Drops of Ink

Late Buses Now Available at LHS

The+school+bus+awaits+students+coming+from+sports+and+extracurricular+activities.
The school bus awaits students coming from sports and extracurricular activities.

The school bus awaits students coming from sports and extracurricular activities.

Allie Kuhlman

Allie Kuhlman

The school bus awaits students coming from sports and extracurricular activities.

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Since late September, Libertyville High School has been offering late buses at 4 and 6 p.m.

Diana Gratz, an assistant principal’s secretary who helps arrange the buses, said this service is being provided for students who remain on campus after school and require the school’s help in returning home. Buses pick up students from the front circle and then bring them directly to their homes. Upon boarding the bus, students provide their student ID and bus drivers attempt to plan out a consistent bus stop order to the best of their ability, Gratz said in an email interview.

Initially, the buses were scheduled to run on a five-week trial basis, which ended earlier this month. In a recent interview, Mrs. Gratz said that the school will be “continuing the late buses into the winter athletic season.”

She also shared that though she has not received much feedback from students, parent responses have been overwhelmingly popular.

According to Mrs. Gratz, around 23 or 24 students took the bus in the first two weeks, respectively. The majority of these students utilized the 4 p.m. bus.

“[The] administration is continuing to monitor the late bus student usage numbers,” she added.

Mrs. Gratz explained that the late bus system was created in order to give students who may not have participated in an activity or sport due to transportation issues the option to participate. The buses will be reconsidered before the end of the five-week trial period by principal Dr. Tom Koulentes and the district to determine if the program will continue.

Jacqueline Vu, a sophomore, used to take the 4 p.m. bus after school due to her busy schedule with tennis, guitar club and art club. She said that she stopped going on the bus “because it got really crowded and took like an hour and a half sometimes [to get home],” so she “just gave up on it.”

According to Vu, in the first week of riding the late bus, she was only accompanied by a few other students and was able to make it home quickly. After word got out about the buses, though, they started to fill up. “12 people took a really long time,” Vu said.

Despite no longer using the late bus, Vu considers the buses helpful, especially because her parents were not able to pick her up due to their work schedules. Additionally, she shared that her experience took longer because she was the second-to-last stop, which made her ride longer than most other students on the bus.

Mrs. Gratz has spoken with Dr. Koulentes about the bus service and reported that he “really would like to see the program continue since it is helping our students participate in programs that they may not be able to otherwise.”

 

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