Focusing on student safety, the Polson school district has added an additional bus route.
In a unanimous vote by the school board members in a meeting on Nov. 12, Superintendent Rex Weltz said that the new route is “dedicated” to the area from U.S. Highway 93 to Hillcrest Drive.
“We were experiencing overcrowding,” Weltz said Monday afternoon during a phone call with The Leader.
Weltz said that the route was “inconsistent” for students on the end of the route, toward the highway, who would wait for a bus to come after the first would be filled.
Sometimes, parents will take their students to school or pick them up, which added to the amount of students that take the bus.
The result was assigning an additional bus and bus driver to pick up the students on the end of the route.
Now, Weltz said, students will get on and off a bus each day on schedule.
The decision to add the bus route came after officials were made aware that students walked home along the busy roadway in the past.
Learning of students walking home when they normally would take the bus made district officials “reevaluate what we’re doing,” Weltz said.
Typically, students that live three miles from their school don’t take the bus, but the heavier traffic makes the trek unsafe for students.
Weltz added that the community, as well as district officials, “don’t want kids walking that area in the winter.”
There are 20 buses total in the district’s fleet, which includes backup buses and activity buses.