Changes to Sand Springs bus routes has parents scrambling

By: Scott Emigh, Editor-in-Chief

Two citizens in the Anderson School District expressed concerns at the Sand Springs School Board meeting Monday night regarding the Board’s decision to eliminate some bus routes into neighboring school districts.

Districts such as Anderson, Keystone, Pretty Water, and Allen Bowden, that do not offer full K-12th grade classes, send students to Sand Springs schools on an open transfer once they reach a certain age.

In the past, the Sand Springs school district has bused those students into the district, but budget cuts have eliminated some of those routes.

Sand Springs is asking parents to drop their kids at bus stops within the Sand Springs district boundary, but some parents are finding that difficult and asking the Sand Springs Board of Ed to postpone their decision to the next school year.

For parents whose work schedules prevent them from taking their kids to school in the morning, the change would have some kids walking miles to the nearest bus stop. Extreme heat and winter weather, coupled with shoulderless roads and the possible threat of unsavory strangers, has many parents concerned.

Anderson School District is having a bond election on August 23rd that, if passed, will provide $250,000 for transportation equipment amounting to three new buses. At this time, however, Anderson schools haven’t addressed if the new buses would allow for routes into the Sand Springs school district in the future.

In other news, Superintendent Sherry Durkee informed the Board that the Twin Cities facility has had an interested party, but no offer has been made as of this time.

The Pratt Elementary playground is expected to be completed this week.

Board of Ed President Mike Mullins has been selected to be the recipient of the 2016 Oklahoma State School Boards Association Distinguished Service Award later this month. The award is given to only one individual a year at the annual OSSBA/CCOSA Conference in Oklahoma City. Mullins is a twenty-year veteran of the Sand Springs Board of Ed, and was nominated by Superintendent Durkee.