BY CAROL ROEHM
Some students in the Georgetown-Ridge School District will no longer be picked up at their homes by bus this school year.
Starting Aug. 19, in-town students will be picked up at central transportation hubs, which also will serve as school attendance centers.
At the end of May, the school district sent a letter to Georgetown-Ridge Farm families, notifying them of the change in transportation arrangements.
“In town, we used to pick up children who lived within one-and-a-half miles of their school, but we are no longer doing this,” Superintendent Jean Neal said, adding the change is permissible by state school code.
School district officials blame a decrease in state funding for student transportation as the reason why changes needed to be made to the school bus routes.
“I recently heard from the state that they’re going to fund transportation at 60 percent this next school year,” Neal said.
“It’s at the point now where we have to be careful with our funds,” she said.
“The difference is we’re no longer taking the buses through the neighborhoods,” she added. “We’re being efficient.”
The transportation hubs for in-town Georgetown students will be at Mary Miller Junior High School and at Pine Crest Elementary School.
Students residing within Georgetown city limits will report to their assigned transportation hub, with students loading the school buses at the hubs.
Parents will need to either transport their children to the transportation hub or require their children to walk to the hub location.
Transportation hub locations are as follows:
In-town students who live west of Illinois Route 1 will go to the Mary Miller Junior High hub.
In-town students who live east of Illinois Route 1 will go to the Pine Crest Elementary School hub.
Ridge Farm Elementary will remain the hub for in-town Ridge Farm students who are in kindergarten through third grade and attend Pine Crest Elementary or who attend Mary Miller Junior High or Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School.
Students residing in certain locations will be transported from an alternative bus stop due to safety hazards.
The exceptions to the new transportation arrangements include:
A select number of in-town students who live on Fourteenth Street and are students of Pine Crest or Ridge Farm elementary schools will be transported by bus. Junior high and high school students who live on Fourteenth Street will not be transported.
Kindergarten through 12th-grade students who reside on the Horseshoe will be transported.
Kindergarten through 12th-grade students who live on the far west of Stone or West West Street by the railroad tracks will be transported.
Students should plan to arrive at their assigned transportation hubs at Pine Crest Elementary or Mary Miller Junior High no earlier than 7 a.m. There will be no supervision available.
Buses will depart from Mary Miller Junior High at 7:10 a.m. and from Pine Crest Elementary at 7:15 a.m.
“If they live close enough to the school they attend, they can still walk or ride their bicycle to school and not report to a hub,” Neal said.
Also, students living in rural areas of the school district will still be picked up at their homes by the school bus. More information
For more information about the student transportation changes, call the Georgetown-Ridge Farm School District at 662-8488.