Cedar parents seek bus option

NANAIMO – Parents want Nanaimo school district to provide bus service to Ladysmith once Cedar Secondary School is closed.

Busing is becoming an issue for parents of soon-to-be displaced Cedar Community Secondary School students.

The school is set for closure at the end of June, with students having the option to attend either John Barsby Community School or Ladysmith Secondary School the following September and while the school district will be offering school buses to John Barsby, no such service will be offered to students headed to the Ladysmith high school.

Students are expected to submit school choice letters by Friday (Nov. 22) and Steve Rae, a parent and spokesman for the Save Cedar Schools Coalition, estimates that 75 to 85 per cent of students will choose Ladysmith, based on conversations he’s had with other parents. There will only be a limited number of spots available to the Ladysmith school, however.

“They (Nanaimo school district) are steadfast publicly that there will be no busing from Cedar to Ladysmith, that the only busing will be to Barsby. How in good conscience can the school district and the trustees not provide busing to a school, which is a better fit for our kids than John Barsby?” Rae asked.

Nanaimo school district board chairman Jamie Brennan said John Barsby is the catchment school for Cedar students and there currently isn’t any plan to add busing to Ladysmith.

“Anything can change,” Brennan said, when asked if the Ladysmith situation was set in stone. “We first have to see what kind of commitment there is for students going to Ladysmith to see if it would be justified.”