Buses at end of the day

By: Monika Spaulding

Earlier dismissal times are coming to Salem Schools next year after approval by the Salem School Board last night.

Superintendent Jill Mires, explained that she, Transportation Director Ed Jordan and the school principals all worked together to make a plan of how to get the buses back to the bus compound earlier in the evenings.

“Right now, our buses get back close to 5 p.m.,” she said. “Mr. Jordan and I discussed how we can get those buses back by 4:30 p.m.”

She said the reason they want the buses back earlier is because it starts to get dark early from about the end of October through the winter months.

“We’ve had to do several early dismissals this year due to weather and we want those buses back a little bit earlier than what we have been doing,” Mires said.

Working with the drivers and building principals they came up with a schedule that will be a little more efficient.

Dismissal will start at Bradie Shrum Elementary School at 2:45 p.m., with late load buses being in the front of the fleet and loading beginning at 2:50 p.m.

At the middle school, walkers and car riders will be held to let bus riders load first. Classes will end around 2:50 p.m. with buses being loaded from 2:57 - 3 p.m. 

The high school will hold student drivers until bus riders are loaded, dismissing at 3 p.m. with loading from 3:01-3:05 p.m.

“That way all buses will be back to the bus garage between 3:45 and 4:30 p.m.” said Mires. “Partly this is a safety concern that we want to make sure we address. Some of the other advantages to this schedule are we want to avoid some of our factory traffic, we would also avoid West Washington traffic, we would have all of our buses back before dark during winter months which may help us avoid early dismissal for incoming weather.”

Mires said it will also provide built-in PD time for teachers. 

“We will no longer need the one-hour delay PLCS during the month which makes parents happy, I think, that they don’t have another schedule to remember,” said Mires. “The way we would like to use this built-in time is on Tuesdays, we’d like to have curriculum and mapping meetings with our teachers, again, to follow through with some of those promises we’re making to the IDOE. On Wednesdays we’d like to have grade-level meetings and on Thursdays we’d like to have content area meetings.”

She said all teachers will participate in the extra time after students have been released.

Mires said this also allows the school to be more inline with the Prosser schedule. After school activities will also be able to begin earlier.