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Transportation

 

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Q: It would be helpful for working parents to have bus transportation available for students after sports practices have ended (for both Algonquin and the High School).  It is difficult to pick up a student at 4:30 everyday, when I work until 5:00. (posted on Oct. 3, 2008)
A: It is frustrating when timing differences like you describe occur. Many of our staff face the same issue. We have not been able to arrive at a cost effective solution that allows for this type of service. We currently only provide late buses as follows:

One hour after dismissal, four times a week from APHS and three times per week from Algonquin.  By necessity, these bus runs are extremely limited. We do not provide busses for students attending the CARES program which ends at 5 or afterschool extracurricular activities such as sports or clubs.

We do provide buses from the school to off campus games or group activities, and then back to the school, but not to the individual student’s home. Parents are responsible for transporting their children home from school for most after school activities.  We wish we could provide front door transport to all students who desire it, but it is not possible for us to so.

Perhaps there is a neighbor, or other parent with whom you can car pool, or some other arrangement.  We are sorry for the inconvenience caused by the difference in timing, but we are unable to provide students with this transportation.
 
Q: Please make seat belts mandatory on the School Bus, my little one just started kindergarten and rides the bus, where seat belts are optional, I told her to wear hers and she said \" NO one wears them\"...I am very concerned the Bus driver is very nice but does not make any one wear their seat belt...It is Very Unsafe. (posted on Sept. 10, 2008)
A: Seat belts are mandated by law to be installed on school buses. Use of the belt is only mandated  on small buses (weighing under 10,000 lbs.). It is critical that belts be adjusted with each use.  Correct adjustment assures a proper fit, which is especially important for small children. A too loose or improperly placed belt creates a greater danger of injury than no seat belt at all. Logistically, it is not possible for drivers to place seat belts on students as they board the bus. If you feel your child can adjust the belt and wear it correctly please instruct him/her to do so. We encourage, but can not force students to wear safety belts.
 
Q: What is the district policy regarding a parent having to be outside for bus drop off?  Is their an age/grade when this is no longer required? (posted on Sept. 10, 2008)
A: Safety is our first priority. Drivers do not drop students off in grades K-3 without seeing a familiar adult waiting to receive the child.
 
Q: With this being the first week of school, I have alot of concerns about transportation. Where should I voice my concerns? (posted on September 5, 2008)
A: Please direct all specific questions regarding your own child or a specific route to the transportation department at 674-7070.
 
Q: As a first time parent of a Kindergarten I am concerned about the bus, the number, route, and the driver.  When will we be receiving this information? (posted on August 22, 2008)
A: In addition to Advertiser information that will be published on August 29th, individual letters and post cards will be mailed to students by the 25th of August. This will allow parents and children time to prepare for the "dry runs" which occur Tuesday morning in anticipation of the first day of school September 3.
 
Q: Is every bus monitor assigned to a special needs student or group of students? If not, can we save money by only assigning them in this way? (posted on July 29, 2008)
A: Bus attendents are there to serve students with disabilities.  In some cases, it may be just a single student on the bus and in some cases it is a group of students. The need for an attendent is discussed, considered, and then acted on at a CSE meeting.  We typically meet on students once per year.  We receive feedback from the school principal, teaching team and transportation team as we make these recommendations. Recommendations for a bus attendent need to be linked to the student's disability related needs.
 
Q: I see on the news where other school districts are re-routing their buses etc, with the cost of fuel. What is AP doing? (posted on July 25, 2008)
A: We are in the process of hiring a new transportation supervisor and have been working with a new software routing program as well. The issue of route efficiency is an ongoing concern and one that we plan to actively address as we approach the new school year.
 
Q: Are there any thoughts to go to a 4 day school week to conserve fuel? (posted July 21, 2008)
A: The district is always interested in saving money and this option would certainly save fuel for buses and fuel to heat the schools. It would, however, require changes in personnel contracts, changes in teaching patterns, etc. We have not talked about this issue publicly but have discussed it administratively.
New York State requires public schools to be in session 180 days. There is little room under current law to change this. It may be something that we consider as we work with our legislators and stay involved in the discussion at the State level regarding the calendar etc. A recent news article describes the obstacles to this change.
http://www.poststar.com/articles/2008/07/18/news/local/13747120.txt