Seattle Public Schools is holding a series of community meetings about proposed changes to its Transportation Plan for the 2011-12 school year.
The first meeting is from 7-8:30 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at Aki Kurose Middle School, 3928 S. Graham St.
The second meeting is from 6:30-8 p.m. next Thursday, Feb. 3, at Hamilton International Middle School, 1610 N. 41st. The third meeting is from 6:30-8 p.m. Wed., Feb. 8, at Chief Sealth International High School, 2600 SW Thistle.
The proposed Transportation Plan changes would save the district $4 million by creating new Transportation Zones for bus routes for attendance area elementary and K-8 schools.
The proposed changes would benefit students and families by decreasing the bus ride time for attendance area schools to 25 minutes or less. As routes will be shorter, buses are less likely to encounter the traffic delays that occur on longer routes, so families will find departure and arrival times to be more reliable. The plan also benefits the environment by taking about 80 buses off the roads and reducing the district’s carbon footprint.
Children within the transportation zone and outside of walk zones would be eligible for district-provided transportation. Transportation Zones would include the entire attendance area of a school, extending to areas within a 1.25-mile radius from the school and within the middle school service area. Existing walk zones to schools would still apply.
Bus transportation for middle schools, high schools, option schools, English Language Learners, Special Education and Advanced Learning would have minimal changes.
In addition to the new zones, some schools’ bell times would change, with some high schools and middle schools starting 10 minutes earlier and elementary schools starting five minutes later.
The School Board is scheduled to vote on the proposed plan at its Feb. 16 meeting. Opportunities to comment during public testimony are available at the February 2 and February 16 board meetings. For information about signing up for public testimony, visit the School Board website at https://www.seattleschools.org/area/board/publictestimony.pdf.