Each year, LISD Transportation staff evaluates routes using a rating instrument developed by a community advisory committee to assess hazardous conditions. Over the past two months, a committee evaluated multiple rating models and produced an evaluation matrix for the board to consider adopting for the 2019–20 school year.
LISD invites our community to evaluate the ratings matrix and offer feedback between Oct. 26 and Nov. 5. This feedback will be quantified and communicated to the committee as it refines the matrix.
“This redesigned hazardous route rating tool truly is a best-in-class solution in ensuring a transparent and consistent assessment of our potentially hazardous routes,” Trustee Jim MacKay said. “The community-led committee’s addition of clear definitions, explanation of methodology and weighting removes ambiguity. They really knocked it out of the park and I look forward to community getting the chance to look at the tool and weigh in during the public comment period.”
The state requires public schools to bus students to and from campuses that are more than two miles from their home. Those within a two-mile radius from a school are in what is known as the “Not Eligible for Transportation Zone,” or NETZone. Students in the NETZone are only provided bus service if their route to school is rated as hazardous.
The Board of Trustees advised the committee to consider adjustments to the scoring matrix to make it more objective and to add clarity. Under the proposed new matrix, the district will grant bus services for any route earning a total score of 476 points or more, accounting for a multiplier of 1.0 for elementary, 0.9 for middle and 0.8 for high school students. For more details and explanation, please view the proposed matrix.
“We wish we could offer bus service to every child in the district, regardless of their proximity to their assigned campus,” said Superintendent Dan Troxell, Ph.D. “LISD has a limited amount of resources, including transportation funds, and we have to distribute them equitably across 200 square miles. These hazardous routes criteria are one way to ensure that happens.”
The district will start evaluating routes in December and January and notify families that could be impacted after the evaluation process. Then the Board approves hazardous routes and the discontinuance of bus service for non-hazardous areas for each school year. This does not impact transportation service provided for special needs students when specified in the Individual Education Plan.
The district plans to notify all families affected by the board’s decision in March.