Why no delayed start?
The concept of a “delayed start” has long been debated in Saline Area Schools. Nearly 35% of the SAS students are transported to and from school each day on a tiered schedule. That is about 2400 riders per day. The tiered schedule accommodates both the secondary students’ bell schedule and the elementary buildings start times. Historically, Saline Area Schools has been one of the most cost-effective districts in the county with regard to transporting students. That fiscal responsibility is important, but also tied to the fact that each bus tackles multiple runs each day.
What is not as evident to the casual observer are the number of additional runs that each bus makes every day beyond arrival and dismissal. South West Washtenaw Consortium students are transported to job and work sites, students receiving Special Education services are transported based on programming, several secondary students are transported to job sites and programming throughout the city.
Scheduling of the numerous opportunities afforded to Saline Area Schools’ students makes transportation a complex matter. Timing of the runs is at best, difficult, yet the Operations department works tirelessly to ensure that all students arrive safely at their destinations.
Give that we are a district that does not have an issue with seasonal fog issues, starting school two hours late is not practical, timely, or cost effective for the Saline Area Schools. Most parents of young children do not have respite or temporary child care arranged to accommodate a delayed start to the school day. As noted today, Monroe & Lenawee County schools called for “2 hour delays” and shortly thereafter moved to full closure.
We do not take the decision to close Saline Area Schools lightly. However, when we do close the District, we want to do so in a manner that affords the safest option for all of our students.