Parents upset with early school bus time - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Parents upset with early school bus time

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) --  Kim Wiltshire's family and other families on their street live just four miles from Willow Creek Middle School, but say that their kids' scheduled bus stop time is 6:30 a.m., an hour and ten minutes before the start of school, and a time they say is totally unreasonable.

But Wiltshire says what's happening with her child and other students isn't just a problem with convenience, it's a safety issue as well.

The bus that picks up her son also picks up kids from Friedell Middle School and Mayo High School, forcing kids to sit three to a seat and putting her son Luke on the bus with students as old as 18.

"The main inconvenience here is that you have kids waking up at 5:30, 5:45 in the morning. That isn't something we should be expecting children to do to go to a school that's only four miles away," Wiltshire said.

Rochester Public Schools released a statement on Friday about the factors involved in determining bus routes:

"Rochester Public Schools contract bussing services through First Student. RPS operates more than 100 bus routes each morning and afternoon. Routes are determined by several factors; first and foremost, the safety of students. We look to see that each bus has an appropriate number of students so that it is not over, nor too far under, capacity. The other factors considered when routing busses are; grade level of the children, number of students registered for RPS bus transportation within a specific area, and cost efficiencies."
"At the beginning of a new school year, we work closely with our computer data and our bus drivers to determine if our routes are scheduled efficiently. Occasionally within the first few weeks of school there are some adjustments required due to space capacity. RPS is very diligent about our routes and we work hard to accommodate transportation efficiently and effectively for all our students."

Wiltshire says her attempts to sort things out with the school have so far been unresolved, but she hopes that the issue is sorted out as the school year goes on, so she and other families on the block don't have to struggle to find later rides for their kids to school.

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