Dayton schools cancel RTA plan for middle schoolers

Dayton Public Schools’ proposal to have middle school students ride RTA buses to school starting next fall has been canceled.

Associate Superintendent Shelia Burton said Tuesday the district has adopted a new set of schedules for all school buildings that will allow the district to improve transportation.

RELATED: Dayton schools consider major busing changes

“We’ll have four (school) start times instead of three,” Burton said. “That will help improve our ability to shorten the routes, so driver attendance won’t impact us as much … because our goal is to get the kids to school on time.”

Superintendent Rhonda Corr said that tiered system will mean some students will start school as early as 7 a.m. so that bus drivers can finish their early route, then do another route of a school that starts later.

“We had four town hall meetings and I think people were very skeptical as we presented a plan,” Corr said, referring to safety concerns that families raised. “What I want people to know is that we heard you, loud and clearly, that you do not want your seventh-and eighth-graders riding RTA, so they will not be riding RTA next year.”

RELATED: Superintendent says DPS “has to do something” on busing

Some families’ safety concerns were heightened earlier this month when RTA approved a policy allowing concealed-carry permit holders to bring guns onto RTA buses.

Burton said Tuesday that several other proposals to improve DPS busing are still awaiting final decisions, either from the school board or the Ohio Department of Education.

Those include making commercial day care centers responsible for transporting students to their location; getting state approval to stop busing charter or parochial students whose routes take more than 30 minutes; and requiring most students who attend a DPS school outside their city quadrant to transport themselves.

RELATED: RTA to allow some guns on buses

“No matter what you do, you’re not going to please everybody,” Corr said. “You may be at the bus stop when it’s dark in the morning, or you may be getting home when it’s dark in the evening. … We’re doing the best we can so they don’t have to be on buses for a long period of time, so they get to school safely, and so parents don’t have to worry what time is my child going to be picked up or dropped off.”

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