After a summer of working collaboratively with community members, Newark Public Schools (NPS) is launching a new transportation option geared toward increasing student safety while offering added convenience and accessibility for families impacted by One Newark. To execute this task, NPS assembled the Community Review Committee (CRC), a diverse stakeholder group comprised of parents, community members, school advisory board members, and NPS staff.
The CRC and NPS recently announced shuttle bus services for students in schools impacted by One Newark. The shuttle buses will pick up and drop off students at one of eight newly established Central Hubs, which will be staffed by security guards and teacher’s aides. Additionally, each bus will have a teacher’s aide responsible for monitoring attendance, behavior and safety. Safe Routes maps that highlight the locations of key resources like crossing guards and police stations have also been developed to help families identify the safest courses of travel for students walking to and from the Central Hubs. NPS will continue to provide NJ Transit bus tickets as an option to students who meet the distance eligibility requirements.
In developing transportation solutions, NPS also formed collaborative partnerships with both the Newark Police Department and the Essex County Sheriff’s Department to develop a comprehensive safety program structured to address every aspect of the student commute. Safe Routes walking maps are currently available for the eight Central Hub shuttle locations and will be developed for all Newark schools by spring 2015. The maps are available on our website, http://www.nps.k12.nj.us/safe-routes.