The LISD Board of Trustees adopted the Hazardous Routes Rating Matrix on Oct. 17, 2019. This matrix will be used to rate students’ walking routes to school to determine if it meets the criteria for bus service for those students living within two miles of their assigned campus.
The state provides funding for public schools to bus students to and from campuses that are two miles or more from their home. In Leander ISD, families living closer than 2 miles from their assigned school are in the “Not Eligible for Transportation Zone,” or NETZone. Students in the NETZone are only provided bus service if their route to school is rated as hazardous.
Routes in the NETZone automatically qualify for bus service when they meet any of the following criteria:
- crosses an arterial street (as defined by the municipality’s roadway plan) or highway without controls (stop sign, crosswalk, traffic signal or crossing guard);
- aligns alongside a road with a speed limit more than 45 mph; or
- crosses a railroad crossing.
The district will start evaluating routes in December and January and notify families that could be impacted after the evaluation process to gather feedback, which is then presented to the Board. Then the Board approves hazardous routes and the discontinuance of bus service for non-hazardous areas for each school year. This does not impact transportation service provided for special needs students when specified in the Individual Education Plan.
The district plans to notify all families affected by the board’s decision in March.
Hazardous Routes Committee
Since October 2018, the Hazardous Routes Committee of nine community members and seven LISD staff members reviewed rating matrix samples from neighboring school districts and evaluated strengths and weaknesses of each. The committee then produced an evaluation matrix for LISD that will be considered for use going forward.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Who does Leander ISD provide bus service to?
The state provides funding for public schools to bus students to and from campuses that are two miles or more from their home.
In Leander ISD, families living closer than 2 miles from their assigned school are in the “Not Eligible for Transportation Zone,” or NETZone. Students in the NETZone are only provided bus service if their route to school is rated as hazardous.
The Board policy on hazardous routes is under CNA (Local).
How does Leander ISD determine if a route is hazardous?
Members of the transportation team annually review routes to school of families receiving bus service and living inside the “Not Eligible for Transportation Zone” or NETZone. Reviewers also assess routes to school of families in the NETZone with significant changes, such as new construction or changes to road conditions.
Leander ISD uses a matrix to assign route a score, which determines whether or not the student qualifies for bus service. A community committee regularly reviews and updates the matrix.
Is Leander ISD trying to remove specific hazardous routes or reduce the amount of hazardous route buses provided in the district?
No. The Board charged the committee to simplify the matrix so it was easier to understand, repeat, and defend across the community. Our community shared feedback regarding ambiguity with previous versions of the matrix. Per Texas Education Agency (TEA) requirement, we use a hazardous routes tool that allows the district to efficiently and equitably allocate bus service to students living within our NetZone (“Not Eligible for Transportation Zone” refers to households within two-miles of their assigned school).
Can Leander ISD reduce speed limits?
Cities and municipalities control reducing speed limits. School districts can partner with cities and municipalities to set school zones with designated, reduced speeds before and after school. To install a school zone, the city or municipality with jurisdiction for traffic enforcement must approve the designation.