RCSD will not provide transportation for students in Walker-Bus Program, live within 1.5 miles of their school

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — The Rochester City School District announced that they will no longer provide transportation for students who participate in the Walker-Bus Program and students who live within a 1.5-mile radius from their school.

In a letter that was sent out to parents Monday, the RCSD said this was one of their immediate solutions to the RCSD transportation crisis. 584 students who go to Dr. Walter Cooper Academy School No. 10, Enrico Fermi School No. 17, and Abraham Lincoln School No. 22 will be impacted.

Students who don’t have transportation will be learning remotely on Chromebooks using Google Classroom on the first day of school, Thursday, Sept. 9. If a student doesn’t have a Chromebook yet, or theirs is broken, families can contact their home school and the district will deliver one to the school, or the student’s home if transportation is an issue.

“There will be parent engagement, all hands on deck delivering Chromebooks or whatever is needed to bring to the students home,” said Chief of Technology Glen Van Derwater.

Parents can expect letters with pick-up and drop-off information for each student mailed or hand-delivered Tuesday.

"They will be delivered by our drivers, or expediters or troubleshooters, that are out doing our practice runs,” said Chief of Operations Mike Schmidt.

Myers-Small said 100% of students with disabilities will be provided transportation. As of 4:30 p.m. Monday, the superintendent said there were 17 unassigned routes impacting 144 students in eight K-8 schools.

Myers-Small said that the district is working to provide bicycles and helmets to impacted students who need them with the help of Conkey Cruisers, a grassroots organization in Rochester that works to change the perception and accessibility of exercise in Rochester neighborhoods.

You can view the full letter in its entirety below:

Walker Bus Letter to Families in Schools 10, 17 and 22 by News10NBC on Scribd

Last week, parents were notified that bus providers for RCSD did not have enough drivers to transport all of its students to and from school.

Over the weekend, the RCSD school board held an emergency meeting and voted unanimously to approve resolution 122 which moved the first day of school to Thursday to give the district more time to come up with a plan.

The superintendent explained the district is negotiating with RTS with the goal of filling the bus driver gaps for opening day.

In the last hour of the nearly three-hour meeting, the board president told the superintendent the board needs a "definitive plan" from the administration Monday.

The board held another emergency work session just after 6 p.m. Monday. You can watch it in the video in the player below (mobile users, click here):

The School Board will hold its regularly scheduled meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. Space is limited to the first 20 people who sign up to speak. Community members will be able to attend virtually.

At the meeting, the RCSD will present the resolution to work with the Regional Transit Service to cover several busing routes for students starting on Thursday and review staffing vacancies by school.

“I had a conversation with RTS and the conversation was incredibly promising for the new contract with our five schools,” Myers-Small said.

"For these students, should we not negotiate which I’m very confident that we will finalize that, but the plan is simultaneous instruction should RTS not work out,” Myers-Small said.

Look for more coverage on Tuesday’s meeting on News10NBC at 5,6, 7 and 11 and online.