Provide school buses for High School students in Keswick
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My name is Amanda, I am a single mom of 2 kids aged 13 and 11. We just moved to the Simcoe Landing (SL) subdivision after christmas this past year and my daughter will be starting grade 9 at Keswick High School this fall (2017).
Trying to figure out transit, I was notified by other parents that there is no school bus and students are expected to take public transit to the high school.
I find this outrageous! Other school boards such as:
- Peel provide school buses for their High School Students if they are farther than 3.8kms.
- Halton provides school buses for High School students if they are farther than 3.2kms.
For those who don't know, the Simcoe Landing subdivision is off of Ravenshoe Rd. which borders East Gwillimbury and is approximately a 4-5 km distance from Ravenshoe and Queensway/Leslie to KHS. This doesn't include the distance from students homes to this location.
Other areas in Keswick are also feeling this struggle. With neighbourhoods reaching the opposite end (ie. Boyers and Metro which is approximately 6.3 kms away from Keswick High School).
In my household we always need to prepare for changes early. My son has Autism Spectrum Disorder and does not do well with change, so if there will be a change in his schedule by shifting his sisters schedule, I need to prepare him well in advance. Because of this I started looking into transportation for my daughter for the fall.
It is stated in the yrdsb policy #680.0 that the board of trustees is responsible to provide transportation services for all students deemed eligible from JK to grade 12. The policy also states that A secondary student living more than 3.2 kilometres from the nearest secondary school is eligible for Board-provided transportation.
High school students (particularly grade 9s who are still too young to work) still rely on their parents income. If the parent cannot afford transit, it may affect the childs education or family situation. Given that simcoe landing is approximately 5kms in distance, should they not be eligible? What about students who are even farther but still within Georgina?
I found out students are eligible to purchase a youth pass for transit with their student card for $111/month (which will be increasing to $118 in 2018). As a single parent with a single income, that is an added expense I am not sure I can afford and frankly worries me. As the sole provider I can't quit my job or risk losing it to drive my daughter myself and since we only recently moved here she hasn't made any friends she can go with. Not to mention even 4 kms is too far for her to walk, especially in the winter along a busy road. A child was killed years ago crossing Queensway rd.
I know I am not alone. Every year, children graduate from Georgina elementary schools and all of those grade 8 going into grade 9 students must find their own transportation or take transit. There are many students in my area who could benefit from a school bus.
Let's make a change. SCHOOL BUSES FOR KESWICK STUDENTS!
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