4J Transportation has recently proposed moving Edison’s school schedule from a Tier 2 (8:30am start/3:00pm release) to a Tier 1 (7:55am start/2:25pm release) during our two years at the Willard site. This would save the District from having to purchase three new school buses and hire three new drivers at an estimated cost of $800,000 if we remain on Tier 2.
- These new buses would collect up to 200 Edison students who currently do not qualify to ride the bus, but would be eligible during our two years at Willard (29th & Lincoln).
- The community collection point likely will be at First Congregational Church and the bus pick up time is currently estimated for 7:15am.
- The three current Edison buses would run their same routes with earlier pick up times (tbd), to arrive at Willard by 7:35am in time for free breakfast.
- Moving to a Tier 1 schedule would cost the District an estimated $40,000 over two years.
Some implications the time change would have on the Edison community were raised at the February Parent Council meeting.
- An earlier release will require working families to find and pay for 2.5 hours of extra childcare per week.
- A half-hour earlier start time is in addition to a longer commute time to Willard. For example, an Edison student who currently walks to Edison leaving their home at 8:15am, will now leave at 7:05am to walk to First Congregational Church for a 7:15am bus pick up, which is more than an hour earlier.
- It was understood that Edison was not moved to a Tier 1 schedule two years ago during the 4J school common schedule changes, due to the fact that relocating to Willard would already extend the commutes for students.
- More families may decide to drive instead of taking the bus, making pick up/drop off at Willard busier, as there will likely be no space to park.
- There will be longer gaps in morning and afternoon schedules for families with both Edison and Roosevelt students – a challenge for working families who rely on their RMS students for afternoon childcare.
- Evening times will be squeezed as parents will not return home from work earlier, but bedtimes will need to move up by an hour, leaving shorter time for family, dinner and activities.
Please share with Parent Council how this potential change will affect your family so we can understand our parents’ views.
4J will distribute a needs assessment survey on bus use later this spring to help make their decision before the next school year.