ISD addresses safety concerns, adds bus stops

Faced with the hazardous possibility of some students having to cross major traffic arteries on their way to school, Big Spring Independent School District officials have increased the number of bus stops for the coming year.BSISD trustees learned of the new plan during their monthly meeting Thursday in the high school board room.When the school district redrew its attendance zones earlier this year, officials quickly realized that some students would have to cross busy highways if they chose to walk to school.In particular, some students living west of Gregg Street would have to cross that road en route to Goliad Elementary, while children in Kentwood and Highland South would have to traverse FM 700 to get to Washington and Goliad, respectively.Officials realized that situation was intolerable.“Rezoning the school district created some unfortunate changes, and with those changes came issues that had to be dealt with,” BSISD Transportation Director Wayland Pierce said. “Putting our students' safety as our top priority is where this new plan came from.”After discussions with city and police department representatives, BSISD announced seven new bus stops for the coming year:• Goliad students living west of Gregg Street can board buses at 15th and Lancaster behind Compass Bank and at Fifth and Abrams near the Boys and Girls Club.• Goliad students living in Highland South can board a bus which will stop at the intersection of MacCauslan and Highland.• Kentwood students attending Washington Elementary can board buses at the intersection of McDonald and Larry, Kentwood Apartments, the intersection of Lynn and Allendale and the intersection of Edgemere and 24th.In the Moss Elementary attendance zone, a crosswalk will be painted in at Kentucky Way and Birdwell Lane near the Howard College coliseum. In addition, a 20 MPH speed limit will be in effect during school hours on Birdwell from Yale south to Tucson.The Marcy attendance zone will have no change to its transportation plan, Pierce said.“All of these changes were made with the safety of our students in mind,” he said. “And I can't think the Big Spring city council and police department enough. They were very beneficial in this process.”The new bus stop schedule can be found on the district's web site, www.bsisd.esc18.netIn other business Thursday, trustees:• Named KBYG as the district's flagship radio station for the coming school year.• Approved local policy updates and a code of student conduct.• Appointed Board President Irene Rodriguez as the district's representative to the upcoming Texas Association of School Boards Delegate Assembly.• Approved to extend a lease agreement with Greater Opportunities of the Permian Basin to allow that firm to continue to hold Head Start classes at the Lakeview campus.• Accepted donations of $20,000 from Mike and Shiela Abusaab and $2,000 from the Cloudbase Foundation. The Abusaab's donation will help finance renovation at Memorial Stadium, while the Cloudbase money will help purchase school supplies.• Approved the hiring schedule for the coming school year.