DPS addresses transportation issues for 2012-13 school year
July 30, 2012
Contact: Jill Moberley, Public Information Officer
For Immediate Release
As the district prepares to welcome students back to class Aug. 15, Dayton Public Schools administrators and staff have been working all summer to improve transportation services, eliminating issues (including late or sporadic bus service) that many families experienced last year.
Changes include a tightening of eligibility requirements for transportation and the return of a three-tier bell schedule for school start and dismissal. District officials will hold four informational fairs to help explain the changes to parents and provide back-to-school information. In addition, the district will establish a hotline to assist callers with questions, and has hired more bus drivers to assist with routes.
Previously, DPS transported students who live farther than 1.5 miles from their school of attendance, but has made too many exceptions over the years for students living within that distance. The exceptions have contributed to overcrowding on buses, late pick-ups and drop-offs, and other irregularities in service, which drew complaints.
Beginning this school year, the district will only transport students within the 1.5-mile radius whose routes to school are impeded by any one of four hazards (active railroad crossing, a river, major highway, or bridge without a sidewalk), or students who have an existing transportation requirement in their individual education programs.
The new requirements are expected to create additional walkers.
By law, the district does not have to transport students who live within 2.0 miles of their school.
In addition, the district’s return to a staggered three-tier bell schedule is expected to ease timing issues with late morning and afternoon routes. DPS anticipates that drivers recently hired and trained will assist with route coverage in the event of regular driver absences.
In preparation for larger numbers of walkers, the district is working with city and county officials to raise safety awareness during the opening of school. Families served by DPS are invited to attend any of four back-to-school information fairs, featuring information such as uniform requirements and bell schedules, Family Meal Application, Safe Routes to School, the Home Access Center student portal, and student registration. The fairs are scheduled Aug. 6 through 9 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations:
Aug. 6 – Lohrey Center, 2366 Glenarm Ave.
Aug. 7 – Princeton Center, 1600 Princeton Ave.
Aug. 8 – Kiser PreK-8 School, 1401 Leo St.
Aug. 9 – Fairview PreK-8 School, 2314 Elsmere Ave.
DPS will mail letters between July 25 and Aug. 7 indicating whether students will walk to school this year or ride the bus. The letters also include the dates and times of the information fairs.
This district has established a special information line, open Aug. 1 through Aug. 31, to address general transportation changes, the Safe Routes to School initiative, and other back-to-school information. Questions may be directed to 542-3010. The lines are open 1 p.m. through 5 p.m. Aug. 1 through Aug. 10, and will expand to 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. beginning Aug. 13.
Most of the district’s preK-8 schools have prepared suggested routes to school for walkers, organized volunteers to walk with children, asked for assistance from neighborhood police officers, and conducted walking audits over the summer to alert fire or police officials of any problem areas around their schools. The city of Dayton is working with the district to address any nuisance structures that pose a particular concern. DPS staff will implement many elements of the Safe Routes to Schools Program, which addresses the safety of children as they walk or bike to school.