Save Yellow bus service for NE Residents. SWL School.

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From:
This letter is from the concerned parents regarding changes in school bus service for the students of Sir Wilfrid Laurier School of Calgary.
To:
Calgary Board of Education (CBE)
1221-8 Street South West
Calgary, Alberta
T2R 0L4
Subject: Parent concerns on CBE announced transportation Services for Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Calgary
The letter received on May 17, 2017, from Sir Wilfrid Laurier School in relation to the CBE’s CBE’s announced transportation service levels for the 2017-18 school years has disappointed and shocked parents of students for whom the yellow bus service has been discontinued. We, as parents are highly concerned about the safety of our young children. This impacts children starting as young as 10
years old, who are automatically obligated to travel in the regular Calgary Transit buses and trains. CBE failed to take safety of our children under consideration and payed more attention to the dollar value involved in busing the young kids to school.
Parents were expecting that 2017-18 school year busing services would be planned better as compared to current school year.
Parents are the major stakeholders and have direct interest in any changes to transportation levels for their children; nevertheless, we were not consulted before implementation of this decision. In a nutshell, we are unable to see parent involvement and transparency in the process of determining that yellow bus service is no longer required in lieu of student independence, saved transit time etc. CBE website mentions community engagement, and involvement of stakeholders to determine that the transportation services will be changed for upcoming school year. We, as parents never received any relevant communication.
According to the “Key Message for Schools | Transportation Service Moving to Calgary Transit”; it is clear that no dedicated bus will be assigned from the community bus stops to the school bus stop and it is also clear that children will ride in regular city buses. Children as young as 10 cannot be expected to be experienced in, and aware of unknown threats and factors involved in using public transit by themselves. As we all comprehend, the commute time will be longer in the morning/evening as these are the peak rush hours. If the children are to ride the city transit, traveling from city of Calgary North East communities will take two transit buses (possibly a bus) and a train ride (depending on community location) and from the last train ride to the school approximately 10 to 15 minute walk; moreover this situation will only get worse in Calgary during winter time. In this situation, children can be late to school, stranded at bus stops or C-train stations and can miss the important school study time. Also they may come late home late. The letter handed in to students’ states
“If a student misses a bus, another one will soon follow”. This means that students will be at c-trains and bus stops waiting longer and this will put safety of children, and their education in jeopardy.
At the end we would like to respectfully oppose your decision to suspend yellow bus service for students for Sir Wilfrid Laurier School. We would like to present our resentment on the fact that the parents were not consulted and brought into dialogue before making such an important decision.
Our children’s’ safety and education should be at the top priority and we expect that after reviewing our concerns, CBE and all other interested parties will understand our concerns. We request the appropriate authorities in control of this situation to reinstate the yellow bus service to Sir Wilfrid Laurier School due to the fore said serious concerns. We would appreciate if you would revisit your decision and plan on retaining the yellow bus services for Sir Wilfrid Laurier School attending from North East areas of Calgary. While revisiting your decision please take under consideration ages and safety of all children going to Sir Wilfrid Laurier School, as this should play important role in reconsideration.
Sincerely,
Undersigned parents of Sir Wilfrid Laurier School, and Chris Akkerman School students , and other concerned parents; see Appendix A
attached for details.
June, 2017
Carbon Copied:
MLA for Calgary-McCall; Calgary Board of Education; and other interested parties



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