moving forward,” said Unit 1 Superintendent Dr. Kent Bugg.
What the board has put in place for implementation with the start of the 2018-2019 school year further limits the number of stops allowed per student to one location in the morning and one in the afternoon with the pick-up and drop-off spots being the same every day.
In recommending the change, the board's Transportation Committee noted its concerns regarding the safety of bus riders, specifically the liability that could be caused by accidentally placing a student on an incorrect bus. Limiting the number of stops, they say, enhances student safety.
District officials report notification regarding the policy change will be sent through the district's communication system — e-mail and text message — to parents/guardians on Friday, June 15.
 “Please understand that this change is being made so the school district can continue to provide the safest possible transportation for our students,” the district's communication states.
Questions regarding the change should be directed to Sandy Rakes, the district's director of special populations and transportation services, at 815-634-2287, ext 2112.