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Siloam Springs students will return to school on Tuesday and school buses will be on the road again.

As students return to school, it is important for parents and drivers to keep safety in mind, according to Steve Avery, school transportation director. Overall, the district has 33 regular routes and four special needs routes. The school buses travel an average of 2,200 miles inside the school district delivering students to and from school, he said.

School times

Northside Elementary School ^Kindergarten^ 7:55 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.

^Prekindergarten^7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Allen Elementary School^8 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Southside Elementary School^7:40 a.m. to 2:40 p.m.

Intermediate School^7:55 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.

Middle School^7:45 a.m. to 2:55 p.m.

High School^8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Source: Siloam Springs School District

The school district has changed start and end times at some of the buildings in the district to make bus routes more efficient and safe, he said. The changes will also mean that buses will pick students up curbside and students no longer have to transfer from shuttle buses to route buses at the intermediate school as they have in the past.

"That is huge in terms of safety and security and making sure those kids are on the right bus," Avery said.

Only four bus loads of kindergarten students will continue to transfer, but they they will move straight from one bus door to another without having to go into the parking lot or around a bus, he said. Kindergarten kids are shuttled so that all 30 buses don't have to go to Northside Elementary School where they would create more risk for kids by having a lot of large vehicles in a small area.

Parents should also pay close attention to their child's bus route number because four route numbers have been switched, including routes 11 and 27, and routes 16 and 29, Avery said.

The transportation department went through mock runs of both the morning and afternoon school bus routes on Thursday morning to help make sure they are ready for the school year, according to Shane Patrick, director of operations for the district.

"They run a true mock run of everything they do in a day to make sure that when it is time for students to start getting on buses on Tuesday, that they have all the details worked out," he said.

During the first weeks of school, Patrick advised drivers to avoid the intermediate school and Allen Elementary School when school is starting or letting out if they can. Traffic in the area will decrease after the first few weeks of school after everyone figures out where they are supposed to go, he said.

It is also important for drivers to remember to stop when they see flashing red lights ahead, Avery said. Anytime a school bus is stopped with its flashing lights on, it means that children are either on the ground or about to be on the ground, he said.

On one day in April, more than 800 drivers statewide illegally passed school buses, he said. In Siloam Springs, an average of two drivers illegally pass a school bus every day, he said.

Fines for passing a stopped bus with the lights on have gone up from $500 to $2,000 and drivers can also have their licenses suspended for up to one year, Avery said. Siloam Springs school buses are equipped with exterior passing cameras to get footage of the license plates of drivers who pass buses illegally and they are required by law to report all instances of illegal passing, he said.

More detailed back to school information, including immunization requirements and meal prices, is available on the school website,, or the school district's social media pages.

General News on 08/11/2019

Print Headline: School resumes Tuesday

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