Due to funding approved at Town Meeting in October, the Tewksbury Public Schools has reinstated LATE BUSES at the Ryan School, Wynn Middle School and Tewksbury Memorial High School. It is the hope of the school department that this service will allow for increased participation in a multitude of clubs, activities and extra help, which greatly benefit students, both socially and educationally. The service started on last Tuesday, November 29.
“At the August administrator’s retreat, we developed a need list and on the top of the list was late buses for students. Late buses will help and allow students to enjoy after school programs as well as enrichment programs. My thanks to the Town Meeting, School Committee and the Town Manager for their extremely helpful support,” said Superintendent of School Chris Malone.
The School Department offers late buses on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from the Wynn Middle School and Tewksbury Memorial High School. Buses pick up at the Wynn at approximately 3:35, and then proceed to TMHS at 3:45. The buses then begin delivering students to the areas of their homes. Final drop off for students has been between 4:15 and 4:30, depending on the number of students and the location of their homes.
Late buses operate at the Ryan School on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Buses pick up students at the Ryan at approximately 3:45. Final drop off for students last week was between 4:20 and 4:30.
The School Department had originally planned for one bus to cover the entire town for the Wynn/TMHS run and for the Ryan School. However, due to higher than anticipated participation, and the location of students’ homes, students have been separated at the schools geographically into smaller groups of students living NORTH of the schools and students living SOUTH of the schools. Schools have had anywhere between 20-40 students register for this service on a daily basis.
School staff personnel and Tewksbury Transit have been instrumental in creating routes on a daily basis, to help deliver students home in the most efficient manner possible. Students must sign up for this service each day they plan to ride during the school day, by alerting a school secretary or administrator. Routes are then created based on student ridership.
Eventually, the hope is that a pattern of ridership evolves that will allow the School Department to create a general Late Bus Route (or Routes) that will be followed each day that the Late Buses operate.
“The School Department will continue to investigate the possibility of providing late bus service to the Prek-4 schools. Concerns were raised regarding the time of day that after school activities end at the elementary schools, which would mean that some of the department’s youngest students would be riding buses after dark in many cases. This created a safety and supervision concern that the School Department is trying to address,” said David Libby Tewksbury Public School Transportation Coordiantor.