PVNCCDSB PLEASE Allow Children Grade 1-3 (Age 6-8) to Continue to Take the School Bus!
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Re Policy #1300
Changing the eligibility distance for school bus transportation for Grade 1-3 students (AGES 6-8) from 1.0 km to 1.6 km.
The letter sent home regarding this states “The change would align our student transportation practices with the practices of our neighbouring school boards with which we share busing services.” It is my understanding that, at this time, they are the same already.
The pvnccdsb website states that the board is guided by six principles. The second of those principles states, “We will ensure that students come first.” What is the true reason for this change in busing services? It is certainly not in the best interest, or the safety of the students!
In my case, we are 1.8 km from home to school. There are others in the same situation. However, the park near our houses is supposedly considered a safe path to school and under 1.6 km. The Transportation Authority considers the “shortest direct walking route as measured by the Transportation Authority (by publicly maintained road and/or walkway)” when determining the eligibility distance of a student. As per my phone conversation with an employee of the Municipality of Port Hope, that park IS on the list of maintained areas but the guidelines only require them to attend to that area within 24 hours of a snowfall and is not guaranteed to be cleared/ salted in time for getting to school. Not to mention that my child, along with others in my area, will have to cross 2 unsupervised roads (with no stop sign or crosswalk in those areas) to get to the park. I WOULD NEVER LET MY CHILD WALK TO THIS PARK UNSUPERVISED!
The following are just some of the other issues with refusing to let these students use the bus (in cases of bad weather or having to carry items to school, for example):
Stay at home parents (maybe don’t drive or the other parent uses the family vehicle to go to work before school hours) will now have an issue getting child (ren) to school. They may have others that stay with them at home.
Childcare providers (all different ages) will be affected with coordinating times to get children to the bus, taking those that are walking and the ones younger than school age staying home with them.
Increased traffic flow at the already congested drop off area at the school. Also a safety issue.
We have to consider many circumstances. Such as bad weather, the things our children have to carry with them to school and above all their SAFETY. It is a very realistic fact in my mind, as a parent, that once it is a known fact that young children are walking unsupervised through these type of areas, it also presents an opportunity for them to become victims of sick predators lurking around!!!!
Not allowing children of this age group on the bus is ridiculous and irresponsible.
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