Our transportation policy is out on “60 day consultation” right now. I am just one of several commissioners on the School Organization & Transportation standing committee – and I brought up my concerns at this committee during the policy review. Regardless, the policy was brought forward to the Executive committee. Here again, I brought up my concerns in an email to the Executive committee. Regardless, the policy was sent out for consultation.
I cannot say that I have not been able to say my piece; I have been able to. But, just saying my piece hasn’t brought about any results.
So, I feel I have to take it one step further again. Consultation? Let’s consult then! Let’s talk about what is right and what is wrong with this policy!
I believe this policy is flawed, and that we need to work on it to make it better. For some reason, even though there is no set date that this needs to be done for, no one wants to recognize that we can make this policy better.
A quick example of two fundamental flaws I see in this policy would be:
With this policy, we are willing to bus a 17 year old high school student 1.6 kilometers to his school. We are unwilling to bus a 6 year old 1.5 kilometers to his elementary school. He has to walk. Sidewalks or not, he has to walk. But the 17 year old gets bussed.
Does this make sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me either.
Another quick example – we reserve a seat for every child who lives within a bussing zone – even for those who never use it; that seat will just stay empty for the school year.
Does this one make sense to you? It doesn’t make sense to me either.
This policy needs to be sent back to the School Organization & Transportation committee for further review. It is our job as commissioners to review policy, and I hope you will hold us accountable to bring back a policy that we can all believe is the best we can do for all of our students.
-nb- I should also be clear on something else here – overall, I remain amazed at how well this department is run by Mr. Paquette – I think that we’re lucky to have him and his team.