Douglas County School District reduces the number of bus routes during the pandemic

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — With the school year quickly approaching, another big issue that parents are dealing with is the possibility of limited bus service for students due to distancing requirements.

Douglas County School District sent an email to families Monday morning that listed cuts to their bus routes, and reasons for them. They say current local and state public health orders limit the number of students allowed on a school bus.

For example, on a standard 72 passenger bus, only 26 students will be allowed in order to maintain physical distancing, with one child per seat. That, and a nationwide bus driver shortage, have caused the district to reduce the number of bus routes.DCSD sent out this information about the changes:

We are sad to share that, for the 2020-2021 school year, DCSD will no longer be able to provide bus service for the following riders:

  • Elementary students who reside within 2.5 miles of their assigned neighborhood school.
  • Middle and high school students who reside within 5 miles of their assigned neighborhood school.
  • Students who reside in gated communities where stops can be moved to gates one mile from home.
  • Students attending or participating in BASE, International Baccalaureate, or Band.
  • Students who are enrolled in a school other than their assigned neighborhood school. 

Generally, DCSD school bus service will be available to the following students:

Elementary School Students WhoMiddle and High School Students Who
Attend their assigned neighborhood school-and-Live more than 2.5 miles from their assigned neighborhood schoolAttend their assigned neighborhood school-and-Live more than 5 miles from their assigned neighborhood school

Bus transportation will continue to be provided for all eligible students with special needs, as well as homeless and foster children, and other eligible students as required by applicable law.

Douglas County parents like Jennifer Bakken will have to make new plans.  She is one of many parents who realized her kids no longer have bus service available to and from school.

“For those of us with 8 to 5 office jobs, the drop off in the morning isn’t much of an issue. We don’t have any problem getting them there in the morning, but it’s the pick up at 2:30, 3:00 in the afternoon that will be a challenge,” Bakken said. 

Douglas County will offer a hybrid model for school this year. Students on that model will be in school two days a week, and working online three days a week. A 100% online model is also offered.

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