At the regularly scheduled Board meetings on January 23, 2017, the Durham District School Board (DDSB) and the Durham Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) approved a joint region wide community consultation to adjust school bell times to ensure maximum transportation efficiency, and to reduce transportation costs, while maximizing the transportation service to students.
Durham District School Board and the Durham Catholic District School Board are partners in the transportation consortium known as Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS). The consortium gains efficiency by consolidating the Boards' transportation needs to gain economy of scale. The economies are realized at both the administration level, and at the provision of student transportation services.
As various factors change such as i) the opening or closing of a school; ii) traffic congestion; and iii) enrolment growth; the consortium needs to review these changes to determine if adjustments need to be implemented to maintain efficiencies. By adjusting bell times at certain schools, school buses can potentially service more students to more schools with fewer vehicles.
It is estimated that the proposed changes to bell times will result in:
- Ensuring the efficient use of vehicles and preparing for future population growth in the region;
- Of 171 total schools between both boards (DDSB and DCDSB):
- 133 schools (or 77%) require no change in bell times
- 38 schools (or 23%) require a change in bell times of which:
- 27 of 38 (71%) are 10 minutes or less
- 7 of 38 (18%) are 15 to 25 minutes
- 4 of 38 (11%) are 30 to 45 minutes.
The DDSB and DCDSB are committed to a joint community consultation process. The following three locations and dates for the Open Houses are as follows:
- February 13, 2017 – Notre Dame CSS Gym, Ajax – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
(for Pickering & Ajax schools in both school boards)
- February 14, 2017 – All Saints CSS Gym, Whitby – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
(for Whitby and Oshawa schools in both school boards)
- February 15, 2017 – Port Perry HS Gym, Port Perry – 7:00 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
(for northern region schools in both school boards)
At these public meetings, Trustee representatives, DSTS Staff, School Administration and Board Staff will be present to provide information and receive comments.
The Boards will receive additional input and comment via a dedicated email address and telephone line until March 1, 2017:
DDSB and DCDSB staff will provide a final report for consideration and approval to their respective Board of Trustees in March 2017.
Copies of the Regional Bell Time Review Report can be found on the Durham Student Transportation Services (DSTS) website: http://www.dsts.on.ca/belltime-review-information