Opt-out forms for prom coach buses


Credit: A. Tsirekas, Wikimedia Commons

One of the bigger compromises the junior e-board made was settling on mandated party buses, a middle ground between mandated coach buses and private external transportation.

Last Friday, parents of juniors received a transportation opt-out notification form that would allow students the option not to take a coach bus. In November, the junior class government originally announced that coach buses would be available for students to ride to the junior prom on May 13. Juniors who do not plan on taking coach buses to prom must send in their opt-out forms by noon on Friday, March 10.

“The opt-out is basically just a very simple form where the main office and administration are informed that a student is not planning to take the coach bus,” Principal Allyson Mizoguchi said.

According to Mizoguchi, there will be no mandatory transportation system that students who are opting out will have to use. The form will only notify administration that a student will not be taking a coach bus.

“The price [of hiring buses] is still built into the ticket, even if students aren’t taking the coach bus, but we need to know, just from a numbers perspective, how many coach buses to reserve,” Mizoguchi said.

The purpose of the form is to determine the number of students who will be taking the coach buses. According to Mizoguchi, the company that will provide the buses has asked to be notified soon as to how many coach buses the school will be reserving.

“Because these coach buses are in high demand during prom season, we need to let the company we are ordering the buses from know well in advance,” Mizoguchi said. “We don’t want to lose out from other school districts swooping in and getting them.”

Mizoguchi said that only juniors who want to opt out will need to fill out the form. Students from other classes or schools who will be attending prom do not need to complete the form. Mizoguchi said the administration is looking at the number of students who have attended prom in past years to estimate how many students will be attending the prom this year. This estimate takes in account students who are not in the junior class.

“We are building in some wiggle room for our estimations to make sure we are covered and realistic with the number of buses we think we will need,” Mizoguchi said.

Mizoguchi hopes that introducing the opt-out form more than two months before prom will not make students feel like they need to find dates sooner than usual.

“I realize that one of the most unfortunate situations of the timing of the bus issue is that students are still thinking about who they want to go to prom with and what the whole social groupings are going to look like,” Mizoguchi said. “My fear is that the bus issue is forcing some of those conversations to happen too soon; therefore, we want to adjust accordingly, understanding that situations may change as we get closer to prom.”

Mizoguchi expects that under the new transportation system, new issues will arise.

“When students hand in a form, that opt-out is attached to that student’s name. If that student ends up going with a student who doesn’t want to opt out, we’ll find a place for them on the bus,” Mizoguchi said. “Likewise, if a student ends up going with the person who does want to opt-out, we will adjust the numbers as well.”