Possible school bus changes in store for Rio Rancho students

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RIO RANCHO, N.M. — Some students who attend Rio Rancho Public Schools may have to walk farther to school next year.

Next Monday, the Rio Rancho school board will be considering multiple changes, including expanding the “walk-zone” around schools by up to a half mile. The school district said they are making this change due to the bus driver shortages.

“I just feel, I wouldn’t want my kids walking across major cross roads or anything,” Rio Rancho parent Katerina Montano said.

If the changes are approved, the “walk-zone” around Rio Rancho schools would increase to 1.2 miles around elementary schools, 2 miles around middle schools, and 2.5 miles around high schools.

Now, Rio Rancho parents are checking how far they live from their children’s schools

“I know my daughter is still far enough, thankfully we are 1.3 miles so just barely,” Montano said, “I haven’t checked my son’s yet from the middle school.”

But other parents aren’t so lucky — and they have to make changes to their morning routine.

“I think for a lot of parents that have to work in the morning it’s going to make it a little more complicated for them,” Rio Rancho parent Andrew Kious said.

Online, opinions on this change vary. Some said they don’t see any issue with it or argued they walked farther to school when they were a kid.

But others say the change is “crazy” to have students walk more than 2 miles sometimes without sidewalks — also explaining they don’t want their kids crossing busy streets like Unser or 518.

“I understand with the shortage with the drivers and stuff but I think it’ll be better for the school district but harder on the parents,” Kious said.

To see if these changes impact your family, click here.

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 at 5:30 p.m. at the RRPS Board Room, 500 Laser Rd. NE.

The board will accept public comment in person, but please arrive prior to the meeting to sign up to speak. In addition, the board will accept and review written public comment, which can be submitted here.