Students who live within 2 miles of their LISD school are not provided with bus service unless their route to school is deemed hazardous by the board of trustees. Recommendations are made to the board through the utilization of a route-scoring tool, according to district documents.
Obstacles such as low-water crossings earn a route points, and those with 575 or more points are determined to be hazardous enough to warrant bus service, according to LISD documents.
A hazardous route committee met in October to evaluate the current scoring criteria and recommend improvements. The group included seven LISD staffers and nine members of the Districtwide Educational Improvement Council, which is a committee of LISD community members, teachers and staff who advise the board of trustees, according to district documents.
Shaun Cranston, a representative of the committee, presented the group’s draft route review method at an Oct. 25 board meeting. He said the present system is open to interpretation. For example, if a route has between 500-574 points, its classification is determined on a case-by-case basis. Under the new draft hazardous transportation review process, a route is either hazardous or it is not.
“I think this is far and away just such an improvement over what we had last year,” trustee Jim MacKay said.
Some other differences between the current system and new draft system include definitions of different types of roadways and the removal of distance as a scoring factor. In both, total scores are weighted to result in a higher points for elementary students and lower points for high school students on the same route, according to LISD documents.
While some board members said there are elements to the draft they may like to consider tweaking prior to final approval, it was posted online for public feedback Oct. 26.
“I think we out to let this go to the community, because whatever we’ve said, they’re going to say it, and then we’ll deal with at the end to see what is really their issues and if they think it’s fair,” trustee Pam Waggoner said.
Readers interested in reviewing the draft and providing comments to the district may visit www.leanderisd.org/hazardousroutes.