SAVE YELLOW SCHOOL BUS IN CALGARY!!
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This letter is from the concerned parents regarding changes in school bus service for the students affected by CBE Transport Changes for 2017-2018 school year.
Calgary Board of Education (CBE)
1221-8 Street South West
Subject: Parent concerns on CBE announced transportation Services for Calgary Schools
In May 2017, CBE announced new transportation service levels for the 2017-18 school years. This 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 paid 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 comparative to the current school year. Instead, the CBE has unilaterally made a decision that negatively impacts families in the Calgary region, without adequate notice, consultation, discussion or consideration for the effect these changes will have.
Parents are the major stakeholders and have direct interest in any changes to transportation levels for their children. The impact to parents and guardians on arranging alternative transportation, accessing childcare and modifying work obligations to ensure the safety of our children will create lasting and damaging financial impacts in an already tough economy. Although the CBE website mentions that communicate engagement and involvement of stakeholders was considered in determining the changes to transportation, we parents feel that we were not given timely and relevant communication in order to voice our concerns prior to the change taking place. We understand that the CBE has budgetary obligations and fiscal reasoning for the cessation of the yellow bus service, however there is nothing more important that the safety of our children.
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. 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 some schools/programs/student groups.
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 have attended the sessions held by CBE to provide updates. We were surprised by CBE apathy to student safety outside school premises, parent anguish arising from extreme concerns about child safety and total disregard of economic implications of the foresaid actions. In this day of recession, for some parents, this could mean lost jobs!
We request the appropriate authorities in control of this situation to reinstate the yellow bus service 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 effected schools. While revisiting your decision please take under consideration ages and safety of our children.
Undersigned parents of effected schools in Calgary.
The Minister of Education is the Honorable David Eggen; Calgary Board of Education; and other interested parties.
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