DPS to now provide bus transportation for students as old as 12th grade

DAYTON — Dayton Public Schools is making changes to its transportation plans which the district says will make school bus transportation more efficient and effective.

Starting in the fall of 2021, DPS will provide yellow school bus transportation for all students from Pre-K through 12th grade. The district will no longer be purchasing RTA passes for older students.

The district said this was made possible by a contract the Board of Education recently approved with a third party school bus transportation company, First Student, to handle transportation of the district’s charter and parochial school students.

Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli said the changes are necessary because of ineffective bus transportation in recent years, with students often late to class, late getting home, stuck at home or at school.

“This change will positively impact all DPS students” Lolli said in a written statement Monday, noting the district hopes this new plan will boost attendance and reliability in the district’s transportation system. “Families can…be assured that students will be picked up and dropped off on a regular schedule,” she said.

There are exceptions to the district’s plan to provide bus transportation to all students. Families within a mile and a half of school will still be responsible for providing transportation. Additionally, the district will not provide bus transit for families who choose to send their child to a district school other than their geographically-assigned school.

Special bus schedules will be sent up for the thousands of students who attend charter and parochial schools, through the third party company providing that yellow bus transportation.

The district is still looking for more drivers for next school year, but Lolli said the plan is to have fewer routes in 2021-22 on a more efficient schedule. On top of the normal bus routes, the district plans to provide bus transportation, now, for athletic events and class field trips. The district eventually hopes to add evening transportation from after school programming.

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