February 11, 2015 - 8:28 AM
VERNON - The Vernon School District is reaching out to parents for input on contentious bussing changes implemented this year.
In a recent survey, parents were asked for feedback on School District 22’s transportation policy, which now enforces a 2.4 km walk limit at all its schools. About 300 students living within the walk limit are no longer eligible to catch the bus. On a case by case basis, some students are offered courtesy rides. The change equated to approximately $125,000 in savings from the district’s overall budget.
“There were a number of parental concerns that came forward so the board asked me to form a transportation sub-committee,” Superintendent Joe Rogers says. “We met and felt we had to find out what parents are saying.”
The committee, made up of Rogers, three parents, two school administrators, two school trustees, a CUPE president and a bus supervisor decided to gather information through a survey.
Rogers says over 1000 responses came in on the survey, which closed Monday. With 3,500 bus riders in the district, Rogers says 1000 responses is a healthy number.
Next, the committee will go over the results and put out a second survey with a choice of options for how the system might be changed.
“The first would be no change, or there’s some possibility there could be a fee for service, like in the Kelowna School District, if they wanted an improved service,” Rogers says.
The second survey could be available as early as next week, Rogers says. The district is posting the surveys online, and notifying parents on school websites, as well as through an automated phone system.
The primary concern among parents is student safety for those required to walk to school.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015