Saturday, July 18, 2009

Changes Coming in School Bus Policy

A public information campaign has now begun to let parents know about the many changes coming up this year in the transportation of Putnam County school children. For one, the so-called "parent responsibility zone" is now half a mile, rather than a quarter mile. That means if a student lives within one half-mile of their school or one half-mile from an established bus stop, it's the parent's responsibility to get their student to that location. Schools within the Cookeville city limits will begin staggered bell times this year. Students in grades 5 through 12 will go to class from 7:45 am to 2:45 pm. Students in Kindergarten through 4th grade will attend from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm. That means students in grades 5-12 will have a different bus schedule and possibly a different bus number than the K-4 student. All students attending schools in Monterey, Algood, and Baxter will be on the 7:45 am to 2:45 pm bell times. The bus schedule for the two-hour day on August 10 will also operate on a staggered bell time, with older students going from 7:45 to 9:45 in the morning, while the younger ones go from 8:30 to 10:30. The Putnam County school transportation department has set up a special e-mail to try and answer questions about the new staggered bus schedules that are coming with the start of the school year. It's Putnamschoolbus@yahoo.com. They're also taking questions by phone at 526-9342, or in person between 7 am and 3 pm Monday through Friday and from 8 am until noon on Saturday. You need to include the student's name, address, school and a contact phone number in the e-mail.