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School bus routes changed

The time changes that will affect schools’ start and finish times beginning Sept. 8 also will affect bus routes. As part of cost-saving measures, two routes will be eliminated and consolidated into other routes.
Although changes have been made, transportation still will be available for any child who needs to ride to school and back to the residence.
Route No. 4 and Route No. 9, which both served the downtown Sylvania area, have been combined, while a total of nine bus routes have been changed for budgetary reasons and efficiency.
Routes that remain with changes include No. 3 (Hagan Road area), No. 4 (off Main Street), No. 7 (Jenk Hill area), No. 12 (Millen Highway area), No. 18 (Rocky Ford), No. 32 (Burtons Ferry Highway area), No. 34 (Fox Hunters Road area), and No. 35 (Newington Highway area).
A complete list of the changed bus routes are detailed on page 15 of this week’s Sylvania Telephone.
“Buses will be arriving about 15 minutes later in the mornings and 15 minutes earlier in the afternoons,” said Brett Martin, transportation director, of the amended routes that mirror the 30-minute shorting of the class day for students.
“Due to budget cuts, we are eliminating two in-town bus routes,” Martin said.
The bus routes changes are a portion of the overall picture as the school system makes the state’s mandatory 3 percent reduction. The local school board already has eliminated all funding for competitive out-of-town trips as groups have been forced to hold various fundraisers to generate money for travel.
As a result of the more efficient daily bus routing, elimination of two bus driver salaries, and lower fuel costs, school officials say they hope to save approximately $80,000.
Martin said the two bus drivers whose jobs were eliminated may be used as substitute drivers and for field trips and other out-of-district events.
Officials also will cut all athletic and other competitive trips for a savings of $52,000.
The transportation cuts go with other reductions systemwide to meet the necessary 3 percent or $435,000 amount.
Other changes beginning Tuesday include that buses will no longer make door-to-door pick ups as students will need to board at the closest intersections and children living in the same household may ride different buses depending on which school they attend.
“You need to have them at the nearest intersections,” Martin said. “Some folks may say ‘It is too far for my child to walk,’ but in most cases it is no more than an elementary school student walking from a classroom to the lunchroom at school.”
If a child is too young to make the walk unattended, Martin asks a parent to accompany the child. Parents, he said, need to supervise the children at the bus stops.
“We aren’t going to have kids walk an unreasonable distance,” Martin said. “With them getting home 15 minutes earlier, please make sure there is somebody at home to meet them.”
Young children will not be allowed off of the bus if a parent or caretaker is not visible when the bus arrives.