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Exceptions for school bus transportation likely to continue

May 26, 2009|By ERIN CUNNINGHAM

WASHINGTON COUNTY -- Washington County Public Schools students are likely to continue using school bus transportation to attend schools outside their assigned school districts, Washington County Public Schools Deputy Superintendent Boyd Michael said Tuesday.

Students are allowed to do so under a transportation policy approved last year, but the portion allowing students to be picked up or dropped off at locations other than their homes will expire at the end of the school year unless a sunset provision is lifted. However, Michael said he expects the policy will stand.

The policy was discussed during a Board of Education committee meeting Tuesday.

Michael said he believes the full school board could vote on whether to continue allowing the special exceptions at its June 2 meeting.

Students attend schools outside their assigned districts for several reasons, including acceptance to one of the county's magnet schools. Supervisor of Transportation Barbara Scotto said students either walk a short distance to a bus stop that takes them to the school they are assigned to, or they are dropped off at one of those stops by their parents.

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No additional stops are added to accommodate out-of-district students.

Officials were unsure how many students have been granted exceptions to the transportation policy, which requires approval before students can be dropped off or picked up at a location other than their homes.

Scotto said that in the past, students would simply show up at bus stops, and bus drivers would have no way of knowing if that was their assigned stop.

The new policy offers more accountability and consistency, she said.

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