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Minidoka buses

Lynn Sumner, bus driver for Minidoka County School District, leaves the district's bus compound in Rupert in January.

RUPERT — Parents of Minidoka County students who attend schools outside their zones will now be responsible for getting their children to the schools or bus stops.

The Minidoka County School District’s board adopted a policy in June that says parents of in-district students enrolled in schools outside of their zones will be responsible for transporting the students to and from the schools or the appropriate bus stops. The district will continue to transport a student if the transportation is part of a scheduled route and will not require the early release of the student.

Minidoka County School District Superintendent Ken Cox said some students were getting out of classes 20 minutes early to catch buses, which is eliminated by the policy.

The district will continue to provide open enrollment transportation for students who attend Acequia Elementary School and want to attend Rupert Elementary School.

In that instance, when buses take students to East Minico Middle School, the Acequia students can be dropped off at Rupert elementary.

“It’s not out of their way to do that,” Cox said.

Cox said the district has struggled with keeping the transportation department staffed in the past months and after looking at shifting to contract services for transportation earlier this year, the district opted to revise the department from the ground up.

Six bus routes have been eliminated and the routes have been completely revised.

“We had to consolidate some routes just to get by because of the shortage of drivers,” he said.

The district is still looking for bus drivers and will pay for the employee’s driving portion of their commercial driver’s license, Cox said.

There will also be some future changes in bus stop locations, but those changes will not be implemented until after the school year starts.

Parents can call the district’s transportation department at 208-436-3311 for more information.

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