Busing issues cause schedule change

Reasoning behind time difference is transportation

The new bus schedule times.

Graphic by Lyndsay Valadez

The new bus schedule times.

Andrew Tapp, Editor in Chief

Perry Township announced Wednesday afternoon that busing tiers one and two are moving their respective start times up ten minutes in the morning and shaving five minutes off their day.

This is all due to busing problems occurring in the afternoon with tier three buses not getting some elementary students home until 5 or 6 in the evening, according to SHS principal Brian Knight.

“To my understanding,” Knight said, “where (the township) is running into trouble is that they’ve got the routes down to the point where they can run the routes in the amount of time they have, but they’re struggling, given the time of day, getting buses from tier two to the tier three schools.”

Knight gave a hypothetical situation where a bus that leaves Glenns Valley, a tier two school, drops  the last student off somewhere on County Line Road and then has to try to get to Douglas MacArthur within the allotted time. The buses have 45 minutes to complete their route and get to the next school.

“The route only took (a bus) 35 minutes,” Knight said, “but it takes them 25 minutes to get to MacArthur, because any of those roads, at that time of day, are impossible to navigate.”

The new bus schedule allows buses an hour and ten minutes between their tier two and tier three routes, which should allow them the time they need to get to the tier three schools on time, according to Knight.

Another part of the problem is that enrollment across the township is up by about 700 to 800 students compared to this time last year, which is causing more stops for the buses as well.

According to Knight, the five minutes taken off of the school day will be coming from transitions between lunches and some out of the announcement time for SPTV. He says that passing periods will not be cut again due to this decision.

Another part of this decision is that there are studies that say high school aged students perform better when they wake up later and attend school later in the day. However, Knight says that there are also studies showing that high schools that start later as suggested, don’t see much improvement.

“If we don’t start till 9 o’clock, you know what people will do? They stay up till midnight,” Knight said. “There’s lots of things out there that say, ‘yes you shift the time, the people just shift their schedule.’”