Wheatland Center to form committee to examine student transportation concerns

The Wheatland Center School Board will form a special committee to examine concerns that have arisen for some parents over how students are dropped off and picked up from school this year.

wheatland_warhawksHow students come and go to the school was changed this year. The district’s seven buses used to drop off students along the east side of the building along side several building entrances. The buses were parked in a double row to keep cars from driving along side them. Parents who drove students to school in cars dropped off children in the lot north of the school.

This year, cars are parking for drop off where the buses used to park, while buses park for drop-off in the lot where the buses are parked during the day and night, just southeast of the building. The bused students then cross the south parking lot and enter the school through the south door. Three special ed buses also let off students in the back or west side of the school, entering and exiting through the south side lot.  A staff person — often district administrator Scott Huth — controls traffic in the area of the crossing.

Four parents attended Tuesday’s meeting because of the issue. They summarized their concerns as crossing of the south lot by so many students as being unsafe, compared to the old arrangement. They also are concerned about cars driving near the students crossing from the buses when the weather gets worse and young students having to walk the length of the school to get to their classes.

Board President Christopher Serak said he and board member Troy Bruley will form a special committee to examine the issue and look for possible solutions. The district also has consulted with the Sheriff’s Department and the district’s insurance carrier for their opinion of the issue.

“We’re just trying to get some ideas…” Serak said. “We’re really not picking groups; it’s really a traffic management issue.”

He also pointed out that the change was made because the old system also had safety problems.

“I don’t think going back to the old way would be an improvement,” said Serak, who added that he drives his child to school. (Serak says in the comments to this post that his child usually takes the bus, but he has driven her at times. — DH)

Not all the feedback the school has heard has been negative as well, said board member Kandi Horton.

“There are a lot of good comments that have come out of this too,” Horton said.

No date for a meeting of the special committee was set, but Serak said he anticipated a meeting with in the next two weeks. He offered to take contact info for members of the public interested in the issue to give their opinions to the committee.


One Comment

  1. Chris Serak says:

    Dear Darren,

    Just a point of correction. My daughter rides the bus 99% of the time. I have driven her to school in the past and parked in the North Lot while doing so. I have always walked her into school and have never dropped her at the curb.

    Thanks for covering the meetings,

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