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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Transportation Service Standards for 2011-12

Transportation Information (Service Standards for 2011-12).

28 comments:

QAMom said...

Are the bell times for MS/HS officially earlier now to accommodate the new bus arrival/departure times? I've checked HIMS website and havent found anything on this.

Melissa Westbrook said...

I really don't know if that has been posted; it's a good question.

One thing that's interesting. You should go to the website and look up Schools (it should be the new website). Look at those start times. There are at least 3 elementaries that start 10-15 earlier (and end at the same time as the others). Those kids are, in a year, getting a lot more time.

I noted this years back for the high schools for the amount of lunch time they took (I think it is fairly even now).

anonymous said...

Hale has announced that their start time won't change next year, but not sure if that is due to their waiver or not?

Anonymous said...

Are bell times listed anywhere? A third tier option k-8 will dropping elem kids off in the dark. Not cool.


-altmama

Maureen said...

At yesterday's Board workshop,all of the Directors present reluctantly supported moving HS and MS drop off times 10-15 minutes earlier, this will make it less likely that younger kids will be walking home from the bus during "civil twilight." See slide 21 of this presentation for individual schools drop off and pick up times under that Option.

Actual bell times are set by the principals (or possibly the Superintendent?) within the windows set by drop off and pick up times. So those can't be decided until after the Board votes on the Transportation Service Standards on 2/16.

Josh Hayes said...

Gah. Changing our (AS1) damn start time AGAIN. Someone tell me why we can't share buses with Jane Adams, since they have the same draw area and we're both option schools? Grrr.

Maureen said...

Josh, I get the impression that it's easier for them to have K-8s share with K-5s since the K-8s longer day makes it possible to drop the K-8 kids first and pick them up last without leaving the K-5 kids sitting and waiting. I also thought I heard Tom Bishop say something about AS#1 having a wider draw area made it easier to transport that K-5's existing kids (did OV jump from one 'cluster' to another with the NSAP?) Your Site Council should try to talk to Mr. Bishop, the vote is 2/16.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Maureen, that helps with some tentative planning.


- altmama

Anonymous said...

Option #1 - Third tier schools start at 9:35 (9:15 drop-off) and buses depart at 3:45.

Option #2 - Third tier schools start at 9:45 (9:25 drop-off) and buses depart at 3:55.

Those times assume the earlier routes are able to run on time...

Another anonymous

Anonymous said...

On the impacts slide under Option #1, it says:

Proposed arrival and departure times have already been communicated to Principals and the public.

Uh, no. This is the first time we've seen the list of schools and times. They weren't available at the public meetings.

Parent

Lori said...

Our school is in the 3rd tier, and it already starts awfully late for working families.

As is, the parent who does the drop off gets to work at 930AM this year. We are lucky to have some flexibility to make this work, but not everyone does. And I can't imagine pushing the time back yet another 25 minutes.

Seriously, are there other urban school districts with elementaries that don't start until 945AM?

ParentofThree said...

Interesting that this plan is looking more and more like the plan that parents opposed last time transportation was on the table, just added a 3rd tier and no authentic community engagement, to the point that very few families probably know that 9:45 is back on the table again.

And where's the report from the savings of the current plan?

I am so tired of the unpredictably brought on by the promise of predicitably.

Anonymous said...

8:30-9:00 seems like the typical start time for area elementary schools, though their high schools have much earlier start times with first period as early as 7:10 or 7:20 (Northshore and Renton).

Was option #2 added just to make #1 more palatable?

Ugh

Maureen said...

Lori, that was part of the reason Directors reluctantly supported making the HS and MS kids start 10-15 minutes earlier (despite the research that says they should go later). They (Sherry Carr in particular, from what I remember) had heard from many K-5 parents who had problems with the late start times and didn't want to push them even later. Someone (Kay Smith Blum maybe?) made a point of saying they really wanted thought put into how to uncouple the MS/HS and K-5 yellow buses (especially since so few HSers actually ride yellow buses).

It seems crazy to me that those few HS yellow buses (and the sports lobby) drive so much of what goes on in transportation and academics.

Parent of 3, the thing is, they did push this decision back several weeks and have held three community meetings. Charlie said there were 6 parents at the first one. I was at the 2nd and there were maybe 10-12. Was the one at Sealth last night any better attended? I don't know if people aren't paying attention, or if they don't care. I will say that I think Tom Bishop and Tracy Libros are trying to cover as many kids as possible through intermediate boundaries with community stops and when that isn't possible by probably amending the NSAP transition plan to get those kids a seat somewhere. And this will save $4,000,000 by getting 80 buses off the road. I don't see other departments at SPS doing this much work to save money.

Anonymous said...

To be fair Maureen, the community meetings were held before the maps and start/end times were released. How's a parent to provide feedback when detailed information is not yet available?

The vote was pushed back because the proposal was still being developed.

That said, I agree that Mr. Bishop is working to minimize the impact on families and provide options to prevent students from losing transportation. I just don't see how a 9:45 start time is even an option.

Ugh.

Dorothy Neville said...

The thing is, last round of changes did NOT save money. In fact, net transportation costs rose. The projected savings is supposed to kick in this year. Note that we were told savings would be two million, yet this budget projection shows savings of only 1.2M over two years ago.

I say if the district goes ahead with this, then we REQUIRE net costs of transportation to be reduced to an agreed upon figure. Anything that goes over that comes directly out of the superintendent and all the executive managers salaries. Put them each on furlough for the number of days required to keep transportation costs at the Promised Level.

See This five year summary.

What is also unclear is what the 3 to 4 million in savings means. Does it mean down from 11.3M which is the current budget or from 13.2M which was last year's actual.

Let's say 11.3M which is this year's budgeted amount. And let's be kind and say we only will get 3M in savings. So that gives Transportation a ceiling of $8.3M. Any dime over that, no matter what, including gas price increases or anything, will come directly from furloughing executive staff.

ParentofThree said...

Exactly, why trudge out to a meeting with no information. The new bell times have not been communicated to parents in any meaningful way: School Beat, nope, School generated mass emails, nope. This one is getting by parents.

Also, I do not buy into the $4million savings as that was the same figure we "saved" by the last round of changes. And I do not believe this report has seen the light of day, despite repeated requests by the board and parents!

cascade said...

Could (or has) the PTSA put out one of its legislative alert bulletins on this to be sure that more parents understand this change?

Maureen said...

I admit that I know way more about this than I should because I have been following transportation very closely for my kid's school. But the thing is, they have been saying that things are changing and they have been asking for input. They haven't been able to say (for example): Bagley's drop off time will be 10-15 minutes later, because the Board hasn't voted on that yet. The general idea of the maps and 3 Tiers has been posted for weeks now and it is much worse than what will actually happen (because they added the intermediary zones) but still almost no one came to the meetings. I will say that Board members remember the issues that parents had with K-5 start times last year and are applying that.

Ideally, this would have been proposed last year and implemented this year, but part of what makes this save money is that the state funding formula has changed and I'm not sure when the details of that were known. I actually thought they should have done something like this with the NSAP, but apparently the funding formula then rewarded the old structure. Also, one of the major things parents said to cut in the budget survey was transportation. When buses are cut, bell times (and diversity and choice) take the hit. Everything is connected.

I agree that there should have been a transportation report and am annoyed that the Board let staff get out of that obligation. I did hear Michael DeBell, after last night's work session, say that he would want to see an evaluation of transportation changes next year, though he was talking to another Board member and not to staff. That needs to get formalized and enforced this time.

Anonymous said...

Seattle Council PTSA has sent out two announcements about the transporation plan changes. The first one on Jan. 24th and a second one with the additional community engagement meetings that were added.

SCPTSA Board Member

QAMom said...

Thnx to Maureen for the info on proposed new buss arrival/departure times listed by school. Does this imply, for MS/HS, that the bell times will definitely be moved 10 mins earlier to accomodate the new bus arrival/departure times? Or might the start times remain the same. I dont see a list of proposed bell times by school, just the bus drop-off/pick-up times (insanely early, IMHO, for MS/HS - factoring in a 10-ish min walk to the stop!)

ParentofThree said...

I did a spot check of six K-5 websites and not one has any information about transportation changes.

I went to the SPS website: News and Calender. Nada. I stumbled upon the NEW home page and yes, there is information. But I did just happen upon this information.

The only way I know about these changes is because of this web site. I have received no information from either one of my schools.

Does anybody really think that parents know that the 9:45-3:35 bell time is on the table...again?

Does anybody think that people really understand that their child may loose transportation?

I don't, I think the communications has been dismal on this and accounts for the lack of meeting participation.

Every principal should have been sent information directing them to get this information out to families.

While I applaud the efforts by the SCPTSA, I do not think their efforts translated into widespread communication.

In anycase, parents will get informed. And it won't be pretty!

Maureen said...

QAMom, I'm not sure if bell times have to change to match the drop and pickup times, but remember that the full school day (I think 6.5 hours for middle school?) has to fit in that window. You should probably check with your principal, I think they have some say in the decision.

Anonymous said...

The way I read it, with option #1, high schools and middle schools will start 10 min. earlier.

If high schools and middle schools do not shift to an earlier time, the start/end times of the third tier schools would be around 9:45/3:45 (option #2).

Since this is still a proposal, and not yet gone for Board vote, it won't be on school websites.

Maureen's link is the only place I've seen the school-by-school info (thank you).

Another anonymous

Anonymous said...

Can I just say this plan sucks all around for working parents?

Elementary age kids? They go late so you are stuck with the bill for both before and after school care. And they have to work late into the day, which I'm sure is hard on the youngest ones who usually rise quite early and aren't all that far removed from the need for a daily nap.

MS/HS kids? They get out early so you have to figure out how to keep them out of trouble for 3-4 hours every afternoon. Many middle schools do provide a free afterschool program, but kids can easily ditch it in my experience. And they are working against their biological clock getting up so early.

GreyWatch said...

@ Lisa - agreed.

Some of the middle schools have amazing after school programming. However, it is not available to every child, every day (first come, first served sign-up).

The programs start about a month into school, and take time off before the holiday break, and don't go all the way until June. AND, your kids are likely to get into at least one of the classes, but no guarantees they'll have something everyday. At HIMS the after school program does not operate on Fridays. If ever there was a day to get into trouble ...

Anonymous said...

Yes. At McClure, the after-school program had the problems Greywatch describes. And there was no oversite on attendance. If your kid didn't show up they just figured he had some other afterschool plans. Occasionally the day's program would be canceled without notice, too. Kids were free to go to the homework club/study hall but they could (and did) also just hang around the neighborhood.

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