THORNWOOD, N.Y. – For the first time, Westlake Middle School students will get on the bus every day with their high school counterparts as the Mount Pleasant Central School District combined the buses this year in a cost-saving move.
“It’s to consolidate the buses and bus stops,” Schools Superintendent Susan Guiney said. “We had a lot of buses last year that would loop around the same area when picking up middle school and high school students.”
With the middle school and Westlake High School on the same campus and their start and dismissal times being in line together, the decision was an easy one for the district. Guiney said the district was able to eliminate one bus for the year by combining, which saves around $70,000. However, the topic was brought up at many Board of Education meetings and some parents had an issue putting their middle school child on the same bus with a potential upperclassman at the high school. Guiney said that those parents need not worry.
“Many of our older students at the high school either drive themselves in or will get a ride from a friend,” Guiney said. “And the high school students that do ride the bus they already have their group of people who they socialize with and shouldn’t be a bother to the other students.”
With school starting Tuesday, the district will monitor behavior on the busses over the next few weeks and any issues that could arise when the two schools come together.
“Any parent that has a concern with their child in regards to something that happens on the bus they should report it to us immediately,” Guiney said.
Guiney said that the bus routes are very similar to last year and can be accessed by parents and students on the district website.