Families have to find new ways to get kids to school after bus stop eliminations

LOVELAND, Colo. -- The Thompson School District in northern Colorado eliminated five bus stops this school year, affecting about 100 families.

District representatives say they sent phone, text and email alerts in July of the cuts.

  • Gateway subdivision: Walking distance of Turner Middle School and Berthoud High School
  • Seven Lakes subdivision: Walking distance of Mary Blair Elementary School and Conrad Ball Middle School
  • Green Valley Drive and Pika Drive: Walking distance of Walt Clark Middle School  and Thompson Valley High School
  • Crestone Drive and Namaqua Road: Walking distance of Walt Clark Middle School and Thompson Valley High School
  • Mariana Glen: Walking distance of Namaqua Elementary School

The district says each stop was within a certain radius of a school and was considered within walking distance. Several others were consolidated.

“We have a bus driver shortage,” said Michael Hausmann, with the district.

He says Thompson School District is down 10 bus drivers and administrators are filling in.

These positions require a commercial driver’s license. Because it's a constant problem, the district hired an outside firm to do a transportation audit for efficiency, and followed the recommendations for bus stop eliminations.

But some parents are frustrated. Deanna Winick and her kids live about 1.2 miles from the elementary school.

“It is a really long distance for  a 6-year-old to be walking," she said. "There is a really busy intersection that doesn't have lights."

Now she’s not sure how her kids will get to school.

“We have to go to work in the mornings,” she said.

Hausmann encourages parents to call the district at 970-613-5185 if they are having problems.

“We know that this puts some of our families in a hard spot,” he said. “We are doing  everything we can to try and find solutions for them.”

The Thompson School District pays $14 to $23 an hour for bus drivers.

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