Transportation changes on horizon
by JACQUIE FASE
Director of Transportation
Rockford Public Schools
Winston Churchill once said, “There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction,” and as a transportation department we are keen on good directions.
As you’ve read, Governor Synder and the state of Michigan are significantly limiting educational budgets for the year of 2011-2012. Because of these budget cuts, the transportation department is also formulating ways to save funds despite the increasing fuel prices and student population.
While many school districts are considering shutting down school bus transportation for the general student population, we have done extensive brainstorming and multi-cultural research on other various ways to get students to school. Some ideas include utilizing sled dogs, gondolas, rickshaws, camel caravans, and, of course, moon boots. Unfortunately, the infrastructure required of these projects, as well as the general safety and efficiency of these ideas, has placed such modes of transportation on the back burner and we’ve decided to stick with traditional yellow school busses for now.
Changes in transportation require flexibility and understanding in order to service all students effectively. For example, next year Rockford will have an Early Childhood Center where all the developmental kindergarten classes and ECSE students will be at Meadowridge Elementary School, requiring additional transportation services. This program is a positive addition to Rockford education, but will also impact how transportation is run for all other grade levels. As a Rockford community, it is essential for everyone to be flexible and understanding, so that we can provide students with the best education and a safe ride to school during hard economic times.
As we break for summer, please submit any daycare or address change information to your school’s office as soon as possible, so that we may better prepare for next year. More bussing information will be sent in August. If you have any questions regarding your child’s transportation, please call the bus garage at (616) 863-6328.