MOULTRIE — Colquitt County Schools has received a study commissioned to examine busing alternatives, but changing the busing schedule is not the front-burner issue at the moment.
The school system had a retired educator look at busing operations, as well as make recommendations.
Some of the issues that could be addressed in the future are the current shuttle routes where students are taken to wait 20 minutes or more for a bus that will take them home, afternoon bus rides that take more than an hour for some students, and having all students -- from the youngest to the oldest -- all riding together on the same buses.
“Right now we have kindergartners riding with seniors,” Schools Superintendent Samuel DePaul said. “The other thing we want to see is if we could cut down the time on buses. (Some) kids go to a shuttle station and wait 20 or 30 minutes for a bus. Those are things we’ve been looking to eliminate. The study was to see if there are ways to do things different.”
To address the first concern, the study looked at multiple tiers -- or routes -- to keep students of similar ages together.
Under a three-tier system, DePaul said, “there would be an elementary run, (taking) only elementary students to and from school, the second run, or tier, grades six, seven, eight and nine together. The third would pick up only 10, 11 and 12th graders. This would be one-way to-school, one way back home.”
Additional bus runs would mean more expense, which is something the system will have to weigh as it examines the issue.
If any changes are made, they would not come until the 2016-2017 school year at the earliest, DePaul said. Currently the study is under review and there are no plans to make a decision any time soon.
“This is just a study period,” he said. “We have the study; we’ll digest it. We have a high school to open. Right now there’s too many things going on to bring that to the forefront. The earliest this would come up would be after Thanksgiving.”