WELCOME TO SOLON SCHOOLS TRANSPORTATION!
If you have questions, you can reach us at (440) 349-6250 or LisaShirkey@solonboe.org.
Lisa Shirkey, Transportation Supervisor
Sheri Machado, Routing & Dispatch
Sarah Hughes, Transportation Secretary
Student safety is our number one concern. During bus route travel, our transportation team is monitoring routes. If you have a non-emergency question or concern, we recommend calling or emailing us before or after peak bus travel times.
Most recent updates from the Solon Transportation Department...
BUS TRANSPORTATION FOR 2020-21
Out of necessity, we are handling this school year one semester at a time. We are routing our buses now for the students who will actually be riding in the fall to maximize the distancing on the buses. If you are submitting the form for the Virtual Learning Option, do not request bus transportation “just in case” for January. We will need to re-evaluate bus ridership levels for second semester in late fall based on the situation at that time. You will also be making a second semester learning option selection then as well.
Due to COVID-19, several changes are necessary for bus transportation during the upcoming school year. These decisions were not arrived at lightly and reflect the need to create as much physical distancing as possible on our buses. We apologize in advance for the challenges these changes create, but it is imperative that we extend our parent transport zones so that we can maximize student safety and minimize ridership.
Parent Transport Zones: While the state minimum requirement for parent transport zones is two miles from school, as a temporary measure for this year, we will set our parent responsibility transport zones at 1 mile from the school for students in grades 5-12 and .5 mile for students in grades K-4. (The distance is measured as the most direct route the bus drives.) Students within that 1 mile or .5 mile radius of our schools will not have bus transportation to or from school this year.
One Stop Morning and Afternoon: To help ensure the same group of students is riding the same bus each day, we are reducing the number of pick-up and drop-off locations for each student. Each student will have one pick-up location in the morning to school and one drop-off location in the afternoon from school. These locations may be the student’s assigned bus stop or a day care provider. There will be no bus passes to ride home to a friend’s house after school.
Like so many of the other necessary adaptations and adjustments for the coming school year, the expansion of the parent transport zones and one-stop protocols require a partnership with families. Students will have assigned seats and siblings at the same school will sit together on the bus. The changes will help us maximize the number of students we can get to school every day on a bus with layers of protection: face masks, hand sanitizing and physical distance. It is our goal to return back to our normal operations when we reach the end of this pandemic. We appreciate your support and understanding as we navigate these difficult and trying time.
OPT IN FOR BUS TRANSPORTATION
We are asking parents who want their child to ride the bus this year to OPT IN to Solon Schools transportation. If you want your child to ride the bus and you live outside of the parent transport zone for your child's school.
Please complete a separate online form for each of your children.
For this year, the default for each student will be no transportation. Please help us create safe and efficient routes by letting us know if you want your child to ride the bus by Friday, July 24. If you do not complete the form, your child will not have a seat on the bus. Based on the responses we receive, if we are able to add students who live within the parent transport zones, we will do so.
SAFETY REMINDERS FOR DARK FALL MORNINGS
As the weather turns colder and it is darker outside when students are heading to their bus stops, the Transportation Department is reminding families and drivers in the community of several important safety protocols.
The safety of students on our school buses is our top priority. State law requires very specific safety precautions by bus drivers, students, family members and motorists to ensure student safety.
All students are assigned and required to use a specific school bus stop with a designated place of safety. When possible, students should wear light-colored clothing or jackets on dark mornings (or place something reflective on coats or backpacks). Families should also:
- Check new cold-weather clothing for safety. Draw strings and key chains can catch on objects on the bus and create potential safety hazards.
- Help students to be ready at their place of safety at the bus stop five minutes before the bus is due to arrive even in inclement weather. If necessary, family members should take turns with friends and neighbors to be sure students are supervised at bus stops.
- Never drive to catch up to a bus. Having students run alongside a bus to catch a missed bus at a subsequent stop is dangerous as students could be in a driver’s blind spot. Also never chase after a bus that may miss a stop on the ride home from school. Drivers follow very specific protocols for missed stops, which includes radioing into the Transportation Department and continuing along the route to a safe location to turn around and bring the student back to the stop.
- Remind students to alert the driver if they ever drop something near the bus. Students or parents should not reach to pick up items that fall near the bus or roll near the wheels until given the go-ahead that it is safe to do so by the driver.
- Ensure students are not using technology such as phones or earbuds. Playing on a phone or listening to music impedes students’ ability to watch and listen for potential dangers around them as well as hear or see safety instructions from their bus driver.
For parents and other motorists driving during school transportation times, please remember that:
- Alternating flashing amber (yellow) lights are on to warn motorists that the bus is preparing to stop to let students on or off the bus.
- Alternating flashing red lights are on to warn motorists that the bus is stopped on the roadway to let students on or off the bus.
- The STOP sign arm is engaged at the same time as the red flashing lights are turned on. A white flashing strobe light may also be used during unfavorable conditions or times of day that limit visibility, such as darkness, rain, fog and snow.
- Four-way hazard lights are activated at all railroad crossings and turn-arounds. The bus will stop prior to crossing railroad tracks.
- The school bus will have its four-way hazard lights and backup light on when preparing to back onto a side street to turn around.
- Motorists must use caution when they approach a bus in the process of completing a turn-around.
- Do not pass a school bus that has red alternating flashing lights. This is the signal that the bus is stopped to load or unload students. Traffic should not move until the bus resumes motion or the driver signals traffic to proceed.
- Be careful and alert on dark streets in the mornings as students and families are waiting at bus stops. Please observe posted speed limits on a roadways.
- Remind teen drivers about these important rules of the road.
Thank you for your continued support and commitment to student safety as they travel to and from school each day.