Spokane Public Schools sets July 15 deadline for bus registration

SPOKANE, Wash. — Do you plan to have your child ride the school bus this year? The deadline to get them registered is Friday, July 15.

While it may seem early, Spokane Public Schools is making changes that could affect your student’s eligibility to ride.

Families who had their student’s ride the bus last school year may remember the issues that came with it: Delays and inconsistencies that had them waiting on buses that arrived late or in some cases, not at all.

Spokane Public Schools Chief Operations Officer, Shawn Jordan, says the district wants to implement changes to provide consistent and reliable transportation to students this upcoming year.

The problems from last school year stem from a bus driver shortage that’s still ongoing and the district wants to keep the same problems from repeating.

“Our contractor Durham is working on recruiting new drivers and we’re checking in with them on a weekly basis around that and we’re preparing probably for the worst and hoping for the best,” said Jordan.

The Spokane Public Schools board is still considering short-term changes to bus rides that would only be in effect for one year.

  1. Increase efficiency of routes: The district is planning on increasing bus route efficiency by reducing the number of neighborhood stops.
  2. Extend bus arrival times: This plan is now on hold due to concerns about high school students in particular arriving to school on time.
  3. Change up walk zones: The walk-zone radius is changing for middle school and high school students. Meaning your student is only eligible to ride the bus if they live beyond a 1.5 mile walking distance between home and school. Before it was only 1 mile and it will stay at 1 mile only for elementary students.
  4. A partnership with STA: The district is looking at giving high school student riders an STA bus pass to get to school. SPS says weekly meetings are taking place about this.
  5.  Look at alternative transportation options for students in certain programs: This could include students who attend choice programs like the Libby Center, Montessori and more.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Spokane Public Schools board considers changes to fix bus issues

Before SPS can finalize bus plans, it wants as many families as possible to find out their student’s eligibility and get them registered for bus rides before the July 15 deadline.

You can do that HERE on the Spokane Public Schools website.

“It’s going to help us best put together a plan with the challenge of the number of routes that we’re going to be able to run so that on that first day we can really hit the ground running and have a smooth transportation service,” said Jordan.

Jordan says if families have questions or concerns about the bus changes, they’re encouraged to contact Spokane Public Schools.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Spokane Public Schools looking at possible changes to help with bus issues