Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Education

July 24, 2013

Mineral Wells ISD revamps bell, transportation schedules

From staff reports

As part of Mineral Wells ISD’s ongoing efforts to promote the safety of its students, the district’s administration recently adopted a new school start time schedule for the coming school year.

Beginning August 26 – the first day back for students – bells will ring at the following times:

• Mineral Wells High School: 8:20 a.m.–4 p.m.

• Mineral Wells Junior High: 8:15 a.m.–3:52 p.m.

• Travis, Houston and Lamar Elementary Schools: 7:50 a.m.–3:20 p.m.

As a result, the district will also modify the bus transportation system to provide the most efficient service possible to students and their families.

Staggering the daily start and end times at elementary and secondary campuses will allow buses and drivers to serve multiple campuses. In general, Mineral Wells Highs School and Mineral Wells Junior High will both start and end the school day slightly later than the elementary campuses.

In the past, some students who used the bus services were delayed upwards of 40 minutes on campus, according to district administration. This new schedule is designed to expedite their safe return home.

“It was very important to design a more balanced bus transportation system that would run as efficiently and effectively as possible,” said MWISD Transportation Director Randy Gover. “As a school district, our goal was to provide safe, efficient, on-time transportation and this schedule will be conducive to this objective. This will also allow us to better utilize the resources allocated for transportation operations.

Although transportation service is not mandated by state law, MWISD will continue to provide transportation to eligible riders in the school district. Transportation for public school systems in Texas is partially funded by the state for districts that choose to apply for state funds.

However, this typically does not cover the entire cost of transporting students to school, since the state funding formula has remained unchanged since 1984. Therefore, local district funds make up a larger percentage of transportation dollars each year. This is due in large part to the rising cost of fuel and maintenance of the buses.

The school administration continues to seek ways to improve school transportation and welcomes anyone interested to attend a public forum to discuss any questions or concerns regarding the new bus schedule. This hour-long public meeting will be held at the District Service Center on Tuesday, Aug. 6, beginning at 4:45 p.m. The DSC is located at 906 S.W. 5th Ave. For more information, contact rgover@mwisd.net.

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