Bus update: City in charge as summer school starts
The city will be providing transportation for the district’s Summer Learning Program, school officials confirmed Sunday.
Over the holiday weekend, school Assistant Superintendent Ken Saranich said that city and Board of Education employees worked “collaboratively to review and make necessary updates to all bus routes for the district's Summer Learning Program.
“All bus routes were uploaded to the district's website,” added Saranich, “and an email was sent to the families of students in the Summer Learning Program on Saturday, July 6. Everything is in place for the city to provide transportation to our students on Monday (June 8). We look forward to a successful Summer Learning Program.”
This marks the end of a transition that started as a legal battle last summer, when the city filed suit against the Board of Education related to its contract with Durham School Services. The two sides reached a settlement in July, 2018, with the agreement calling for the city to take control of school transportation for the 2019-20 school year at a guaranteed cost to the Board of Education of some $3.1 million, a million less than when was paid in the present fiscal year budget.
The city did officially take over school transportation operations on Monday, July 1, but school officials were the ones transporting children as the transition continues.
Superintendent Dr. Chris Clouet told the Board of Education Wednesday, June 26, that, under the court-stipulated agreement, the city has taken charge of student transportation for the 2019-20 school year but remained unable to bus children in the Cooperative Education Services program which began July 1.
"The city has indicated they are not quite prepared yet to handle that, but we had a Plan B already in place to make sure we would be able to provide transportation for the children to that program,” said Clouet.
School Finance Director Rick Belden told the board that the school district is using its own vans and staff, which handle transporting the transition 18-to-21 students. Belden said those Shelton students would be shuttled to and from the outplacement program at CES with the district’s certified drivers and monitors, and "we anticipate that once the city has its transition completed, their drivers will take over these duties.”
Clouet told the Board of Education that he anticipated that the city would have all the certified drivers and monitors in place by July 8 for the start of the Shelton school district’s extended year summer school program.