Message from RRPS on student transportation changes
Dear RRPS community,
**Even if your child does not ride a school bus, please take a minute to read the following as some of the changes may impact your child.
The RRPS Transportation Department has been busy looking at ways to reduce late buses and improve student transportation for the 2022-23 school year. We know that last year was very challenging for families and schools, and students missed valuable education time when they arrived late to school. This year we have made a number of changes and are considering a change that we hope will improve transportation and alleviate your concerns to the best of our ability. None of the bus changes will impact transportation for students with disabilities.
Change for Consideration by the Board of Education:
The RRPS Transportation Department has recommended changes to the walk-zone distance for transportation eligibility as follows:
- Current: Students that reside more than 1 mile from the school
- Proposed: Students that reside more than 1.2 miles from the school
- Current: Students that reside more than 1.5 miles from the school
- Proposed: Students that reside more than 2 miles from the school
- Current: Students that reside more than 2 miles from the school
- Proposed: Students that reside more than 2.5 miles from the school
To see if these changes impact your family, please go to this website: https://boundaries.rrps.net/search/Students/BasicTransBoundarySearch.aspx
This change requires Board approval as it is currently in policy. The board will be reviewing this policy at their meeting on Monday, July 11, 2022 at 5:30 p.m. at the RRPS Board Room, 500 Laser Rd. NE. The Board accepts public comment in person. Please arrive prior to the Board meeting to sign up to speak. In addition, the Board accepts and reviews written public comment. Persons wishing to address the Board in writing may use the link below found on the main RRPS Board page: https://fs9.formsite.com/rrps/fjadlrl6zq/index.html (RRPS.net/Menu/School_Board).
If approved, it is our hope that this change would be temporary until we can see improvement in the bus driver shortage that is plaguing school districts across the country.
In addition to the consideration of walk zone changes, the following changes are being made for the 2022-23 school year:
Adjusted Bell Times- Elementary and Middle Schools will start 10 minutes later
**These changes impact preschool, elementary and middle school students
- Puesta del Sol, Colinas del Norte and Ernest Stapleton Elementary Schools will start at 7:40 a.m. and end at 2:05 p.m.
- All other elementary schools will start at 9:10 a.m. and end at 4:10 p.m.
- Middle Schools will start at 8:20 a.m. and end at 3:25 p.m.
- Shining Stars AM Session will start at 8:25 a.m. and end at 11:35 a.m. and the PM Session will start at 12:15 p.m. and end at 3:25 p.m.
Ernest Stapleton has been moved to the early elementary start time
Nearly all routes will become 4 tier routes–High School, Early Elementary, Middle School, Late Elementary
Consolidated Bus Stops
- Stops in front of houses will move to intersections or easements
- Bus stops that are near each other will be consolidated
Stops at daycares will be discontinued
Discipline on Buses
- During this past school year, we saw an increase in student misbehavior on school buses. This also delays buses as drivers must deal with increasing incidents on buses. We will be taking a hard stand on student behavior which could result in a student losing their busing privileges. We have improved our camera system on buses and will be able to sufficiently identify students and misbehavior.
- We are continuing to recruit bus drivers and have increased the hourly rate of a bus driver to just under $20 an hour. Bus drivers are also eligible to receive medical, dental and vision insurance, as well as matching retirement options. If you know someone who is interested, please have them apply online at www.rrps.net.
We know that some of these changes will have an impact on your family and they are not easy decisions to make as we have always strived to go above and beyond the basic requirements of student transportation. That said, we must look at ways in which we can ensure a positive busing experience for our students.
Thank you for your continued support. We are hoping that these changes will have a positive impact on student transportation for the 2022-23. As always, our goal is to get your child to and from school safely and timely.
Rio Rancho Public Schools