Nanaimo trustees see draft transportation policy

NANAIMO – Public can offer feedback on plan for next 30 days.

With Nanaimo school district’s transportation policy revision progressing, Cinnabar Valley parents are still expressing concern.

The school board voted to accept a transportation policy draft last week, which states that “the board believes in providing eligible students with safe and reliable transportation in a fiscally and environmentally responsible manner.”

Transportation to and from catchment schools is based on special needs, safety and hazards and distance and geography.

Parents in Cinnabar saw their children relocated to John Barsby Secondary School after Cedar secondary closed in 2014, but with the high school re-opening last month, they are seeking three-year grandfathered busing to Barsby, despite Cedar being the catchment school.

Leona Horvath, a Cinnabar Valley parent and John Barsby Secondary School parent advisory council president, said the catchment area has changed three times in the past 10 years and twice within the last two years.

“We don’t feel that what we’re asking for is unreasonable,” said Horvath. “We’ve asked for something that has a finite timeline. We asked for three years and that would cover all of our kids that were going to Cedar that went to Barsby and that graduate out.”

The policy is currently in a 30-day notice of motion, where people can offer feedback. At the end of the consultation, staff will make recommendations on the procedures and the district will go forward from there, said Steve Rae, school board chairman.

Rae doesn’t think grandfathering Cinnabar bus students will happen. A bus is provided to the catchment school, he said.

The district is expecting to present a staff-recommended policy at its Nov. 9 business committee meeting. Approval is anticipated at the Nov. 23 regular meeting. Please visit www.sd68.bc.ca.