May 14, 2012 10:12 AM
TUCSON- As the school year wraps up, leaders from the Tucson Unified School District are already planning for next year.
For the first time ever, they're requiring that students new to the district register for bus transportation by May 15.
The "Get on the Bus" campaign was launched in response to transportation problems at the beginning of last school year. Parents across the district complained about the bus never showing up at their child's stop.
"What we learned is that we need parents to make their choices early," TUSD Chief Operations Officer Candy Egbert says.
The time between the May 15 deadline and the first week of school will give the district a chance to put together bus routes and make sure drivers know their routes well.
The registration deadline applies to students new to the district, students with a change of address and students changing schools this year.
"If they don't make the 15th deadline, then we will do the best we can, but it could take two or three weeks after school starts to get students on a bus at that time," Egbert says.
Besides the new deadline this year, TUSD is hoping new technology will also help improve transportation. "We improved our website and we will be sending out letters," Egbert says.
The district also has a new phone system that will make it easier to handle a large volume of calls from parents.
As long as they register their child on time, parents should receive a letter about a week before the first day of school, notifying them of their child's bus route and pick up time.
"Getting students to school before the start of school, so they can have breakfast and be ready to learn is one of the most important things we can do for student achievement," Egbert says.
For more information about how to register your child, just head to http://tusd1.org/contents/distinfo/may15.html