Wheatland Center School to give buses in back a try

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Buses will enter and exit the school grounds at the access shown at the bottom of the map, travel along the south side of the building and pick-up and drop-off in the area on the west side of the building where you can see a oval pointed on the pavement.

In the ongoing process of trying to perfect the drop-off and pick-up of students at Wheatland Center School, officials will be trying a new scheme starting next week for a two-week trial period.

Board member Troy Bruley proposed having the school’s seven buses drop-off and pick-up students behind the school building. Parents dropping off students would continue to use the east side of the building. That proposal passed the School Board unanimously.

Dropping off and picking up students has been a contentious issue at the school this year as officials have tried to find a safer way for student transportiation. In years past, buses used to drop off students in double file along the east side of the school and cars dropped off in the north parking lot. This year, buses have been dropping off students in the bus parking lot southeast of the school and cars were dropping off along the east side of the school. The change was made to separate car and bus traffic. However, concerns have been raised from the public about the safety of students crossing the parking lot from the bus parking area while cars drive nearby.

In the back of the school, the buses will be parked so that the drivers can see children exiting or entering the building as they walk to or from the buses. At the end of the day, they will leave one at a time from the lot. Buses would access the rear area via the second entrance to Highway O and then along the south side of the building through a parking lot to the back area. They would exit the back the same way.

Bruley said he felt the buses in the back plan had several advantages, including safety and better control.

“It keeps the cars from the buses; it keeps them separated,” Bruley said.

Marcy Lipstreuer, a bus driver for the school, said the back lot plan will cause a long walk back for bus drivers who need to bring additional buses back when subs who are teachers need to drive a bus. The buses are parked southeast of the school building.

The board directed interim administrator Conrad Chaffee and the bus driving staff to work out logistics tomorrow, the last day of school this week, and try to get started with the new plan Monday.


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