Transportation Expansion

Transportation Expansion

Dear Westport Families,

Please see below information on the expansion of transportation services that was approved by the Springfield School Board on Tuesday, February 9th. This is an exciting opportunity that will impact thousands of students within our school district. Along with this expansion will come a time change for the instructional day at Westport K-8 and you will be receiving more information and updates concerning that throughout the Spring and early Summer.

Thank you for choosing Westport and working with us to educate your children.

Justin and Jill

The Challenge

  • Currently, SPS has the most restrictive transportation eligibility criteria for high school of all regional and large districts in Missouri.
  • Nearly 72 percent of SPS high school students are not currently eligible to access district transportation services.
  • A 8% attendance deficit exists for students who are currently ineligible to ride.
  • Today, more than 3,000 high school students who live up to 3.5 miles from school must find their own transportation solution or walk.
  • In addition, students who do not secure their own transportation are unable to participate in SPS magnet schools and other related choice programming.
  • The current transportation barriers pose challenges for safety, attendance and academics.
  • The negative impact of transportation barriers correlates with a decline in academic performance and increased risk for dropping out.

 

The Solution

  • In the Fall of 2019, a transportation consultant was tasked with identifying sustainable solutions and delivered an initial report to the Board of Education in January, 2020.
  • The Transportation Expansion Workgroup, comprised of more than 30 SPS teachers, parents, principals, and other community representatives, met six times from October, 2020 to January 2021 to review multiple options outlined in the transportation consultant’s report.
  • The workgroup considered survey feedback from more than 6,000 respondents, including parents, students and other community members.
  • This extensive work culminated in a recommendation to administration on January 12, 2021 to add a third tier of bus service, beginning with the 2021-2022 school year.
  • The Board of Education voted unanimously to approve the proposed transportation expansion during its regularly-scheduled meeting on February 9, 2021.
  • SPS will continue communicating throughout the spring with staff, parents and the community, as additional details are confirmed.
  • For more information, visit sps.org.
  • You can also find more information about the process here: https://www.sps.org/Page/5281