Dillingham Elementary School makes changes to bus system

May 10, 2017

Dillingham Elementary School is eliminating "blue notes" next year. If students need to be dropped off at a location other than their regular bus stop, then caregivers will have to provide transportation.

Credit Luke Brummer

The Dillingham Elementary School announced a change yesterday to its bus system. Currently a child’s parent or guardian can call the school and request that their child be allowed off at a different bus stop than normal. For example, if a student is to be dropped off at a babysitter’s house instead of their parent's, the school writes what is called a “blue note.” The note alerts the bus driver to the change.

Next year, there will be no blue notes. That decision has been met with some resistance from parents.

Audio Transcript:

Next year, Dillingham elementary schoolers will be required to get on and off at the same bus stop all year. If a student needs to go to different location on a given day, caregivers will have to provide transportation.

"The original thought behind that was to keep kids safe as kids get in the habit of riding the same bus over and over, so they would know where there stop was," elementary school principal Nick Schollmeier explains. "The kids would know where they’re going, and then we know either the kid’s on the bus getting off at that one stop or that they’re getting picked up at the school by someone their parents want them to be picked up by."

Some parents voiced concerns at Tuesday’s community meeting and also took to social media to say the change could be problematic for parents, especially those who rely on a variety of afterschool care providers.

Schollmeier says that administration hears those concerns and is taking parents’ comments into consideration.

"We’re taking that advice and looking at it and seeing if we can potentially tweak the blue notes system so we don’t completely get rid of it."

The school is keeping the dialogue open, but, at this point, it still intends to eliminate blue notes.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org 907-842-2200.