Tuesday, August 22, 2000

Bus plans for Monroe determined

Every student can ride to school

By Sue Kiesewetter
Enquirer Contributor

        MONROE — Children in the Monroe Local Schools won't have to walk or bike to school if they don't want to. And their parents won't have to drive them.

        The new district has made final its transportation plan with Petermann, the Cincinnati firm hired to provide bus service. When the district opens next week a seat will be available for every child in the district who wants to ride a bus, including students from Middletown who are attending Lemon-Monroe High School through open enrollment.

        “We wanted a more enhanced busing for our students,” Superintendent Arnol Elam said. “We're doing it for the safety of our children.”

        When Monroe was part of the Middletown Schools, not all students were bused, Mr. Elam said. But because some students live on streets with no sidewalks or would have to cross Ohio 63, educators decided to go with a more inclusive policy.

        “The cost was negligible,” Mr. Elam said. “This is a lot better for everyone.”

        Petermann has scheduled 15 middle/high school routes, including three to Middletown for open enrollment students, and 12 routes for elementary students, said Lee Ann Cary, a Petermann employee who is serving as Monroe's transportation director. Two midday routes will take morning kindergarten children home and pick up afternoon students.

        Ms. Cary said the district will provide transportation to about 620 elementary and more than 800 middle/high school students who attend the Monroe Local Schools or private schools including John XXIII, Bishop Fenwick and Middletown Christian.

        Most children in Monroe will be picked up close to home and have a bus ride of 30 minutes or shorter, Ms. Cary said. Open enrollment students will have a slightly longer bus ride and will be picked up at one of several pick-up points.

        Classes for Monroe Elementary School will begin at 8:10 a.m. and dismiss at 3:05 p.m., Mr. Elam said. Middle and high school students will begin their day at 7:30 a.m. and dismiss at 2:30 p.m.


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