WAYNESBORO — Waynesboro Area School District officials Tuesday voted in favor of revisions to the district's transportation policy to include restrictions on secondary students who ride home on the activity bus, as well as requiring bus drivers to file written or verbal bus conduct reports regarding a variety of issues such as discipline problems.
Earlier this year, the board discussed a variety of changes to bus policy, including permitting middle and high school students who are involved in after school activities to ride home on the elementary buses. The board had proposed permitting the co-mingled riders, with secondary students being required to sit up front near the driver.
But after several board members, bus drivers and parents raised concerns about permitting primary and secondary students to travel together, the board agreed to study the transportation policy in greater detail.
Waynesboro is the only district in the county with an activity bus and, according to Business Manager Eric Holtzman, 18 to 52 students ride the bus on any given day.
The issue focused on whether students serving after-school detention should be permitted to ride the activity bus home.
According to school officials, some students are detained after school not for behavior problems, but rather so they complete work.
"We're trying to crack down on behavior problems," explained Director Karen Herald. "But I want to be sure Johnny who has to get work done can ride the activity bus."
"The bottom line is student success," said Director Pat McDonald. "I will do anything to help as long as the student does his or her part."
The board agreed in a 6-1 vote to revise the transportation policy: "No students receiving after-school detention for misconduct will be allowed to ride the activity bus."
Revisions also included permitting a student to be suspended from the bus for disciplinary reasons for the remainder of the school year at the administration's discretion, as well as requiring bus drivers to report all incidents by submitting a written bus conduct report or by calling the transportation coordinator or building principal.
Directors Steve Kulla and Cindy Sullivan were absent. Director Patti Strite voted against the changes.
"I'm not opposed to the concept of the activity bus, but with the day and age we live in, I no longer feel mixing primary and secondary students on a bus is advisable," Strite explained.
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