School District 51 busing students to alleviate overcrowding
School District 51 is looking for long term ways to prevent overcrowding in schools.
This fall, the plan is to bus the students and for some this means a longer commute to the classroom.
School District 51 Transportation and Safety Director, Tim Leon, says, “The board of education decided to shift some boundaries to alleviate the overcrowding at Shelledy Elementary and shift some of those students to Loma Elementary."
Students who live south of the interstate will be affected by this change, specifically kindergarteners.
"If they don't have siblings attending Shelledy, then they will be bused to Loma Elementary,” Leon said. “Kindergartners that have siblings at Shelledy will have the option of staying with their siblings."
The goal is to minimize disruption to families and limit stress on students.
"The school district is providing buses at no cost to these families,” Leon said.
A bus route in Fruita will pick up all eligible students.
"We’ll go to Shelledy Elementary, drop off the students that are going to attend Shelledy, and that bus will continue on out to Loma," Leon explained.
At this point, the district says it won’t have much effect on transportation costs.
"This is already busses that have been assigned to that area,” Leon said. “We’re just extending the drive."
Officials estimate adjusting boundaries is only a two to three year solution to overcrowding.
They say a long term solution would be hiring more teachers or adding buildings.
"We know there's the possibility that we're going to see continued growth out there,” Leon said.
Rim Rock Elementary also has overcrowded classrooms.
Plans to alleviate the problem there could be put into place as early as next school year.
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