SPOKANE, Wash. —
It may be the middle of summer, but Spokane Public School (SPS) district parents need already need to start thinking about how their students will get to school next year.
Bus rider registration closes Friday, July 15.
Following a nationwide bus driver shortage, SPS reevaluated transportation services for the 2022-2023 school year. The school board approved four short-term plans to improve its bussing system.
Those plans included fewer bus stops, partnering with Spokane Transit Authority (STA) and exploring alternative transportation.
One change that will have fewer students riding the bus is increasing walk zone boundaries.
Last year, middle and high school students living within one mile of their schools were required to walk. Next school year, students living within 1.5 miles of their schools will also be walking to school.
This boundary change only applies to middle and high school students.
SPS has been reminding parents and guardians to be aware of the registration deadline. Registering will help determine where the district needs to put its centralized bus stops.
Special education parents do not need to fill out the form. Instead, the district said they should contact the special education department or their child's case manager to complete registration if they are approved for specialized transportation.
SPS parents have been vocal about their concerns with the district’s transportation provider, Durham School Services. Parents were frustrated over buses not showing up and delays. In response to this, Durham bus drivers have been working to recruit more drivers.
The school board will need to consider its contract with Durham before it expires at the end of the 2022-2023 school year.
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