Feb 28, 2024
Community Consolidated School District 21 is making good progress on its transportation committee, according to Micheal DeBartolo, assistant superintendent for finance and operations.
The committee – which includes parent volunteers and administrators – was formed to review the current practices, processes and procedures of the district’s transportation program in order to formulate ideas that will shape the future of student transportation across CCSD21.
Speaking before the Board of Education during its January meeting, DeBartolo highlighted the committee’s work so far and outlined the goals it hopes to achieve, as well as a timetable to deliver recommendations to the board.
During its first meeting, the committee discussed the entire process of transportation (who gets it, how they get it, why they get it, etc.), as well as how the district does routing, cost ridership issues, and hazardous routes.
The second meeting tasked participants to determine what the district does well, what it can improve upon, what it should stop doing, and what it should start doing.
Future meetings will discuss hazardous routes, including whether they are appropriately created, and whether the district would consider a fee-for-service program.
“[Fee-for-service] is one of the things we knew we would look at,” DeBartolo said, noting that this service would provide any student seeking transportation to and from school with the service, provided they are willing to pay for it.
The district, he adds, has started to analyze a number of school districts in the area with a similar program, but would also need to determine how this would impact the district’s transportation claim, how it would impact the dollars received (and the dollars the district contributes), and what happens with the students that would normally be a fee waiver.
Additionally, CCSD21 would need to have a conversation with First Student, its transportation provider, on the logistics it would have to provide to make something like this work.
The committee is planning to submit a report to the full board in April or May with recommendations on how to improve the district’s transportation program, according to DeBartolo.