KUOW wants Input on Transportation Changes

Update:  Here is a link to SPS about the changes to Transportation.  It includes a link to the approved amendment from Director Peters "which shifted bus arrival times back about 10 minutes from the most recent proposal, closer to the bus arrival times for many schools this year. She called the amendment a "compromise" solution that is intended as a one-year solution only."  

As well, there is a link for all arrival and departure times for all schools as well as info on other transportation changes. 

Want to talk about it to KUOW?  Call Andy Hurst, KUOW producer, ASAP.  They air at noon.

Desk: 206.616.7649
Cell: 206.617.3302


Anonymous said…
There must be an awful lot of insularity down there among transportation planners. I'm sure there are a few working mothers among them, but it sure seems like they don't get out much to mix with the families that they serve. Who in the world thought of the idea of starting elementary school at 9.45 in the morning? I just hope KUOW isn't the only media outlet picking this story up. That the School Board didn't laugh such a ridiculous proposal back to the drawing board tells me the School Board really doesn't know what is going on either. Get real folks, there really aren't that many families out there who can afford a stay-at-home parent or, failing that, a nanny to get the kids to school at such a time of day. I just can't understand how this proposal was ever even allowed to evolve. It breaks with common sense. It tells me the transportation planners and the School Board are living on a different planet from the rest of us.

Traditional 9-5er
Jeanne said…
Melissa: Greetings! Would you post the link to the schools and what tiers they are in again? This topic is always talked about in terms of tiers, but I can never seem to find that info.

Eric B said…
Can someone who was at the meeting last night tell me what ended up happening with the 10-minute delay for start times?
Anonymous said…
ack that didn't work sorry


Jeanne said…

Thank you! But that is the start times for this year, I think. I am wondering what the start times are maybe supposed to be next year. I'm not clear why this is presented in a such a confusing way--bleh.
Eric B said…
It's pretty similar to the current bus times, but not everywhere. K-8s in particular changed a fair amount. This year's times are here: http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/transportation/2013-14%20Arrival%20Departure%20Rev%2007.pdf?sessionid=714f4536d6e953a3a1f5108f5092cc40

Am I correct that the Peters amendment was what passed?
Anonymous said…
Reposted from the JAMSplans blog (bell time alignment thread):

Thank you to everyone who wrote to the School Board and Superintendent regarding the alignment of JAMS and Nathan Hale start times. Unfortunately, the Transportation Service Standards approved at last night's board meeting included a 7:35 bus arrival time for JAMS and a 8:25 arrival time for Nathan Hale. The approved standards included revisions that were introduced late Monday, which included switching four K-8 schools from Tier 1 to Tier 2 and limited transportation grandfathering and express buses for some option schools. It is estimated that the new transportation standards will yield $2.9M savings (in the original proposal, before the revisions, the savings was estimated at $3.4M). There was no reasoning given to support the revisions, nor were the additional costs associated with the revisions itemized.

Prior to the vote on the main action item, Sue Peters introduced an amendment which set tier arrival times back to those originally-proposed by staff (the revised standards had pushed all tiers 10 min later, but in the case of some tier 3 schools, this resulted in release times up to 20 minutes later than this year's release time). The Peters amendment passed, with only Director Peaslee voting against it, with the explanation that she was not comfortable with the early start times for high schools and middle schools (she cited the research supporting later start times for adolescents, etc...). Director Carr was absent, but gave her support of the Peters amendment in a written statement.

Director Martin-Morris asked about the JAMS/Hale alignment, and Bob Westgard gave an explanation that I could not really follow (something about Hale's buses being only for Sped, and how they were unable to consolidate busing between Hale and JAMS), and he stated that 5 additional buses would be needed for the alignment, at a cost of $250K. This is higher than what I had been told previously (4 buses, $200K). There was no follow-up discussion, other than a question later in the discussion by Director McLaren, who asked if it could be possible to align JAMS and Hale in the future, and if the current standards could be seen as an interim step towards that process. She was told that Staff would need direction in advance in order to do the analysis.

As it stands, all comprehensive middle schools in SPS have 7:35 bus arrival times (Tier 1). Option K-8 schools are in Tier 2 (8:25 arrival time), and all attendance area K-8s (assignment for elementary and option for middle school) are in Tier 3 (9:15 arrival time), along with a couple option K-8s.

The complete time table may be found here: http://www.seattleschools.org/modules/groups/homepagefiles/cms/1583136/File/Departmental%20Content/school%20board/13-14%20agendas/020514agenda/20140205_Action_Report_Amendment1_Peters.pdf

SPS staff received kudos from the Board for their work on the "mechanics" of the transportation puzzle. I don't remember hearing anything about how students were being better served by the money-saving changes (other than the discussion around the Peter's amendment and how it helped Tier 3 students by allowing them to have earlier departure times than what was proposed in the revised standards).

Thank you to everyone who wrote in. For whatever their reasons, SPS and the Board chose not to support the alignment of JAMS and Hale start times.

- KM
Anonymous said…
@Eric B

Yes, the Peter's amendment passed (all but Director Peaslee voted in favor of it). The tier arrival and departure times were essentially the same for the original proposal, with the exception of the four option K-8 schools that were moved from Tier 1 to Tier 2.

- North-end Mom

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