EDUCATION BLACKBOARD

by JACQUIE FASE
Director of Transportation
Rockford Public Schools

“How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before it’s June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?” —Dr. Seuss

As the scholarly Dr. Seuss once said, “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way!” I see this mantra embedded in the “Rockford Ram Culture” through its inspiring teachers, motivational administrators, and through all the great staff members, parents, coaches and volunteers. The transportation department believes in obtaining this level of positivity and enthusiasm as well, because each department is an essential aspect of the greater Rockford Public Schools (RPS) family.

As we prepare for yet another school year, I can’t help but reflect on how quickly technology changes to enable us to share correct information. Over the years we have traversed various avenues on our quest to inform district families of their bussing schedules. The one roadblock we encounter each year is publishing information that will remain current beyond the printing deadline. This year the student population will be able to access their bussing information through the RPS family access website.

We will not be sending out the yearly transportation postcards.

Through trial and error we have learned that from the time these cards are printed and sent, to the first day of school, our routes will change daily. These changes could be very minor to a complete rewrite of entire routes. The changes might be due to students moving in or out of a neighborhood (or district) to simply a change in the bus number. Unexpected changes can cause major stress among parents and district staff on the first day of school.

By logging into your family access account and viewing the live data, you will be well informed of any change to your students’ bussing schedule. As always, if there is ever a question or concern, I would encourage you to call the transportation department at (616) 863-6328.

We are currently in the process of updating the routes for the 2012-2013 school year. All students are routed to and from their home address unless we have information concerning daycare or non-custodial parent locations within our district. We expect parents to update this information on a yearly basis to alleviate any confusion once school starts in the fall.

It is also important to remember that we cannot transport students to after-school employment, dentist appointments or any other non-school function. The routes are very closely timed as are the number of students assigned to each bus. Together these two factors do not allow for changing schedules.

We look forward the challenges that each new school year holds. To orchestrate the numerous bus routes at all the various levels as well as the hundreds of trips to sporting events and field trips can be a balancing act. We, at the transportation department, appreciate your understanding as we utilize the new technology that allows us to be efficient and effective in our quest to serve.

“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”–Dr. Seuss

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