three buses

With the school year well underway, I would like to share some details affecting Alma Public Schools’ Athletic Department. 

For the last two years APS, in addition to many other local districts, has faced a shortage of bus drivers.  Luckily we have continued to secure drivers for student routes to and from school which conclude around 4:30 pm.  At the conclusion of routes, drivers are available to take athletes on event trips.  Unfortunately most events require a departure prior to 4:30 pm.  Hence our current reality and situation.

APS values the benefits of athletics and is striving to get our athletes to away events but this year we are falling short.  Several trips have no driver available or require last minute changes to parents and carpooling efforts.  For this reason, I thank everyone who has accommodated those adjustments.  To avoid further last minute changes, or the cancellation of events, the Athletic Directors are working with coaches proactively to determine options in advance so that communication on transportation is clear. 

The criteria used to determine what options might be available include, but are not limited to, the location of the event, number of athletes on the team, transport of gear requirements and number of events scheduled for the same night.

If a team is the only team playing on a night, they may have APS transportation if our sub (non daily scheduled route) driver is available.  This is our preferred option and will be used to support our largest teams first.

If a team can take a van, they will be encouraged to do so, potentially freeing up a bus for another team.

If a team doesn’t have an APS bus available, cannot fit on a van and is too large for parents to transport, a charter bus may be used.  The extra cost of the charter is absorbed by the team activity fund which varies by sport based on the number of athletes and fundraising opportunities the team may or may not have completed.

As you can tell, there are a variety of factors going into each transportation decision.  Decisions are not made based on past team success, coach preference or sport importance, they are based on availability and the reasonable ability to get our student athletes to their away events.  You should expect clear communication from each coach in advance of each away event so that families can plan accordingly.  

If you have any questions, please feel free contact Stacey Criner, Superintendent.