Some students in Kimberley will no longer be able to jump on the bus to get to school.
The change stems from the Rocky Mountain School District’s decision not to reconfigure three local schools to K-7 and instead draw a catchment line through community to determine what children go to what school.
Superintendent Paul Carriere explains reconfiguration would have seen less bus routes but instead they’ve kept the same configuration and redesigned the existing five routes.
Carriere explains the result is less courtesy rides for students living closer to the school.
Courtesy rides are when students who aren’t eligible for busing can still jump on if they bus passes the child’s home and there is room on it.
Students eligible for busing must live more than four or nearly five KM away from the school depending on the grade (4 KM for kindergarten to Gr. 3 and 4.8 KM for Gr. 4 to Gr. 12).
Carriere says there is some misunderstanding among parents who believe routes are being eliminated, which is not the case, they’re just being designed
He says he understands this is an inconvenience for some parents who don’t feel it is safe for their, say, kindergarten student to walk three KM to school.
However, the Superintendent explains school districts base their transportation systems on the students who are eligible for busing.
Transportation of a non-eligible student is the responsibility of the parent.
Carriere suggests they try to strike a balance.
He claims this isn’t a situation unique to Kimberley and the discussion of eligible and courtesy riders takes place in all communities across the District.
Carriere says possible bus route alterations were discussed during public consultation with parents when deciding whether or not to change McKim Middle School, Lindsay Park Elementary and Marysville Elementary to K-7.
The School District ultimately scrapped plans of reconfiguration for the three local schools due to a large opposition of parents.
– Rocky Mountain School District Superintendent Paul Carriere