A Georgetown woman is urging the parents of Christ the King students in jeopardy of losing their bus service to attend the Halton Catholic School Board meeting May 1 to let trustees know how they feel.
Nicole Kase asks parents of current and future CTK students who live in Stewart's Mill, Arbor Glen and the affected Moore Park area to contact her at 905-873-7003. If 30 or more people intend to go to the board meeting she plans to arrange a bus to take them to the board office in Burlington, she said.
The board is considering making changes to its transportation policy to eliminate busing for the 34 students who live in Trafalgar Country/Moore Park Georgetown West) area and the 65 students who live in the Arbor Glen and Stewart's Mill developments. In both instances the students have been bused to and from school as exceptions to the Board's policy as they all live within the board's designated walking area-- a 3.2 km radius-- according to a board staff report.
Kase said her daughter, currently in Grade 10 at CtK, would have to walk 3.9 km to the school and when they walked the route-- 15 Sideroad, Eighth Line, Maple Ave. and Hwy. 7-- recently during good weather, it took 62 minutes.
She and other parents in that area are most concerned about the safety of their children having to make that daily two-way trek largely
through an undeveloped ravine area where she said they would be a long way from any homes. "If any emergency should happen these kids (could be) in grave danger," said Kase. She is also worried about speeders on Eighth Line. A petition signed by 256 people opposed to District eliminating the busing was recently presented to trustees. Halton Hills HCDSB Trustee Rosanna Palmieri said a vote was taken on the busing issue at the last board meeting and the outcome was 6-3 in favour of keeping the bus service, how ever, board chair Al Bailey ruled a 75 per cent majority was required. Palmieri said she understood a simple majority was required and in the end the issue was tabled until the next meeting on May 1 at the board office, 802 Drury Lane (at (Fairview St.) in Burlington, at 8 p.m. Palmieri said she agrees with the parents that busing should not be cancelled in West Georgetown or Arbor Glen and Stewart's Mill areas and will be presenting a motion to that effect. "Some of these distances are quite long and especially in the bad weather there's difficulty walking there," said Palmieri. She admits it will be difficult to get all the trustees on side, as the outcome has to be fair to all other areas in the region as well. She believes the board should undertake a review of its transportation policy and include some flexibility for rural areas where there is no public transit.