Some Richards students to lose bus service

W.D. Richards Elementary students in two neighborhoods are seeing an end to school bus service starting this fall.

A recent letter to residents from Principal Darin Sprong stated that there will no longer be Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. bus service for the school’s students in the High Vista neighborhood, who now will become “walkers.”

This is also the case with the Indian Hills neighborhood, said Bartholomew Consolidated School Corp. Director of Operations Brett Boezeman.

Homes in these two neighborhoods are within the one-mile walk zone. In both cases, the change will be effective at the start of the new school year, which begins Aug. 6 for students.

These are the only neighborhoods undergoing a change from bus service to walking, and Richards is the only affected school, Boezeman said. Students who live in High Vista or Indian Hills but attend a different BCSC school, such as Columbus North High School or Northside Middle School, will still receive bus service.

There are currently 19 Richards Elementary students who live in High Vista and Indian Hills, Boezeman said. On average, 10 of those students used bus service during the 2020-21 school year.

The changes in bus service to these neighborhoods follow upgrades in pedestrian safety and walkability, school officials said.

“As part of the Safe Routes to School program, improvements have been made to this area in recent years including sidewalks and the installation of two Rectangular Rapid Flashing Device signals in order to provide safe access for students to walk to Richards Elementary School from the north,” said Boezeman. “These improvements were based on parent feedback and study from the Safe Routes to School committee.”

Sprong’s letter also noted renovations recently made to Rocky Ford Road and the installation of new crosswalk areas.

“If your child will be a walker, we would encourage you to practice with your child(ren) this summer — walk the route with them, teach them safe crossing techniques and prepare them for Aug. 6,” the letter stated.

Parents who choose to drop off their students should remember to obey car rider rules for student safety, school officials said. These include following the “single file car line,” not line jumping, following staff instructions and making sure students exit only on the building/passenger side of the vehicle.

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Anyone with questions or concerns about the change can leave a message at 812-376-4311. Richard Elementary’s office is closed for summer break but will reopen on July 19.

More information about BCSC transportation services is available at