For years, Broadalbin-Perth has maintained separate bus runs to transport elementary and secondary students to and from school. In an effort to accommodate individual student needs, we have allowed elementary students to ride secondary bus runs to school to participate in before-school programs, and we have allowed secondary students to ride elementary bus runs home in the afternoon so they can participate in after-school activities.
Recently, parents have expressed concerns about the practice of allowing elementary and secondary students to ride on a bus together. Therefore, on Monday, May 6, we will launch a pilot program designed to address these concerns. Under the pilot program, no middle or high school student will be allowed to ride on a Broadalbin-Perth bus during a bus run designated for elementary students, and no elementary student will be allowed to ride during a bus run designated for secondary students.
While we are striving to minimize any negative effects on students and their ability to participate in available school programs, this change will necessitate some adjustments:
- Elementary students who normally ride to school on the secondary bus run to participate in Sunrise, Think Tank or band programs will be picked up later (between 7:15 and 7:45), and program start times will be adjusted to between 7:45 and 8 a.m. Please note that parents always have the option of dropping their children off early and enrolling their children in B-P’s before-school childcare program for free on the days their children attend these early-morning programs.
- Secondary students who miss the bus during their normal morning pick-up will no longer be allowed to ride the elementary bus run to school. These students will have to make other arrangements to get to school.
- Secondary students may no longer stay after school unless they are receiving extra academic help from a teacher. Students who do stay after school will be directed to wait in their school cafeteria until 3 p.m. or later when a limited number of buses will be available to transport them home. Parents should expect their secondary-age children to arrive home later than normal when students stay after school.
- There will be no 3 p.m. late bus run for secondary students on Fridays.
- Student-athletes who need to travel to the other campus for practices or games and do not have to stay after school for academic support should ride any bus in the first line-up of the regular secondary bus run at 1:50 p.m. dismissal. There will also be a bus that leaves the middle school at 2:30 each day to take modified student-athletes who have to stay after school for academic support to the high school; this bus will ONLY be for student-athletes. Student-athletes will not be allowed to ride on the elementary bus run. Once they arrive at the other campus, they will be supervised in the cafeteria until it is time for them to report for their scheduled practice or game.
As this is a pilot program, we expect to encounter some logistical challenges that will need to be worked out. I encourage you to keep the lines of communication open, especially with your child’s principal and main office staff. We welcome feedback as we work through this pilot phase to determine how best to meet the transportation needs of our students moving forward.
You, as a parent, always have the option of transporting your child to and from school – and before- and after-school activities. As a district, we are committed to providing high-quality, safe transportation services that accommodate the various academic and extracurricular needs of our students.
If you have any questions or concerns about this change, please contact me at 518-954-2500.
Stephen M. Tomlinson