Agenda Item
Meeting Date: 5/28/2020 - 6:30 PM
Category: Report #2 of the Committee on Strategic Planning and Budget
Type: Action
Subject: 1. Action on Request to Approve the Proposed Three-Tier Busing Model for School Year 2020-2021
Strategic Plan Compatibility Statement:
Goal 3
Effective and Efficient Operations
Policy: Admin Policy 4.04 - Student Transportation Services
Attachments: Proposed Three-Tier Bell Schedule
Transportation Listening Session Feedback
File Attachment:
Proposed Three-Tier Bell Schedules.pdf
Transportation Listening Session Feedback.pdf
Background: Milwaukee Public Schools provides transportation services to approximately 54,000 students annually for district, suburban, and private school students who live in Milwaukee, or if they participate in specialty programs such as Chapter 220, Homeless Education or Foster Placement Network Programs, in surrounding municipalities. The district also provides services for a variety of district-sponsored programs such as Head Start, Interscholastic Athletics, Community Assessment and Training Program (CATP), Learning Journeys, and Special Olympics.

Chapter 121.54 of the Wisconsin Statutes spells out the provisions under which the school board of each district shall provide for the transportation of pupils, including establishment, administration, and scheduling of school bus routes. MPS Administrative Policy 4.04 further states that the Milwaukee Public Schools’ Transportation Services is to provide safe, adequate, efficient, and economical service to all eligible Milwaukee-resident students.

The Administration is exploring possible transportation modifications that optimize a Regional Transportation System that supports bus utilization to maximize efficiency. The Administration was directed in January 2020 to solicit feedback from impacted stakeholders by facilitating community listening sessions pertaining to Pupil Transportation Services, and to come back to the Milwaukee Board of School Directors with a new alternative for consideration related to transportation savings.

The Administration scheduled six Community Listening Sessions in March 2020 and was able to facilitate two successfully prior to the district’s closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Administration has revised the transportation restructure alternative based on feedback that was provided. Pupil Transportation Service’s long term restructure plan continues to consider moving towards a three-tier school bell schedule. However the specific schools to be revised and the aggregate start and end times being proposed have been amended.

The new proposal is as follows:
1) Move from current two-tier bell schedule to a proposed three-tier bell schedule with the following times:
a. Tier 1 K5/K8 Schools (7:20am-2:20pm)
b. Tier 2 High Schools (8:05am-3:20pm)
c. Tier 3 K5/K8/Traditional Middle Schools (9:00am-4:10pm)

2) Under this model:
a. All high schools would move to 8:05am-3:20pm from either 7:30am-2:45pm or 8:40am-3:55pm.
b. All other schools would move from 7:30am/7:35am to Tier 1 starting at 7:20am OR from 8:40am/8:45am to Tier 3 starting at 9:00am.

3) As little as eight schools would be required to be moved from their current Tier 1 at 7:30am to the new Tier 3 at 9:00am in order to distribute the district service load equally among all tiers (240 routes worth of service needs to adjust).
a. Preferred K8 schools identified in attachment were selected due to minute requirements and school location.
b. Other schools could be considered as long as the total count of moved routes equates to 240 from Tier 1 to Tier 3.
c. Non-Instrumentality Charter (NIC) Schools have been positioned on a preferred bell schedule but may deviate by contract. NIC changes would modify fiscal impact.
Fiscal Impact Statement: The fiscal impact of the Administration’s proposed actions depends on the range of implemented options. The potential savings range from $2,000,000 to $3,000,000 for FY21.
Implementation and Assessment Plan Should the Board adopt the Administration’s proposed actions, the Administration will begin to implement the following actions:
• Detailed changes to bell schedule presented
• Bell schedule changes advertised and facilitated
• Transportation changes applied for all other enrollment periods
Recommendation: This item is part of a report to be formulated from a meeting to be held subsequent to the publication of this advance copy of the agenda, which will be forward to the Board prior to its meeting
Recommended By:
Signed By:
Jacqueline M. Mann, Ph.D. - Board Clerk/Chief Officer