Thanks again to the more than 60 people from Essex Town, Essex Junction, and Westford that attended our community conversation in April about the expansion of student transportation in EWSD (review slides from that presentation by clicking here).
Since then, school staff and representatives of the bus company have begun drafting plans to provide equitable service to all students in the district. Here is a summary of what’s happening and what to expect in the months ahead:
The team is using multiple software tools to map student residence information and other specialized software to create draft bus routes. It’s expected that an initial draft of bus routes and stops will be completed by early June.
In May, Gary Marckres, EWSD Transportation Project Manager, conducted site visits to all Essex Junction schools to observe current drop-off and pick-up procedures. Gary also met with the principals of the schools in Essex Junction to get their feedback and suggestions and to also begin discussions about procedures for things like student discipline and more.
Earlier this year, the Vermont Department of Health conducted a survey of parents in the district and has also been looking at transportation infrastructure in our three communities. The results of the survey were shared at the Community Conversation in April. We appreciate the work of the health department, especially since it was conducted without cost to the district. At the June 6 EWSD board meeting, representatives from the health department will present their final recommendations based on their study. The public is always welcome to attend board meetings, which start at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
Finally, the district has engaged the services of civil engineers Krebs and Lasing (based in Colchester) to survey bus lanes and traffic flow for the village schools and to evaluate specific issues about schools in the Junction. As many have observed, Fleming and Summit create some unique challenges. Engineering work and analysis will be critical going forward to devise a permanent solution, but combining the drop-off/pick-up location in front of Fleming is being considered for both Fleming and Summit schools.
Stay tuned! The EWSD board expects to continue the conversation with the community, specifically to get feedback as the new system begins to take shape over the summer.
Questions? Review the student transportation FAQ or contact school board member Brendan Kinney via email, email@example.com.