There will be three community meetings for families to provide feedback on proposed changes in the Seattle Public Schools transportation plan for the 2011-12 school year. The proposed changes would save the district $4 million (the equivalent of 45 teaching positions) by creating new transportation zones that would streamline bus routes for attendance area elementary and K-8 schools.
The community meetings are as follows:
- Thursday, Jan. 27, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Aki Kurose Middle School, 3928 S. Graham St.
- Thursday, Feb. 3, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Hamilton International Middle School, 1610 N. 41st.
- Wednesday, Feb. 8, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Chief Sealth International High School, 2600 S.W. Thistle.
The proposed changes are aimed at decreasing the bus ride time for attendance area schools to 25 minutes or less. As routes will be shorter, buses are less likely to encounter the traffic delays that occur on longer routes. The plan also benefits the environment by taking about 80 buses off the roads and reducing the district's carbon footprint.
Children within the transportation zone and outside of walk zones would be eligible for district-provided transportation. Transportation zones would include the entire attendance area of a school, extending to areas within a 1.25-mile radius from the school and within the middle school service area. Existing walk zones to schools would still apply.
As a result of the plan, some elementary and K-8 students currently receiving transportation this year might not get transportation next year. District leaders are working to provide intermediary bus options for impacted students. Bus transportation for middle schools, high schools, option schools, English language learners, special education and advanced learning would have minimal changes.
Additional information is available on the Seattle Public Schools web site, and the site will be updated as additional information, such as the estimated number of students impacted by the change, becomes available. Questions or comments about the plan can also be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about the community meetings, contact Bernardo Ruiz at email@example.com or 206-252-0693.