Transportation changes expected for Wichita students next year

WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) -

Bell times and hazardous busing changes will take effect next school year for some students in Wichita.

"It's really tough and it's really difficult because we certainly don't want to impact students," said Fabian Armendariz, USD 259 Transportation Director.

Starting next year, five schools will have changes to their school day.

"If we're going to an 8 o'clock and people don't lose their job, that is a great thing 'cause we definitely need all the support we can get to help kids learn," said Dionne Becker, first grade teacher at Caldwell Elementary School.

Students at Caldwell will start school an hour earlier and will match the bell times with Curtis Middle School, which is located next to them.

"They're very excited because many of the staff members that are here were here when it was previously 8 o'clock so they're looking forward to returning to that time," said Patty Daman, principal at Caldwell Elementary School.

Another change to transportation will affect some of the 34 schools that currently get hazardous busing for students in areas that are deemed dangerous.

Starting next year, ten schools will no longer have areas that qualify for hazardous transportation, 12 schools will have at least one hazardous area discontinued, and 12 schools will continue with hazardous busing routes. Armendariz said the following in response to the hazardous busing route changes.

"We're simply applying the policy. There are quite a few areas that no longer meet the criteria highlighted in the policy and because of that some students will be losing transportation...Kids are receiving transportation currently for the situations as other kids are not, so, it's making our system in transportation more equitable throughout our district."

For more information on the budget cuts, click here.