Putting Education Reform To The Test

Students Riding School Buses Must Pass Through Security Checkpoints for RNC

Gregg Sloan / Flickr

Hillsborough County schools are warning parents now: There will be traffic the week of the RNC.

The Republican National Convention is expected to take over large parts of Tampa starting Monday—and immense traffic and congestion will likely flood some streets in the city.

But the Hillsborough County School District has a plan to help students to school on time.

Schools between the Davis Islands and Harbor Island area would be affected by RNC traffic, as well as Gorrie Elementary, Wilson Middle and Plant High schools.

District officials are telling Davis Islands and Harbor Island parents to put their kids on school buses, instead of weathering some tough traffic in their cars.

Superintendent Mary Ellen Elia told media outlets she wants parents in those areas to prepare to rely on school buses—who would be taking special routes, The Tampa Tribune reported.

Some students in those school buses will have to go through security, according to an RNC information page on the Hillsborough County Schools website.

“Harbor Island is the only place buses will have to pass through security check points and pass through convention crowds. Our officers will be in radio contact with Tampa Police and other officers manning those check points, so they are aware when a school bus is approaching. We hope this arrangement makes the week smoother.”

According to the RNC site, buses will also have uniformed security officers riding with the students on buses accessing Harbor Island.

If a bus does arrive late, the school website says “school administrators will know why students are tardy and it will not count against them.”

Other than that, schools officials say next week will be business as usual and all students are expected to be at school on time.

Except for students at Sam Rampello Downtown Partnership School, a K-8 magnet school located downtown — right in the heart of all the RNC action.

Rampello’s school website says it’s closed from Monday, August 27 to Friday, August 31 “due to the Republican National Convention.”


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