Seattle schools to roll out new transportation plan

After the implementation of the Student Assignment Plan, Seattle Public Schools is also changing the way K-8 students get to school.

The transportation map for John Hay Elementary. Orange is the walk zone, yellow the bus zone.

The new neighborhood-based transportation system is expected to streamline bus routs for attendance-area students and get kids to their neighborhood school in 25 minutes or less. This change will also save an estimate $4 million by using fewer buses and less gas.

“With more efficient routing, buses are less likely to encounter the traffic delays that occur on longer routes, so families will find departure and arrival times to be more reliable,” said Tom Bishop, SPS transportation manager. “In addition, the more streamlined routes will also benefit the environment by taking up to 80 buses off the roads and reducing the district’s carbon footprint.”

Students within the transportation zone, but outside the walk zone for a school will be eligible for district-provided transportation. There are an estimated 3,600 elementary students who live outside the new transportation zones. They will still be eligible for the following transportation:

  • Students who live within a half of a mile from the Transportation Zone boundary can walk to a yellow bus stop within the zone. Seats will be allocated on a space-available basis.
  • Community stops will be created so students can catch a yellow bus near an attendance area school and take it to another school.
  • Students who are no longer eligible for transportation will receive a guaranteed assignment to their attendance area school, if requested.
  • School bus routes will be assigned later this summer once all the students assignments are complete. Families should expect a letter later this month, prior to the start of the school year.

    For more information and to see the transportation zone for your school, click here. FAQ can be found here (.pdf)

    Public school open enrollment starts today

    Under the new Student Assignment Plan, all students will be assigned to the school within their boundary area (look up your school here.) If the attendance area school isn’t your first choice, you can apply for your child to go to another school within the Seattle Public School system. The open enrollment period runs from today, March 1 through the end of the month. The school district stresses that all the applications will be processed at the end of March – there is no advantage to applying on March 1 vs. March 31.

    If you’re interested in sending your child to an option school there will be a “Family to Family Option School Fair” from 10 a.m.-noon Saturday, March 13 at the John Stanford Center (2445 3rd Ave. S.)

    On March 30th at the Queen Anne Library, enrollment staff will be on hand from 5:30 – 7 p.m. to help answer your questions. You can use this opportunity to enroll new students and/or submit School Choice Forms for next school year. Make sure to bring all necessary documents to register your child.

    On the other hand, if you’re satisfied with the school that was noted in the letter sent out by the school district last month, no other action is needed.