Dear community members,
There has been some concern over the school no longer transporting students who live closer than 2.5 miles from the school on bus routes. Hopefully, this letter better explains how and why that decision came about. Currently, USD 297 has five routes to transport students, but we only have three full-time bus drivers with a CDL capable of driving anything larger than a 14-passenger vehicle. Kansas legislation currently requires school districts to transport only those students who live 2.5 miles away from school or further. Therefore, in order to bus all students who qualify for transportation, we have had to make the unfortunate decision to discontinue busing students who live within the 2.5 mile radius of the students' attending buildings.
Some districts do not transport students under the 2.5 mile threshold, while others districts may charge to transport students in that situation. USD 297 wishes that we were able to provide transportation for all students who lived outside of city limits on the regular bus routes, but to be able to do this, we need two additional full-time drivers who have a CDL.
The district is currently exploring other options for transporting all students outside of the city limits who live closer than 2.5 miles away, but that is very difficult without the required number of drivers to make that happen. So if you have a CDL and wish to commit to being a full-time driver, please contact Garrett Sundstrom. Until USD 297 has a quality plan that would work, we will continue to only transport students who live 2.5 miles from the school or further. But please be patient; we are exploring all options to try and correct the transportation issue.
At the same time we are trying to address this issue, the district still faces staff shortages in other areas. In total, one cook, one paraprofessional, one classroom aid, and two full-time CDL certified bus drivers are needed.
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On April 28, 2022, the 8th grade 4 x 100 meter relay record was broken. The previous record of 56.3s was set in 1975 by Debbie Barnhart, Jenni Burnham, Gail Dirks, and Darci Stang. The team of Breck Lohr, Avery Jensen, Madison Siegfried, and Eden Britton beat it with a time of 55.65s.
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