Preliminary Transportation Plan for 15-16

Tentative Transportation Changes for 2015-2016

 

As schools are reconfigured in the fall of 2015, it will become necessary for the district to modify the way we transport students.   Transporting students from home to school and back home in Woodland Public School District, is not a simple matter.  The diversity of population density, from the densely populated city of Woodland, to the very rural areas that are many road miles from Woodland, create a complexity that is not generally found in more densely populated school districts like Vancouver.

 

In exploring options three different models were considered:

 

1)   The current model with multiple drop off points.

Currently the transportation system has three drop-off/pick-up points.  The Intermediate, Primary, and MS/HS complex.   Two of these, the Primary and MS/HS are close in proximity.  Within the city of Woodland, many students are served by a “double run”, where the busses go through a neighborhood and pick up students for the Intermediate School.  They then do another short route through neighborhoods to pick up and transport students to WPS and the WMS/WHS complex.

 

With the new Woodland High School located approximately 3 road miles from it’s current location, there would need to be a fourth drop-off/pick-up location.    Given the lengths of the school day, the amount of standing time involved in pickup at each location, and the travel distance, this model has been ruled out as unfeasible.    It would not work well in terms of school bell schedules.  It would also require many students to remain on the school bus for up to an additional half-hour.  Making the ride for students who live in areas like Cougar almost two hours in length.

 

 

2)   A “Hub” model, where students transfer buses from a central hub and are transported to their host schools.

This model was originally considered as the “Most favored” option.   The idea was that students would, in the morning, be transported from their home to the new Woodland High School.  They would then be “shuttled” to the school that they attend.  In many cases, this would require students to transfer from one bus to another for the shuttle.   When the model was examined it was very difficult for the shuttles to make it between the WMS and the new WHS and still maintain the bell schedules.  Additionally, it would require increased supervisory staffing for managing for the transition of students, particularly of primary age, at the hub.  Students, particularly in outlying areas, would potentially have a longer ride to and from school.    Following examination of this model, we decided to explore a third model that proves to be the most efficient, cost-effective and supportive of students, in terms of time on the school bus.

 

3)   A “Double Tier” model

In the “Double Tier” model, the school busses make two runs through the same areas of the district.   In the early run, students in grades K-4 would be picked up and dropped of at the Intermediate School (Grades 2-4), and then dropped off at the Primary School (K-1).  The busses would then go back out to pick up students in grades 5-12.  They would drop off at the new WHS, followed by the WMS.

 

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Student time on school Busses is similar to the current transportation model.  The other models increase travel time for students.

 

In many cases, students will be required to walk further to bus stops, particularly those in grades 5-12.  If start times were reversed (Elementary late), the number of pick-up points for younger children would be required to be substantially reduced in order for busses to make their turn window.

Parents of younger students express concern about the impact on their children riding with older students (foul language, more mature conversation, etc).  This problem would be positively impacted by the change.

Parents who depend on older children for childcare would be impacted by the change.

There is a substantial  research base to support the positive impact on learning of a later start time for secondary students.

For the 22% of HS students (and roughly 11% of middle school students) who participate in athletics and other after school activities, the later dismissal times will mean more missed class times for competitions.

Academic advantages to secondary students include the possibility of increased “zero period” options.   This may provide students who are credit deficient to make up lost credits; particularly important with the implementation of the 24 credit diploma.  It also provides opportunity for “zero period” geometry classes for mathematically advanced eighth-grade students.

 

The cost of this model is the lowest of the three.  The road miles are more, but the labor costs are lower, resulting in a net savings.

 

 

Attached is a document that details some of the key elements of the double tier model.  One page shows an example of start/end times and bus turn around times.   The other page shows examples of elementary vs secondary runs.  You will note the number of roads traveled and the number of pickup points for younger kids is greater than for the older kids, in fact the pickup points in town are the same as current. Rural routes and pickups will be the same as current for both the younger and older kids.  This is only possible with the earlier start times for elementary-aged children. 

Attached Files:
NameSizeType
Double Run demo.pdf 562KB application/pdf