Here’s some information from Tobin Novasio, Superintendent at Lockwood School District,
September 19, 2013
Dear Bus Parents:
Our Building Secretaries have been fielding calls on situations involving students wanting to ride buses other than the one that they are assigned to and I wanted to clarify our procedure on these situations for all parents. Due to the limited space on our buses and the large number of students that we are transporting as well as safety and discipline concerns; we assign each student to a morning route and an afternoon route. This is the only bus that your child will be allowed to ride. The one exception to this rule is if parents have split custody of a child and both parents live in district. We will not allow your child to ride “once in a while” to another relative’s home, a day care, or a friend’s house unless it is on the same bus route that they normally ride that time of day. If your child is not riding their regular bus, you will need to make alternative arrangements for their transportation. We are also not allowing students to bring items, like football equipment, that can not fit on their laps and may take up another child’s seat.
Please understand that this is being done out of necessity. Most of our buses are extremely full and on multiple occasions already this year we have had to shuffle students from one bus to another because there were no seats available on their “regular” route. On our 12 bus routes we have a maximum of 841 seats. Our latest count shows that we have just over 800 students that we transport. We may have to add an additional 20-‐30 students to those being transported due to an unforeseen issue in the Rolling Meadows, Suburban, and Lantana area. Hopefully, you can see that we simply do not have the room to hold a seat on multiple buses for one child.
By Montana law, we are not required to provide bus service, but due to the unique issues that we face as a community in Lockwood with the lack of biking and walking routes, as a school we try to facilitate the transportation of as many children as possible, even if that means we have to limit the flexibility that we have offered in the past. We are actively working to make our busing service as efficient and safe as possible while dealing with steady growth and trying to keep the financial burden on taxpayers down as much as possible. We are honestly sorry for any inconvenience that this may lead to for you and your family. We are open to any ideas that you may have to deal with this challenge. Please contact me if you have any further questions or concerns regarding this situation.
Superintendent Lockwood Schools