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160 S. Hollywood St.
Shelby County Schools provides limited services to support students with disabilities who do not attend public schools. If you would like to know more about this opportunity, please contact the Special Education Division at 321-2710, or send your request along... more.
Municipal districts say the first measure of their success will be their buses | Chalkbeat
Two weeks after the start of school last year Debbie Rike, the director of transportation for Shelby County Schools resigned and David Stephens, then the deputy superintendent, was answering questions from reporters about what went wrong with the school buses.
"There's not a date that goes by that someone from the municipal districts' operations department doesn't check with me or have a question," said Rike, who is now directing transportation for all six municipal districts through a shared-services contract. The performance of the buses in the first days and weeks of the school year will be one of the most visible and important tests of the new districts, according to public statements by board members and interviews with their superintendents. Most teaching and learning happens away from parents and student test scores aren't available until the end of the year, so transportation could shape early perceptions of the new districts. "Transportation and food services are not what make you academically higher but when it doesn't work people are not happy about that," Rike said. Another change this year is that a single shared office, managed by Rike, will create all the bus routes and coordinate the transportation needs for all the municipal districts. The six districts will save money by not having to separately hire their own transportation staff, but they will each have to maintain six separate lines of communication with Rike and her staff. It is possible that the beginning of the year could be less problematic than later in the year because typically fewer students ride buses at the beginning of the year. But this year the number of bus riders could change more than other years because of the uncertainty about how many students will end up attending each municipal school. The working assumption right now is that half of the estimated 33,000 students in the municipal districts will take the bus, according to Rike. "We actually don't know who is going to come the first day," Rike said. Rike says she hasn't been told how many more forms to expect, but that more are coming in all the time. Durham will also be working right up to the last minute to make sure it has enough drivers. Although it has already held several job fairs, Durham expects an influx of drivers to sign up at the last minute, according to CEO Emeritus John Elliot. A June 28 post on Germantown School's Facebook page reads, "Bus Drivers Needed!! Rike says a representative of Durham assured her on June 27 that there would be enough drivers, even if it meant it had to temporarily bring Durham drivers in from other locations until its hiring is completed here. The routes will be finished by about mid-July, before registration starts, according to Rike. Rike hopes that most parents will have filled out intent forms for their students by then because she says her office is ready for some last minute enrollment changes "just as long as we don't have to do 3,000 of them." As for last school year's transportation troubles, too many changes were made too quickly; it wasn't that any specific change was responsible for the bussing problems last year, according to Rike. The Memphis City Schools changed their start times, and changed the distance that parents were expected to provide transportation. Because the municipal districts have kept the same start times as last year and there are fewer students this year, she expects there will be more stability. "I have experienced people and I'm confident we're going to make it," Rike said, of her two routers who she first worked with at the legacy Shelby County schools. Debbie Rike
• Debbie Rike, director of transportation, Shelby County Schools, Arlington, Tenn.
Shelby County Schools - Operations Division
Debora Rike, Director
Welcome to the SCS Operations Division Website!
Debora Rike , Director
Board of Directors
Shelby County Schools 160 S. Hollywood Memphis, TN 38112 Phone: 901-321-2280 Fax: 901-321-2281