UPDATE: North Okanagan school bus changes delayed

Parent/teacher upset heard by school district, which delays any changes to 2021

Busing cuts have been put on hold.

The Vernon School Board hosted a special meeting Wednesday, April 22, via Zoom, regarding transportation for the next school year.

Many parents have been concerned about a previous proposal that would leave more than 600 students without bus access.

But the board agreed to have registration fees remain in place and potential changes be delayed to September 2021.

“This is not something we are putting away and it is something that we will deal with properly,” said chairperson Robert Lee.

“The old days are gone,” he said, as changes are needed to help the district afford the service.

It costs approximately $700 per child to ride the bus in the district, according to Superintendent Joe Rogers.

The district spends $2 million on transportation and is therefore looking for ways to fund the service or cut its costs.

The proposed changes could see 60 bus routes cut, which would affect courtesy riders – those going to out-of-catchment schools and those who live within 2.4 kilometres of their school.

Rogers points out that for Vernon’s courtesy riders: “it is the shortest distance within the province of any other district and the most generous.”

Therefore there could be changes to the courtesy rider definition.

Parents are concerned that removing those routes will force many students onto busy roads. And for younger students or those who need a ride, it will put more vehicles on the road and in the already-busy school parking lots.

Potential route cuts would have the greatest impact on French Immersion students.

“Cuts to busing could mean a huge loss of students to our program due to lack of accessibility,” said Karen Godard, a late French Immersion teacher at Harwood Elementary.

“Most of the students in the program are from out of the Harwood catchment area. Currently in the two classes, we only have nine students from within the Harwood catchment. All others come from other parts of the city, many requiring busing to attend.

“I am quite concerned that the cuts in busing will inhibit students from attending this program and I wonder if the program will continue to be sustainable.”

The fee structure may also see changes.

READ MORE: School bus cuts feared for Vernon students

READ MORE: School expansion makes room for more Vernon students


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

SchoolsTransportation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The Vernon School Board held a special meeting April 22 via Zoom to discuss transportation issues. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Just Posted

Former Kelowna cop faces fourth lawsuit alleging sexual assault

Ex-Mountie Brian Mathew Burkett is also separately facing seven charges of breach of trust

QUIZ: A celebration of apples

September is the start of the apple harvest

Smoky skies clearing throughout B.C. Interior

Environment Canada expects “widespread” improvement for all affected areas by Sunday

Penticton wildfire crew goes from Christie Mountain to Cold Springs

The team at Eagle Ridge Consulting is helping fight fires across the border

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Squabble over mask policy at LUSH in Kelowna mall

The woman filmed the encounter at LUSH Cosmetics, where wearing a mask in-store is company policy

Cops For Kids ride wraps in Okanagan

No pomp, no circumstance for end of milestone 20th anniversary fundraising bicycle trip

Province opens ‘middle income’ housing in Kelowna

Prices on the units are $1,300 for a one-bedroom and $1,780 for a two-bedroom, nearing area-average prices

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Reward offered for return of Okanagan puppy

An 11-week-old boxer-mastiff cross pup was allegedly taken from its Kelowna Friday, Sept. 18

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Most Read