SSISD morning buses to run 10 minutes later

Change takes effect Tuesday; evening schedules won't change

By FAITH HUFFMAN, News-Telegram News Editor

Sept. 15, 2008 - Sulphur Springs Independent School District buses will begin running 10 minutes later than current times starting Tuesday, according to SSISD transportation director Larry Finney.

The new schedule is designed to better accommodate high school and middle school campuses, where fewer staff members are on hand to monitor students' activities for about 15 minutes after bus riders have been arriving at campuses, according to Finney.

Evening bus delivery will not be affected by the change.

When he began overhauling the school bus schedules earlier this year to make them more efficient, Finney said he knew there was a possibility that they'd have to be amended or "tweaked" after school started.

By running regular routes 10 minutes later, the adjustment "assists the High School and Middle School with the problems of students being delivered too early from the Prim hub," he notes in a memo e-mailed to all campus administrators last week, referring to the morning and evening bus exchange at Gerald Prim Stadium. "This adjustment to the schedule will cause the campus shuttles to arrive at your campuses ten minutes later than they do presently. Much deliberation was invested in this before the final decision was made to adjust the morning bus schedule by ten minutes."

The bus schedule was revamped to accommodate the change in the beginning and end class start times this year, devised to accommodate zero hour classes.

Essentially, this change was requested after high school and middle school administrators noted too many students on the campus without adequate staff supervision. The buses were getting to the school 10-15 minutes before staff were slated to arrive at 7:50 a.m. Starting the bus routes 10 minutes later should see students and staff arriving at the school around the same time. This was not previously an issue since the arrival of buses at schools was staggered. This will better accommodate the 250 bus students who do not have zero hour classes.

"This change does not apply to Head Start or Special Services bus routes since they are not directly related to the Prim bus hub," Finney noted in the memo to administrators.

Notices for parents were printed and sent home Friday and Monday to bus students to give parents time to plan for the Tuesday morning change, which will either give their children 10 additional minutes to sleep or get ready in the mornings.

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