Traditionally, Marietta Public Schools has not offered school bus services to what are considered the “in town” kids, or those who live within the area bordered by State Highway 77 to the west, State Highway 32 to the north, the railroad tracks to the east, and the south border of the school’s campus. However, that is about to change.

“The state does not give funding or require districts to offer bus service to students who live within a 1.5 miles radius of the campus,” said Superintendent Brandi Naylor. “Although less than the 1.5-mile area, our practice has formerly been that we do not transport students within that area from Highways 77 and 32 to the railroad tracks and back to our campus.”

But for students living within those boundaries, that means that they must walk to school – rain or shine, freezing temperatures or extreme heat – or be driven by their parents.

“We have had children as young as primary age walking to school in the rain, heat, and cold,” Naylor explained. “If a student gets rained on or feels unsafe on the way to school, they won’t be at their best and won’t be able to learn at a high level.”

For safety reasons and generally to help students have a better day, as well as providing a service for parents within the community, at the meeting of the Board of Education held on August 1, board members voted to begin offering neighborhood bus stops near the school in the previously unserved area.

“We will be working with Marietta city officials to decide the safest areas to establish bus stops,” Naylor remarked. “It will be difficult to determine exactly where the best place for stops will be, so families should plan on making adjustments as we better determine the need.”

The school is working to establish neighborhood bus stops and looks to have a route prepared before classes begin on August 18.