Optimizing School Start and End Times
Olathe Public Schools is seeking input from all staff and families regarding a potential shift in school start/end times at all levels beginning in the 2023-24 school year as a possible solution to help address nationwide K-12 transportation issues impacting Olathe Public Schools.
Our Current Situation
Locally and nationally, school districts are facing a bus driver shortage due to competition from other industries and drivers choosing not to return to the profession.
Olathe Public Schools is not immune to this challenge. This year, our bus driver shortage has reached an all-time high, despite considerable recruitment efforts. Currently, we have a substantial waitlist of families unable to receive transportation, as well as several buses that regularly arrive up to 30 minutes late for pick up/drop off, impacting instructional time.
Many of our neighboring school districts have been forced to take steps with their transportation providers to address this challenge, from eliminating services and routes entirely to adjusting school start/end times. We know we will need to find a solution to provide timely and equitable transportation for our students.
One possible solution is to adjust our start/end times at all levels to allow current drivers to complete additional routes in a more timely manner by utilizing what is known as a three-tier bus system.
The district surveyed all families and staff members to provide input on current modes of transportation used in the district, student and staff involvement in school activites/programs, level of support in exploring different start/end times and an opportunity to share questions and concerns.
Based on the results of the survey, the district has formed a committee, including parent and staff representation from across the district, to further study a change to school start/end times and form a recommendation to bring to the Board of Education. A four-day school week is not currently under consideration.
3-Tier Bus Proposal FAQs
Are there specific start/end times the district is considering?
My child does not use the bus for transportation. Will this still affect me?
Is the district considering other solutions outside of adjusting school start/end times?
Are these transportation challenges temporary?
Are we the only district having to look at making changes? What are other districts doing to address these challenges?