THE FUSS OVER THE BUS
Listen up underclassmen. Drop that Geometry textbook and throw away those APUSH notes. We’re talking transportation. That’s right, transportation. Specifically for the transitional phase of 2013-2015. Starting next September, school parking passes could belong exclusively to the senior class. Due to the absorption of an entire student body from Andover next year, the limited parking spaces may only be available to Blackhawk seniors, meaning the rest of the school would have to resort to other means of transportation. Parent drop-offs? Highly discouraged. Your own parking space? Fuggedaboutit. So, looks like you’re about to be cozying up to the cold, foam seats of the school bus.
No, this isn’t the first phase of some cruel conspiracy against underclassmen, but instead is a part of a projected plan set up by Bloomfield administration in order to reduce traffic around the temporary consolidated high school at Lahser’s site. This plan includes not only the parking cutbacks but also changes to the morning start-times for grades 10-12 at the Lahser location and the freshman academy, and the resulting bussing situations. These scenarios would encapsulate a common or a staggered start time with the upper high school and the freshman academy, where either both schools start bright and early at 7:25, or grades 10-12 start at their usual time while the freshmen start a pleasant 45 minutes later.
The latter option would mean separate bus routes for high school and the freshman academy, while the common time scenario would have regular routes for all grades, and express shuttles to the two campuses, the stations for which being located at the middle schools.
The original plan of staggered start times seems plainly illogical, as it would throw off and complicate any forms of transportation or collaboration between the two schools. Students who attend classes at both schools will have unnecessary difficulties in transport and timing, instead of utilizing the inter-school shuttle system that is already set in place and runs flawlessly.
With the freshman academy completing their final classes at 3:15, athletics and extracurricular activities would be delayed or disconnected. Sports teams will struggle with stragglers coming in late from the academy, delaying practices and frustrating coaches. Furthermore, staggering the start times would further isolate the freshmen from a true high school setting, adding further needless complications to this already arduous transition. No matter the scenario, today’s underclassmen would need to swallow their pride and accept their seats on the school bus if administration’s plan is to go swimmingly. Whether or not this endeavor is successful relies on the cooperation of students and parents, and traffic will likely be hectic and delayed anyways.
Frankly, the assumption that all driving students are entitled to parking spaces at the school sites would be irrational. Students have been fortunate enough to have their own spaces while at their respective schools, but during the next couple transitional years, student parking would have to be limited if they are to retain some organization in the frenzied rush that starts the school day. Of course it would be disappointing to not be able to flaunt your beloved hot rod in the showcase that is the Lahser parking lot, but adapting to new challenges and routines is what administration sees as a forte for Bloomfield high schoolers.
Chances are most underclassmen will be riding the bus every day. And chances are transportation for the next couple of years is going to get chaotic. And chances are that less than half of you who started to read this article are still reading it now. But the entirety of Bloomfield Hills High School, students, staff, administrators and all, must be willing to work together and collaborate if we are going to find any order in this very difficult transition. In the end, controlled chaos is just the same as absolute chaos.