Board to reconsider bus transportation changes

Putnam County School District administrators are asking board members to resume bus transportation to and from area day care centers.

“This all came up during our information sessions with parents about school times,” Superintendent Rick Surrency said. “A lot of people had questions about us helping get their kids to day care.”

Elementary school students will be getting out of school at 2:35 p.m. beginning this school year — almost an hour earlier than last year’s 3:15 p.m. release.

Earlier this year — before the school time changes — board members voted to discontinue bus transportation to and from day care centers within a two-mile radius of a school in an effort to reduce the number of routes for school district bus drivers.

Eliminating the routes also eliminated a question of equitable treatment brought up when a day care owner said he was denied district transportation for his students because of a bus driver shortage, while a neighboring day care center’s students received district transportation.

While bus driver recruitment continues, Surrency said, resuming transportation to and from day care centers would remediate parents’ concerns about childcare after school.

Resuming transportation for day care centers within two miles of a school will be considered by board members during the Aug. 1 board meeting. Surrency said Interim Transportation Director Sharon Spell would be at the meeting to answer questions.

“I talked to Sharon … and asked her to see what kind of impact (resuming transportation) would have,” Surrency said. “I asked her to be at the meeting so she can address any questions board members might have.”

The Putnam County School District board meeting is 3:30 p.m. Aug. 1 at 200 Reid St. in Palatka. The board’s first budget hearing will follow the meeting at 5:05 p.m.

Palatka Daily News

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