The Road to Improved School Transportation

Icons of bus and clock accompany the text, "The road to improve school transportation"

WJCC Schools’ transportation team continues to look at all options to improve bus pick up and drop off. Although times are improving, significant delays are still happening at many elementary and middle schools. When bus drivers are covering more than one route or making multiple “runs” at one school, there is a domino effect leading to extended wait times for afternoon pickups at other schools.

How are we addressing the problem?

The division is actively recruiting and training new bus drivers. Some will be behind the wheel next week. This will have an impact; however, greater action is needed to increase the time between bus runs for each school tier.

Monday, Sept. 20 – Thursday, Sept. 30, the division will pilot a 5-10 minute change to school start and end times to give bus drivers more time to get from school to school. During that time, staff will monitor arrival and drop-off times and evaluate efficiencies. At the end of the two weeks, we will determine if the schedule change should remain in place until the end of the school year. The division is also consolidating some neighborhood bus stops to reduce the frequency that buses need to stop and start during the route. Students should plan to arrive at their bus stop 5-10 minutes earlier in the morning. Route information will be updated on the division website as soon as possible.

What are the temporary school hours? (Sept. 20 – 30)

Bright Beginnings preschool times will not change during this period.

Tier 1 – High Schools
Jamestown, Lafayette, and Warhill: 7:15 a.m. – 2:15 p.m.

Tier 2 – Middle and Elementary Schools
Lois S. Hornsby, James Blair, Berkeley, and Toano: 8 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.

D.J. Montague, James River, Stonehouse: 8:55 a.m. – 3:25 p.m.

Tier 3 – Elementary Schools
Clara Byrd Baker, J. Blaine Blayton, Laurel Lane, Matoaka, Matthew Whaley, and Norge: 9:40 a.m. – 4:10 p.m.

New bus tracking app is coming soon

We know that many families are choosing to drive their children to school right now. Please be mindful of the increased traffic in the parking lot and on neighboring roads. As a reminder, students must be dropped off following the school’s established procedure. Students should not be let out of the car in the general parking lot or nearby to walk to school. Doing so creates a safety hazard. Additionally, please do not try to pass cars stopped in the student drop-off line; this has the potential to cause an accident.

Reminder for families driving their children to school

A new school bus tracking mobile app is on the way. Stopfinder will use WJCC Schools GPS data to give real-time updates on bus location and distance from bus stops. The system needs several weeks of GPS data before the app can launch. We will send a link to families when Stopfinder is ready to go. You can learn more about the mobile app and get directions for downloading it at https://stopfinder.com/parents/.