The Woodside Elementary School District purchased its own school bus in 2022 to allow more flexibility to meet the transportation needs of our students.Find the 2022-23 Woodside Elementary School District Transportation Services Plan HERE.
For several decades, Woodside School contracted out transportation services from the Sequoia Union High School District for the daily transport of our students who were part of the Tinsley Volunteer Transfer Program. The bus that we utilized was also in partnership with the Portola Valley School District. Sharing transportation services saved money but created challenges for the District, and most importantly, the students and their families.
When COVID first became prevalent and WES opened back up, it became clear that the long hours on the bus to and from school did not benefit the students. As a result, WES decided to end the partnership with Portola Valley as we continued to contract our bus services with the Sequoia Union High School District, at a cost of nearly $200,000 per year.
While the Sequoia bus arrangement helped to transport our students, it became clear that there were problems, especially in regard to not having a single dedicated bus driver who knew our students.
In order to control our own transportation to meet the needs of all of our students, the School Board purchased a school bus in 2022, at about the same cost as the annual transportation budget with Sequoia. Working with Las Lomitas, who has years of transportation experience through their transportation department, we purchased the bus and are currently working with Las Lomitas School District to manage the driver, store the bus, handle the maintenance, etc. Woodside School’s bus is completely paid for and will end up saving money on an annual basis going forward.
In addition to creating much more flexibility for our District’s transportation needs, having our own transportation allows the students who ride daily to spend less time getting to and from school each day. Also, WES has utilized the school bus so that all students have the opportunity to benefit. Grade-level field trips are utilizing the school bus, saving thousands of dollars in charter fees on an annual basis and providing all WES students opportunities to continue their education through field trip exploration.