Plan now for school bus riding and carpool driving before school starts

Sometimes not everyone makes the bus to school. Erin Green/Bastrop Advertiser

Sometimes not everyone makes the bus to school. Make sure you know when and where your bus will be meeting you. Erin Green/Bastrop Advertiser

Last night we went onto Austin Independent School District’s bus stop utility finder and found, surprise, surprise, my son’s bus stop is in a different spot and at a different time in the morning and afternoon. It’s a good thing to check out before school starts because running on autopilot would have had us standing on the wrong part of the street at the wrong time. This year, you can also track your child’s bus, too. 

And for my daughter, the mom mobile will be leaving at a different time and picking up at a different time because the school schedule is changing this year. Her middle school is starting 10 minutes later and also ending 10 minutes later. (I’m still waiting for information about my son’s high school, though we were initially told it might start earlier.)

A state law, House Bill 2610, that went into effect last September changed the requirement that students go to class for 180 days. Now students are required to have at least 75,600 instructional minutes, giving school districts more latitude.

Some school districts found out they needed to add some minutes to the day. Some districts made that change last year. Others are doing it this year.

So, before school starts on Aug. 22 (or Aug. 23 for Round Rock,) make your morning and afternoon plans. Know where the bus stops are. Know what will happen after the school bell rings in the afternoon — do they go home, go to an after-school program or stay at school. And, of course, check your individual school schedule (if you can find it) to see if your schedule is changing this year.

Find many more back to school tips, austin360.com/backtoschool including how to pick a backpack, how to save on school supplies, when to get your flu shots and 10 things you need to do before school starts.