• Review data about Bellingham Public Schools’ current bus fleet and learn about transportation operations.
  • Discuss the need for additional buses for improved school schedules, activities, and to help address some older buses.
  • Review levy scenario(s) prepared by the Department of Finance and Operations for a two-year levy that would address transportation needs for the next several years.
  • Recommend levy priorities and a levy amount, considering the overall financial and taxation impact.

Basis for Establishment:

  • Improving school schedules in fall 2016 requires more buses to maintain the current level of service.
  • Bellingham Public Schools’ buses travel thousands of miles each year.  While maintenance staff  have taken excellent care of the fleet, many buses are old and have an average odometer reading of 226,000 miles.
  • State funding is inadequate to replace buses.
  • We provide safe, efficient transportation for more than 3,500 students every day.
  • Updating the fleet, including transportation technology needs, will increase efficiency and safety and reduce environmental impacts.
  • Our transportation needs now extend far beyond school hours with activities, field trips and after school tutoring.
  • More buses are required to meet special education and homeless students need.

Decision-Making Process and Timeline

Discuss options and prepare a recommendation to Superintendent Greg Baker by June 1, 2016.

Plan of Work and Timeline

Meet for an initial meeting from 3 to 5 p.m., April 20 and for two half day work sessions from 1-5 p.m., May 4 and May 18.

April 20, 2016 minutes

May 4, 2016 minutes

May 18, 2016 minutes



  • Ethan Berschauer – high school student
  • Isabela Padilla – high school student
  • Mary E Anderson – parent
  • Patrick Buckley – parent
  • Kirsten Wert – parent
  • Kim Brown – community member
  • Rick Nicholson – community member
  • Kevin Terpstra –  certificated staff member
  • Richard Drost – transportation staff member
  • Drew Graham – transportation driver
  • Steve Ruthford – principal
  • Rae Anne Thon – Director of Transportation
  • Jonah Stinson – Director of School Safety and Emergency Management
  • Kurt Gazow – Executive Director of Technology
  • Tanya Rowe – Executive Director of Communications and Community Relations
  • Simone Sangster – Assistant Superintendent of Finance and Operations and Rob McElroy – Executive Administrator of Teaching and Learning, Co-Chairs


Attend all meetings and work collaboratively with group members.

Budget Implications:

Include recommended levy amounts as part of recommendation.