Published Mon, Aug 22, 2011 12:05 pm Dateline
Updated Mon, Aug 22, 2011 1:52 pm
When the first bell rings Thursday, about 800 students will take their seats at Warren High School in Washington County.
Most of them will have arrived by car because bus service to the high school has been eliminated this year to cut costs.
Superintendent Tom Gibbs is expecting a rather hectic scene in the parking lot, which is located just off busy State Route 339.
The sheriff is promising increased patrols and Gibbs says the district has asked the Ohio Department of Transportation to help, too.
And Warren Local is taking steps of its own, with teachers using a different parking lot and putting in extra effort to monitor students who drive or get dropped off.
Also, Gibbs says they're changing the schedule to minimize a clash with the elementary school next door.
The Ohio Department of Education says as of last year, 34 Ohio school districts "were at state minimum for transportation service level," meaning no busing at all for high school students and no busing for elementary students except those who live more than two miles away.
West Muskingum Local is one district that cut busing and Superintendent Gibbs says Warren officials contacted them for advice.
Gibbs says if voters approve a Warren Local tax proposal in November, the high school bus service will be immediately restored.