The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

The student news site of Puyallup High School

The Viking Vanguard

Bell Schedule Impacts Buses

Credit: Ethan Barker
A school bus outside Puyallup High School.

As students across the district settle into the school year, Puyallup High School students are working to adapt to the norm. Along with the closure of a building, the Puyallup School District updated bell schedules across the district at the beginning of the school year to alleviate issues with bus runs.

“Last school year, especially in the winter months and in the spring, we had many bus cancellations. And a lot of that had to do with the way in which our routes were designed and our bell times were created,” Dr. Vincent Pecchia, Assistant Superintendent of Operations and School Support, said.

Last year, the district struggled to cover runs when drivers were absent, as they had a limited number of substitutes.

A specialized task force, along with a consulting firm, was enlisted to figure out a plan for the 2023-2024 school schedule.

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“We had students, community members, staff from very different groups. And so, we really took a deep dive first and talking about what the district’s current bell schedule was, and what was working well with it and what was in addition to that, we looked at each region in the district,” said Pecchia.

The three regions in the district direct which elementary and junior high schools feed into the three high schools.

“We looked at all of that data, and then eventually presented the school board with several different bell time models… that would positively impact things like on time performance, or ridership experiences for our students,” Pecchia said.

Many factors played into the issues with the buses, and the task force had to take all the details into account.

“Hypothetically speaking, if your high school was experiencing an issue with traffic patterns and there was a decision made that ‘Oh, well, we’ll just start Puyallup High School maybe 30 minutes before Rogers and Emerald Ridge or whatever, so we can alleviate some of those traffic problems.’

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About the Contributor
Ethan Barker, ACE Editor
Ethan Barker is the ACE (Arts, Culture and Entertainment) Editor for the Viking Vanguard student newspaper at Puyallup High School. This year, which will be his second with the Vanguard and his junior year of high school, he hopes to improve his interviewing skills and work with the editorial team to investigate issues facing students. He consistently turns out reviews of blockbuster movies and shows, along with feature stories that focus on unique people and places. In addition to these, he enjoys playing guitar, swimming for PHS and his club team and reading the closest book he can get his hands on.

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