Trustees to decide on busing for Cedar students

A decision on whether Nanaimo school district will provide busing for soon-to-be displaced Cedar Community Secondary students to Ladysmith Secondary School could come in late January.

After receiving a staff report at a special school board meeting Jan. 8, trustee TerryLynn Saunders gave notice that she would propose a motion at the board’s Jan. 29 meeting regarding busing to the Ladysmith high school. Cedar Secondary is scheduled to close in June.

The board originally decided that busing to Ladysmith would not be provided, but after 162 of 310 families from the Cedar area chose Ladysmith over designated catchment school John Barsby Community School during the school selection process, the board requested the report.

Saunders pointed out that when South Wellington Elementary was closed last June, busing was provided to Chase River Elementary, even though it wasn’t the main catchment school.

“We made a decision in the early days,” Saunders said. “There is no harm in saying we need to re-look at that, that’s why [the report] is here. So we can look at the possibility of providing bus service from Cedar to Ladysmith.”

Trustees approved bus service for Cedar students to John Barsby. According to the report, four new buses and routes would be needed to accommodate busing to John Barsby and Ladysmith at a cost of $868,680 for the first year. The estimated cost for John Barsby alone – which would include two new buses and two new routes – was $455,878.

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